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Flashcards in judeo-Christian god Deck (53)
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1

What is the difference between the approaches of Greek philosophers and biblical writings to God?

The key difference is that the Greeks adopted a philosophical approach to solving the mystery of the divine. Their concepts of the Form of the Good and the Prime Mover have been devised as an attempt to logically explain the existence of mankind and provide a purpose for life. A Greek philosopher’s starting point therefore is to form a rational, coherent argument to explain why God may or may not exist. However the Judaeo-Christian approach is based on the premise of faith – an abiding trust in God and a belief in the events and teachings of the bible. The bible thus does not adopt a philosophical outlook; rather it is the culmination of written works by people who all share the same faith

2

What are the differences between Aristotle's prime mover and the judeo christian God?

The monotheistic God of Judaeo-Christianity is concerned with the actions of man and makes demands; he intervenes in the world and is responsive to human behavior. This is very unlike Plato’s Form of the Good which is an impersonal and non-interactive entity that does not have the capacity to love. Aristotle’s understanding of an unmoved mover who is unaware of his creation and only has the capacity to think about himself is also a far step from the personal and interactive God of classical theism.

3

What are the four main qualities of God?

1. Omnipotence – God is all-powerful, capable of anything
2. Omniscience – God is all-knowing, he is knowledgeable of everything
3. Omnipresence – God is everywhere, he is present in all situations at all times
4. Omni benevolence – God is all-loving, he shares his infinite love with creation

4

What does CREATIO EX NIHILNO mean?

It is a latin phrase meaning creation out of nothing.

5

What are the differing views as to how God created the world in the bible?

It is not made clear whether God was the shaper of a chaos of pre-existing matter, a formless void, or whether God created everything out of nothing, ex nihilno. The Jewish and Christian doctrine of thought usually takes the view that God was both creator and shaper.

6

What does science say about the view of Creatio ex nihilno?

Some scientists say that matter could not have been brought into existence when there was no matter before. Even Aristotle said – “nothing can come from nothing”

7

What does St. Augustine of Hippo suggest about time phrases used in the bible?

St. Augustine of Hippo suggested that time is an intrinsic part of the created world and the descriptions “in the beginning” and “creation out of nothing” do not refer to a particular moment.

8

What is the story of Genesis similar to?

Genesis is similar to Babylonian creation myths in which there were dark swirling waters before the beginning of the world. The writers of Genesis must have believed that their story was either an historic accurate account of creation, or imagery borrowed from myths to express the fundamentally inexpressible.

9

What are the two stories- which describe how God created the world?

the Priestly tradition (Gen 1:1-2:4a) and an older version from the Yahwistic tradition (Gen 2:4b ff).-In the first creation story, God set everything in place before creating people. In the second creation story humanity came first followed by animals as possible companions.

10

What do the two creation stories suggest?

both stories strongly suggest the world was created for humanity, not that people happened by accident or chance once the evolutionary process had been set in motion.

11

How is the Will of God used to create things?

The will of God is required to make physical matter exist, he creates the components of the universe on his word, according to his whim: ‘Let there be…’ and there is.

12

How can God be viewed as an expert builder?

Poetic descriptions of God’s skill as craftsman of the universe can be compared with the work of an expert builder in the book of Job.

13

How does the view of God as an expert builder contrast with Aristotle's prime mover?

This contrasts with Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover. According to the bible, God is not unmoved at all and knows his creation intimately - he takes an interest and pride in the things he has made and cares about the actions of his creations.

14

Where does movement come from according to biblical writers and Aristotle?

For Aristotle God creates movement by attracting everything towards himself and it is the objects that have the desire to move. In Judaeo-Christianity the will to move comes from God.

15

How is the Judea-Christian God's relationship with humanity differ from Aristotle's prime mover?

God does not just think about himself but purposefully calls the world into existence desiring a loving relationship with creation, a relationship that works both ways. This is very unlike the Aristotelian concept of a Prime Mover who does not know that the universe exists because the only subject that is worthy of thought is himself.

16

Why can creation be considered inherently good according to biblical believes?

Everything made by God is good and purposeful – nothing exists by chance or is inferior of quality or bad – God is solely responsible for creation and described it as ‘very good.’

17

What is the problem with the existence of evil if God created the universe?

to say that God made the creation perfectly and it was ‘very good’ does not explain the existence of evil, ugliness and less perfect forms such as disease and disabilities that we have direct and certain experience of in world. Moreover, if God created the universe and everything in it then he is solely responsible for everything that happens within the universe including evil and suffering. For example, he purposefully gave the serpent in the narrative of ‘The Fall’ its craftiness, and still established it as ‘very good.’

18

What is the problem of evil even in light of the fall of man story?

F.D.E. Schleiermacher argued that evil could not have created itself out of ex nihilno from a perfect world. Either the world was created perfect and God let it go wrong, or the world was created imperfect and evil and suffering already existed. In both cases, God can be held responsible for evil and suffering.

19

What are the creation stories?

They are myth. Myths attempt to answer the same Ultimate Questions as philosophy but in a different way. The creation stories are anthropocentric – i.e. they don’t try and answer why creation exists, they try and answer the question why do humans exist.
The purpose of the creation stories is to introduce the ongoing relationship between God and humanity

20

How does God relate to creation?

In Genesis God is portrayed as the supreme being having no equal.
God is separate from his creation - He is transcendent.
God appears to bring order (Gk cosmos) out of disorder (Gk Chaos).
Both Judaism and Christianity assume that God did create out of nothing.

21

How does God appear to view humanity in Genesis?

In Genesis humanity is the pinnacle of creation – God looks back on the sixth day and declares that it is VERY good.
God places all creation under humanity’s stewardship to look after and care for it.
Both stories suggest an anthropocentric view of creation – it has been placed here for the benefit of humanity.

22

Where are there references of God as a creator?

The Bible is full of references to God as creator.
The Psalms often sing God’s praises as Creator:
In the Book of Job.

23

What are some quotes from the Psalms that suggest God is the creator?

The heaven’s declare the glory of God, the vault of heaven proclaim his handiwork; day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the knowledge. -Ps 19:1-2
Yahweh, what variety you have created, arranging everything so wisely! Earth is completely full of things you have made.
Ps 104:24

24

What does God say to Job which suggests he is a creator?

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements – surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone?”
Job 38:4-6

25

What are the main differences between Aristotle's prime mover and the God of the Bible?


The God of the Bible plays an active part in bringing things into being. Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover is indifferent to creation.
The God of the Bible is active, willing things to come into being. Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover is passive, causing things to happen through attraction.
The God of the Bible desires a relationship with humanity. Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover spends eternity thinking only of himself!
The God of the Bible is personal. Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover is impersonal.

26

How is the Judea-Christian god viewed in a personal sense?

Within the Judeo-Christian tradition God is more than a concept – He is personal
According to this tradition, God is good in whom there is no evil
Humanity has a responsibility to live up to this goodness
Central to the Hebrew Bible (Christian Old Testament) is the concept of God making a covenant: "I will be your God and you will be my people"
For Christians God renews the covenant in the person of Jesus

27

What is the purpose of the Ten Commandments?

Ten Commandments = Decalogue (i.e. the Ten Words)
Given on Mount Sinai in a Theophany
Found in Exodus 20 and Deut 5
The Law is a sign of God’s covenant – an agreement
The Ten Commandments gives directions for both religious and social responsibilities
God’s people don’t have to guess what God’s will is – it is written down for them

28

What is God like?

God is a benevolent dictator – treating his people as children
God is also described as ‘a jealous God’
God is angered whenever he sees injustice
The Judeo-Christian God is not Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover – he is angered whenever people fail to recognise his goodness
Jeremiah 15:6 "You have rejected me,” declares the Lord. “You keep on backsliding.
So I will reach out and destroy you; I am tired of holding back.'

29

Why is faith important to God and what are some examples of it?

Abraham is given as the model for faith Although he was old and childless, God promised Abraham that he would be the Father of a great nation (the Israelites) Through faith Abraham left his own country with the promise that God would give him a new country. Through faith Abraham was willing to sacrifice his own son Isaac. Job is another example of faith. Job continued to praise God and be faithful to him even when he had lost everything.The goodness of God demands that people respond with faith

30

What philosophical issues are posed through the incarnation of Jesus?

For Christianity the goodness of God and his interaction with the world can be seen the person of Jesus Christ. Central to Christianity’s teaching is the incarnation
The incarnation poses its own particular problems – i.e. how could the transcendent eternal God become present in space and time? According to Christianity God’s goodness can be seen in Jesus’ words and actions – i.e. his teaching and miracles
Unlike Plato’s ultimate Form of the Good which is above this corruptible world, Christians believe that the word has indeed become flesh and lived among us (John 1:14)