T Nation

An Imperfect God

“Is God perfect? You often hear philosophers describe “theism” as the belief in a perfect being- a being whose attributes are said to include being all-powerful, all-knowing, immutable, perfectly good, perfectly simple, and necessarily existent (among others). And today, something like this view is common among lay people as well.”

I found this to be an interesting take on the God of the Bible.
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/25/an-imperfect-god/

I find God as he’s popularly imagined to be a tyrant. Kim Il-Sung decreed that dissent would be “punished unto the third generation”–a justification for enslaving and killing even the grandchildren of people unlucky enough to have earned their supreme master’s disfavor. Pretty ugly, until you remember that God is still allegedly punishing us for the sins of Adam.

The mere act of asking the question is to have already allowed for the possibility of the existence of a god other than the true and living God which is idolatry. Inadvertent though it probably is. God, that is, THE God, who in the beginning created the heavens and the earth, is Himself the standard by which ALL things are measured. That means when he commands Joshua to kill every man, women, child and beast in Canaan that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. It means that when he causes Israel to eat their own children as reported in Jeremiah 19 that that is PERFECTLY holy righteous, just and good. It means that if He has decreed all of the horrific human misery, suffering and death in all of history that that is PERFECTLY holy righteous, just and good. It means that if He has decreed the existence of billions of human beings for the expressed purpose of casting them into the lake of fire in judgement for sin that He also decreed that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. It means that if He has purposed that everything we consider to be bad, immoral and unthinkably terrible shall be so ordered by divine mechanisms known only to Himself, to His own glory for reasons sufficient unto Himself that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good.

It also means that His not caring one bit how you (or I) feel about that is most assuredly PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. I sleep like a baby knowing that every time I hear about some gut wrenching blood curdling act of barbaric depravity that my Father God has from eternity seen fit to assign purpose to it that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. IF IT WERE MY OWN FAMILY? You ask? Most ESPECIALLY then would I fall to my knees and worship Him knowing that evil has NOT triumphed, but that a PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just, good AND LOVING God who calls me brother, bride and son though I myself belong in that lake of fire will receive honor and glory by my praising His name while the world loses it’s collective mind. EveryTHING and everyONE belongs to HIM. His exaltation and glory IS the purpose of all that is. No more PERFECT purpose could ever exist.

Any other questions?

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
The mere act of asking the question is to have already allowed for the possibility of the existence of a god other than the true and living God which is idolatry. Inadvertent though it probably is. God, that is, THE God, who in the beginning created the heavens and the earth, is Himself the standard by which ALL things are measured. That means when he commands Joshua to kill every man, women, child and beast in Canaan that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. It means that when he causes Israel to eat their own children as reported in Jeremiah 19 that that is PERFECTLY holy righteous, just and good. It means that if He has decreed all of the horrific human misery, suffering and death in all of history that that is PERFECTLY holy righteous, just and good. It means that if He has decreed the existence of billions of human beings for the expressed purpose of casting them into the lake of fire in judgement for sin that He also decreed that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. It means that if He has purposed that everything we consider to be bad, immoral and unthinkably terrible shall be so ordered by divine mechanisms known only to Himself, to His own glory for reasons sufficient unto Himself that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good.

It also means that His not caring one bit how you (or I) feel about that is most assuredly PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. I sleep like a baby knowing that every time I hear about some gut wrenching blood curdling act of barbaric depravity that my Father God has from eternity seen fit to assign purpose to it that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. IF IT WERE MY OWN FAMILY? You ask? Most ESPECIALLY then would I fall to my knees and worship Him knowing that evil has NOT triumphed, but that a PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just, good AND LOVING God who calls me brother, bride and son though I myself belong in that lake of fire will receive honor and glory by my praising His name while the world loses it’s collective mind. EveryTHING and everyONE belongs to HIM. His exaltation and glory IS the purpose of all that is. No more PERFECT purpose could ever exist.

Any other questions? [/quote]

Would you say that he desires our obedience?

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
The mere act of asking the question is to have already allowed for the possibility of the existence of a god other than the true and living God which is idolatry. Inadvertent though it probably is. God, that is, THE God, who in the beginning created the heavens and the earth, is Himself the standard by which ALL things are measured. That means when he commands Joshua to kill every man, women, child and beast in Canaan that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. It means that when he causes Israel to eat their own children as reported in Jeremiah 19 that that is PERFECTLY holy righteous, just and good. It means that if He has decreed all of the horrific human misery, suffering and death in all of history that that is PERFECTLY holy righteous, just and good. It means that if He has decreed the existence of billions of human beings for the expressed purpose of casting them into the lake of fire in judgement for sin that He also decreed that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. It means that if He has purposed that everything we consider to be bad, immoral and unthinkably terrible shall be so ordered by divine mechanisms known only to Himself, to His own glory for reasons sufficient unto Himself that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good.

It also means that His not caring one bit how you (or I) feel about that is most assuredly PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. I sleep like a baby knowing that every time I hear about some gut wrenching blood curdling act of barbaric depravity that my Father God has from eternity seen fit to assign purpose to it that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. IF IT WERE MY OWN FAMILY? You ask? Most ESPECIALLY then would I fall to my knees and worship Him knowing that evil has NOT triumphed, but that a PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just, good AND LOVING God who calls me brother, bride and son though I myself belong in that lake of fire will receive honor and glory by my praising His name while the world loses it’s collective mind. EveryTHING and everyONE belongs to HIM. His exaltation and glory IS the purpose of all that is. No more PERFECT purpose could ever exist.

Any other questions? [/quote]

Are you talking about God or Nixon?

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
The mere act of asking the question is to have already allowed for the possibility of the existence of a god other than the true and living God which is idolatry. Inadvertent though it probably is. [/quote]

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Ancient Israelites and Judeans believe that other deities existed, but that their champion Yahweh, the national god of Israel, was a more powerful and just god than say for example, Baal? I could be grossly mistaken.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
The mere act of asking the question is to have already allowed for the possibility of the existence of a god other than the true and living God which is idolatry. Inadvertent though it probably is. God, that is, THE God, who in the beginning created the heavens and the earth, is Himself the standard by which ALL things are measured. That means when he commands Joshua to kill every man, women, child and beast in Canaan that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. It means that when he causes Israel to eat their own children as reported in Jeremiah 19 that that is PERFECTLY holy righteous, just and good. It means that if He has decreed all of the horrific human misery, suffering and death in all of history that that is PERFECTLY holy righteous, just and good. It means that if He has decreed the existence of billions of human beings for the expressed purpose of casting them into the lake of fire in judgement for sin that He also decreed that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. It means that if He has purposed that everything we consider to be bad, immoral and unthinkably terrible shall be so ordered by divine mechanisms known only to Himself, to His own glory for reasons sufficient unto Himself that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good.

It also means that His not caring one bit how you (or I) feel about that is most assuredly PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. I sleep like a baby knowing that every time I hear about some gut wrenching blood curdling act of barbaric depravity that my Father God has from eternity seen fit to assign purpose to it that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. IF IT WERE MY OWN FAMILY? You ask? Most ESPECIALLY then would I fall to my knees and worship Him knowing that evil has NOT triumphed, but that a PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just, good AND LOVING God who calls me brother, bride and son though I myself belong in that lake of fire will receive honor and glory by my praising His name while the world loses it’s collective mind. EveryTHING and everyONE belongs to HIM. His exaltation and glory IS the purpose of all that is. No more PERFECT purpose could ever exist.

Any other questions? [/quote]

Did you just correlate asking questions with idolatry?

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
The mere act of asking the question is to have already allowed for the possibility of the existence of a god other than the true and living God which is idolatry. Inadvertent though it probably is. God, that is, THE God, who in the beginning created the heavens and the earth, is Himself the standard by which ALL things are measured. That means when he commands Joshua to kill every man, women, child and beast in Canaan that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. It means that when he causes Israel to eat their own children as reported in Jeremiah 19 that that is PERFECTLY holy righteous, just and good. It means that if He has decreed all of the horrific human misery, suffering and death in all of history that that is PERFECTLY holy righteous, just and good. It means that if He has decreed the existence of billions of human beings for the expressed purpose of casting them into the lake of fire in judgement for sin that He also decreed that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. It means that if He has purposed that everything we consider to be bad, immoral and unthinkably terrible shall be so ordered by divine mechanisms known only to Himself, to His own glory for reasons sufficient unto Himself that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good.

It also means that His not caring one bit how you (or I) feel about that is most assuredly PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. I sleep like a baby knowing that every time I hear about some gut wrenching blood curdling act of barbaric depravity that my Father God has from eternity seen fit to assign purpose to it that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. IF IT WERE MY OWN FAMILY? You ask? Most ESPECIALLY then would I fall to my knees and worship Him knowing that evil has NOT triumphed, but that a PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just, good AND LOVING God who calls me brother, bride and son though I myself belong in that lake of fire will receive honor and glory by my praising His name while the world loses it’s collective mind. EveryTHING and everyONE belongs to HIM. His exaltation and glory IS the purpose of all that is. No more PERFECT purpose could ever exist.

Any other questions? [/quote]

I strongly hope YOUR god is not God.

[quote]smh23 wrote:<<< Would you say that he desires our obedience?[/quote]Yes.

[quote]Legionary wrote:<<< Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Ancient Israelites and Judeans believe that other deities existed, but that their champion Yahweh, the national god of Israel, was a more powerful and just god than say for example, Baal? I could be grossly mistaken.[/quote]You are and do hereby stand respectfully corrected.

[quote]Brother Chris wrote:<<< Did you just correlate asking questions with idolatry?[/quote]Not questions. THAT question.

[quote]florelius wrote:<<< I strongly hope YOUR god is not God.[/quote]He’s your God too. Your acknowledging Him or not is entirely irrelevant to His existence. His existence which caused yours.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
he’s your God too. Your acknowledging Him or not is entirely irrelevant to His existence. His existence which caused yours.
[/quote]

He? Didnt know that God had a penis, a pair of testicles and a prostate!

Joking aside:

I am not going to argue if there is a god/gods or not, but I am just saying based on MY intuitiv sense of morals that I hope that God if that entity( PC I know ) exist, that it is not the God of OT who made israel eat their own children ( as you said ). I hope that if there is a god, that it is a god who doesnt do such cruel things. For making a people eat their own children is indeed cruel.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:

[quote]smh23 wrote:<<< Would you say that he desires our obedience?[/quote]Yes.
[/quote]

And yet he does not have mine. Madison Avenue types who put images of cold beer on my television set in the middle of July have more power over me. This leads me to question his primacy.

Edit: and how can a being of infinite power desire anything in the first place? Desire requires the possibility of failure.

[quote]Legionary wrote:

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
The mere act of asking the question is to have already allowed for the possibility of the existence of a god other than the true and living God which is idolatry. Inadvertent though it probably is. [/quote]

Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Ancient Israelites and Judeans believe that other deities existed, but that their champion Yahweh, the national god of Israel, was a more powerful and just god than say for example, Baal? I could be grossly mistaken.[/quote]

The scholarly case for ancient Israel’s practice of monolatry is actually rather substantial.

A few verses come to mind immediately.

“Thou shalt have no other gods before Me”

“Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.”

"Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine.Tell them this: “These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”

Your initial premise conflicts with the strong historical case that not only did the spiritual forerunners of Christianity entertain the conception of gods outside of Yahweh, but actively believed in their existence.

Yeah, the omni properties of god that we tend to discuss in Philosophy of Religion are Omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence, and all good.

They can’t all be true, I.E. God cannot do logically impossible things like make a rock so heavy he cannot lift it or make a square circle. But, so what if you can’t make or do things that are logically impossible? If God is around and is all good, but not omnipotent, then who cares? He’s still the most powerful thing around (if he exists).

Well, that’s the way folks in my circle figure it.

Problem with losing omniscience is, he wouldn’t be a good judge without it. Don’t want God not knowing how good folks were during their lives, or forgetting someone like MLK’s life and sacrifices, or not knowing that some scumbag snuck children into his basement and kept them as slaves… God wouldn’t be just then.

Problem with losing omnipresence is, he might die or end.

Folks don’t want a God that isn’t all good, or he’s not worthy of following

So the easiest thing to forgo is omnipotence, since you could give up some power and still be logical, and still be omnipotent in terms of things that exist/ most powerful thing there is by far.

This also brings up some interesting stuff like, thinking about God outside of space and time/ timespace… Looking at time, existence, everything that ever took place on something like a sheet of paper that he comprehends perfectly (kind of strange to even imagine this, like having a book flayed out and just knowing it). This is some pretty neat stuff to think about, at least to me it used to be :slight_smile:

[quote]smh23 wrote:

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:

[quote]smh23 wrote:<<< Would you say that he desires our obedience?[/quote]Yes.
[/quote]And yet he does not have mine. Madison Avenue types who put images of cold beer on my television set in the middle of July have more power over me. This leads me to question his primacy.
Edit: and how can a being of infinite power desire anything in the first place? Desire requires the possibility of failure.[/quote]Probability. Distinction without a difference. I’m still waiting. http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/world_news_war/gay_marriage_2?id=5418416&pageNo=21 We were talking about the answers to every single objection in this thread (and every other). Once again. EPISTEMOLOGY is where this debate, and any others like it actually have meaning.

[quote]florelius wrote:<<< I hope that if there is a god, that it is a god who doesn’t do such cruel things. For making a people eat their own children is indeed cruel. [/quote] This God is NOT cruel. He is holy. He IS love, but his love is governed by His also holy being and nature. NOTHING He does is capricious or without purpose. There is some rather substantial theology which I can’t get into here, but the horrible judgements of God against a backsliding unfaithful Israel, such as Jeremiah’s pronouncement that they would eat their own children out of starvation, teach the lesson of God’s utter intolerance for sin, but especially flagrant idolatry. He is very much stuck on Himself. He can do it n you can’t. If you knew this God you would KNOW. He cannot err, He cannot sin and His glory IS the purpose for the existence of all the vast cosmos, but most especially YOU. A man created in His image. You don’t get to decide for yourself what’s good or bad. The sinful illusion that you are is headed for an abrupt halt one day.

Legionary, many other passages come also immediately to mind, but I simply do not have the time to address your mistaken perspective even on the ones you cite and “scholarly” cases can be and have been made for literally anything. Progressive revelation is the short one word answer. There is a rather significant difference between before and after the giving of the law.

Sevariano, we have been over this, even if not directly.

Some darker things to think about, that I think hold more merit to an imperfect God is the sheer amount of ‘evil’ that occurs in the world.

Free will aside, not all evils are man made, some are man preventable especially when we have the ability and knowledge of problems to come, there is a difference.

Some interesting grey area’s to explore, I’m sure some will argue things like natural disasters are not evil, and that has some merit, but still it relies on things being very very mysterious :slight_smile: Or that this was the best world God could have created.

Cool stuff!

[quote]Severiano wrote:
Some darker things to think about, that I think hold more merit to an imperfect God is the sheer amount of ‘evil’ that occurs in the world.

Free will aside, not all evils are man made, some are man preventable especially when we have the ability and knowledge of problems to come, there is a difference.

Some interesting grey area’s to explore, I’m sure some will argue things like natural disasters are not evil, and that has some merit, but still it relies on things being very very mysterious :slight_smile: Or that this was the best world God could have created.

Cool stuff![/quote]

This is kinda philo 101 stuff though. The problem of evil has been addressed in lots of fashions.

I’d say as well that its out of vogue with any except the most fundamental to really hold a conception of a theistic god like the traditional.

As well the vast majority of “christians” in America are really the same as atheists. If the sole difference in the way you live is that you go to church on Sunday or perhaps some holy days of obligation and other than that there is no appreciable difference in lifestyle from an atheist, or even less you don’t ever go to church but simply classify yourself as Christian and then have no difference in lifestyle, you are deluding yourself to call yourself a Christian.

All that beside the point there are many conceptions of god that wouldn’t be perfect. This is just as likely as a god of any specific type.

If there is a God he is perfect but Religion is the Anti God

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:

[quote]smh23 wrote:

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:

[quote]smh23 wrote:<<< Would you say that he desires our obedience?[/quote]Yes.
[/quote]And yet he does not have mine. Madison Avenue types who put images of cold beer on my television set in the middle of July have more power over me. This leads me to question his primacy.
Edit: and how can a being of infinite power desire anything in the first place? Desire requires the possibility of failure.[/quote]Probability. Distinction without a difference. I’m still waiting. http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/world_news_war/gay_marriage_2?id=5418416&pageNo=21 We were talking about the answers to every single objection in this thread (and every other). Once again. EPISTEMOLOGY is where this debate, and any others like it actually have meaning.
[/quote]

I have tried a couple of times to go back to it, but I keep getting lost in the semantics. I will try again.

My point here is this: one cannot desire that which one already has. If God desires then he is not omnipotent.

[quote]smh23 wrote:<<< My point here is this: one cannot desire that which one already has. If God desires then he is not omnipotent.[/quote]It’s all there in that discussion that has led us to probability. I promise.

[quote]Brother Chris wrote:

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
The mere act of asking the question is to have already allowed for the possibility of the existence of a god other than the true and living God which is idolatry. Inadvertent though it probably is. God, that is, THE God, who in the beginning created the heavens and the earth, is Himself the standard by which ALL things are measured. That means when he commands Joshua to kill every man, women, child and beast in Canaan that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. It means that when he causes Israel to eat their own children as reported in Jeremiah 19 that that is PERFECTLY holy righteous, just and good. It means that if He has decreed all of the horrific human misery, suffering and death in all of history that that is PERFECTLY holy righteous, just and good. It means that if He has decreed the existence of billions of human beings for the expressed purpose of casting them into the lake of fire in judgement for sin that He also decreed that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. It means that if He has purposed that everything we consider to be bad, immoral and unthinkably terrible shall be so ordered by divine mechanisms known only to Himself, to His own glory for reasons sufficient unto Himself that that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good.

It also means that His not caring one bit how you (or I) feel about that is most assuredly PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. I sleep like a baby knowing that every time I hear about some gut wrenching blood curdling act of barbaric depravity that my Father God has from eternity seen fit to assign purpose to it that is PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just and good. IF IT WERE MY OWN FAMILY? You ask? Most ESPECIALLY then would I fall to my knees and worship Him knowing that evil has NOT triumphed, but that a PERFECTLY holy, righteous, just, good AND LOVING God who calls me brother, bride and son though I myself belong in that lake of fire will receive honor and glory by my praising His name while the world loses it’s collective mind. EveryTHING and everyONE belongs to HIM. His exaltation and glory IS the purpose of all that is. No more PERFECT purpose could ever exist.

Any other questions? [/quote]

Did you just correlate asking questions with idolatry?[/quote]
If those questions arise from the asker coming from an idolatrous philosophical position, then logic would force the answer of ‘yes’ towards there being such a correlation

Out of curiosity - do you believe there to be such a thing as an idolatrous philosophical position?

:slight_smile: