Nature of Reality, Nature of Man, 6) How Are We Like God?
In the Image of God
Traditional views hold that the Image of God in man is only or almost only the ability to use rationality. Calvinism holds that this ability was damaged in the fall, some form of Calvinism hold man is unable to rationalize, he is utterly debased, “Total Depravity,” however, in light of current knowledge at university, this is obviously not the case.
Additionally I would ask if she or he only visits Christian medical doctors when called for? Is there a difference in their training or ability to rationalize because they are saved?
We must start integrating our theology with our everyday life. We must start examining how we actually believe God to be in our daily practice and integrate that into our theology.
All the way back to Thomas Reid, the common person in church thinks and talks about God in more realistic terms than theologians do.
I admit here that I have been in churches that go the other direction and make God their “sugar daddy” in various manners, and neither is this the case.
A friend was raised with a father (I know the whole family) and his dad would say daily things to the effect that God had showed him this is that and God would do this or that for him. One son remains on that primrose path, and the other was finally confronted by his younger son who said, “Dad, I have had enough of that talk. You have been telling me that for fifty years and nothing, not a single thing has ever come true.”
You have to live in a real world.
Your author at Multnomah Falls, Oregon
Creativity and Imagination
Imagination allows us to imaging, that is, use an idea to envision something that is not yet, or to make something into something else, that is, to enable the vision for the artisan to make an artifact or art piece that is not yet made.
God is like this also. Look at the extreme detail we are currently uncovering in living tissues, with motors and pumps very much beyond human capability of creating, but which exist in every cell, technology, if you will, far beyond our abilities, and, there was a time those devices existed only in the imagination of God’s mind. Then he created it.
God has imagination.
God expresses his emotions in the Bible. Far from being detached, look at the following list:
- Happiness (Old English: Hap, happen, to be pleased with what has happened) (Creation Gen 1:10, 12, 18, 21, 25)
- Unhappy (I Cr 10:5)
- Anger (Num. 22:22, Jos 23:16, Jdg 2:12, Jer 7:20, 42:18)
- Wrath (Rom 9:22, Rev 14:10)
- Jealous (Deu 6:15)
- Displeased (I Ch 21:7)
- Stable (Psa 78:35, “rock”)
- Glad (Acts 11:23)
- Love (Rom 8:39, Eph 2:4, 1 Jo 2:5, 4:7-20)
- Gracious (2 Ch 30:9, Psa 86:15)
- Hatred (Eze 35:11, Amo 6:8)
- Changes mind, Repents (Jonah 3:9-10, Amo 7:6, Jer 26:13, )
- Stubborn (refuses to repent Eze 24:14)
- Grief (Eph 4:30)
- Compassion (Deu 30:3, 2Ch 36:15, Psa 86:15)
- Indignation (Jer 10:10, Jer 50:25, Eze 22:13, Rev 14:10)
- Abhorrence (Lev 26:44, Amo 6:8)
- Patience (Rom 15:5, Rev 1:9)
- Long-suffering (Exd 34:6, Num 14:18, Psa 86:15, Rom 9:22, 1 Pet 3:20)
- Joy (Zeph 3:17, Mat 25:21-23, 1 Tim 1:6)
This is the Word of God speaking about God. Do you believe it or not? If you don’t believe what the Bible itself tells you about God, don’t tell me you believe in Christianity or the Bible.
Your author in Singapore in 2008
The Day God Changed
The church has rightly been accused at times of irrationality with doctrine and understanding of the world and how it works. How is it them that the people being accused of this irrationality claim to have the real but different reality if it does not add up to that which we see and experience in everyday life? Is the world as God created it not real?
If not, then we are thrown directly back to Plato’s mystic supernaturalism where reality resided in heaven and not the earth where we only see imperfect things that are reflective if not metaphoric examples of what exists in his heavenly reality.
This is not what the Bible teaches. The earth is our home, God made us to live and work on this earth, not in heaven.
Plato, Augustine, Calvin, et al. had a doctrine that God never changes. Here I am not saying his moral standards change nor that he somehow changed into God, or that his essential character changes, the Bible teaches they do not.
Jesus was real, took on a human form that was added to his preexistent eternal “spiritual form” (whatever that is) and therefore changed forever in the most dramatic, intense, and largest magnitude of change possible. The God who is uncreated became the creature he created in order to reach mankind. The artist stepped into his painting. The writer stepped into his novel. The engineer stepped into his own design.
Tron: The computer programmer became part of the program.
This truly is the greatest story ever told.
So I claim the largest possible change occurred in God himself. One philosophical category (a necessary self-existent being of which there is exactly one) added a component to his nature which was in fact that which he created, and so, added a contingent (not necessary), created component.
This is all real. If Plato were also true, then the real God would have become at least partly unreal. This simply is not the case.
So man was created a rational being, however rationalism is a different case. Rationalism claims that man, starting with rational thought only can come to understand all of reality by empiricism and rational thinking only, that is, without revelation. Rationalism applied to theology claims that man can use reason alone to understand God (theology) which cannot be the case when we cannot approach, inspect, or know of a being who is secluded from our view.
Rational views of theology simply demand that the understanding of revealed knowledge be rational. Many religions claim revelation, we used rational thought to discern which were true and which were false using antithesis, why then should we accept the idea that once we have rationally discerned the correct revelation, that that revelation is no longer to be rationally considered?
I intimated is a different writing that God is tripartite, that is, a trinity.
When he used in Genesis the Hebrew word “Elohim” during creation it was rightly used and interpreted as a tripartite being. Hebrew has a singular word, dual word, and pleural version of that word. Only the single (El) and the pleural (Elohim) are used in Scripture.
It says he made man in his image. He is a different kind (specie) of tripartite being, but we experience this as body, soul, and spirit (psyche/mind).
My father dies a particularly bad death from an aberrant form of cancer. Before he did they had removed his entire left shoulder. Was he less of a human having that shoulder missing?
Then his humanity was not his body, but more than just a physical being.
This is why we at least try to treat our wounded veterans well. They may have list limbs, sight, or mental power, but they are still very much human.
Do we treat cars the same way? Not at all. My car gets old, it has less value. The bumper gets dinged up, it has less value. It gets in a crash, the value may be less than the cost to fix it. It can still function, but it is “totaled” and sent for scrap.
Can you imagine treating humans that way?
We came close to doing so a hundred years ago, even in this country and this was a direct result of the philosophy of Social Darwinism. It caused both world wars because one group determined to do something about the idea that one group of humans was worth more, were superior to others.
Humans are valuable because they are humans and deserve love and respect.
© 2015 Ronald A Newcomb