Friday, March 2, 2012

God, materialism and idealism

Pillars of Creation in Eagle nebula
Hubble image. NASA

There have been and there will be humans who hold materialistic views of the reality and those who belong to the idealist camp.

But what about God of Israel, the only real God there is?

Is He in the realm of idealism or materialism?

Visible things
The Pillars of Creation are His mighty work and they are very material

"Hubble's photo of the pillars is composed of 32 different images from four separate cameras in the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 on board Hubble.

The photograph was made with light emitted by different elements in the cloud and appears as a different colour in the composite image: green for hydrogen, red for singly ionized sulphur and blue for double-ionized oxygen atoms."

Invisible things
He is a spirit.
For God is a spirit and who prays Him should pray in spirit and truth.  
Jesus John 4:2 NIV

He is a person.
The God of Israel, the Creator of the Universe, is jealous and has really bad temper.
"for I, the LORD thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me"
Exodus 20:5 KJ21

But He knows how to show His love and mercy
"and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me and keep My commandments."
Exodus 20:6 KJ21

We can learn to know Him personally
The One who made the Pillars of Creation wants us to love Him above anything else.

To learn to know Him personally we need to go to the social groups that deal with the Holy Scriptures that were written by the people of God. Only those.

These scriptures, 66 books in all, are commonly called the Old and New Testament of the Bible

[and remember all you Christian anti-Semites out there, the entire collection is written by the Jews - yes, including the Gospel of Luke and Acts of Apostles.]

However, there is more into this particular God, the only real God there is. He does not fit into the religious corner we build for him in our minds or even if it is the magnificent Third Temple of Jerusalem.

Some people are too smart and become fools
The problem is that we try to figure out rationally the relation between God, matter and ideas.

How does an intelligent spirit fit into the system? Or is the system autonomous, kind of projection of divine properties to matter?

How God does His work of creation, where is His finger visible?  For example, what mechanism is God using in order to make stars out of molecular clouds? By setting natural laws or by actively doing something, what where....

We should learn from the Jews not to do this kind of rational exercises. They are not far from idol worship, making gods in our own image.

An atheist creates his or her image of God and says "there is no such thing"

A creationist creates his or her image of God and says "that's how it is, never mind the facts"

Lack of authoritative definition
Now this is a surprising fact often missed by those who do not know Judaism:

The people of God do not really have a comprehensive Philosophy of Religion explaining how their God works. They hardly even have a coherent Theology describing rationally or from the point of view of faith who or what God is.

The chosen people of God just try to fulfil the commandments their God has explicitly given to them.

Some Jews do this walking on the paths of God more religiously and follow as well as they can both the written Torah and the oral Torah from Sinai as understood by the rabbis past and present.

Some Jews, on the other hand, are furiously secular and want to live their lives according to their own concepts of how humans should live their lives. 

This is not saying that Judaism does not have religious or theological content.

But these people, and I remind you they are very smart people, do not try to figure out their God.

They have enough problems living with Him.

That old book
The God of Israel is (one of His names is I AM), the God of Israel is ONE, the God of Israel is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the fathers. He has promised His people a piece of real estate upon Earth and He has taken this promised land away as He sees fit.

How we know this?

And this is the BIG QUESTION.

God of Israel reaches all people in all nations through His own people and His word is heard in the Holy Scriptures.

These Scriptures are not a handbook of how the Universe was made or technical white paper of how the divine spirit works with matter and ideas.

God of Israel is hidden and we only see His works, the Creation, and from this we can see that He is pretty smart. This does not necessarily lead people to worship Him or to praise Him.

Divine signature
All we are saying that the story of Creation in the Bible is the magnificent signature of the One

The universe is not an anonymous masterpiece.

No, it has a Maker who signs His work and says that He has made all this - and you too.

Believe me or not but not everyone believes in God.

Faith in God of Israel has consequences to our perception of existence:

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Hebrews 11:3 KJ21

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