Thursday, November 16, 2006

What are the bounds of a boundary?

It’s so common. Infinity is challenging. It’s confusing. And, you might say it’s big; however, it is as small as it is big. That’s really why it’s confusing.

You see, God is infinite. Because he is infinite, indeed, because everything about him has pretty much no reference in our world, God is confusing to us.

Let’s go back to the freshman philosophy/theology question of “can God make a rock so large he cannot lift it.” We know this question is a play on words. Nonetheless, God’s infiniteness seems in conflict there because he is infinitely strong and infinitely powerful as a creator.

This begs the question of “what are God’s real limits?”

Let’s go to the starship Enterprise for a second. You are Captain Kirk, traveling to the outermost regions of the galaxy. In fact, you are traveling farther than anyone has ever traveled before. It could be said that you are setting the new “edge” of traveled space.

Now, as Captain Kirk, someone asks you, “How far out into space has mankind traveled?” You smile and point at your shoes and say, “right here.” Then with a smirk you walk to the other side of the room and announce, “actually, right here.”

The issue here is, you are defining the “standard” or boundary of how far out man has traveled into space. This means, to ask YOU how far out man has traveled is meaningless because where you are is how far.

Similarly is God’s infinite goodness.

You see, God is neither good nor bad any more you, as Captain Kirk, are at the edge or past the edge of human space travel. Where Captain Kirk goes, so defines the edge of man’s travels and whatever God does defines the definition of what is good.

The “good” here is different than what is, for example, “right” when an average person makes a decision. The good insofar as God’s actions refers more to a foundational or elemental “way” that compliments and aligns with the proper operation of existence.

Here’s what I mean. There is nothing that exists that was not created by God. God, of course exists, but he is a substance often referred to as the “prime” or “first” mover which in the causality of creation was never created.

As a result, the mechanism in God that causes creation will reflect his nature. This means that the creation is a complimentary substance to that of God and that God, accordingly, operates in such a way that corresponds to that compliment.

Now, let’s back into what we mean by “good” for a second. Good is best understood as the thing or act that compliments the trajectory of existence at the time of creation.

Although it could be argued that the trajectory of creation cannot be altered, but for the sake of this conversation let’s continue with the assumption that it can and has – at least internally.

Because creation and God’s natures were initially complimentary, the essence of creation and God’s continuing, immutable, nature remain complimentary. This means that God’s actions, which are an outcome of his nature, are a “good” in the context of creation.

The short is “what God does is good because God is doing it” and there is no way to determine if God’s actions are good other than to prove they are by him.

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