Insert non-formatted text here== Topic 5: View of God matters? ==
Question: What difference does our view of God make? (Be sure to do more research into the issue. If the group cannot come to a consensus, feel free to each express your own opinions.)
Candice Jarvis, Jarrah Vance, Derrek Tual and Sarah Hambrick's contributions: What difference does our view of God make?
There are 8 dominant views of God found in major world religions. These are Monotheism,
Polytheism, Henotheism, Pantheism, Deism, Atheism, Agnosticism, and Trinitarian Monotheism.
Monotheism is the belief that there is only one supreme God. Other spiritual beings may
exist, such as angels and demons, but they are not God. Monotheism is found in religions such
as Judism,Christianity, and Islam. Polytheism claims that there are many gods who are equal.
Religions such as Hinduism practice polytheism. Henotheism is the view that one supreme god
exists, but other lesser gods are present also. Several Native American religions have this
perspective. Pantheism teaches that God is synonymous with nature. The two are inseparable, and
therefore there is no personal God. The universe is god and god is the universe. Deism is the
belief that an intelligent and powerful being created the universe, but no longer has
contact with it. He is distant and never interacts with what he created. This belief was
popular during the American Revolution in the 18th century. Atheism is well known as the belief
that there is no God. Some consider Buddism as an atheistic belief because the original Buddah
did not promote the belief in God or god. Agnosticism claims that even if a God exists we have
no way of knowing anything about him and they do not have enough information to determine
whether God exists. The two forms of agnosticism can be seen in these statements:
“If there is a God, he cannot be known.” and “I don’t know if God exists or not.”
The eighth view is unique to Christianity. It is a monotheistic religion, since it believes
in the existence of one God- Yahweh. It shares this belief with two other major religions,
Judaism and Islam. However, Christianity is different than other monotheistic religions.
Although Christianity teaches that God is
one, it distinguishes itself by belief in three distinct entities that constitute
one God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is called Trinitarian Monotheism. This unique three
part God is referred to as the Trinity. Although the Trinity is not mentioned in the Bible,
it is taught indirectly.
2. Arguments for and against the trinity
3. Critics of Trinity
4. Modern Denominational Statements about Trinity
- One doctrine that all denominations of Christianity agree on
5. Other aspects of God
Even within the group that claims to be Chrisian there are 4 distinct views of God.
People who view God as authoritarian believe that God is deeply involved in the lives of
those He created. They even give him credit for decisions they make. The Authoritarian
God is seen as judgmental and angry, ready to punish the wicked. Those who believe in a
Critical god also see him as judgmental and disapproving of man's wickedness. However,
they believe that he does not interfere in man's affairs. He neither punishes nor
comforts. Individuals grouped as believers in Distant God don't see God as having
feelings toward his creation at all. He set the world in motion, then left it on its own.
The last view of god, which we believe is that of the Benevolent God. God created the
world and man and interacted with them intimately. However, man chose to disobey God and
perfect fellowhip was broken. God sent His son Jesus to the earth to die as payment for
man's sin, so that fellowship could be restored. People have the opportunity to accept
Jesus as their Savior, but are not forced to do so. God gave everyone a choice and what we do
with that choice is up to us. People try to blame God for the bad things that happen in our
life and it's not all on God. He made the decision but maybe that was the only way to get our
attention. God is grieved by man's sin and any person who doesn't follow Him, yet He still
loves us unconditionally. He isn't waiting eagerly to punish sin. He offers us multiple
chances. However, God is a just God, who can't let sin go unpunished. Those who reject God will
spend eternity in Hell, separated from God.
- Use refrences from Waking the Dead, The Sacred Romance, etc.
B. Findings of Baylor University studies of social actions and religious ties