Sunday, October 09, 2005

God; Cause or Response

One of the things I have been thinking about lately is whether is a causer or intitiator of events or a responder to human or ecological events.

The question ultimately is what does God cause?

If God causes all things (and to know is to cause) the God causes good, bad, and evil. Most Christian theology has always treated God as the ultimate cause. God reaches to us and we respond. Its the idea that we are incapable of anything good so God reaches out first and we respond. Carried further God knows all and all things happen with God's blessing. God then is the puppet master or the play write. In short with this understanding everything we do is a response to God. We obey God's will, we respond to the Spirit's leading, and in short we simply live our lives responding to Good's movements.

But, what if God is primarily a responder. What if like firefighters and police God responds to human and ecological situations. What if God acted first but ever since has played the role of "fix it?" What if God is the greatest creative problem solver ever? As I read the OT it seems as though God simply responds the various situations. God's plans (as recorded by humans) changed regularly. God uses various means to communicate his point. When all else failed the greatest problem solving plan was developed and the incarnation came about. As far as salvation what if God is simply there for whoever seeks God? Anyone who seeks will find, no matter what name they know God by. What if God simply responds to humans who are seeking? What if God responds to sickness and disease? What if God responds to catastrophe's in creative ways?

I guess what boils down to is whether we serve a God who is "in control" ie causing all things, or we dwell with a God who is actively presently being the most creative first responder ever?

2 Comments:

Hey Bill,

I think that this simplifies the issue too much. Could God be both the cause and the response in some way?

I guess I agree with you that if God is in control of all things that at some level he would then be culpable for everything. So if God allows Satan to kill Job's kids, take his money and his health (maybe even his wife, though not through physical death) then God is at least culpable for allowing Satan to do those things. Sure he didn't cause them, but he allowed another to cause them.

I see you going to back over my child in the driveway. I could stand by and watch (allowing you to do that) or I could react and do everything in my power to get you to stop the car before disaster happens. If I do the later and you still back down the driveway then I am not culpable because I did everything I could to stop it, but if I did the former than I am culpable.

The issue with God is that he should be able to stop any event if he truly wanted to. So if he doesn't then he is culpable on some level.

I would argue that even if all he did was respond to things, because most events have a build up to them that even we can see, let alone God. I just cannot buy that he is somehow let off the hook by only responding to things, because in his response he waits until after the event is finished before he starts to move (c.f. Tsunami's, hurricanes, world wars, genocides, homocides, suicides, etc).

By Blogger Dwight, at 8:30 AM  

Who is in charge of the weather Bill??
it is repulsive to see how you write, "As far as salvation what if God is simply there for whoever seeks God? Anyone who seeks will find, no matter what name they know God by."
If and when you read the same Bible as I do, I would start re-reading again.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:26 PM  

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