In a poll in Norway asking “do you believe in God”, about a third answered respectively no, yes, and maybe.
I realize that the question probably makes sense to most people.
And I also wish it was more specific.
What type of God do you believe in? What’s your image of God? As transcendent? Immanent? Same as reality? Something you relate to on your own? Or through a religion? Or both?
And what does “believe” mean? Have you had direct experiences of Spirit, or God (or whatever you wish to call it)? Is it something you mostly relate to second hand? Does “belief” cover it? Or doesn’t the word “belief” apply? Is it something you are actively engaging with and exploring?
Do I believe in the official Christian image of God? Not really. There is a lot there that’s more about theology, and I see as not very insightful or important.
Do I believe in the God of Christ or Jesus? Not really. I don’t “believe” in it, but I do have a relationship to that God. I relate to something that seems very similar to what Jesus did.
Do I see God as transcendent or immanent? Yes, both.
Do I see God as equal to reality? Yes. I see God as reality, as what is. As what we explore through science, and spirituality, both. (And also art, literature, music, dance, and much more.)
Does the word “belief” cover it? Not really. I appreciate pointers and even maps, and use these sometimes to orient. Mainly, it’s something I am exploring through own experience. Through various forms of meditation, prayer, inquiry, body movements, being in relationships and nature, and more.
What would I have answered if I was asked that question? I would probably asked what they mean by the question. They would have said “no idea”, and I would have been about equally likely to say yes, no, and maybe. Yes, since all is God. No, since I don’t connect to much of the Christian theology. And maybe, since I don’t know exactly what they are asking. I am split about equally in the three answers, just like the Norwegian population.
And I know from other surveys that many or perhaps most Norwegians relate most closely to a more personal and non-denominational form of spirituality, only indirectly – if at all – related to traditional Christianity.