It is hard to engage in a deep discussion with someone when they do not know the depth of what you believe. There are so many topics I want to dive into right away, but those I truly want to hear my words only understand what they see on the surface. They see the shallows of Christian belief. There is a gap in between our understandings of the world. A lot of times, Christians tend to refrain from talking about theological viewpoints and other aspects of Christian culture with others who do not profess the same faith. Often, it is because many Christians don’t have a firm grasp on a particular concept either. The nature of God is one of the most notable examples. It is impossible to wrap our minds around the concept of God. But God is the one thing people want understanding of the most.
In this blog series, I want to spark new thought about the nature of God. Whether you are a Christian who has been living on the assumption of God’s existence without any picture of who he really is, or if you never really took serious the possibility of a God; this series is meant for you. The evidence of our creator is being displayed all throughout our world and I want you to see it as well.
The biggest criticism I hear on a regular basis is how crazy the idea is that there is a God somewhere out in space looking down on us. I am not going to argue; it is absolutely ridiculous to believe that. We don’t need to hide our uncertainties about God. In fact, as you will soon come to realize, our uncertainties about God actually magnify who he is in relation to us. God is not somewhere hanging out in space. We need to get out of the mindset that God’s being is imaged in the same manner as you and me. The Bible makes it clear that we as humans are made in the image of God, but we are not created in his full likeness. We need to understand the nature of the image we are formed after.
The Bible describes God in three different forms: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God chose these terms to describe himself for the sake of simplicity. It was easier for the people at the time to understand the concept by using terms they were familiar with. Our use of words and knowledge of the universe is far from what it was. Our world has become greatly disconnected to much of the terminology used in Biblical times. Many of the applications and word references are not culturally relevant to people of our modern societies. Our quest to become culturally relevant and theologically accurate needs to be continual. What good is truth if it cannot be applicable to the lives of those in need of it? God doesn’t change, but sometimes we need a new perspective to gain a better understanding of him.
Take a look into a mirror; every detail of your face is captured on the surface of the two-dimensional image staring back at you. It is a clear image and representation of who you are, but it lacks the fullness of your being. It is a direct reflection of what you are, but does not share the same explicit qualities and characteristics of who you are. That is the same comparison we have to God. We are a four-dimensional image of his infinite power. Our world, our universe and our knowledge only extends to the boundaries of the four-dimensional mirror we live in. But God’s being exceeds beyond the laws and physics we are shackled to in our universe. That is the reason why our understanding of God is so limited. Our minds are confined only to the understandings of our four-dimensional universe. So when people ask me who God is, my answer will always sound incomplete. We can only understand and describe God in the forms he allowed our minds to comprehend. That is what makes God amazing. We could learn everything about the universe and how it works, but it still would not compare to the fullness and complexity of who God is.
John 1:1-3 says,
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
In the Old Testament, the “Word” of God was a personified term for the way in which God implemented his will. The Word was often thought of as a bridge that connected things of our physical world to God’s transcendence. But if you notice, God and the Word are described in the same manner. God himself and the way in which he implemented his will are one in the same. How can someone be what they do?
Louis Henry Sullivan, an American architect stated, “It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic, of all things physical and metaphysical, of all things human and all things superhuman, of all true manifestations of the head, of the heart, of the soul, that the life is recognizable in its expression, that form ever follows function. This is the law.”
In John 1:1-3, the Word is described as being God’s action. Through the Word all things were made. Through God’s function all things were made. Without a function, nothing can be made; therefore, without a Godly form, nothing can be made. That is why God tells us in the Bible that creation itself is the evidence of who he is. Form and function come hand in hand. It is a law that is evident in all of nature.
Functional Morphology is the study of relationships between the structure of an organism and the function of various parts of the organism. This study derived from Sullivan’s approach in architecture,”form follows function”. The structure of each individual part we have is formed in such a way to perform a specific function. Our hands were formed to grab things, a bird’s wing to permit flight, a fish’s tail to propel itself forward in water. Our organs are formed in such a way to perform specific functions. At the molecular level, we see something very similar. A molecule’s shape and chemical properties moderate interactions with other molecules and determine its role in the cell. The atomic level; once again, the structure of an atom determines the unique functions and interactions it will have. Every fiber of our being is created for a specific purpose, and without its specific form its function would change as well.
In a world designed with function in mind, why do we neglect the basic laws of creation itself when it comes to the creation of all? How can we possibly expect function to take place without a form in the creation of our universe? There is no beginning to a universe when there is no need for a universe. Where there is no form, there is no function. In the beginning was God and his Word, a form with its function!
In a very broad approach to discovering the nature of God we can already see the complexity of who he is. But it is also remarkable to see how his complexity reflects into the fabric of our own being and creates a beautiful harmony. This was a very general sweep as an introduction to God’s inevitability. In part 2 of Revealing God’s Nature we will dive into the various forms God takes, and the specific function they have in relation to our lives at a much more detailed look. The perfect unity of God’s Holy Trinity will begin to unravel its relevance and importance to our lives. I really hope that you begin to see the beauty of God’s design and the undeniability of it.
End of Part 1