Friday, December 02, 2011

Is God really all that?

I still check out Yahoo Answers sometimes. There's a lot of villagers on Yahoo Answers, but since most people fall under that category or come up with the same kinds of objections to Christianity, we can't just ignore them. We can't just focus our attention on intellectual people or scholars.

I want to say something about a pattern I've noticed. A lot of questions on Yahoo Answers are something to the effect of "If God is all-something, then why this or that?" These questions are posed as challenges to Christians. When the Christians answer, they never seem to take issue with God being all-something. They granted it, then try to reconcile it with "this or that."

But I find myself questioning that God really is all-anything. One question that came up today started off, "If God is all-forgiving..." It sounds pious to say that God is all-forgiving, but I don't think it's accurate. Matthew 12:31 says that God will never forgive blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. So he's not all-forgiving in the sense that he will forgive all sin. He's also not forgiving in the sense that he will forgive all people (unless you're a universalist). He's going to send some people to hell as punishment for their sins.

So I don't think we can just arbitrarily stick an "all" in front of any of God's attributes and expect to arrive at sound theology. I think it's accurate to say that God is all powerful, all knowing, and all good, but I don't think it's accurate to say that God is all forgiving or even all loving.


Psiomniac said...

It is difficult to give a coherent definition of omnipotence or omniscience for that matter. Care has to be taken to avoid logical contradictions.

Seth said...

I think you're right Sam. Sometimes, the Christian catch phrases are all people know, e.g. "God is all forgiving." I heard that during my non-Christian years and it always baffled me. So I can do this and this then that and God will forgive me? Also, if God is all forgiving then why reveal himself to creation, setting up a plan for redemption?

Later, after God saved me, I began to read the bible and I noticed God isn't all forgiving. Not every objection, but some objections like the one mentioned can be answered easily by reading the bible.