The Prequel

The Prequel to Lange’s Christian Chronicle

In the beginning God created the heavens” (14 billion B.C. [14,000,000,000] years ago) “and the earth” (4.5 billion B.C. [4,500,000,000] years ago).

The commonly held, condescending, modernist and egalitarian view, taught in most college level “comparative religions” classes that all of the world’s religions are ultimately a result of primitive superstitions that were systematized in ancient civilizations, and the associated assumption that when you boil it all down and peel off the superficial details, that all the world’s religions are either fundamentally the same or can be lumped into a short list of essentially similar belief systems.

That view fails to understand or appreciate the distinctiveness of one important outlier. The God of the Judeo-Christian belief system is a profoundly different and completely unique God.

The gods of the archaic world of Sumerian Uruk or of the proto-Greek world of the Homeric Iliad were little more than man-made humans with special “super hero” (or super villain) powers. These mythological figures were often, on a deeper level, allegories of classical ideas, or more precisely they were those idea, personified. The creative Greeks were careful to systematize the mythology of their gods into an internally consistent “society of the gods” who lived in the fantasy kingdom of Zeus in the vicinity of Mount Olympus.

The practical ancient Romans adopted and adapted the pre-defined Etruscan gods and other regionally local gods (including the allegorical “super hero gods” of the Greek and Phoenician traders sailing in the western Mediterranean). The eclectic Romans then superstitiously accepted and adapted any other “god” that anyone else proposed, because “one didn’t want to risk making some forgotten god mad” because he/she got ignored. The Romans ultimately and pantheistically accepted any proposed god, because “who knows.” For the Romans appeasing the gods was in the best interest of their well governed state republic. The practical Romans did NOT believe that their gods were particularly transcendent or metaphysical, so much as sneaky, “super power” human-ish characters who worked behind the scenes in this world effecting the weather and individual fates. They were unseen, but not really “other worldly.”

The many “barbarian” peoples around the Mediterranean, and across the rest of Europe, central Asia, Africa and the peoples of the Americas developed and worshiped or respected a wide variety of “gods” of nature, tree gods, wind gods, thunder and lightening gods, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

These western gods and those of eastern Asia and India (Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, etcetera) all more-or-less fit the man-made “all of the world’s religions are ultimately a result of primitive superstitions that were systematized in ancient civilizations, and the associated assumption that when you boil it all down and peel off the superficial details, that all the world religions are either fundamentally the same or can be lumped into a short list of essentially similar belief systems” truism.

In one way or another all of those religions worship some aspect of the creation rather than acknowledging and worshiping the revealed creator of the cosmos. Being man-made elements of their respective societies all of these ancient gods were actually parts of the created physical world which were routinely represented to the creating societies with tokens made of wood, metal, or stone materials.

However, the outlier God of the Judeo-Christian beliefs is a profoundly different God, who does NOT fit into that condescending “superstitious myth” truism. The Hebrew God had created the physical world. That God didn’t have a physical form, couldn’t be physically seen, and utterly transcended all of the created physical world. The unique and atypical attributes of that God (and the persons of the Trinitarian Godhead) are listed in detail below. He is totally unlike the pagan gods of Israel’s neighbors or those of the rest of the world.

The Hebrew Tanakh (the Christian Old Testament) Was Revealed and Not Written by Men:

The Judeo-Christian God was NOT “developed” by Adam, or Noah or Abraham, or Moses (or by all of them or other Hebrew authors somehow working together to innovate a new family or tribal god so the ancient Jews could “have one too”).

The Judeo-Christian God is so different and distinct the other “little gods” of human invention that one needs two different words to describe to two different things, GOD and the man made “god-ettes.” The ancient Jewish name for God was YHWH (Yahweh) which means I AM WHO I AM; or I AM WHAT I AM; or simply I AM (in Hebrew, literally to be or to exist, i.e. I Exist (!) ). The Judeo-Christian God revealed Himself to the ancient Jews. And that revealed God was and is very different from all the rest of the man-made god-ettes men had innovated and worshiped previously or continued to worship after He (the true God who is beyond and therefore transcendent of creation) was revealed. According to the Biblical-Orthodox tradition, even to say that “God exists” must be qualified by the affirmation that He is so unique and so perfect that His existence cannot be compared to any other. In this sense God is “beyond existence” or “beyond being.”

The impossible to fully understand, “I can’t get my head around this” nature of God is, most likely the actual reason why the old Hebrew Tanakh (the Christian Old Testament) is filled with an almost endless narrative of the ancient Hebrews repeatedly disobeying God and apostasizing to worship the man-made wooden “gods” of their neighbors.

And, BTW: the generally “bad light” and the derogatory nature in which the Hebrew people are portrayed in the Hebrew Tanakh (the Christian Old Testament) is one of the proofs that those writing were NOT composed and written down by the ancient Hebrew peoples themselves. If the Hebrews had written the Tanakh, it would have portrayed them in a much fairer light.

The Revealed Attributes of The Nature (essence) of the Judeo-Christian God:

It is important to understand that words convey human concepts, and that the infinity of God can not actually be understood or captured by a list of descriptive words, however the following list of words are an attempt to convey certain aspects or characteristics of God which God has revealed to us about himself.

  • God is ineffable, inconceivable, incomprehensible – He is unknowable to human reason(I Timothy 6:16) !! He can not be “understood” by the human mind, and yet He revels manifestations of Himself to us. Human knowledge of God is limited and unable to grasp the transcendent essence of God. It is the height of human folly and impertinence to image that one can “know God.”
  • God is Inaccessible – He can’t be known” in any comprehensive way.
  • God is Incommunicable – Man can not really explain God’s being or nature or essence to other men.
  • God is Ineffable – He can’t be expressed in words.
  • God is Invisible – He can’t be seen.
  • God is Unchangeable and Impassible – He does NOT change(James 1:17).
  • God is Omnipresent – He is everywhere, at the same time(Psalm 138:6-9).
  • God is Omnipotent – He is all powerful.
  • God is Omniscient – He is all knowing; this includes his infinite foreknowledge of all things(Psalm 146:5 & Romans 11:33).
  • God is a Most Perfect Being – However He is not a creature (i.e., He is not a created thing) and he is formless. Even though “he is,” He was not created and is, in that sense, beyond “being.”
  • God is Eternal; Ever-existing (and eternally the same) – He had no “beginning”; He will have no “end.” He existed before time, and will never cease to be; He is “beyond time” or “outside of time.” He is NOT mortal in any since of that word.
  • God is Singular – Only He is God, there are no others; He IS the unity of the Holy Trinity !!
  • God is a Self Existent Transcendent Being – God exists because of God.
  • God is Spirit – He is NOT a created physical being.
  • God is All-Good and He is All-Righteous – He is not the author of evil, though He allows man a free will divinely knowing full well that the freedom He gives to mankind (and to angels) will lead to evils. Note that evil is not a “real thing”, it is the absence of good(Psalm 9:8, Psalm 102:8 & I John 4:16).
  • God is Self-Sufficing to Himself and “All-Blessed”(Romans 11:33-36, Acts 7:25 &I Timothy 6:15).
  • God is the Creator of All Things – The entire cosmos exists because God “spoke” it into existence. It wasn’t the “big bang”; it was the most unimaginably gargantuan “BANG” of all times!

Man does NOT and cannot define God. God created man (and all of the creation, the entire cosmos). No material thing or form of matter existed before God created it. Nothing exists that was not created by God. God is NOT a Band Aid for the soul, or for a guilty conscience. He is NOT “fire insurance” for the human after life. He is not a reassuring way for people to understand the inexplicable. God IS an inconvenient fact that modern man wants to ignore or deny, which none-the-less can’t be ignored or denied. The intelligent design of the unfathomably complex universe, and the inexplicable existence of the beauty of creation can never be suppressed or denied to extinction. The innate wonder of the human soul and the human love of the true beauty of the creation and of truth and of His transcendent justice will always reemerge and express itself in new, inexplicable and creative ways to worship the creator.