The God of Ice Cream Flavors

A Saturday Rant~

Sometimes I think the conventional wisdom of contemporary Christianity is to view God as an ice cream flavor. Sweet and pleasant to swallow, best served in summer, melts away if you don’t eat it fast enough.

Flavors? 31? 29? 88? There is unbelievable choice in how you want to swallow God. He comes in such great flavors. Maybe you want a vanilla God? Or how about chocolate and vanilla swirled? It’s all your choice.

Just don’t make Him any more substantive than that. We wouldn’t want God to be hard to swallow. He needs to be easy on the eyes. Easy on the palate. Especially easy on the heart.

Only He isn’t. He’s GOD! He isn’t an ice cream flavor.

An article on the BBC News Website by Rob Dreher says that current research shows that “people see religion in primarily therapeutic terms. That is, they believe that God wants us to be nice, happy and self-fulfilled – and that’s about it.” In response a friend of mine says this:

The more Christianity is viewed as primarily therapeutic the more it dissolves into a shapeless. impotent mess of relativism. The muscle, and bones, and sinew of Scripture show us the shape and character of a God who doesn’t just listen and empathize and gently encourage us to become whoever and whatever we want . 

For goodness sake, He is GOD. He hurls stars. The strength of His arm separates darkness and light. His love isn’t about how people feel. It is about His own holiness…and about life and death, rescue and consecration.*

Which will it be? An ice cream flavor God that makes me feel “good, happy and self-fulfilled” or a hurling stars sort of God? A “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.” sort of God? Or a “chocolate sundae with sprinkles on it” sort of God?

Is it even up to us to decide? 

*Quote used with permission from Emily Van Dalen

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9 thoughts on “The God of Ice Cream Flavors

  1. Food for thought for sure. its amazing how an ice cream God is our default position. how we love to hate working on our character or admitting that (gasp) we are not the centre of the universe. without realizing it we can so easily slip into only swallowing the easy bits of God.


    1. I have been so guilty of wanting the easy bits of God and yet is that really the kind of God I want? Is the easy God big enough to carry this world? Thanks for weighing in, I know it’s a far bigger discussion than a blog post!


  2. Yes. This is so true. I am sometimes caught off guard by how much my friends get annoyed when I bring up the more troubling attributes of God’s person. And then I find myself following down that same path. Personally, I’d rather have the How Great Thou Art God! :-) Thanks for this fantastic post!


    1. Thanks Tonya – I have the same thing with friends and am left with this disturbing sense that we are making God in man’s image instead of the other way around. . It’s that tension of knowing there is deep and ultimate love, but He is God. So glad you commented.


  3. “It is possible to have just enough Christianity to inoculate you against the real thing.” – C.S. Lewis


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