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Old 02-28-2005, 03:41 PM   #16
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Re: Re: Theological questions

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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Why do we limit God to only our own understanding? A god that needs man isn't much of a god.
Why create man then unless it is out of some sort of need?
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Old 02-28-2005, 04:00 PM   #17
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Originally posted by BonosSaint
For much of the Old Testament, God doesn't seem really to have much of a clue about his creation. Okay, reward them, punish them, destroy them--what will work? What is this thing I've created?

Christ arrives, experiences anger, doubt, impatience, I suspect fear, love, confusion, rebellion. I can't imagine God being all-knowing, and really all powerful. I can acknowledge that my mind cannot grasp all or most. But I cannot fathom him as all good--look at the pettiness, the rage, the gratuitousness of some of the actions in the Old Testament. If God is flawed, then does all faith crumble? Maybe I'm a little perverse, but I can take
more comfort in the notion of a flawed God than the notion of an indifferent God. And I think at least some people would look at the world and find an indifferent God.

The OT "warrior God" reflects how all gods were depicted prior to 600 B.C. or so. "Gods" were petty and expected constant sacrifice, along with having strict rules to live by. Otherwise? You were killed. This was likely their way to explain natural circumstances like droughts, floods, invasion, famine, etc. A kind of "reward-punishment" system.

Exilic Judaism was exposed to Persian Zoroastrianism, which was "revolutionary" in depicting a "good" god. Evil, thus, came from a "bad" god. Thus, the emphasis switched from trying to please God to prevent Him from smiting you to trying to avoid the temptations of the evil "being," which we call "Satan."

Jesus would, by nature, follow the good/"loving" God model, because Zoroastrianism also brought in the idea of a Messiah. The Pharisees (derivative of "Parsi" or "Persian," a reference to Zoroastrianism) were the "Messianic Jews"; they just didn't believe that Jesus was their Messiah. The Sadducees, on the other hand, opposed Messianic/Zoroastrian beliefs infused into Judaism, and, thus would have opposed Jesus, along with any idea of a "Messiah." The OT canon we use is the text that the Pharisees used.

In short, the nature of God changes in the Bible, because the culture of the region changed with the rise and fall of the different civilizations and empires in the region. And, really, this is just life. If you look at the last 1000 years from the present here, a lot has changed on how we view "God." They were certainly no different!

Melon
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Old 02-28-2005, 04:22 PM   #18
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Re: Re: Re: Theological questions

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Originally posted by BonosSaint


Why create man then unless it is out of some sort of need?
If God is love, as Jesus says about His father, and which is reiterated throughout the NT, then Love is an outflow of God's character. Therefore God creates out of a loving nature -- He exists to love and therefore created a world full of people to whom He could reveal Himself as loving. His very gift to Adam was a whole world for his enjoyment. Elsewhere (in James) it says that every good and perfect gift is from above, from the father of heavenly lights. God chose to create so that He could lavish His children with His love.

Hence His heartbreak and frustration when they turned on him becomes clear.

I don't think God created man out of some inherent need -- God already existed in community within Himself ("let us make man in our image"). I would say that He created man because it was in His nature as a loving God to do so.
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Old 02-28-2005, 04:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


The OT "warrior God" reflects how all gods were depicted prior to 600 B.C. or so. "Gods" were petty and expected constant sacrifice, along with having strict rules to live by. Otherwise? You were killed. This was likely their way to explain natural circumstances like droughts, floods, invasion, famine, etc. A kind of "reward-punishment" system.

Exilic Judaism was exposed to Persian Zoroastrianism, which was "revolutionary" in depicting a "good" god. Evil, thus, came from a "bad" god. Thus, the emphasis switched from trying to please God to prevent Him from smiting you to trying to avoid the temptations of the evil "being," which we call "Satan."

Jesus would, by nature, follow the good/"loving" God model, because Zoroastrianism also brought in the idea of a Messiah. The Pharisees (derivative of "Parsi" or "Persian," a reference to Zoroastrianism) were the "Messianic Jews"; they just didn't believe that Jesus was their Messiah. The Sadducees, on the other hand, opposed Messianic/Zoroastrian beliefs infused into Judaism, and, thus would have opposed Jesus, along with any idea of a "Messiah." The OT canon we use is the text that the Pharisees used.

In short, the nature of God changes in the Bible, because the culture of the region changed with the rise and fall of the different civilizations and empires in the region. And, really, this is just life. If you look at the last 1000 years from the present here, a lot has changed on how we view "God." They were certainly no different!

Melon
I would however posit that while gods who demand sacrifice were common in those times, as well as were gods who were good, you would be hard-pressed to find a god who chose to sacrifice himself on behalf of human beings.
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Old 02-28-2005, 04:31 PM   #20
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Re: Re: Re: Theological questions

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Originally posted by BonosSaint


Why create man then unless it is out of some sort of need?
Or, perhaps, as a gift to His Son.
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Old 02-28-2005, 04:35 PM   #21
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yeah,

he could have have just given him legos.
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Old 02-28-2005, 04:54 PM   #22
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Sorry, I should have added the Scripture reference of John 17.
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Old 03-01-2005, 01:19 AM   #23
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Theological questions

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Or, perhaps, as a gift to His Son.
This answer made me smile. I like it very much.
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