A Christian Conception of God.


I think that a helpful definition of God is articulated by Christian writer John Blanchard in his book Does God Believe in Atheists? I believe that this is an important point because the word “God” has so many meanings for different people that it can be difficult to know exactly what one means when they say it. Blanchard says that “Put in a nutshell, I mean ‘a unique, personal, plural, spiritual, eternally self-existent, transcendent, immanent, omniscient, immutable, holy, loving Being, the Creator and Ruler of the entire universe and the Judge of all mankind.” He then articulates what this means:

  •  By ‘eternally self-existent’ I mean that he has always had the power of being within himself and has neither beginning nor end.
  •  By ‘spiritual’ I mean that God has no physical attributes or dimensions, that he does not have a body, or any characteristics that can be defined in terms of size or shape.
  •  By ‘plural’ I mean that there are distinguishable persons within a single Godhead.
  • By ‘personal’ I mean that God is not a ‘thing’ or ‘power’, influence or energy, but that he lives, thinks, feels and acts.
  •  By ‘unique’ I mean that there is only one God and that all other objects or ideas given that name are figments of misled imagination.
  • By ‘transcendent’ I mean that God is over and above all things, outside of time and space, completely distinct from the universe, and not to be confused with it in any way.
  •  By ‘immanent’ I mean that, while remaining separate from it in being and essence, he permeates the entire universe.
  • By ‘omniscient’ I mean that he knows everything, including the past, the present and the future.
  • By ‘immutable’ I mean that he is unchangeable in every aspect of his being.
  • By ‘holy’ I mean that he is utterly without blemish or deficiency in his being, essence or actions.
  • By ‘loving’ I mean that he cares for all of creation and that in a very special way he demonstrates his love to humanity and communicates this to individuals.
  • By ‘Creator’ I mean that by his own choice and power he brought into being all reality other than himself.
  • By ‘Ruler’ I mean that he is in sole and sovereign control of everything that exists or happens, and that nothing can prevent him doing.


One response to “A Christian Conception of God.

  1. These definitions are swell, and all, but….
    1) You didn’t include “just” and “merciful” – terms which are also (nearly universally) applied to the Christian God. Not sure if that was intentional on your part, or just a simple omission, but we’ll put those aside (though it would seem that those would be a part of your definition of “holy”).

    2) Your other definitions claim that he is (among other things) all-powerful and loving. So please explain why your all-powerful, loving god:
    a) allows his “children” to die horrible deaths from cancer and other diseases, in spite of any amount of prayer. The evidence indicates that either he is incapable of providing relief, or he is indifferent to the pain and suffering of his “children”.
    b) allows (per Christian theology) Satan to exist, and corrupt his children. If God is able to stop evil, but does nothing, is he not complicit in that evil? God has (if we are to believe the Bible), killed many individuals, destroyed whole cities, and (once) destroyed nearly every man, woman, and child on earth – because of wickedness. Why did he not “end” Satan millennia ago?

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