Monday, January 21, 2008

Omnipresence?

From time to time, I find it helpful to question things which are often assumed in Christianity. I don't mean things that have been discussed and agreed on, like the Nicene Creed or the Chalcedonian definition or anything, I mean things we always take for granted because we're always taught them, like "Jesus wept" being the shortest verse in the Bible (it isn't; it's three words in Greek; 1 Thess 5:16, 17 are each only two words in Greek, and 1 Thes 5:17 is two words in most English translations as well, though 1 Thes 5:16 is shorter in terms of letters). Sometimes I change my mind partly as a result of thinking it through, like I did with Soul sleep, (mind change).

Anyway - omnipresence. Here's what I think at the moment:

The Bible doesn't teach that God is omnipresent. It teaches he is with believers whereever they are. It teaches he can see everywhere, he can act everywhere and anywhere, but it doesn't teach that he actually is everywhere.

In fact, the idea of God being spatially located in that way doesn't actually make a lot of sense to me. I think it's a leftover from Greek philosophy, and has a nasty tendency to head towards panentheism. Anyone want to argue / agree?

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