Investigating God pt. 3


andrej_rublev_001

Considering what was written in the previous posts “Investigating God”, one might be tempted to return once more to that massively huge list compiled while visiting all the universes and add one more item to it. At the very bottom, one may be tempted to add the word “God”. Because, after all, the Christian says there is a God. And, here the Christian declares an emphatic NO. There is no logical world in which the universe and even the multiverse can be added to a list that includes God. God and all that exists do not share a co-existence. The notion that God preceded the “Big Bang”, the beginning of the universe and can be included in the chain of cause and effect that began existence is a false notion. God is not the first link in the chain of cause and effect. He is the source of the chain’s existence from beginning to end. In other words, there is no metaphorical “room” which contains God and “all that exists.” Remove God from the room and leave all existence, and the Christian will say you are right. God is not to be found in all existence. He is the source of it, and as such, does not belong in any category humankind can conjure.

God is transcendent. He transcends all categories. He is beyond all categories and conceptions. In fact, God constantly breaks through all categories. Take the category, for instance, “all things that exist”- the very thing the Christian says God is not included in. This category is broken by God through the person of Jesus of Nazareth. The Christian says, God is not in the world, and yet in the next breath, he declares that Jesus is God. Note the use of the helping verb is. Jesus was a man who existed in the past and yet the word “is” indicates Jesus exists today. It boggles the mind. God is not in the universe and yet he was a member of human history.

Thinking further about the person of Jesus. God demonstrates in Jesus that he transcends the category of nature. For all humankind has only one nature, yet Jesus, says the Christian, has two of them. Jesus is both God and man without any mixing of the two. He was not a spirit who appeared to be human. He was not merely a man used specially and uniquely by God. He was not a demigod being part human and part God. Jesus had the full nature of God and the full nature of man.

God transcends his presence. The Christian says that God is omnipresent. God is not in the universe, yet God is everywhere. Still, the Christian insists, one cannot point to a locality or place in the universe and say, “There God is.” This is so because God, as the source of all that exists, is actively creating every place. It takes God’s continued activity as creator for any place or thing to exist right now and even exist in the next moment. If God stopped, there would be nothing: which is the absence of anything at all. Thus things continue to exist because God is everywhere.

Another category God breaks through is Oneness or Unity. The Christian will say God is One and that God is Trinity. He is One and Three. God is even called a Tri-Unity. This is to say God is one essence, or nature, and God is three Hypostases or Persons. But, God is not three Gods. There is only One God in three Persons. These three Persons have no division; they are One. Each person can be distinguished but there is no separation between them. They cannot be opposed to each other, and cannot be defined in terms of what the other is not. A man is considered different or diverse from a woman. An Eskimo is diverse from a European. A man of one culture is diverse from a man of another culture. This is so because each is defined by what they are not, e.g. the Eskimo is not European. But, the Three-in-One are an absolute diversity, non-comparable, and not defined by opposing one to the other. They aren’t defined by what they are not. The Three are distinct but not divided.

Of course, the source of all human categories, should be expected to break through them, to transcend them. If we could have a complete understanding of the source of all existence, we would be God. God is both unknowable and knowable, incommunicable and communicable. And holding these things in balance with one another is a reminder that we cannot know everything, and it is also a call to ascend beyond our human comprehension to the great heights that God has for us. For as Jesus is so we are called to be, called to be more than human. For our true diversity consists not in our humanity, but in bearing a unique image of the divine. To be a person is more than to be human. It is to be in a process of becoming. For we will be as Jesus Christ is, participating in his divine nature by the divine light of his grace. May we each become fully alive.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s