Tuesday, March 20, 2007

God thoughts (part 2)

Impossible?You see, I reckon that if we have a glib, rather silly idea of what God’s omnipotence means – that God can do “any any any anything” even if it’s logical gibberish like making black white (and it still being black), or (a more serious mistake) morally outside God like being tempted by evil – then we are likely to end up in some blind alleys.

For instance, we’re likely to end up blaming God when things aren’t going well. After all, God can do anything, right? So why isn’t he making me happy? Healing me? Sending me telegrams from heaven? (It’s the philosopher’s “problem of evil” made personal and therefore selfish).

But, in this sense, God cannot “do anything”. If there’s sin in your life, for instance, God cannot ignore it. So you’re not going to be happy. Better face it and repent! Not blame God, because He should sort it (because, of course, He “can”!) Get my meaning?

Think about it. If God can “do anything” then don’t you think He’d have come up with a rather more painless way of redeeming the world? Praise our merciful God that He found the way – and who can trace the extent of His wisdom and mercy – but let’s not pretend it was “easy” for God because He can “do anything” (presumably by clicking His fingers or waving a wand).

Even miracles, in which I believe firmly, are within the bounds of what is “possible” in the universe God has made. Sure, walking on water may necessitate a re-arranging of some of the laws of physics. But it doesn’t involve scrapping them altogether. In fact, many miracles involve an acceleration of such laws: take healing, for instance. There’s a natural God-given power of healing in organisms (just as there’s also a power of decay at work in our fallen world). And God can and does speed healing up at times (or slow down the decaying process).

But we damage our faith and set ourselves up for trouble if we want to simplify God and make Him some kind of cosmic wizard who can do anything with the wave of a hand. We’re setting ourselves up for disappointment. The universe is far bigger and far more wonderful than that. And so is God.

7 comments:

mm said...

In becoming man in Christ did God take on the possibility of doing those things that he cannot do like the ones listed by Tschaka and Anna and others in the last entry. Ok given he didn't do those things (otherwise we'd still all be lost or the universe would have imploded or something)did he allow himself to experience the possibility of doing them?

DarrenDeliberate said...

I'd say he can do anything, which makes him even more awesome knowing he didn't sin.

Carole said...

I think there had to be the possibility that Christ could sin, as a man, so that he could experience and overcome temptation. So that he could, as the bible puts it, "learn obedience". And I'm sure he experienced fear in the Garden of Gethsemane.

mm said...

So if as man on earth Christ could do anything (even sin) though he chose not to; can he not also do 'anything' as he is still man in heaven?

TJ said...

Well, as I've commented else where on this one,Unless god went back and re-did creation then my stance is that he can't do everything.

; ) The TJ

normal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
normal said...

Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I hold that Christ could not sin - this would contradict His divine nature. At the same time, His temptation was real and He truly battled with it - anything else would contradict His human nature. We find ourselves back at the great paradox of the incarnation: Christ is fully God and fully man. Yet it's a paradox - not a contradiction.

I may delve into this a little further...