God is Being?

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Nicki
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God is Being?

Postby Nicki » Thu May 19, 2016 11:03 pm

I'm curious about Jac's statement that theism requires that God is not just a being, but Being itself. As one uneducated in philosophy I'd always understood God to be the Supreme Being, the one who made the universe and is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. How is it required that God is Being? Is it Scripturally supported?

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Re: God is Being?

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri May 20, 2016 6:27 am

Nicki wrote:I'm curious about Jac's statement that theism requires that God is not just a being, but Being itself. As one uneducated in philosophy I'd always understood God to be the Supreme Being, the one who made the universe and is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. How is it required that God is Being? Is it Scripturally supported?


As God is creator AND sustainer of ALL ( that means that nothing can exist without God), it means that He can't be "A" anything and must be ALL but NOT in the sense that He is "the universe" or someTHING, because that would lead to God to be a thing and as such God woul dhave to have some sort of "beginning".
God is pure ACTION, pure actuality, which means pure BEING, not A being, but the very "state" of Being.

In scripture we know this because He is the SOURCE and SUSTAINER of all.

Not sure if this helps...

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Re: God is Being?

Postby Nicki » Fri May 20, 2016 8:15 am

PaulSacramento wrote:
Nicki wrote:I'm curious about Jac's statement that theism requires that God is not just a being, but Being itself. As one uneducated in philosophy I'd always understood God to be the Supreme Being, the one who made the universe and is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. How is it required that God is Being? Is it Scripturally supported?


As God is creator AND sustainer of ALL ( that means that nothing can exist without God), it means that He can't be "A" anything and must be ALL but NOT in the sense that He is "the universe" or someTHING, because that would lead to God to be a thing and as such God woul dhave to have some sort of "beginning".
God is pure ACTION, pure actuality, which means pure BEING, not A being, but the very "state" of Being.

In scripture we know this because He is the SOURCE and SUSTAINER of all.

Not sure if this helps...


Thanks - is it really biblical that God has to keep on sustaining everything? Even if that's true I don't quite see how it means he is being...

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Re: God is Being?

Postby PaulSacramento » Fri May 20, 2016 8:29 am

Nicki wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Nicki wrote:I'm curious about Jac's statement that theism requires that God is not just a being, but Being itself. As one uneducated in philosophy I'd always understood God to be the Supreme Being, the one who made the universe and is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient. How is it required that God is Being? Is it Scripturally supported?


As God is creator AND sustainer of ALL ( that means that nothing can exist without God), it means that He can't be "A" anything and must be ALL but NOT in the sense that He is "the universe" or someTHING, because that would lead to God to be a thing and as such God woul dhave to have some sort of "beginning".
God is pure ACTION, pure actuality, which means pure BEING, not A being, but the very "state" of Being.

In scripture we know this because He is the SOURCE and SUSTAINER of all.

Not sure if this helps...


Thanks - is it really biblical that God has to keep on sustaining everything? Even if that's true I don't quite see how it means he is being...



The act of being is one of action and pure action is "being"

EX:
A runner runs, He is a runner BUT he IS running.

God, because He is PURE ACT and has NO potential to be anything else, IS BEING as opposed to "a being".

Someone that is running is A runner because they can be doing something else other than running BUT God because he is pure act and does NOT have the potential to be anything else , is BEING.

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Re: God is Being?

Postby Jac3510 » Fri May 20, 2016 1:35 pm

Nicki wrote:Thanks - is it really biblical that God has to keep on sustaining everything? Even if that's true I don't quite see how it means he is being...

Yes, it's biblical. See Acts 17:28; 1 Cor 8:6; Col 1:17; Heb 1:3; 2 Pet 3:7, and others.

As to your original question, I know you aren't philosophically trained, but that's okay. I think we can still talk about it without getting into technical terminology. The basic point is that the moment you say that God is a being, you are saying He is this or that. A "thing" of sorts that you could theoretically point to. The difference between you and He would be simply one of degree. You have knowledge, so does God. He just has more of it. You have power, so does God. He just has more of it. You have love, so does God. He just has more of it. You have goodness, so does God. He just has more of it. And so on. But I think at bottom that Scripture doesn't present God that way at all. He is not one thing among many that we can somehow stand beside and compare ourselves with. That's sort of the whole point, isn't it? God is not just the Supreme Being (although He certainly is supreme). The thing is, you can't stand "beside" Him. You can't compare to Him. God is so far beyond all of that, not by mere degree, but by very quality. All that you are, you are because God is--and not in some mystical or figurative way as if I'm saying that you are because God is allowing or willing you to be (although that would be true, too). Rather, imagine a painting. All that it is, is within and on the canvas. You can't really compare the painting to the canvas at all. The analogy breaks down in a lot of ways, so don't press it too far. It just strikes me as very important that we recognize that the biblical portrait of God--while sometimes pictured, I grant, in very limited terms--is ultimately much grander than Him being a being.

Here's an exercise for you. Read through Esther. Perhaps you already know that God is not mentioned anywhere in that book. And perhaps you know that is a major reason it was debated as to whether or not it should have been accepted into the canon. And perhaps you know that even though God is not mentioned by name that He is still on every page and in every paragraph of that book. So go read it with that in mind and see if you can't really see God in and behind and through and over and under everything. And when you grasp that, I think you'll start to get a glimpse of the deep, biblical roots of what I'm saying. It's not just a verse, as if book and chapter state, "And the Lord thy God is Being Itself." Rather, the proposition is not only the result of a very rigorous analysis of reality itself but it is also an attempt to take the whole tenor seriously of what the Bible is saying about God. He just is. And everything that is, is because of Him. In fact, any and every truth claim you can make is an "'is" statement in one way or another--there is a subject and a predicate in which the predicate is stated of the subject. The stop-sign is red; the grammar not only uses "is" to tell us something about the stop sign (it takes the idea of red and applies it to the subject, the stop sign), but how do we know that it is true? Because the stop-sign really is red--in being, itself, the stop-sign is being red. So all truth is in being. And God just is being. He is the ground of all truth, and indeed He is true in a very deep and profound sense. To deny Him or fail to recognize Him is like rejecting that there is light because you can't see it. No, you can't "see" light. It is that by which you see. It is the explanation of sight. And in an analogous way, the question "Does God exist" misses the point. He isn't something that exists. He is the explanation of existence itself, such that all that is, is, because He is.
Proinsias wrote:I don't think you are hearing me. Preference for ice cream is a moral issue

And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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Re: God is Being?

Postby Nicki » Sun May 22, 2016 11:11 pm

Thanks, Jac - I was going to reply yesterday but this site would not load for me :evil: I think I'm starting to get my head around it. I might think of another question or two :)

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Re: God is Being?

Postby Storyteller » Mon May 23, 2016 6:04 am

Absolutely love that post jac!

Tell you what though, how can something be so simple yet so deep.
Once heard a quote "simplicity is genius" never really understood it.

Off to read Esther :)
Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof - Kahlil Gibran


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