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Analysis of the Simplicity and Infinitude of the Divinity

The Christian faith holds that God is both absolutely indivisible and absolutely infinite and that He thrones above the universe and that yet everything is filled with His glory. Anselm put it this way: 'God is He than Whom nothing greater can be thought of.' In other words: He is both absolute simplicity and absolute infinitude; both transcendent and immanent.

One cannot claim, say, that this or that is one millionth of God's Wisdom or Love. God is One (1 × 1 × 1 like the dimensions of space or of a single room, to make it mathematical and not 1 + 1 + 1, what the Muslims accuse us of). He is indivisible therefore. Indivisible in His infinitude and infinite in His indivisibility. That is one of the reasons why He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end (and everything in between, we may add mentally).

In all kinds of theologies people have strayed from these verities, either to the right or to the left. The result is increasing mayhem both as to one's concept of the divinity and one's understanding of the universe and also of oneself in it.

"Hear, o Israel, God is One."

Transcendent; throning beyond the universe

Immanent; all is filled with His glory

Literal or physical aspect

Intellectual aspect

Emotional aspect

Spiritual aspect

Indivisible; absolute simplicity

"There is no measure for His understanding" (He goes beyond our intellect) "God inhabits eternity."

"God loves more than a mother." (God is personal)

"With God all things are possible." Infinite in infinitudes (all equally omnipotent)

God as too aloof and too transcendent. (Islam and some Judaistic theologies). Deism.

God as too immanent and therefore too meddling and too mysterious. (Islam and some Judaistic theologies). Mysticism.

God is apart from nature as an indefinite person or quasi force. Agnostic materialism.

God as part of the universe in all its aspects (totally immanent; everything is divine/ god is impersonal). Pantheism.

The entire universe as one living organism or quasi mechanism. Atheism.

An infinite array of gods (or atheistic [Buddhistic] forces) that arose out of the primordial chaos. Polytheism.

Violent opposition to Christianity and abusing all the other beliefs for the sake of evil. (Evil is good and good is evil). Satanism.

Because of our fallen heart and intellect we experience tension in the truth and tend to overemphasize one side or the other. Yet the truth is not a contradiction as if it were at odds with itself, but it is a wonderful paradox; consisting of various aspects that keep each other in balance: just as with the verities of on the one hand human responsibility and on the other God's election.

Once one overaccentuates one side of the truth, one is bound to run into difficulties and to resolve them one can land into a vicious and downwards spiralling circle. This is what I have described here, both on the right and on the left side.

It is also possible too be split into both the right and the left and then there results a contradicting theology. So some Jews and some Muslims believe in both a god that is too aloof and unreachable and too close and meddling. On the one hand Allah is the unreachable one and on the other hand he demands total submission in everything and that to an inhuman degree.

If one overaccentuates God's simplicity, one runs the danger of losing sight of His infinite care in infinite details. If one overemphasizes God's infinitude and care in everything, one runs the danger of viewing Him as too mysterious and idealistic and too close and even meddling.

One of the contradictions of deism is the problem of how God can be omnipotent and yet so aloof and apparently indifferent. To escape that contradiction one can conclude that God then cannot be omnipotent. As one theologian put it: 'God can all he wills and he wills all he can.' And so one lands in agnostic materialism. For a god that cannot really help us is not really interesting and believable. Therefore he might exist or perhaps not. And then one might as well conclude that he cannot be there, for what is the sense in believing in such an indifferent and invisible deity.

The strange thing about atheism, as seen in the literature of people like Camus, is the tendency to blame god for all our blood, sweat and tears. This is because nobody can really get rid of his concept of divinity and they turn to cursing. And so some people turn to satanism. Satan is the liberator of God, who is worse than the devil.

On the other hand the problem of mystic idealism is how can a transcendent God permeate my life. And the conclusion some draw is that He does that through the mediation of angels (and/or Mary and the so-called saints). This only makes the problem worse really. For I now believe that I cannot have a personal relationship with my Creator, to Whom I owe everything. And so I start to cling to and overemphasize the intermediaries. But now I still cannot really satisfy my innate longing to worship the omnipotent and all-holy and loving God. To escape that I might as well conclude that god is impersonal, permeating everything. The benefit of such a belief is that I can now consider myself as part of the divinity. But the problem is that I am still in this mortal body and in a personal world that ends in death. To escape that again some argue that it will take an infinite succession of lives to get rid of one's negative karma. The impersonal gods must assist me in this endeavour. And so one lands in the world of polytheistic magic.

Of course most people get stuck somewhere on the right or left or in some split position. But over time societies such as the western one have shifted from some form of theism to humanistic atheism in our so-called era of postmodernism. Yet some people go down really fast in some downwards spiralling vicious circle.

God inhabits, or dwells in eternity. This means He is timeless. He lives beyond space and time, which are part of creation. He lives in an eternal now where He sees and knows all things. We experience the present, come from the past and are on our way to the future. Solomon said that God has put indefinite time (some translate 'the age') in man, that he may not find out what God is doing. Even angels experience time, though--because time is relative--they are able to know much about the future. Critics may object that Christ could impossibly be a baby and at the same time be God almighty. But that is putting God in time, together with Christ as a human. Christ's humanity is distinct from His divinity. In the eternal now God lives in He sees and knows all things, like you and me when we look at a landscape from a mountain top and oversee all. Unto all the ages we will live in creation, in time and space, encompassed about by God's eternal Now. This is not a wrong oxymoron, a contradiction. It is a paradox for our limited mind.



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