Damascene Cosmology – Is God moved?


While the previous answer given to “Does God change” might be adequate to some since it allows for us to understand that God does not operate in the way we do, meaning he can change his mind without changing his nature, to others such an answer is unsatisfactory.

For instance, even if we say that God’s emotions are higher than our own – such as when he’s angry he’s not holding some different quality of angry as we do, but instead holds the entire property of angry without actualizing on the entire property – the critic could point out that God’s emotional state is still a reaction to something we have done. When we look to Moses, God changed his mind after he listened to Moses, that is, he reacted to Moses.

If God reacts to us then that means he is, at times, moved by us. Many lay theologians, pastors, and even professional theologians argue that while God is immutable, by creating us he opened himself up to be moved by us at times. Such a view, however, ignores that (1) Scripture is emphatic that God did not lower himself to relate to us, but rather raises us up to relate to him and (2) God still had mutability within his nature under such a view. If God lowered himself in creation so that he could be moved by his creation at times, that means within his nature he changed from immutable to mutable, which would indicate that he was never immutable to begin with. As we discovered earlier, if anything has mutability within its nature, that is it has the potential to change, then it is mutable. Immutable beings must be immutable by nature. If God lowered himself in the act of creation, then he is not immutable and therefore we must abandon the idea of the Christian God. Continue reading

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Short Homilies – On Sin


Do you not take seriously the sin you commit against a holy and righteous God, O Man? Why do you celebrate your sin as though it were something good? Why do you act as though you should be proud in your rebellion? What pride is found in rebellion when it goes against all that is good? Or do you deny that God is good? You twist and warp his holy standard to suit your own pleasures. “This is not really a sin” you say to yourself. “Surely God wouldn’t think this is a sin!” You then twist the Scriptures like an uneducated fool so that you might live as you desire.

O foolish Man! Do you not see that you are repeating the mistakes of your father Adam? He saw the fruit, the object of his desire, as a way to be like God. He knew that if he were like God he could be independent of God and so he ate of the fruit. Why do you condemn him, but eat of the fruit daily? Do you not see that sin is rebellion against God? The root of sin is the desire for autonomy. You justify your sins so that you can be independent of God.

But do not be so foolish O Man. God is not moved and he has no equal! You think you can declare something is not a sin or an offense to God? You think you can tell God that he is wrong in declaring your personal taste a sin? Move the stars and then you might have something to say. Bring matter into existence by your very word and you might be able to approach God. Be holy in all things and you might be able to converse with the Almighty on what is good.

Do you not realize that he is all that is good, that goodness exudes from him? To question what is good is to question God.  Are you so bold as to question God’s knowledge of himself? Are you so bold as to question the all-knowing and all-good God on if he knows what is best for us?

You continue in your sin because you are blinded by your pleasure. You desire to be the best amongst men for your own vainglory. What does it benefit you? What do you gain? Do you not realize that you will die in a short while? You are nothing in the comparison of time. You toil for your own wants and desires and in so doing establish a legacy of vapor. You would do well to spray a mist into the air and declare, “This is my legacy!” For that is all you are in broad span of time, a vapor that is lost in a few seconds.

But you pursue these temporary pleasures because you live for seconds. The wise man lives for God and realizes that God is in eternity, thus the temporal pleasures of the flesh mean nothing to the wise man. But you are a fool who cannot see past tomorrow. Do you not realize that your life shall be demanded of you at some point? What will you have to show for it?

Rather than living for yourself, live for God. We are temporal and therefore all that we do will not matter after we are gone, but if we live for God then we will be immortal. Let your actions be founded in him in all that you do. It is through his eternality that we find our own eternality.

Turn from your sin and cease your rebellion against God. It is a battle that you will not win. Instead, submit to him through your free will before it is too late. Submit to him and follow him in his ways, for they are holy and good. Know that he will bring us no harm, but will only bring us good. Seek not after yourself, but instead after your Creator, for this is your only hope.

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This was a scheduled post. I am currently out of town and subsequently have turned comments off since I cannot moderate or interact with commenters. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about this post, please feel free to contact me.

The End For Which the World Was Made


This is the first chapter for a book I am writing (What Sinners Dare Not Dream). I am attempting to tell the Gospel, from creation to where we are supposed to be. This chapter simply focuses on the purpose for creation and how it was done. I welcome any critiques or comments. I especially welcome anyone who notices major grammatical errors (keep in mind that this is casual writing; though it irks me to begin a sentence with “and” or “but,” it is preferred in casual writing). 

God Creates

 

Into the darkness, the vast void of nonexistence, the Lord spoke and the material world began its existence. It is impossible for us mere humans to fathom what nothingness is, a place – if nothingness can even be a place – where there is no light, no feeling, no vacuum of space, no warm or cold, no real darkness; nothingness. Yet, God chose to fill the void and create something. But why would God create anything?

Did God create the material and spiritual worlds because He needed to create? Did He do so because He was lonely? Perhaps He just wanted to see if He could actually do it, like a child that climbs a rope just to say he reached the top. If God needed to create, than He was not God prior to creation because He had not fulfilled His purpose – and this begs the question, who or what gave Him that purpose to begin with? If God had to create because He was lonely, then He is not Trinitarian. If we are merely God’s attempt at self-satisfaction in His own power, to see if He could accomplish something, then our purpose is really purposelessness, as He has seen what He can do and has now abandoned us.  Thankfully, none of the above scenarios are true.

The Bible makes it clear that God created for three reasons: His own pleasure, to display His glory, and to display His love. God created to gain enjoyment out of His creation, but also so intelligent beings within His creation could see how glorious He is and how much He loves His creation.

The first and primary reason God created all things was for His pleasure. Revelation 4:11 (KJV) states, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” All the things that we can see and observe were created for the pleasure of God. All things in the spiritual realm were likewise created for His pleasure.

What does the Bible mean when it says “pleasure” though? Are we simply pawns God uses in order to gain selfish enjoyment? No, this is not what Scripture means, for such a god would be contrary to the God of Scriptures, such actions would go against His loving nature. Rather, the Greek word used in Revelation 4 is thelema, which refers to a purposeful pleasure. That is, all things were created to fulfill the purpose God had for humankind. In short, God created all things in order to fulfill a purpose.

What an astonishing thought about creation that is often ignored. God takes enjoyment out of creation; He created in order to enjoy it through fulfilling a purpose. Creation alone is not sufficient for fulfilling God’s purposes – the sacrifice of Christ is also necessary, as shall be seen in later chapters – but it is a necessary component. In order for God to display His purpose with creature (namely, humans), He must first create.

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