Nature of God
- "Personal God" refers to God as a person who wpuld care and support us as a fiends would with human emotions like us. Praye would be our individual relationship with Him.
- However God is meant to be omnipresent so how can a personal God be everywhere at once?
- "Impersonal God" refers to God as a concept, force or an idea of goodness and light.
- But how can you have a relationship with a force or an idea.
- An "Immanent" is a God who is in the world with us with an active role. However he may appear small and fallible.
- On the other hand God may be "Transcendent", outside the world and not directly acting in it's history.
- Omnibenevolent- All loving
- Omnipresent- All present
- Omniscient- All knowing
- Omnipotent- All powerful
- Monotheism- idea of one God however Christianity believes in the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)
- Polytheism- more than one God
Beliefs about God
- Usually seen as male and refered to as He or Father
- He has given us free-will
Nicene Creed: "We believe in One God, The Father, the almighty, maker of heaven and earth... We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only son of God... Of one being with the Father... We believe in the Holy Spirit... The gover or life... Who proceeds from the Father and the Son"
- God the Father is described as the transcendent part. Or creater and judge.
- The Son as the immanent and personal part. Or the human incarnation of God and Messiah or savior.
- The Holy Spirirt as the immanent yet impersonal. Or as the force of God- unspiring, guiding and comforting.
Reasons for Belief
- Religious parents and given religious teachings or religious community.
- Presence of religion in the world goves faith in religion's good work e.g. individuals, communities and those experiencing suffering.
- Gives purpose and structure and something to believe in.
- Faith strengthened by feelings experienced during worship e.g. awareness of God's presece or speaking in tongues.
- Search for meaning and answers.
- Desire to find out why we are here or why bad things happen.
Design argument - intricate worings of the Universe couldn;t have come about by random chance. There must have been a designer- God.
- William Paley- You wouldn't have thought an intricate watch you found was made by chance- so why vbelieve the world was.
- Albert Einstein- "When I see all the glories of the cosmos, I can't halp but believe that there is a divine hand behind it all." It can also be interpreted as a numinous experience.
Causation argument- our universe works on the principle of cause and effect
- Everything that happens is caused by something else. This chain must have started with a 'First Cause" which was God
- Miracles are directly religious reasons for belief
- Miracles are when something extraordinary happens.
- Some believe healing continues to happen until the present day e.g. Healing at Lourdes, others believe miracles don't happen any more.
- Religious texts should be interpretted symbolically instead of literally.
New testament and miracles
- Jesus feeds the 5000- group gathered around Jesus and disciples but there is only 5 loaves adn 2 fish. Jesus gives thanks to God and breaks the bread. There is enough for all 5000 people and enough to fill 12 baskets.
- Jesus walks on water- Jesus catches up with his disciple's boat by walking across water.
God's intervention through Jesus and Holy Spirit
- Birth, death and ressurection of Jesus were miracles
- At the feast of Pentecost, Christians celebrate the Holy Spirit on Jesus' followers who could instatly speak different languages and filled with power to speak out to do amazing things like Jesus.
- Many Christians believe God continues to act in the world through HS and it is the force which guides them to do good in this world.