I think a lot about the kind of god I could believe in, and what her characteristics are, and why I’m no longer a Christian.
I come to this:
The god I imagine, the true one, the ‘fount of all being,’ is a wild limitless overflowing thing of life, joy, and love. A thing totally unconstrained and unpredictable. Has to be. Nothing less. As wild as Pan – god of the earth and forest and ocean as much as god of the sky and the stars. A being of sweet, terrible life. Something like the god whose back Moses is shown a glimpse of, up on that mountain.
Unfortunately, YHWH falls a little short of the ideal. He comes close at times, true – and party-Jesus doing wine-tricks is a glimpse of the ultimate truth – but ultimately YHWH is constrained by ‘rules,’ or ‘justice,’ or hand-waving about ‘the way things are.’ C.S. Lewis has Aslan speak of a ‘deep magic’ that cannot be undone or avoided; the penal substitutionists (and the satisfactionists) speak of some code or law that even YHWH must honour – and, therefore, that we also must yield to if YHWH is to save us. (I guess god did manage to create a rock so big even he can’t lift it?)
Even further – YHWH gets upset at the things people do. And not just for their sake, either (which would be permissible.) He gets offended! And jealous! He punishes people for doing obviously good things, because they contravene his arbitrary moral code! He endorses – encourages! – mass slaughter and pillage of people outside the chosen few.
I can imagine a god greater.
Of course, the flaw in the ontological argument is the assumption that imagining something means it must exist. I hold no such assumption. Nonetheless.
Any god who falls short of the best I can imagine is a god not worth worshipping.