God - Theological Approaches

Theological Approaches

See also: Theology Proper and Attributes of God in Christianity

Theologians and philosophers have ascribed a number of attributes to God, including omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, perfect goodness, divine simplicity, and eternal and necessary existence. God has been described as incorporeal, a personal being, the source of all moral obligation, and the greatest conceivable being existent. These attributes were all claimed to varying degrees by the early Jewish, Christian and Muslim scholars, including St Augustine, Al-Ghazali, and Maimonides.

Many medieval philosophers developed arguments for the existence of God, while attempting to comprehend the precise implications of God's attributes. Reconciling some of those attributes generated important philosophical problems and debates. For example, God's omniscience may seem to imply that God knows how free agents will choose to act. If God does know this, their apparent free will might be illusory, or foreknowledge does not imply predestination; and if God does not know it, God may not be omniscient.

However, if by its essential nature, free will is not predetermined, then the effect of its will can never be perfectly predicted by anyone, regardless of intelligence and knowledge. Although knowledge of the options presented to that will, combined with perfect-infinite intelligence, could be said to provide God with omniscience if omniscience is defined as knowledge or understanding of all that is.

The last centuries of philosophy have seen vigorous questions regarding the arguments for God's existence raised by such philosophers as Immanuel Kant, David Hume and Antony Flew, although Kant held that the argument from morality was valid. The theist response has been either to contend, like Alvin Plantinga, that faith is "properly basic"; or to take, like Richard Swinburne, the evidentialist position. Some theists agree that none of the arguments for God's existence are compelling, but argue that faith is not a product of reason, but requires risk. There would be no risk, they say, if the arguments for God's existence were as solid as the laws of logic, a position summed up by Pascal as: "The heart has reasons which reason knows not of."

Most major religions hold God not as a metaphor, but a being that influences our day-to-day existences. Many believers allow for the existence of other, less powerful spiritual beings, and give them names such as angels, saints, djinns, demons, and devas.

Read more about this topic:  God

Other articles related to "theological approaches, approaches, theological":

Internal Consistency Of The Bible - Approaches To Biblical Consistency - Theological Approaches - Christian
... Modern Modern Christian approaches to biblical consistency echo the split between Luther and Osiander, and can be broadly divided between inerrancy and infallibility ... or, " magisterial teachings of the Church", the second rank of theological certainty, in the standard handbook Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma some believe the Church ...
Almighty God - Theological Approaches
... Many medieval philosophers developed arguments for the existence of God, while attempting to comprehend the precise implications of God's attributes ... Reconciling some of those attributes generated important philosophical problems and debates ...

Famous quotes containing the words approaches and/or theological:

    These were not men, they were battlefields. And over them, like the sky, arched their sense of harmony, their sense of beauty and rest against which their misery and their struggles were an offence, to which their misery and their struggles were the only approaches they could make, of which their misery and their struggles were an integral part.
    Rebecca West (1892–1983)

    ... all the cares and anxieties, the trials and disappointments of my whole life, are light, when balanced with my sufferings in childhood and youth from the theological dogmas which I sincerely believed, and the gloom connected with everything associated with the name of religion, the church, the parsonage, the graveyard, and the solemn, tolling bell.
    Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902)