The Idea Of God Essay

2394 words - 10 pages

God as the supreme ruler and creator of the universe is a core tenant of many religious traditions. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity all have a God who whilst remaining completely transcendent interacts with the world of humanity. In order to create a coherent idea of God, the traditions must resolve the dialect of transcendent and immanent and the dialectic of love and justice. Judaism’s idea of God focuses on the creation of a covenantal relationship between God and his chosen people Israel. Christianity creates the doctrine of the trinity to explain the many roles and aspects of God. Islam is largely focused maintaining the transcendence of God, while explaining the creation of the ...view middle of the document...

Even the minimal partial presence of God’s emanations on Earth produced glory that was unbearable. “When Moses came down from the mountain, his own face had reflected this ‘glory’ and shone with such unbearable light that the Israelites could not look upon him.” (A63) Moses as a later intermediary of God both literally and metaphorically reflects the glory of God. Moses visually reflects God and serves as the present and immanent version of the divine for the people of Israel.
One major failing of covenant as the solution to the transcendent and immanent dialectic is the creation of something new connected to God within temporality. The covenants of Israel are all created in relationship with humanity, seemingly meaning that God was immanently present in the affairs of humanity in some aspect. Judaism’s solution is to segment God and claim that only partial portions of God are present within creation, which leads to another dialectic of unity and many. It appears that the transcendent aspect of God is not as important as the relational aspect of God with his chosen people.
The Christian trinity is an attempt to explain how God can be both transcendent and immanent. God the father serves as the transcendent aspect of God. God the son, Jesus, serves as the immanent presence of God on Earth. The Holy Spirit acts as the immanent presence of God once Jesus is resurrected and assumed. In the second chapter of Philippians an early hymn of the church explains how the transcendent God was able to take human form. “But emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.
 And being found in human form, He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:7-8) According to this section from a letter from Paul, God had to empty himself of his divinity, which including his mortality. Christian theology in the early church continues to try to reconcile the unity of God, while presenting the doctrines of three persons. Unlike Judaism, there is no need for an intermediary between God and humanity, because God enters into humanity.
Christianities solution to the dialectic, while cloaked in mystery in many theological traditions, is one of the most direct solutions to the problem of transcendent and immanent. Jesus as immanent avoids the problem of the newness of the covenants by being seen as the Logos who was with God at the time of creation. However, the explicit partitioning of God seems to bring into question what or whom God is in unity. Christ Jesus is to contain the fullness of God within his human form, but must empty himself of divinity including his immortality. It seems impossible that Jesus can both be emptied of his humanity and yet contain the fullness of God.
For the Islamic tradition, the Quran acts as in the intermediary between the transcendent God and humanity. The Quran is the word of God revealed to humanity through the prophet Mohammed. ...

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