God as creator and God as Good

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GOD OF CLASSICAL THEISM ­ GOD AS CREATOR AND GOD AS GOOD
DIFFERENT APPROACHES ON GOD
The New Testament is written in a Hellenistic context around Greek times, it brings Greek philosophy into a
Judaeo-Christian understanding of God.
This has led to many parallels between Plato's Form of the good and Aristotle's Prime Mover and Judeo-Christian
God. Yet there are still many differences...
The key difference is that the Greeks adopted a philosophical approach to solving the mystery of the divine. The
Form of the Good and the Prime Mover have been devised as an attempt to logically explain the existence of
mankind and provide a purpose for life. A Greek philosopher's starting point therefore is to form a rational,
coherent argument to explain why God may or may not exist.
Judaeo-Christian approach is based on the premise of faith ­ an abiding trust in God and a belief in the events and
teachings of the bible.
The Bible thus does not adopt a philosophical outlook; rather it is the culmination of written works by people who
all share the same faith.
Biblical language = non-cognitive ­ it uses metaphors, analogies and symbols usually in a narrative form to explain
its concepts, which contrasts greatly with the constructive, well-reasoned lines of argument of Ancient Greek
philosophy.
The Ancient Greek and Judeo-Christian Approach of God
This has led to very different understandings of God and of the divine.
1. The monotheistic God of Judaeo-Christianity is concerned with the actions of man and makes demands; he
intervenes in the world and is responsive to human behaviour.
2. Plato's Form of the Good which is an impersonal and non-interactive entity that does not have the capacity
to love.
3. Aristotle's understanding of an unmoved mover who is unaware of his creation and only has the capacity
to think about himself is also a far step from the personal and interactive God of classical theism.
The divine attributes include the following concepts...
The stories show God is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. God is interactive but also transcendent. They
teach us humans are the highest creation and have been put on Earth to control it.
1. Omnipotence
God is all-powerful, capable of anything. God is an all-powerful being. This is shown clearly with God
creating the world and controlling the chaos in the waters. The title omnipotence is also showing that
God's power is present through his creation; this is seen clearly in that God is not only pictured as the
earths creator, but also controls day and night and the weather.
Thomas Aquinas was prepared to argue that there are things which God can't do:
He can't do what is logically impossible (e.g. create a married bachelor), he can't change what has already
happened and he can't force us to choose something freely.

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Omniscience
God is all-knowing, he is knowledgeable of everything . God has knowledge of everything that has
happened in the past, in the present and knows what will happen in the future, he knows people's
thoughts and motives, better than they do themselves, no one can hide their thoughts or actions from
God.
An example of an occasion where God knows what happens is when Eve eats the fruit from the tree in the Garden
of Eden.…read more

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Nothing existed before God. Everything in existence was created by God from nothing- deliberate action from
God that is good. God is the master of the world and its contents but remains outside of his creation - all parts of
creation have an intimate relationship with their creator. Creation of the universe out of nothing ­ Implies God is all
powerful. Opposes the Big Bang theory. Implies there must have been nothing before God and without God there
would be nothing.…read more

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Comparison of Genesis 1 and 2
SIMILARITIES DIFFERENCES ­ GENESIS 1 DIFFERENCES ­ GENESIS 2
God is seen as the creator of the
universe "God made the heavens Split into a 7 day period Has no time scale
and the Earth"
Anthropomorphic ­ God seen
God makes man last, after plants Speaks of the Earth being without
as a craftsman and is referred
and animals Form and void
to as walking in the garden
Male and female made at the same Referred to as LORD…read more

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Another approach is that humans caused all evil in the world. Entities with free will chose to go against God,
causing moral evil. This disrupted the natural order of the world causing an imbalance of the perfect order of the
natural world, causing natural evil.
The Beauty of Creation
The bible pictures of God as a creator of a beautiful, ordered and harmonious world. This is clearly seen in the
peacefulness of the Garden of Eden.…read more

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IS GOD RESPONSIBLE?
Many argue that if you believe that God created the universe then, by consequence then he must be responsible
for everything that happens within it, including evil and suffering. In most cases when Judaeo-Christian believers
call God the 'creator' they mean he that he is responsible for the fact that there is any universe at all. His
omnipotence is saying that he is responsible for everything that comes into existence.
God is responsible...…read more

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Are people really saying that they want a world in which change and development do not
take place? If there was no change and developments there may be no deaths, but equally no births.
3. There are many explanations for why God may have created earthquakes in his creation.…read more

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Jews and Christians believe should respond to God's goodness by following his laws. (Exodus 20 ­ 10
commandments)
Giving laws was an act of love and concern for humanity because it provided them with the guidance on how to
better their lives and get to heaven.
Worship is not Gods main priority but takes an interest in people living good lives. Not all of the commandments
are about God but the treatment of others.…read more

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Everyone can be morally good, depending on their choices. God gives rules for humanity to follow, they are there
to take responsibility for the earth. He takes interest in people's lives.
Problems raised through God's goodness...
1. Over the centuries many Christians and non-Christians have questioned whether it is possible to believe in
a God that is perfectly good when there is so much evil and suffering in the world.
2.…read more

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