The Scriptures often picture God as the sun. Even our Lord uses the imagery when speaking of Himself.

From the human perspective, the sun gives light, warmth, growth, the comforting sense of regularity, and many other blessings.

But there is another perspective – let’s call it the non-human. From the non-human perspective, the sun is rather something to be measured and probed, situated with respect to other objects of its kind, and so on.

God is pictured as the sun from the human perspective. From the non-human, the picture is useless, and the expressions offering it are meaningless, because they are not part of the non-human vocabulary, and do not comply with the non-human rules of grammar.

The dangers posed by the non-human perspective are dire. It is seductive and aggressively seeks to supplant the human, and to the degree it advances, the human perspective is marginalized, and its language increasingly comes to be regarded as quaint and metaphorical, most distressingly, as ‘merely’ subjective. This is a great loss and a great error, with many consequences.

But there is also a great danger lurking when we hallow the human perspective, the phenomenon we call idolatry. The sun is a picture of God, it is not the reality. There is little inclination any more to worship the sun, but there is a great, almost overwhelming inclination to worship – under other names, of course – the qualities of the sun, just because they are so agreeable.

The Christian way is surrounded with perils.

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