God And Revelation

I know this thought is not particularly profound, but I am struck by the necessity of, the utter dependence on, the helplessness which we have without the revelation of God—His character, His purpose, and His plan.

There really is no way we can reason ourselves to God. We might have a sense of intuition that opens us up to God’s existence, but that inner tug would not actually bring us any closer to God. In truth, God has to be the initiator if we are to have a relationship with Him. The lesser can’t move toward the greater.

Think about it this way: does a puppy pick out an owner or does a human pick the puppy he wants for a pet? Does the child choose his parent, even in cases of adoption? Does an individual choose his ethnicity? None of those happens because the lesser is not in charge, even to the point of knowing what life will be like in relationship to a particular owner or parent or ethnic group.

Rather, the greater chooses the lesser, or defines him.

When it comes to God, He is so transcendent, it’s hard to imagine that a human would ever come up with the idea of God—perfect, all powerful, present everywhere, unchangeable, infinite, knowing everything, and more. I mean, the human experience is sort of the opposite: fallible, temporal, moral, limited, without power, fickle, and more.

Sure, there are some qualities of God that we humans also have, in a limited capacity—things like love and forgiveness and kindness and wisdom—so it’s foreseeable that someone who wanted to invent a god would give him those traits. But who would conceive of something we humans don’t have? And not just humans, but which no creature in existence has.

Yes, it’s possible for imagination to take us to that which we have never experienced, such as unicorns (though we know what creatures with horns look like) or vampires (though we know what fangs are, what blood is) or hobbits (though hairy feet are not so different from hairy faces). But making something up and understanding that it is imaginary is something completely different from making something up and saying that is real.

Beyond God’s obvious qualities, there are the mystifying aspects of His nature such the trinity. God is one, and yet He is three. Who would make up such a difficult concept? Jesus is a man and Jesus is God. How would we ever conjure up such an impossibility?

Where would we get the idea that God breathed His life into humans and that sets us apart from all other created things? Where would we get the idea that God’s Spirit breathed inspiration into the written word, so that it is the work of individual people but also the exact word of God? How would anyone come up with the idea that justice and mercy are compatible qualities God exhibits?

Furthermore, who would invent sin? Why would anyone purposefully doom the entire human race? And then conceive of a rescue plan that cost only God?

I could go on. The point is, what the Bible tells us about God—His person, His working in the world, His long range objectives—is a bit outlandish and beyond the realm of human thinking. Except for revelation. God needed to tell us what He’s like. And He has.

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Published in: on May 29, 2018 at 5:15 pm  Comments (14)  
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  1. Well said,Becky. It actually is quite a profound thought. 🙂

    I was discussing a similar idea earlier, “God shares His heart with us.” He desires intimacy with us. He wants to be seen and known. He also wants us to trust Him and do the same, to share our heart with Him. The idea that God shares His heart with us is a huge revelation, somewhat obvious in the fact that He carefully preserved the bible and He reveals Himself to us all around, in nature, in prayer, people, art, music.

    As you said, “God has to be the initiator if we are to have a relationship with Him.” It’s kind of humbling to realize that he has initiated the relationship and that He shares His heart with us. He doesn’t have to, but He does.

    Something I find fascinating, people have been trying to redefine God, remake Him in an image they are more comfortable with since forever, and yet God as He really is endures, the truth persists. He is simply written in our hearts, woven into our design. We just know Him. I cannot know a figment of someone’s imagination a few thousand years ago. Even the tale of a unicorn is going to lose it’s shape the more it is told over the years by different people, but God never does. If anything,He becomes even clearer and closer.

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  2. Let me answer your many questions Becky.

    Your question. “But who would conceive of something we humans don’t have? And not just humans, but which no creature in existence has.”

    Gods were invented and have been given non-human superman traits since man walked the Earth, no exclusiveness or mystery here Becky.
    Zeus was the king of the gods, and the most powerful.

    Followers of Shiva, believe Shiva is the ultimate truth, the most powerful, the destroyer and he is who saved the universe at so many different times and when needed the most.

    Your question. “God is one, and yet He is three. Who would make up such a difficult concept? Jesus is a man and Jesus is God. How would we ever conjure up such an impossibility?”

    The ancient Babylonians recognised the doctrine of a trinity, or three persons in one god, as appears from a composite god with three heads forming part of their mythology.

    The Puranas, one of the Hindoo Bibles of more than 3,000 years ago has three gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva (or Shiva), The single being is three forms by the acts of creation, preservation, and destruction, but he is one.

    https://www.ucg.org/studienhilfen/broschuren/is-god-a-trinity/how-ancient-trinitarian-gods-influenced-adoption-of-the-trinity

    Your question. “Where would we get the idea that God breathed His life into humans and that sets us apart from all other created things?”

    Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism and Atenism teach that creation is the origin of the universe by the action of God.

    One of the biggest responsibilities in the faith of Sikhism is to worship God as the Creator.

    In the Bahá’í Faith, God is the imperishable, uncreated being who is the source of all existence. He is described as a personal God, unknowable, inaccessible, the source of all Revelation, eternal, omniscient, omnipresent and almighty. Although transcendent and inaccessible directly, his image is reflected in his creation. The purpose of creation is for the created to have the capacity to know and love its creator.

    Chinese traditional cosmology, Pangu can be interpreted as another creator deity. In the beginning there was nothing in the universe except a formless chaos. His sweat fell as rain; and the fleas on his fur carried by the wind became human beings all over the world.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creator_deity

    Your question. “Where would we get the idea that God’s Spirit breathed inspiration into the written word, so that it is the work of individual people but also the exact word of God?”

    Divine inspiration is the concept of a supernatural force, typically a deity, causing a person or people to experience a creative desire. It has been a commonly reported aspect of many religions, for thousands of years.

    Ancient Mesopotamia: In the Mesopotamian epic Atra-Hasis, the writer describes his work as dictated by the Goddess in a dream-vision.

    Ancient Greece: The Ancient Greek muses were said to be supernatural forces that gave artists their skill, while the Ancient Greek oracles were said to be subject to supernatural forces.

    Your question. “How would anyone come up with the idea that justice and mercy are compatible qualities God exhibits?”

    In Greek mythology, Eleos was the personification of pity, mercy, clemency, and compassion.

    In Roman mythology, Clementia was the goddess of forgiveness and mercy.

    As you can see from this quick compilation of information the much older religions than Christianity already had invented the things you believed are exclusive to Christianity.

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    • Steve, I’m afraid you missed the point. God has made Himself known, and that’s why other cultures have some (flawed) understanding of Him. The world did not spring from a vacuum, so ideas about God, and especially ideas different cultures share actually point to the fact that God has made Himself known. All your research only reinforces this idea. You have not demonstrated how people could conceive of a being outside themselves that is so other, only that they have. But flawed because they strayed from God and likened Him to that which is not God.

      BTW, your last examples of Greek and Roman gods who demonstrate mercy still does not answer the question about God being both just AND merciful.

      You also miss the fact that God predates any of your “older” religions. Where do you think any of them came from? At one time in history, all people knew God. All. What they chose to do in response to Him is what separated people.

      Becky

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      • “You also miss the fact that God predates any of your “older” religions. Where do you think any of them came from? At one time in history, all people knew God. All. What they chose to do in response to Him is what separated people.”

        You could not be more off-track Becky. This is a nice comfortable concept for you to believe and it nicely covers the time that pre-dates Christianity, but the only trouble is many of these gods are still worshiped to this day.

        The world’s oldest religion is still being practiced today and that is Hinduism and there are others that have been around a long time as well called Judaism, Taoism Buddhism, and Jainism religions that are also still being practiced today. (ref Google)

        Aboriginal religion, like other religions, is characterised by having a god or gods who created people and the surrounding environment during a particular creation period at the beginning of time. New DNA analysis of aboriginal Australians indicate they are the world’s oldest society, and it is clear your God YHWH did not know anything about them.

        The first commandment says, “I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Considering the Lord had killed everyone in the two cities of sin Sodom and Gomorrah and it is written in the Bible “He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed,” and in Jeremiah 25:6 “Do not follow other gods to serve and worship them; do not arouse my anger with what your hands have made. Then I will not harm you.”

        I have to ask why did your Christian God not enforce the law of the first commandment by destroying all the other gods in the world and killing all the worshippers like he killed everyone else who sinned?

        The fact is God did not exist until the writers of the Bible created him and they had little knowledge that people lived in far of lands and worshipped many gods, however the writers did base many Bible stories on the myths they knew from the ancient religions in the Middle Eastern regions.

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        • Steve, all your research on world religions should tell you something: all cultures everywhere demonstrate a belief in god. Did they all just decide to make up a supreme being just on a whim? No. The existence of gods points to God. There had to be a real God in order for knock-offs to come about.

          God dealt with rejection of Him early in human history—something I knows you don’t believe—called the Flood. Afterward He promised not to wipe everyone out like that again. But yes, He has demonstrated that He will sometimes bring judgment against a city or a nation. The commandment in the Ten Commandments, of course, was given to Jews because the other nations had long since departed from worship of Him. Israel was to serve as an example to the others to bring them back to God. Instead, they continued to dabble in idol worship until God did what the prophet Jeremiah warned: He brought judgment against Israel and sent the nation of Babylon against them. They went into exile for 70 years. That was not a universal prophecy (which you would know if you read the Bible).

          The thing to remember is that judgment is a future thing. All the false gods and those who worship them will give an account one day. Just because judgment is delayed, does not mean it is not coming.

          Your assertion that the Bible is based on Middle Eastern myths is completely unfounded. There is no evidence to postulate such an idea. It’s something that atheists make up to try to discount the Bible. Instead, the Bible continues to show itself true and accurate.

          Becky

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          • “all cultures everywhere demonstrate a belief in god. Did they all just decide to make up a supreme being just on a whim? No. The existence of gods points to God. There had to be a real God in order for knock-offs to come about.”

            Sorry Becky, but evidence, facts and science are on my side here. Most of these gods were invented well before the inspired by God writers of the Bible who thought the Earth was created and had existed for only a few thousand years such as the young Earth Christians do today.

            Humans first evolved in Africa, and much of human evolution occurred on that continent. The fossils of early humans come entirely from Africa and most scientists currently recognize some 15 to 20 different species of early humans who lived about six million years ago. The modern form of humans only evolved about 200,000 years ago, however the massive time and location differences clearly suggest the Christian God was a much later invention.

            If you insist it is all the one same god, does this mean all these people knew God existed but ignored him totally and made up their own gods. What about the people who lived in far of lands and have never known that the Christian God allegedly existed, they also had many different gods, nothing like Yahweh?

            It is true that the Bible is full of knock-offs based on earlier Middle Eastern religions regarding stories from the ancient Greek and Roman gods such as Noahs Ark copied from the 1300–1000 BCE “standard” Akkadian version of the Epic of Gilgamesh. These ancient narratives were already being passed down from one generation to the next, centuries before Noah appeared in the Bible.

            Human sacrifice was also practiced in many early human societies throughout the world. The integration between religious and secular systems in early human societies meant that religious orders and the entire population was vulnerable to being exploited by those in power, exactly as it has happened into our century.

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          • Steve, you say in one sentence that you have science and evidence on your side and then in the very next sentence you say something that is from your imagination. You have no proof that any people group invented God. You have no proof that the cultures that worship gods in very different ways from Christians didn’t conceive of the supernatural from experiences with the actual and real Supernatural—God, angels, and demons. You simply assert these things because you have already ruled God out. But you have no evidence!

            Why can’t you understand that, rather than containing “knock offs” these similar ideas from various disparate cultures actually point to reality—to a real flood, a real God.

            You argue against your own beliefs by saying, what about the people who lived in far of lands. Do you not believe that life came from one source? Or do you think that monkeys all over the world just happened to have the same exact mutation and evolved separately?

            In truth all humans belong in the same family and of course they were raised by parents who knew God. That they decided to ignore God or reject Him outright or come up with their own ideas of what God was like, is not a bit surprising because people are still doing that. The only thing that is surprising is people who have decided there is no supernatural, no God, no eternity. You remind me of the Sadducees of old. But even they didn’t go so far as to say that God was a myth. Truly, Steve, I think it’s on your shoulders to support your claims that people invented God. Find some evidence for that spurious position. There really is none.

            Becky

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          • “you say in one sentence that you have science and evidence on your side and then in the very next sentence you say something that is from your imagination. You have no proof that any people group invented God.”

            Becky if you looked, science has the evidence regarding sacrifices, burials and symbols to show that gods were invented to answer the questions of reality in the ancient worlds. The gods are diverse in character, shape and size that reflects the time and culture they were invented in just as the Christian God was invented.

            The same as the ancient Greeks worshipped and believed Zeus, Apollo and Aphrodite, the Islamic a God, the Hindu many Gods or worshipers of Buddha, these gods to whom they prayed and conversed with were to them just as real as life itself. These worshippers are in every way just as devoted or even more so than many Christians. It is therefore factual that there are many so called gods that are just as legitimate as yours.

            The supernatural characters of angels and demons are only a figment of an emotional imagination, it is where the brain has controlled this facet of your belief and life, the supernatural has yet to come beyond the realm of the human brain since early humans existed to have any credibility.

            “These similar ideas from various disparate cultures actually point to reality to a real flood, a real God.”

            It is patently obvious as it is ridiculous to believe the Noahs ark story. Even without science, logic and common sense tells us it was impossible and just another story plagiarised from earlier stories of flood myths.

            “Do you not believe that life came from one source? Or do you think that monkeys all over the world just happened to have the same exact mutation and evolved separately?”

            To tell the truth I do not know for sure, however scientists agree that our early ancestors, Homo erectus, first appeared in Africa 1–2 million years ago. They were to spread throughout the world and evolved into ancient humans. about 30,000 years ago, Homo Sapiens were the only humans left on the planet. Monkeys? Why do you claim something you do not understand?

            “Truly, Steve, I think it’s on your shoulders to support your claims that people invented God. Find some evidence for that spurious position. There really is none.”

            I have done the evidence, but as usual you will ignore any scientific facts or the truth and follow your own narrow path into your holly quest.

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          • Another good one, Becky. God has provided more than enough in general revelation of Himself to establish that He is clearly there and that we are, “without excuse.” Then, out of His great kindness, He has provided the special revelation of His Word to nail down the details for us, in terms of what we need to know. I find this statement fascinating, also:

            “Becky if you looked, science has the evidence regarding sacrifices, burials and symbols to show that gods were invented to answer the questions of reality in the ancient worlds”

            Typical atheist blather. They might as well say, “Look, I made the assertion, and I have the proof! Really! Really I do! I’m certainly not going to provide it for you stupid Christians. If you want to see my proof, go look it up for yourself.” LOL

            Anybody who asserts that science can prove or disprove the transcendent actually has a horrible understanding of how science works. I am certainly not a scientist myself, but that is 3d grade science, about the time kids start doing simple science projects.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I agree, Wally. The idea that certain artifacts or archaeological findings are evidence of the motive behind them is just nonsense. We might find evidence that various people groups had a particular religious practice, but we have no greater insight into why they instituted such practices. I will say again, as I did to Steve, only not in so many words, the Bible gives us the reason behind the actions: there IS one true God that prompted people to either accept Him or to rebel against Him. That rebellion clearly took the form of worship of idols—demons really, false gods. But they did so because they clearly understood there is a spirit world that has authority over things out of our control. They may have been wrong, but their very act of worship is evidence that there is a true God from which their derivation came.

            Thanks for adding to the discussion, Wally.

            Becky

            Liked by 1 person

          • Steve, saying a thing over and over is NOT evidence. You have no evidence to demonstrate the idea that humans made up the idea of gods. Though you claim science is on your side, you are only assuming human invention of God or gods because you personally don’t believe there is a God or angels or demons. So the only possibility available to you for a reason why all these billions of other people down through time have believed in God or gods, is that they decided to fabricate supreme beings. You cannot offer one iota to demonstrate the motive behind your repeated false ideas. Really, Steve, I’m so surprised that you hold on to this view when you are claiming something that history can only know through revelation—if some ancient text recorded why people believed in God or gods. Oh, wait, we have such a text. But I guess that’s too easy—just read it and see what ancient peoples had to say about the matter.

            Becky

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          • “You have no evidence to demonstrate the idea that humans made up the idea of gods.”

            Ok, do you believe they were real gods then Becky? You should be concerned because you may be worshipping the wrong one considering these other gods have been around many more thousands of years before yours.

            “You cannot offer one iota to demonstrate the motive behind your repeated false ideas.”

            This is really funny, you will be quick to claim your God is the real and only god, however you of course do not have one iota of evidence to demonstrate this, never mind defend the existence of any other gods.

            “if some ancient text recorded why people believed in God or gods. Oh, wait, we have such a text. But I guess that’s too easy—just read it and see what ancient peoples had to say about the matter.”

            That is exactly correct ancient peoples, a simple mostly uneducated and superstitious peoples who led extremely primitive lives compared to our own. Disease and malnutrition was rife, reaching old age was rare, huge disparity between rich and poor, including sacrifice, slavery, stoning people, cutting of limbs, eaten by lions as entertainment, violent crime and discrimination was simply the normal way of life. The sun rose every day and the rain would water the Earth and most of them would worship any one of the gods or the many gods to thank them for this life-giving event and pray for a happier life (and who could blame them) just as you do today within our highly advanced social and political environments supported by sophisticated scientific and technological knowledge.

            Therefore, why would you believe what any of the ancient peoples wrote? Is it faith because your brain generates the voice and guidance from your personal and emotional experience with God?

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          • Steve, your ideas of ancient culture are informed by the imaginings of men. Your idea that “my God” came along thousands of years after the other gods is ignorant. The one true God created the universe! He predates any and all gods, who are actually false—demons manifesting as gods. This is not conjecture. We have a written record, passed down from generation to generation, not imagined or made up.

            Again, I find it hard to grasp that you refuse to read the Bible to see what it actually says.

            You instead choose to believe stuff that is completely from the imagination of men, and you call it science. It isn’t of course. There is no observation, no repeatable action you can test, Nothing you can falsify. You simply choose to believe the secular version of things because you refuse to believe God exists, so you discount the evidence for Him without even reading it!! Please don’t tell me again how scientific you are in your approach to history. It simply is not true.

            Becky

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          • “He predates any and all gods, who are actually false—demons manifesting as gods. This is not conjecture. We have a written record, passed down from generation to generation, not imagined or made up.”

            Wow Becky, this is some statement and some belief from a position not supported by science or logical thinkers but the Bible that you call a record, is written by an ancient superstitious people who believed the world was sitting on pillars and the stars could fall onto Earth.

            “You instead choose to believe stuff that is completely from the imagination of men, and you call it science. It isn’t of course. There is no observation, no repeatable action you can test, nothing you can falsify.”

            Yes, many qualified geologists and other scientists have done and still do spend their whole lives researching the ancient worlds and you call their work imagination, just as though they did not exist, are you kidding me Becky? I guess your life is all about believing in non-existent people, and have you ever thought that if there is nothing to indicate that your beliefs are creditable there must be nothing to observe, no action and nothing to test and falsify? That is just pure logic, right?

            “you refuse to believe God exists, so you discount the evidence for Him without even reading it”

            Here we go again, your whole argument is that I have not read the Bible from cover to cover and my argument is just as relevant that you do not have any real basic scientific understanding. You constantly repeat your claim we came from monkeys, you claim scientists only use their imagination, make things up or lie and basically you claim that gods exist because scientists have not found evidence gods do not exist, when in reality they have proven that already because they have found nothing, and when there is nothing to find you can add zero and zero together.

            This sort of unscientific nonsense you use only comes from creationist minds and I am so grateful it is not allowed to be taught to our future generations of children.

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