The term ‘God’

What underpins any conversation about Catholic Faith is the term ‘God’. And yet there is much confusion about what we mean by God. It is worthwhile starting with what we do not mean by God.

Not Mythological Figure
The fantastical figures in ancient mythologies were called gods. For example, Zeus and Apollos are called gods in ancient Greek mythology. We do not mean anything like these mythological figures when we use the term God.

Not Supreme Being
Others describe god as the supreme being. Leaders and warriors have been recognised as big figures in human society. Some conclude that god is just the biggest being around, the supreme being. When we use the term God we do not mean the supreme being.

Not even a being
We can point many things around us: here is the computer; there is the desk; there are the clouds in the sky. The computer, desk and clouds are each beings among the many other beings in the world. ​Some imagine God to be just one other being among many beings.
Yet God is not one being among many. God is not even a being. When we use the term God we do not even mean a being.

God is
The figures in the Scriptures encountered God who was other. When Moses encountered God he asked what His name was, God replied, “I am who am”. God is pure act of being. God is sheer act of to-be. God simply is.

God reveals
The Catholic-Christian claim is that God has revealed Himself to man, and Jesus Christ is the fullness of divine revelation.

In this clip, Revd Robert Barron speaks on the meaning of the term ‘God’: