Summary sheet – Judeo-Christian concepts of God

A useful table setting out the Judeo-Christian concepts of God.

IssueKnowledgeCritique
Creator
  • Two creation accounts in Genesis
  • God creates ex nihilo, contrast with Demiurge
  • Not only creates but also sustains, still involved
  • The origin of everything
  • Creation is dependent on God
  • Accounts are most certainly myths, containing religious truths, first account by Origen in the 3rd C
  • Monotheistic
  • Man is the climax, the world exists for mankind
  • God breathes life into Adam, but no other being
  • Stewardship
  • Why have a tree of knowledge?
  • If God is omniscient He must have known what Adam and Eve would do
  • Darwin questions Adam and Eve account
  • Evolution also questions role of mankind
  • If God is still involved He is responsible

 

Good
  • God is hurt and made angry, He is not an unmoved mover. “As a faithless wife leaves her husband, so you have been faithless to me.” (Jeremiah)
  • Cares about the way His people behave (Exodus 20)
  • His goodness demands obedience
  • He punishes those who exploit the weak, e.g. Jeremiah – “I have stretched out my hand against you” – or in Exodus – Sodom and Gomorrah
  • Displays his goodness in compassionate answers to prayer, eg Hannah having children
  • Psalm 23 shows God as a personal presence
  • Sent His son to redeem: “For God so loved the world, that he sent his only Son.” (John)
  • Euthyphro Dilemma: Is what is good because God says that it is or does God say that it is good because He sees that it is?
  • Dawkins: A number of specific examples in the OT of great savagery, eg Numbers 31
  • If God is subject to change then surely He is not perfect?
  • Response: Danger of judging God by human standards

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