God is absolute reality in Christianity. He is the one being about which you don’t get to say “How did he get to be that way?” because he absolutely is. All creatures and created things are derivative and exist secondary to his absolute existence. If this seems meaningless, that is based on your own opinion of what constitutes authentic existence, not logic found anywhere near the Bible.
Jesus said that “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58). Those in his hearing knew the Hebrew scriptures and understood he was claiming to be God. They thought this was blasphemy deserving death, so they tried to stone him. Jesus did not give us the option to see him as merely a good moral teacher, as C.S. Lewis explained. He is either a liar (intentionally deceptive), a lunatic (delusional about his identify) or who he claimed to be, the eternally existing Creator of the universe, the Son of God, begotten of the Father.
I don’t know what Greek readers would have thought unless they had a basic knowledge of the Hebrew scriptures where YHWH self-identifies as I AM.
He was speaking to fellow Hebrews well-versed in their own scriptures. To tell them merely that God existed before Abraham would neither be worth saying (as so obviously true) nor so offensive as to provoke them to want to kill him. I’m not sure who you’re referring to when you mention “those Greek converts.” Luke was the only early Greek follower of Christ whose writings are found in the New Testament (the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts).
I never heard any Christian claiming that God created Himself. On the contrary there are explicit denials that the persons of God like Jesus and the Holy Spirit are created by God, but rather always existed with the Father.
This is not contrary to science. Energy dissolves the distinction between thing and action. It is not only things (like matter) which are composed of energy but actions (like motion) also, and one can be converted into the other. This is what the particle accelerators do – convert the energy of motion into the mass energy of the various particles they are looking for. Thus, there is nothing inconsistent with the idea that God’s action in creating supplies all the substance required for the universe.
Well I don’t like this idea of many Christians because it makes creation sound like nothing more than a dream, which isn’t very impressive to me. Anybody can dream. Thus I insist that what God did was create something real existing apart from Himself by the laws of nature which He established. Thus I take Bible passages about God sustaining creation to simply mean that God acts to protect what he values in the universe when required because, after all, life is pretty fragile.
Thus there is a difference here between saying the universe exists because God desired this, acting to create it, and saying the universe continues to exist only because God continues to will it as if the universe were nothing but a dream or thought in His head with no independent existence. If you are finding the latter unacceptable then I fully agree with you.
Like a few others here I certainly don’t like the idea of God simply making things appear by will alone or magic like you often see in the tv shows “Bewitched” or “I dream of Jeanie.” I think that kind of magic is derived from our experience of infancy where more powerful and knowledgeable beings answer our cries of discomfort. But clear this idea magic doesn’t make sense in the case of God, because there are no more powerful and knowledgeable beings to answer His desires. Instead God’s creation must come from His own knowledge and ability to achieve His desires.
Another issue on which I will complain is thinking that God’s omnipotence means He can accomplish thing by whatever means someone cares to dictate, as if the ends are independent of the means. In particular, I do not believe God can create living things by making them simply appear because this is inconsistent with the very nature of life itself, which is a self-organizing process of growth and learning.
You are right. People are both physical and emotional (spiritual.) We need science and faith. I will go one further. People are physical, rational, and spiritual, We need science, philosophy (the science of thinking,) and faith. Philosophy, thinking about thinking, not Plato and Aristotle, helps us to understand our faith and helps us to understand science and reconcile them.
The Trinity reflects this. God the Father is the God of Creation or Nature, that is science… God the Holy Spirit is the God of Faith, that is spirituality. God the Son is the Logos (John 1:1) is the God of the Rational, that is philosophy. God is Three and One, just as we who are created by God is God’s Image are Three and One, One and the Many, Unity and Complexity.
Do you think God only needs the powerful will to exist, or still needs both a body and the powerful will?
If he only needs the powerful will that can create everything out of nothing, possibly, he could create his own body, though his body may have already been there (he doesn’t have to create.)
If he couldn’t create his own body, then is his will still so powerful?
For a while, I tried another idea that God didn’t create everything, God is the whole of everything, God is the universe itself, and we are all part of him, and he makes rules for everything though he allows our mind to make decisions. I still have no enough reasons to reject it.
You mentioned the rational part. Yes, it should be considered neither physical nor emotional but related to the two . That’s why we have so many questions to answer and depend on it to make right decisions. Our rational part tends to reconcile everything. But the presumption is all of the part of the world could be explained in one rational understanding.
The traditional conception of God is that He is infinite and doesn’t need anything. In Him we see a being who is motivated by love alone, specifically the desire to give of His abundance to others. Bodies are by nature limited so God is not thought of as having a body, except in the person of Jesus who came to Earth as a human being.
In Jesus, God walked among us as a fully human being born as a helpless infant and growing up among us with all of our limitations. A constructed body is not a human body – a human body grows from infancy. The ends are not independent of the means.
That is called pantheism and it is quite popular among some famous scientists like Einstein. But Christianity rejects this largely because of theodicy. We believe in a God who is wholly good but evil exists in the universe. If you are going this route then you might as well believe in the dreamer God for a dream is simply a part of the dreamer, though this would be panentheism rather than pantheism. I think I have excellent reasons to reject both of these.
Yes, but there is nothing wrong with that because YHWH our rational God created the universe as a rational home for humanity. God created humans in God’s Image which means God gave us a Mind like God’s which is able to understand the universe to an amazing degree. God created humans govern the world and gave the ability to do so. Sadly we have failed to adequately govern ourselves so the world is falling apart and govern the world so the biosphere is falling apart
Look at the alternative narrative. The universe came into being out of Nothing, no matter, no energy, no time, no space. The universe, which was not formed rationally, actually has rational form. The universe, which was not formed with purpose and meaning, has purpose and meaning, that is humanity.
The statement of Einstein, “The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehendible,” is true for the non-believer, but not for t5hose who accept the truth that YHWH is the rational Creator of all that is.
When we talk about good and evil, we must ask ourselves good for what or whom, then the opposite is evil. Evil doesn’t exist in the universe without what it harms.
In the non-living world, there’s no purpose. (Maybe the universe as a whole has its purpose but a rock may not have a purpose.)
In the living world, every individual of any form of life has its purpose, to exist as a form of life. If they do something against that, they are evil.
But before animals can make their own decisions, they are not evil. They may see what’s going on around them and react unconsciously as if the decisions were preset by God.
After God created mind for human, God let human make decisions, then evil becomes possible. But it’s not God’s. Our mind may have the wrong interpretation of life, make wrong decisions. They are evil. But it’s not God’s fault. God still has the most powerful and perfect law ruling the universe (itself) that nobody could break. When God created mind, he also expected our mind to discover his law, to find what’s right by mind itself, to make the right decisions, and was ready to punish those who fail to do so. God is the universe and wholly good, but what our mind decides to do may not be good for ourselves. If God didn’t give our mind the freedom to make decisions, we may not even make evil decisions against ourselves.
You suggested the pantheist idea that God is the whole of everything. I explained why Christians reject this idea. The whole of everything includes people doing evil, thus we do not believe that God is the whole of everything. But I am even more opposed to pan(en)theism than this. I believe it makes God nothing more than a dreamer who does not really create anything with an independent existence. Furthermore, I believe that life, free-will, and consciousness requires that God creates something truly independent and apart from Himself. The people in dreams, holo-novels, and the npcs in hologames are not alive or conscious for what they do is dictated by the dreamer, author, and game designer.
Nah, I don’t find it to come out like that, unfortunately.
To me Jesus is making a very clear statement that He existed before Abraham. It has nothing to do with Yahweh’s stated name. The context is clear - it is all about WHO JESUS is to make such bold claims of people not dying if they believed on His Word. Who has authority to make such claims if all the prophets before him have died? Jesus makes it clear that He is the Son of God and unlike them (Jews) he cannot lie about that.
Mmmmhhhh, so does this lend credence to the biologian supposition that Genesis 1 is not history?
The reason I ask is that Genesis 1 states clearly that God created man in His own image. Furthermore on the same day Adam could talk and interact with God and the animals. So if this is the case then Adam did not grow from infancy and by extension Adam could not have had a human body. Hence one must conclude that Genesis 1 and 2 is not historical??? Does that make sense given the statement you have made regarding the nature of constructed versus human bodies?
Gmt, I think the logic here does not compute. The conclusion that God has two or more rules does not follow from the “if” statement.
The answer to the seeming conundrum is simple - in the beginning God created everything and it was “very good”. There was no sin, no disease, no pain as a result and no suffering followed by death. This is the clear reading in Genesis 1.
Then sin entered the world and with it death. But of course along the path to death was pain, disease, suffering and all the other ills that come along for the ride.
So that at some point the person who should have been walking, is not, and hence when Jesus performed his miracle it was to address one particular case of suffering in a sin-cursed world.
Now the problem for biologians is that they cannot explain your question to you in such simple terms. Why? because they cannot tell you that everything was perfect in the beginning since they adhere to pain, suffering and death as being the driver of evolution. Hence, your conundrum: The God that “created” via evolution must have been responsible for the pain, suffering and death all along and hence God is definitely the author of a dichotomy: You either walk by His decision or you don’t. Sin has absolutely no play in it.
I think claiming Genesis to be history by modern standards as a specialized activity separated from other activities is absurd. I think it is far more reasonable to believe that this came from a time of fireside stories which served a variety of purposes including philosophy, theology, bedtime stories, law, history, and entertainment.
The understanding of the meaning of that statement is one of the things in the Bible where you find considerable diversity of thought. I find the idea that this is referring to the human form and shape (i.e. anthropomorphic) to be ridiculously superficial.
Science does not support the idea of absolute time, therefore there is no reason whatsoever to think that the temporal ordering of the actions of God is the same as the temporal ordering of the universe. The text does not support this assumption ether for the temporal measures day and night for man in the universe depend on the motion of the astronomical bodies being created in this narrative.
The conclusions you are forced to by the premises you accept are not the conclusions other people are brought to with the premises they accept.
So… yes, my statements make sense in the context of the premises I accept as true. The most important of these is that life requires growth and learning. Golems of dust and bone animated by the magic of ancient necromancers (if you believe in such things), I would not consider to be any more alive than robots and machines.