What do I mean by poesistheou? The inspiration for this blog title actually goes back to a class I took at the University of Colorado. One of my majors there was Creative Writing, and I remember a day where my poetry professor explained the etymology of the word poetry. Poetry has its root in the Greek word poesis, which means the process of doing, making, or being in action. When a person write poetry, he or she is using words as building blocks to create something, a linguistic work of art that acts upon the reader/listener. So, poetry is quite literally the process of doing language.
That said, as a seminary student who still tries to write poetry, I’ve noticed especially this year that there are some aspects of God that can only be described in poetry, song, or art. A professor here named Scott Sunquist likes to point out the importance in church history of people who “sing their theology”. As systematic as we make it, some things about God can’t be confined to black and white prose on a piece of paper. So one aspect of poesistheou is that it’s about dealing with God, thinking about God, talking about God, relating to God poetically, musically.
The other side of poesistheou is that because poesis basically means action, I want to try to be aware of God’s action in this world. As I’ve grown out of the shallow faith I had in high school, I’ve come to see that God is more at work in this tangible world around us than we can ever imagine. Being religious isn’t only about believing, it’s about acting on that belief. So, the idea of poesistheou ends up being not just how we think about and believe in God, but how we act. It includes how we interact with God, with other people, and how we see God acting in this world. God is real, active, and beautiful in ways that are beyond comprehension – that is what I mean by poesistheou.