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 religions are either fundamentally the same or can be lumped into a short list of essentially similar belief systems, 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 Greek world of Homer and the Iliad were little more than humans with special “super hero” (or super villain) powers. 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 Olypus.
The practical ancient Romans adopted and adapted the pre-defined Etruscan gods and other local gods (including the “super hero gods” of the Greek traders in their region of the world). The eclectic Romans then superstitiously accepted any other “god” that anyone else proposed, because one doesn’t want to risk making some “god” mad because he/she got ignored. The Romans ultimately pantheistically accepted any proposed god, because “who knows.”
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, etc.) all fit the “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 the acknowledging and worshiping the revealed creator of the cosmos.
The Judeo-Christian God was NOT “developed” by Adam, or Noah or Abraham, or Moses (or by all of them 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). 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 god-ettes men had innovated and worshiped previously or continued to worship after He 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 “above existence” or “above being.”
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 folowing 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 (i.e., He is unknowable; see I Timothy 6:16, he can not be “understood”) Yet He revels manifestations of Himself to us.
- God is Inaccessible
- God is Incommunicable (Man can not really explain to men who/what God is using words)
- God is Invisible
- God is Impassible, i.e. Unchangeable (He does NOT change, see James 1:17)
- God is Omnipresent (He is everywhere, at the same time, see 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; see Psalm 146:5 & Romans 11:33)
- God is a Most Perfect Being (however He is not a creature, i.e. 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 Being (God exists because of God)
- God is Spirit (i.e., He is NOT a created physical being)
- God is All-Good, i.e., All-Righteous (He is not the author of evil, though he allows man a free will knowing full well that the freedom he gives to man (and to angels) will lead to evils). Evil is not a “real thing”, it is the absence of good. See Psalm 9:8, Psalm 102:8 & I John 4:16)
- God is Self-Sufficing to Himself and “All-Blessed” (see Rom 11:33-36, Acts 7:25 &I Timothy 6:15)
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.