Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Square Circles? Spherical Cubes? Bazinga!
I'm totally geeking out on theology tonight. God only knows if I'm even close to correct, but these are some of the thoughts going through my mind.
I'm beginning to think the antithesis, the opposite, of God is not evil. God is love, and we tend to think the antithesis of love is evil. I would say the antithesis of love is self centeredness, which can certainly lead to evil, unloving actions.
But I'd say the antithesis of God is death. Yes, God is love, but God is also - and I would argue firstly - life.
Without life, love cannot exist. In the same way, without life, evil cannot exist. So, since God is love and in Him there is no evil - I would posit that evil did not exist "in the beginning".
God was eternally alive even before He spoke the material universe into existence, right? When it was just God, the Holy Trinity, dancing in whatever dance of love they danced before God decided to speak and create the universe, there was only the life of God and the love of the Trinity.
But still, life had to be first, or there could be no dance of love. Without the Trinity existing there could be no dance. Life enables love. God's existence, His life, because He was real and alive, made love possible. Without God, there would be no love, and indeed no creation.
"In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone." (John 1:1-4 NLT)
So then God says "Let there be light!", and the material universe came into being in whatever way God saw fit to have it do so. Somewhere along the line, God created all sorts of heavenly creatures that we call angels. Apparently they were given a free will to love God or love themselves - to be self centered - and many chose to do just that. They defied God's will, chose to disobey the loving life of the Father, and evil was birthed.
And we call that "evil" being in "opposition" to God, which is it. But I don't think it's really the antithesis of God, because God didn't dispose of or defeat "evil" by destroying it or erasing it from the universe, which God could certainly do.
Instead, he defeated "evil" by doing that which should have been impossible even for God. God went after that which was the antithesis of Himself, in order to redeem all of His creation.
Consider this: In the same way that because God is love He cannot be evil, doesn't it follow that because God is life He cannot die?
Its kind of like the old argument that God cannot create a "square circle", or a "spherical cube" because by definition they are irreconcilable. The very definition of what they are makes their reconciliation into one thing impossible.
God is life, therefore, death should be irreconcilable, even for God, because death is the absence of life - the life of which God IS. The very definition of God's existence is that God is life. God does not just have life, or just give life, but God IS LIFE.
But I am thinking that perhaps God did make a "square circle" of sorts.
The living God, who is Himself life , should never be able to die, but He did just that. God entered into our "life" through Jesus, who was the exact representation of God, and indeed was God, and managed to experience "death" on our behalf, through the person of Jesus on the Roman cross.
Through the person of Jesus, God (the Trinity all dancing in harmony and love and relating through the entire experience) experienced death and proved for all to see that The God Of Life is truly exactly that!
By raising Jesus out of the grave to a new and changed life, Life proved itself the King over death. The antithesis of Life -death - was overturned and abolished. Not defeated, per se, as if it were something with which to do battle, but was done away with, the threat of death made null and void.
The Life Giver returned to creation the Life that was originally intended to permeate and bind all of creation together.
And by abolishing death, by removing the sting of death and the fear of the grave - The Life Giver also gave us a victory over evil by giving us His promise that He will give us life forever. By His perfect love, the Giver of Life restores life to everyone who believes in the resurrection of Jesus - and therefore believes in the One who accomplished the resurrection (God Almighty).
In John 5:24, perhaps my favorite single verse in the bible, Jesus says,
“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life." (NLT)
Already passed from death to live. Death and life.
If you have life, evil is already defeated for it has no grip on you, because death is evil's grip.
I tweeted earlier, and I believe this to be true: I don't think "salvation" is so much about "not going to hell" as it is about being redeemed to dance with a God that loves us outrageously.
So here's to making square circles, and citrus apples, and boiling ice cubes, and other such things that are "impossible".
Truly, for God, all things are possible. Our existence is the very definition of "where there's a will, there's way", and for God there is always a way.
I am not a trained theologian, although I love theology and philosophy. These are my musings on the nature of God and things that make me say "hmmmmm?" I thoroughly believe that struggling and questioning and thinking about and considering and musing over and ruminating through the Word of God is never a bad thing. It seems to me that all of life is a learning journey, and in order to learn, we must ask questions.
by Mike Jones