1.0.0 Concept of God in Christianity
The concept of God in Christianity provides the background of Christianity as a religion. As a matter of fact, there are perceptions as well as conceptions or theories held by Christians in regard to who God is. In line with this, it has been established that there are two parallel conceptions of God in Christianity. In this context, there is the thomistic theism and process theology and how they perceive God. In the light of this point, Thomistic theism has the core attributes that qualify it for the name. As such, Thomistic atheism concept of God views God as to possess a characteristic of pure actuality (Nash, 1983).
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As well, God is perceived as to be impassable, absolute, timeliness, necessity, simplicity, omniscience, and from the larger perspective omnipresent. Contrary to the concept of God held by Thomistic atheism, process theologians put it that the attributes of God according to Thomistc atheism are incompatible with the God being divine love, compassionate and altogether filled with sympathy. So to speak, process theologians have continually argued that Thomistic atheism should show and thus explain the attribute of God being caring and loving as it is held in the Bible (Nash, 1983). Philosophically, anything that has potentiality according to Aristotle point of view is matter and in this case, God is not matter. Therefore, God can only be pure in form and as such in actuality.
In this point of view, it is important to stress the point that Aristotle’s point of view of God as being whose the only thing worthy of thinking is himself was discredited by Christian doctrine of God. This is given to the reason that Christians think of God as caring and loving and thus his attributes of being impassable and timeliness along with the fact that he is unchanging God mark it. Christians perceive God as an everlasting God who is Alpha and Omega to imply that he has neither beginning nor the end. God’s power and knowledge surpasses all man’s understanding and thus the Christianity concept of God is that he is all powerful and can do all things as there is nothing impossible for him. All authority and power, the aspect of care and divine love, are the entire basis for Christianity.
As a matter of fact, God lives in three states of which Christians believe that it is God the father, the son and the Holy Spirit. In regard to this point, this is what is termed as the trinity of God. God the father is the original being who is perceived as to have neither beginning nor end (Grudem & Purswell, 1999). In line with this, Jesus Christ is the only son of God that was send by God to die for mankind so that he may reconcile him back to God the father. At this point, it is important to point out that salvation in Christianity is attributed and as such associated to Jesus Christ who is the historically the messiah and thus the savior of the world.
Salvation according to Christianity was brought about by the death and resurrection of Jesus. Having died and resurrected, it was then his time to go to heaven whereby he is believed to be seated at the right hand of the father waiting to come back for those that live a life that pleases him. Jesus Christ’s ascension to heaven brought about the holy spirit being send to the mankind to help the mankind to walk according to the commandments of the God the father. It is believed that the caring and loving attributes of God brought about by the presence of the Holy Spirit, he is to be with the Christians on earth till Jesus comes back.
2.0.0 Christians Knowledge on God’s Existence
Basically, Christians believe that God exists and he actually created the entire universe. In this perspective, their believe that God exists is embedded in the attribute of God being timeliness; this attribute puts out of consideration that God is beyond the dictates of time as he is eternal. He has no beginning and no end as he is infinite and being all-knowing he bears all intelligence. The only option for a Christian is to perceive God and see him from the faith point of view. Christians know that God exists on the basis of the humanity’s inner sense of his existence. As well, it is through the evidence in the scripture and nature that the Christians know that God exists. In fact, the scripture throughout explains the existence of God along with what he did. In line with this, Paul the apostle refers to the things that have been made as it is in Romans 1:20 (Grudem & Purswell, 1999, p.68). The life of the human beings itself and other creatures as well are evidences that God exists.
3.0.0 God's attributes
As far as the attributes of God are concerned, Christians bases their faith on these attributes. As such, they believe in the existence, eternity, his immutability and omnipresence. These attributes suggest that God has neither beginning nor end and thus he is not limited by the stipulations of time. As a matter of fact, immutability has been associated with God being enduring in the sense that he cannot change, he is the same and the fact that he shall have no end (Charnock, 2008, p.98). Accordingly, he has been termed as omnipresent which suggests that he is sovereign and he is everywhere. Besides this point, the knowledge of God is deemed to be above human comprehension as well as the fact that his wisdom is above human’s and it is said of him as the only one who is wise (Charnock, 2008, p.261).
In the same line if thought, God is perceived as to be full of power, holiness, goodness, dominion and patience. As such, these are the attributes through which Christians view God and thus build their belief in him, based on these attributes. He also manifests himself through these attributes with the example of patience of which he bears with sinners giving them grace to repent. Equally important, God has dominion of which there is no any other force or power that can overcome him. He is also holy, an attribute that he calls all Christians to have so that they may be acceptable to him. His power is to be relied upon when Christians need his help as well as his goodness which he shows to mankind by doing well and showing him how to do well.
4.0.0 Idea of God as seen in Buddhism, Spinoza or Anselm
It is important at this point to assert that the idea of God’s attributes is also present in the idea of God from the perspective of the God seen in Buddhism, Spinoza or Anselm. In this context, Buddhism does not believe in the existence of God as creator or savior. Instead, they take on the belief by Aristotle that God is a being who exists in pure actuality. He is in fact a being that does not concern with the goings in the world as they would otherwise make him to be imperfect. In this sense, he is a perfect being who does not really care about what goes on in the world.
According to Spinoza thoughts and conceptions, God is not only beyond good and evil, but also, he is not good. It is not of any importance for one to be grateful to God for his love. In the same line of thought, Spinoza states that God loves nothing that is in the outside of Him. This is to suggest that God is selfish and thinks of nothing else that is outside himself. In addition, they believe that God is omnipresent and in everything and thus he is all embracing reality (Melamed, 2007, p.360-362). Anselm in this context holds to the concept that God is the most perfect being who in actuality must be in existence. Needles to say, Spinoza believes that the only reality on earth is the laws of nature. As such, he does not believe in God but proposes a body model that exists.
Interestingly enough, self nature in Buddhism is a feature that describes the nature of the religion. Buddhism believes that self nature is perfect and as such, it is the very perfect nature of God. It is the self nature that created the universe according to Buddhism of which this differs from the Christian perspective that God created the universe. For both cases, Buddhists and Christians aim at attaining perfection of which is the nature of God to the Christians and the self nature to the Buddhists. Both religions believe in hell and heaven where the reward is after the life on earth (Woo, 2008, p.22-26).
Generally, God is the creator in Christianity while self nature or Yuan Qi Fa is it in the Buddhism religion. Moreover, Spinoza talks and actually emphasizes on God being a primary actor and more of a being while Buddhist belief is the unreality of everything bringing it to nothingness. Spinoza believes in the compassion of God as Christians while Buddhist disputes this factor. Anslem sees God as a divine being, operating in trinity, he is beautiful, good, just, merciful, omnipotent and omniscient basing these attributes on the philosophy of Plato (Melamed, 2007).
Generally, Christianity believes in God’s existence while Buddhism believes in self nature. Anslem believes in the attributes of God as Christians while Spinoza does not believe in God but proposes a body model that exists.
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