Christian Beliefs about God
- Creator of the universe
- Quote - "In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth." (Genesis)
- God sees and knows everything, so his judgement is perfect.
- Humans are made "in God's image." (having awareness, morality, free will)
- The Lord's prayer - "Our Father who art in Heaven..." - God is like a heavenly Father.
- Christians believe there is one God (monotheistic), however, He is "One God in 3 persons - the Trinity
- Omnipotent, omnibenevelant, omniscient, omnipresent
Arguments for the Exisistance of God
- Telelogical argument - the world and things in it show order and complexity, therefore there must be an intelligent designer
- William Paley's Analogy - Uses the example of a watch. A person walks on a beach and comes across a watch and has never seen one before. It shows complex cogs working together. The person would come to the conclusion that the watch had been designed by a maker and that it had a purpose.
- Cosmological argument - that there must be a prime mover to cause the universe to be created for a cause. God has no cause - has no beginning and no end (mobius strip, eternal)
- Ontological argument - that we can know that God exsists just because we have the idea of him in our minds - we don't need evidence to know. For example, a perfect circle - if its perfect in our minds, then it must exist.
- Moral argument - that humans have a clear sense of right and wrong - therefore God must have given us that conscience.
- Experience - Religious experience e.g. numinous, visions, dreams, answered prayer, miracles, near death experiences - we can feel Gods presence.
Arguments against the exisistance of God
- If everything has a cause, something must have caused God to exsist.
- People used to think things such as storms and disaster were cuased by God, but science proves that God is not the reason. People now look to science rather than religion for explanations
- If God is omnibenevelent , why is there so much suffering in the world?
- Unanswered prayers
Counter - arguments
- God has no cause (Mobius *****)
- God created science, so he must have cuased these things to happen, for reasons we aren't able to understand.
- God uses suffering in the world to give others a chance to show thier love and kindness for those people. Without suffering, earth would be heaven, therefore there wouldn't be heaven and hell.
- If prayers arn't answered, it is probably not part of God's plan, He knows what we need.
- Prayer - communication between God and humans
- People - religious leaders are often God's witnesses, teaching people about God and life. (The Pope, Martin Luther King etc)
- Dreams and Visions - God "speaks" through a dream (e.g. Telling Mary she would bear God's son.)
- Worship - When believers gather together to focus on God.
- Sacred texts -Through specific passages from the Bible
- Miracles - e.g. Jesus turns water into wine/raises Lazarus from death.
- Nature - can reveal God because it is His creation.
- Definition - A supernatural event or act
- When God overcomes laws of nature
- Christians beleive that the Holy Spirit causes miracles to happen
- Hundreds of people are cured by miracles at Lourdes
Types of Miracle:
- Healing - illness, condition cured e.g. man with leprosy
- Nature - event that happens against natural order e.g.
- Raising from the dead - e.g. Lazerous
- Exorcism - when a person is possessed by an evil spirit and it leaves the body.
Beliefs about the Holy Spirit
- A gift from God sent to us by Jesus after his asension
- Strengthens people to tell others about God (the desciples after the asension)
- Symbols - fire, wind, water, dove
- Gifts - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness etc.
- Quote - "God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit he has given us" (Romans)
THE NICENE CREED
We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.