A Few Example Posts:

  • "The End of Faith: A Short Response to Sam Harris"
  • See also:
  • "A Long Response to Sam Harris' The End of Faith, by Neil Shenvi"

  • "Is John Piper the Best Answer to Emergence and Postmodernism?"

  • "Captured"

  • "The Storm is Over"

  • "If Golfing Were the Pursuit of Moral Perfection"

  • 9.23.2005

    Ultimate Discussions 5

    The Ultimate Presence: God's Omnipresence
    Please see Ultimate Discussions 1 below for Introductory Material




    About a thousand years before Jesus Christ was born, Israel’s King Solomon built a temple and dedicated it to God. In his dedication prayer, Solomon recognized that God does not need a building to dwell in. He said, “But will God really dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!”1 Solomon understood that God is beyond the universe we live in. And yet he also knew that God fills the universe we live in.

    Imagine with me an empty Coke bottle sitting open in a parking lot. Obviously, we know that the bottle is filled with air. Part of the earth’s atmosphere is inside the bottle. Now imagine that the bottle is shattered and scattered away. Has the earth’s atmosphere been lost? Of course not. Nothing in the atmosphere is changed. In a similar way, God fills our universe. But if He were to destroy the universe, nothing in God is changed.

    In this discussion, we are trying to get a hold of the idea of God’s omnipresence. Omni means “all.” Put it with the word presence, and we meant that God is everywhere present at once. Our illustration of the Coke bottle is a little misleading, though, by making us think that only part of God fills the universe like part of the atmosphere filled the bottle. The truth is that all of God is present everywhere within and outside the universe. He is above the universe and separate from it; and yet, he is in and throughout it. Kind of makes you dizzy, doesn’t it?

    Solomon’s father, King David, wrote a song along these lines:

    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    Too lofty for me to attain.
    Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
    If I go up to the heavens, you are there.
    If I make my bed in the depths, you are there...
    If I rise on the wings of the dawn...
    Even there your hand will guide me...2

    Lofty and wonderful describe it well. William Evans points out that God is our nearest environment.3

    This truth about God will subdue and comfort us at the same time. If God is everywhere, He sees the evil and the good. Makes us think twice to know a just God is everywhere. And it also comforts us to know that a loving God knows where we are.

    Do you have a relationship with God, your closest environment?
    -----------------------------
    1 1 Kings 8:27
    2 Psalm 139:6-10
    3 William Evans, The Great Doctrines of the Bible (Chicago, Moody Press, 1912), 34.

    6 Comments:

    At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hi John,
    Your writing is amazing. I find it very uplifting. You may need to write a book or something.
    Colleen

     
    At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    John, got a ? for you, I got saved when I was in my 20's, I go church but I'm not a member, does a person have to be a member of a church?
    jan

     
    At 10:39 AM, Blogger John Rush said...

    Jan,

    Several things come to mind about Church Membership. (Short version for a blog comment section).

    1. Church membership has nothing to do with salvation.
    2. "Official Church Membership Listings" do not seem to be a part of the early church in Acts. Paul does mention a list of widows in 1 Timothy, but that is another thing altogether.
    3. In the early church, identification with Christ and the church was very clear.
    4. Baptism is the first, clear, outword sign of your identification with Christ. It usually identifies you with a body of believers.
    5. Church life is crucial for those who are saved. Those who have no desire to fellowship, worship, or minister with other believers have serious issues--whether or not they are on a "list of membership."
    6. I do believe in membership. Committment is important. Church membership brings you under the authority and protection of elders (pastors or pastor) and fellow believers. Make sure you find a Bible believing, expositional preaching, non-legalistic, non-spiritually casual church. I recommend of plurality of elders to keep from coming under a pope-king: big fish in little pond, power-mad pastor.

    Some initial thoughts although church membership is a bit off topic from omnipresence :)

    Thanks for reading.

    JRush

     
    At 10:39 AM, Blogger John Rush said...

    Sorry for the not spelling well on previous comment post!

    JRush

     
    At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Sorry I got off the topic

     
    At 3:22 PM, Blogger Joe said...

    Yes! God is omnipresent!

    I can't even get my mind around that.

    But then, if I could, I would be God, and neither of us would want that.

     

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