Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Variability and God

This is a topic that I find very interesting. There are definite truths in both sides as far as I can tell, but I'm going to present you with both to generate discussion. I don't know if there is any other documentation on this topic, but it's something I think about a good bit. A discussion Richie, Terry, and I had last night reminded me of it.

Here it is:

Could God have made any of his choices differently? On the surface it seems like an easy question: "Of course. He's God, he can do whatever he wants." But on the other hand: "Of course not, He's God." Here's what I mean:

Every decision God makes is made by Godly discernment. Therefore, every decision God makes is just, wise, true. The properties of these decisions make every other dicision unjust, unwise, and untrue. We could even add other descriptors there, but those are just the ones that came to my head. God can't act against himself because that would be sin. This could even tie in to predestination-type topics. If God knows all, He knows himself, and does He therefore know every decision He will make?

Often, people say, "God could have not done such and such but will still have been God." Such as creating the earth, humans, etc. I'm not sure of the answer to that question. But here's a subtopic leaving behind the topic of creation. Could God have created human beings who he knew would fall into sin, but not save them? John 15:13 "Greater love has no man than this, that one lay down his life for his friends". Of course, you could argue that Jesus could not have come to earth, and then would not be subject to showing greater love because he had never become 'Man'.

The other side of this is, if every decision God has made (and will make, in human terms) would have been made the same every time because God is God, then does God have personality? Does God have choice? Everything inside me also wants to say that he does. If God didn't have those things, then it almost makes God not alive, and we all know that he very much is.

Anyways, there is a whole slew of topics. I'm torn between them, and I hope hearing you guys discuss it will help sort some things out.


Terry said...

wow -- that's hard to get your mind around. Which only goes to prove scripture when it says our ways are not his ways and he is so far above us we can't even contemplate it.

Tim said...

I really enjoy thinking about this stuff. Of course, we'll never be able to fully comprehend God. It is like a brilliant mathmatician. I can ask for the answer, and he can give it to me, but I still won't understand it. So many times we ask God "Show me," and we feel as though He doesn't answer. He is, we just can't understand it.

Anyway, on the topic of variability. I think it's really cool of you to bring it up, Chad.

We tend to treat God as if He plays by a set of rules. "Can God lie?" or "Can He sin?" However, God does NOT operate UNDER a set of rules, He IS the rules. This means that God cannot sin not because He can't CHOOSE to sin, or wouldn't choose to sin, it is because God is GOOD, i.e., He defines what is good, not that He does what is good, therefore everything God does is good. If God were to do what we call sin, it would not be sin. It would be good because God is doing it. He cannot lie because He is truth. Not that He tells the truth, He IS truth. He cannot lie because everything He says is truth because He defines truth. This is really neat because it redefines Satan. Satan is known as the Deceiver and the Father of Lies. This is not because he tells lies (which he does), but because he is the anti-God, which means he is the anti-truth.

Anyway, long to short. God cannot change because He does not operate under a set of rules like we do, which means we can change our behavior. He defines the rules.