(How) Is God Involved in the World (?)

Jason Micheli —  August 1, 2014 — Leave a comment

Untitled10111I’ve become convinced that its important for the Church to inoculate our young people with a healthy dose of catechesis before we ship them off to college, just enough so that when they first hear about Nietzsche or really study Darwin they won’t freak out and presume that what the Church taught them in 6th grade confirmation is the only wisdom the Church has to offer.

I’ve been working on writing a catechism, a distillation of the faith into concise questions and answers with brief supporting scriptures that could be the starting point for a conversation.

You can find the earlier installments here.

Here are questions 25-26

I. The Father

25. If God is All-Powerful and All-Knowing are We Free?

Of course.

Not.

At least not how we normally think of the word ‘free.’

To believe that we have a will that is free- independent of God- involves a false and idolatrous notion of God. Such a ‘god’ is an inhabitant of the universe, existing alongside creatures, interfering with some but not with others.

But if everything that exists owes its existence to God, since God is the source of anything being rather than nothing, God must also be the source of our ‘free’ actions.

There can be no such thing as a being independent of God.

Our ‘freedom’ cannot mean not depending on God, but this kind of dependence on God does not make us automatons.

Our freedom does not mean God is absent or leaves us alone.

Rather, we are free because God is absolutely present- not by causing other things to cause our ‘free’ act, but by directly and simply by himself causing our free actions.

So God is not an alternative to freedom, God is the direct cause of freedom.

We are not free in spite of God, but because of God.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthians 3.17

 

26. So How is God Involved in the World?

By causing all things to be and continually holding all things in existence.

There is no such place where God is NOT.

Wherever there is anything, God is there holding it in being. The involvement of God in the world does not make any difference to activity in the world; it makes it what it is in the first place.

It is because of the involvement of God in the world that we have our involvement in the world to begin with.

The involvement of God in the world is not alongside us, competing with our own actions as alternative to them.

The involvement of God in the world makes the world the world.

“…it is not of your own doing.” – Ephesians 2.9

 

 

Jason Micheli

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