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Featured Is the God of the OT All-Powerful?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Nakosis, Feb 1, 2021.

  1. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Is the God of the OT all-powerful, all-knowing, good?

    We assume this now. I'm curious what passages from the OT support this.

    The best way I’ve ever heard it stated is there are three things people want to believe when they believe in God: God is good, God is all knowing, and God is all powerful. But if all three of these things are true, then how can child rapists (and a myriad of other ills in this world) exist?

    The answer is, God cannot be all three at once. In order to reconcile your belief in God with what you see in the world around you, you have to pick no more than two. I believe God is all knowing and God is good, but God is not all-powerful.
    Is God All-Powerful?
     
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  2. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    I'm not very bible literate but from what I remember neither the all-knowing narrator nor the gods themselves state that the gods are good or all-knowing or omnipotent. In fact, the narration depicts the gods as neither.
    Only when humans praise the gods (especially YHVH), do they say such things. And, as they are human, they can simply be mistaken.
     
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  3. Suave

    Suave Active Member

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    The attributes of God vary from book to book and author to author in the Bible. In the Pentateuch, passages attributed to the Yahwist source portray God as neither omnipotent nor omniscient, whereas passages attributed to the Priestly Source portray God as both omnipotent and omniscient:

    "The Yahwist’s creation account (Genesis 2:4a-25) shows that God was unable to create living things out of nothing, but had to make Adam and the animals out of dirt, and Eve out of Adam’s rib. We learn from Genesis 3:22 that what set the gods apart from humans was the knowledge of good and evil (“Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil”) and immortality (“lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever”).The Yahwist’s God was not omniscient as demonstrated by the fact that he had to call out and ask Adam where he was, and was unaware that Adam had eaten the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:9,11). The Priestly Source frequently referred to his God as El Shaddai (‘God Almighty’). In the first creation account in Genesis (Genesis 1:1–2:4a) he wrote that God could simply speak things into existence."

    Does the Bible actually say that God is all-powerful, omniscient, and all-benevolent? - Quora
     
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  4. LightofTruth

    LightofTruth Well-Known Member

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    Why would a God who is good threaten a man with death by giving the man a law He knew the man could not keep?
     
  5. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    This would allow an all-powerful God who is good but not all-knowing. IOW, God did not know whether Adam would be capable of keeping his laws.

    As mentioned, one can assign two of the three concepts to God but it defies logic to assign all three.
     
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  6. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    "The fact that they think we do believe in their imagined version of God shows they don’t acknowledge the diversity of religious thought." -- from the OP article

    ...or have never heard of it. In their defense they may have never heard of it or seen it.
     
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  7. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    That’s the dilemma of a God who wears so many hats... namely a controller, an absolute monarch, if you will. How do you reconcile an omnipotent, omnibenevolent (ideally), and omniscient God with the evil and suffering in the universe.

    Not that Hinduism has all the answers, which is why we’re encouraged to explore and question, but this problem has been largely addressed. Briefly, we blame it on karma, avidyā and ajñana (thinking this material world is the only reality).

    The standard problem of evil found in monotheistic religions does not apply to almost all traditions of Hinduism because it does not posit an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent creator.

    Scholars have proposed alternate forms of the problem of evil based on Hinduism's karma and transmigration doctrines. According to Arthur Herman, karma-transmigration theory solves all three historical formulations to the problem of evil while acknowledging the theodicy insights of Adi Sankara and Ramanuja.

    Problem of evil in Hinduism.

     
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  8. Wrangler

    Wrangler Ask And You Will Receive

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    Jesus. Hello! :)
     
  9. Wrangler

    Wrangler Ask And You Will Receive

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    "Had to." Chose to. Not Equal.
     
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  10. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, in Jeremiah he asks the rhetorical question "is there anything to hard for me"

    God would rather evil exists for a time so good can exist rather than good never existing at all.
     
  11. Wrangler

    Wrangler Ask And You Will Receive

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    What support would you accept? There is no need to go beyond Genesis 1:1. That God is all-powerful is the very first thing mentioned in the Bible; the very first thing! (Of course, synonymous words are used)

    In my cultural Bible, which I just started reading last month, it delves into a phrase that we translate into almighty God or LORD of Heaven's Armies or Host of Heaven's Armies. It denotes infinite power, the source of all power, incomprehensible power. The Creator of Heaven and Earth, as the lingo goes, or the Creator of the universe as scientifically minded might speak today obviously possess unimaginable power.

    I pray you do not seek to play a semantic game, like these exact words are not there. True. The Spirit used other words to convey the answer you seek.
     
  12. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    I think the original question is how and why an “omni...” God could or would allow suffering and evil in the world. I know the Christian view is that Jesus eliminated the spiritual suffering... not unlike the Buddha’s and Krishna’s teaching. I don’t think it’s a matter of can’t or won’t, I think it’s a matter of doesn’t. That is, God is hands-off. I wish could remember or find the source but I read of a “pact” God made with mankind. Man has free will; God said he would remain hands-off. Imo that’s an almost deist position. God created the world, set it in motion, and lets it run. I don’t think that’s a mainstream view.
     
  13. 37818

    37818 Active Member

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    Hmm. Eternal and temporal, Infinite and finite, Invisible and visible, everywhere and local. And all that at once. Infinite good. Evil cannot exist without good. Good does not need evil, but evil needs temporal good.
     
  14. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    So God is not powerful enough to allow Good to exist without Evil?
     
  15. Wrangler

    Wrangler Ask And You Will Receive

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    Oh, OK. That is more about morality than power. Why does God allow evil in the world is a classic question. It has a classic answer.

    The answer is because God gave us Free Will. It really wouldn't be free unless we had a lifetime absent divine consequences. How else can we grow without the pain our choices cause? Consider the most evil person who ever lived before the 19th century? There would be no one that comes to mind if God interceded all the time.

    Even though you intended to harm me, God intended it only for good, and through me, He preserved the lives of countless people, as He is still doing today.
    Genesis 50:20 (VOICE)

    We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.
    Romans 8:28
     
  16. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    So God is unable to allow Evil to exist without Good?
     
  17. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

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    The all-powerfulness of God is that God has all power that does exist. There are impossible things even for God as it says it's impossible for God to lie. (Hebrews 6:18)

    So for true meaningful good to exist there must first exist evil conditions. Otherwise it would be hollow, empty and meaningless. It would be an abstract concept.

    But since evil exists then good can really exist also. You might save a drowning person for example because they can drown. If they couldn't drown then you couldn't save them.

    This is the reason all evil exists and why it's allowed to exist. So that every form of goodness can be brought to perfection. Then once the fruit of goodness is ripe God will immediately harvest it.
     
  18. Wandering Monk

    Wandering Monk Well-Known Member

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    Is it possible for God to sin?
     
  19. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    So God has limitations?

    IOW, God can possess all three qualities by limiting the meaning of one or more of these concepts.

    One can limit the concept of Good. I actually did this by limiting the concept of all-knowing. "God has knowledge of everything that exists but does not know what does not exist."
    "Since the future does not yet exist, God has no knowledge of it."
     
  20. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
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    Bear with me as I try to explain things from a different angle....

    These questions betray a basic ignorance of the Creator himself and his purpose in creation to begin with.

    Answer the question.....“what was God’s purpose in creating a vast universe, but only making one small planet habitable and teeming with life?”
    Why did he do that? The Bible tells us....

    The existence of the universe itself is testimony to God’s incredible power. Through his immense energy, he created matter and fashioned it to suit his purpose.

    His choice of this planet, in this solar system, in this galaxy also reveals the wisdom of his choice. Everything about the size and placement of planet Earth is ideal. His preparation of the Earth to support all the life that he placed here, is logical and even the order of creation shows that he planned everything very carefully.
    No one with any intelligence can look at the wonders of creation and imagine that it all happen by undirected chance, IMO...in the face of the evidence, you have to want to believe that to overlook the ingenious design in everything.

    So, as the crowning achievement of his creation, he created permanent caretakers who would be given his moral attributes and creativity along with free will....something no other sentient creature possesses.

    In order to give humans free will, God had to set limits as this was very important. When free will is abused, only harm results. So there was only one negative command in the original idyllic home created specifically for humans by God. He placed determining "good and evil" in his own jurisdiction. IOW, he told the humans that the difference between good and evil was to be determined by him, not them. All they needed to do, to enjoy all that he had put before them, was obey his directives. If they did that, then no harm would ever come to any of his creatures.

    Originally, humans and all creatures were given vegetation to eat.
    Genesis 1:29-30....
    "Then God said: “Here I have given to you every seed-bearing plant that is on the entire earth and every tree with seed-bearing fruit. Let them serve as food for you. 30 And to every wild animal of the earth and to every flying creature of the heavens and to everything moving on the earth in which there is life, I have given all green vegetation for food.” And it was so."

    If we doubt that this was the case, think of some of the world's most powerful creatures who are all still vegetarians. No creature was to kill another for food. The only creatures designed to eat flesh were the carrion birds and animals who were part of the 'clean-up' crew assigned to keep the earth clean. Animals and other creatures were to have a life cycle, but only man was offered everlasting life in their mortal flesh. He alone was given the means to keep living without aging, sickness or death.


    From this wonderful start, how did it all go pear shaped? The story told in Genesis reveals that a spirit being, carried away by his own magnificence, wanted the new intelligent human beings to give him the worship that was due the Creator, so he plotted to steal them away from him by lying to the woman about him. She fell for the deception and lured her husband to commit the same crime.....grand theft. They stole something very valuable and wanted to keep it for themselves, imagining that they would be better off making their own decisions about what was good and what wasn't. And here we are. Have humans proven that they can govern their own lives without God? He stepped back and allowed them to find out first hand what self-determination would mean.

    They were told by their Creator that deciding some things for themselves was not good, but they abused their free will to try it on. The first rebel got his wish, to have the humans, now alienated from God, to do his bidding and to abuse their freedom as he had done. What has been the outcome? Where have the child rapists and all other evil that humans perpetrate come from? NOT GOD.

    This is the greatest object lesson that humans will ever have to undergo. It has taken thousands of human years to prove that, no matter what religion, or government, or scientific undertaking they make....nothing has really benefited mankind in the long term. Everything that seemed like a good idea in any of those fields, has failed humankind as a whole. As long as people live in misery and poverty whilst the rich prosper off the backs of the poor, things on this earth will never change....because humans never learn, and are doomed to repeat past mistakes. They continue to use their free will to suppress and exploit the free will of others.

    All that has been done since man's rebellion in Eden has been an opportunity for God to record it all in his book of Earth's history so to speak. Like a criminal court case, a slanderer and been given ample opportunity to prove his case. Witnesses have given their evidence and now the verdict is in.....the slanderer and all who have believed his lies of their own free will, have been found guilty and will have their lives terminated, so that God's original purpose for this earth can go ahead as he planned all along.

    All the events and horrible things that have resulted from man's rebellion have set precedents for all time to come, so that if, in the future, any free willed creature (human or angel) were to abuse their free will, they will be dealt with swiftly. None of the horrors that we have experienced at the hands of other humans, will be in man's experience in the future. There is no longer any need to prove anything. Its all been done.

    That is the story as I understand it from the Bible.
     
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