“Defining” God

The following is my post for a discussion in my Philosophy of Religion class. In particular, we are asked to define God. This was my response…

Defining God is quite possibly mankind’s greatest challenge. The idea that an essence of such magnitude is even able to be remotely fathomed by the mind of a human being is beyond absurd. The term God cannot refer to a person, a place, or a thing. There is no category in the society of mankind that could contain the vastness and uniqueness of a spiritual force that controls all things.

Referring to God by saying “my God” would be a fallacy in direct contradiction with my theistic beliefs. Consider that God, as presented in The Holy Bible is a God for all. A God who commands us to put no other thing before Him. A God who condemns false idols and false gods. The addition of “my” before the term God gives the vibe that there is more than one God. If everyone had a god to themselves, there would be nothing that makes God unique.

Theoretically, it is impossible for more than one God to exist. The vastness of God is too great to allow room for another spiritual force.

There are constants that must exist in order for God’s existence to be legitimate. For example, God cannot occupy the same area as evil. The world’s dominant religions all acknowledge God as a benevolent force who brings blessing to those who bring praise to Him. God is evil’s exact opposite, so to speak. God is presented as a force that not only blesses His followers, but challenges them too in order to strengthen them and do His work through them.

For the sake of discussion, consider that God cannot be a He. For that matter, God cannot be a She. God just is. Without the categorization of being a person, it is impossible to justifiably assign a gender to God. Therefore, if someone were to refer to God as a she, it is impossible to prove them wrong. Sure the religious texts suggest that God is, in fact, a male, but consider the time period in which they were written. During these times, men were dominate and their wives had next to no power. Remember that Eve bit the apple in Eden, not Adam.
Why bother with the former discourse? It is taught that mankind was created in God’s image. In effect, both man and woman can be said to resemble God. Surely God cannot be either or so God must be of no sex, similar to a t shirt we may buy that is unisex. For the sake of conversation, I will continue to address “Him” as “He” as God is presented in the Christian text.

The fact is, though I believe the Christian Bible is divinely inspired, it certainly cannot contain the sheer abundance that God demonstrates. He never sleeps and He is omnipresent. We know of things that are omnipresent in our world (on its’ surface) such as gravity and oxygen. However, we are able to measure these things in a test tube or science lab and assign attributes and characteristics to them. There is no object or scientific method that can contain the omnipresence of God.

The issue then becomes finding a method to wrap out minds around the concept of God. The very concept of God is limited to the unique understanding of the person with the perception. For example, I believe that God does not condone war. Others would look to the Old Testament or Revelations and tell me God condones war, but only when fighting for His name of His honor or cause. We have all read the same religious text, but we have each taken something different from it.


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My name is Charlie Tinsley and I blog about The Bible. I post theology and have leaned towards an emphasis on domestic violence and forgiveness. I serve as Ambassador for the state of Virginia in the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse. I hold a Masters of Divinity from Eastern Mennonite Seminary and Bachelors Degree in Science in Religion Summa Cum Laude with a Biblical Studies Minor from Liberty University. I have studied in the two “major fields” of theological thought. I am married and have been for several years and I currently reside in Virginia.

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