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Abby & Ryan Talk About God

Abby & Ryan Talk About God

Update: 2022-01-01


Before people can talk about God, they need to define what they mean by the word "God."

According to the Tao Te Ching, as soon as you define God, you're no longer defining all of what God is.

So, all we can do is question and riff. That's what we do in this episode.

Key topics:

  • Can we know what God is?
  • Can we separate God from religion?
  • What is God without religion?
  • What is religion without God? 
  • Experiencing God vs. Believing in God

More topics:

  • The tolerance paradox (re: preaching tolerance while not tolerating intolerance)
  • How our belief in God helps or hinders our ability to be our best selves
    • Some people are their best selves when they believe in God
    • Some people are their worst selves because of their belief in God
  • The other beliefs we attach to God (afterlife, sin/ethics, our purpose)
    • If you believe God is a male, you believe gender is a matter of identity and not biology
    • If you believe in hell and love people, you'll evangelize to literally everyone
  • The need for systemic reform

Ryan's favorite quote about God:
“As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clearheaded science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about the atoms this much: There is no matter as such! All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. . . . We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.”
-Max Planck

Quote about scripture vs. experience:
"When the bird and the book disagree, trust the bird."
-James Audubon

Abby & Ryan land on the idea that we are all different fingers on the same hand, and what we call "God" is the palm. Or, we are all different branches on the tree, and what we call "God" is the trunk.


  • Ryan is grateful that he's developed the tools to process the hard lessons he's learning right now.
  • Abby is grateful for her Methodist upbringing.



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Abby & Ryan Talk About God

Abby & Ryan Talk About God

Abby & Ryan