The traditional attributes of God for the Christian religion include that Christians see God as being unseen as a person. This means that He is there even if no one has seen Him in the flesh. Also, they believe He is unique. Christians believe that God cannot be compared to anybody else. They also believe that no man is equal to Him and that there is just one God. They also believe in the Trinity, there is one God, and He can be seen in three ways – the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. The Son, Jesus, is God’s incarnation. God to Christians is also infinite. No man can measure God, and He is not limited by space or time. He is also known as Personal; God is not an ‘It’; He has personality.
Christians also say that God is eternal. They think God has always been there and always will be there. Thomas Aquinas said, “God’s essence and existence are identical. God’s essence is to exist eternally.” God is omniscient. This means He is all-knowing. He is omnipresent – everywhere and omnipotent – all-powerful. God is also seen as kind and good. He has perfect goodness, and He has no badness. He is loving; the love God has for people is Agape. This is unconditional love (loving people no matter who they are or what they have done.) He is also immutable. This means He is unchangeable. He always looks the same and always will be the same. He is also the creator; He made the world the way it is and man in His image.
I have mentioned thirteen traditional attributes of God in the Christian religion. I will now pick five of these and explain how these attributes may cause a problem for 21st-century believers and how they may be resolved. First, since God is seen as omniscient, this means that He knows everything. Some people may feel that this means they have no freedom of choice, or if they do have the freedom of choice, they may be pressured into what they decide because they feel that because God knows everything, He may judge them in the next life on the choices they make in this life. Also, if God knows everything, He must know what will happen in the future, and if this is the case, He is powerless to change it. Finally, if God knows everything, then He cant feel emotion because there is nothing that can be revealed to Him that will make him react emotionally.
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As He is omnipotent, all-powerful, knowing what will happen in the future and not having the power to change it means He is not an all-powerful God. If He were all-powerful, He would surely change the future outcome, so everything was good rather than evil happening. Also, if He was all-powerful, then why is there all the evil and suffering in the world if He has the power to do something about it. Could this mean that He isn’t the all-loving God many people believe Him to be? Also, if He is all-powerful, can God create a stone big enough so He can’t lift it? If He can’t create it, He is not all-powerful, and if He can’t lift it, He is not all-powerful.
Also, many Christians believe that God is kind and good. He only does perfect goodness and never bad. This means that because God is so good, He can’t do anything which violates His own character. God can’t be all-good because He commits people to a life in hell for doing wrong. Doesn’t this mean that by sending a person to hell for a limited crime offence, He is doing evil as Hell in an unlimited punishment, and therefore going against His own character? If He does send people to hell for an offence, then surely He isn’t all-loving, as agape (the love God shows) is unconditional no matter what someone has done.
He is said to be transcendent and unique. By unique, this means that He cannot be compared to anybody else. In the Bible, it says that we are made in the image of God, so, therefore, does that not mean in appearance we can compare ourselves to God if we look like what He looks like? By God is transcendent and beyond our thinking and imagination, how can we believe in Him if we don’t know who or what He is. Also, it says that He is not like the man or anything else He created. Surely this is wrong as He created man in His image, and we are all made in the image of Him; therefore, cant we compare him to ourselves in a way? He is personal. He is not an ‘it” but a person with a personality. If this is the case, why is He unseen, and will He reveal Himself, and can people actually believe in something they can’t see?
I feel that the problems for a modern-day Christian can really be resolved because all these attributes are written in the Bible as well as the explanations. I feel that to try and change these would be like rewriting the Bible. This cannot be done as it is the word of God, and changing it would mean changing millions of Christian’s views towards God and their religion as a whole. Modern-day Christians should take these attributes as any other Christian has done in the thousand years before them. If they are a true Christian, then their view towards the religion shouldn’t be determined on a few things written in the Bible, as this is not what their entire religion is based on.
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