Sunday, December 14, 2008

What is God's Love?

I get very annoyed with people that seem to be continually defining God on their terms. Their God tends to be very politically correct (no warring or genocide allowed), but when they are done defining God, it seems to me there is nothing left but platitudes about love.

  • It seems that the statement that "God is love" does not map well into our human understanding of Love

  • Scot Douglass' statement "Every truth about God is always also a lie about Him" -- is "God is love" one of those truths that is also an untruth?

  • Is this a problem of language -- are we in the realm of the ineffable?

  • Do some attributes of God transcend love?

  • Do we need different categories of Love? The love of humans and the love of God?

  • 1 Cor 13:5 "It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful" has a very human centric and pragmatic feel to it. Anyone that is in relationship feels the truth of this.

  • John 3:16 agape love

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Why did God put "The Tree" in the Garden--a different kind of Love?

While I don't expect any answers, the question of how evil arose in a universe that God created is an interesting issue. I am fairly comfortable with the notion that evil was allowed to spring into existence so that we could have free will, but of course there are lots of problems with that position.

Either as a history, or an inspired myth, I have been wondering why God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden--putting a tempting, death delivering temptation close to our children is not something we would consider doing.
  • Why would a loving God put a deadly temptation in the reach of an apparently naive couple? This does not match our usual definitions of loving behavior.  We usually don't expose our children to deadly threats!

  • The tree was "a delight to the eyes" and good for food. Not only was the tree dangerous it was attractive.

  • Aligns with the early statement when the garden was created that "every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food" (non-pleasant looking trees excluded?)

  • You can argue the couple was not even fully capable of understanding the prohibition. They hadn't achieved the sense of self that would enable them to recognize their nakedness.

  • God's command framed: You may, and "you shall not eat." In vs 3:11, God referred to it as a command

  • Would the words "death", "good", "evil" (especially) have any meaning to them?

  • Is this God's role in evil? --> creating the choice, the possibility of the "not good"?

  • The fall did not create evil -- how could there be a word for it otherwise?
    (was the rebellion of Satan the instantiation of evil, or is it more fundamental than that (Did God make the existence of darkness inevitable, when He create the light?)
    ("This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." 1 Jn 1:5)

  • If viewing the fall as an inspired myth regarding the rise of consciousness, what does the serpent signify?

  • God put the potential for disobedience in the garden and foreshadowed the solution with the tree of life.