a picture of God, part 5

“The symbol of God functions.”  How you picture God directly affects how you live your life.  I am adapting an essay I wrote in my theology class into a five part series… my 5 fundamental attributes of God.  I’ve tried to make it a bit simpler for laymen but still… its hard to separate Christian theology from at least a few big, nasty words.  Here goes…

Because God is immanently engaged in creation and its history, creation is subjected to freedom and futility in hope. (Rom. 8.20-21) The present pain and unrest in the world is part of the raw material of the ultimate primacy of love.  God who is love cannot be engaged with a creation which is not a free agent choosing to accept or deny that love in relationship.  Furthermore, the process of evolution is necessary for the creation of astonishingly complex, self-transcending world that can enter into the eternal life of God in the eschatological Sabbath Day[1], the New Creation.  For the scientific community, this evolutionary process ultimately ends up in the chaos of the ever-expanding universe.  In contrast, for Christians, this same process is the very thing that leads to the dawning of a New Creation.  The violence and opportunity to do evil is what molds us physiologically and spiritually for communion with the Trinity and all the saints.  This world cannot have its values without its disvalues and the God who is love cannot reflect Trinitarian communion with us if our love is not freely chosen.  God is both panentheistically[2] immanent and personally engaged, but He is neither controlling nor dominating over His creation.  Creation is autonomous, but for now that comes at the price of being subjected to futility in hope for the future.

rom. 8.20-21

[1]Eschatological” refers to the eschaton, the New Creation, or the Kingdom of God… the time after the end of this world.  I refer to it as the “eschatological Sabbath” because I believe that the Sabbath Day spoken of in the Creation Poem in Genesis 1 hasn’t actually occurred yet… we are still living in the 6th day.  I’ll tackle that later.

[2] Panentheism is a belief system which posits that God exists and interpenetrates every part of nature, and timelessly extends beyond as well. Panentheism is distinguished from pantheism, which holds that God is synonymous with the material universe

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