In the previous article, “Who is God? Part 1,” we examined approaches to God and how the biblical God offers the only true choice for a real and personal God with whom humanity can relate. However, humanity has decided to pursue its own set of gods deriving from the created order, one who is limited and impersonal. These are imitations and straw man perversions of the one true God.
This article focuses on the question,
“Why is God as a personal God an important and strategic truth?”
The personal biblical God is indisputable and unanswerable from the view of unbelieving evolution, atheism, and all other idolatrous religions. None of them can explain how humanity can possess the nature of personality (being a person) apart from a personal God. All that other religions and philosophies can do is offer speculation about how impersonal and inanimate matter can ultimately become a person. Speculation is no substitute for truth. This speculation fails because other religions and philosophies cannot identify a clearly defined trajectory from the impersonal to the personal.
God as Personal
While God transcends the created order and our experiences in it, He has a personal nature and is immanent with us. We do not project on God a personal nature because we are personal beings. Such a projection is merely speculation and cannot define a clear trajectory from the impersonal to the personal. In other words, there is no clear and definite answer for explaining the personal nature of human beings except through a personal God. Rather, He shares this nature of person-hood with humanity because He created us in His image. The personal God created us in His image with person-hood being a major part of that image. This creation alone explains how we are persons.
Importance of a Personal God
The personal God provides the only reasonable explanation for the personal nature of humanity. Humanity’s personal nature is unanswerable from evolution, atheism, impersonal theism, polytheism, and all other idolatrous religions or philosophies. People are unable to relate with the impersonal god(s) of these religions. None of these provides an adequate religious or philosophical model for explaining how we came to be persons. Furthermore, the sciences has no means of explaining how we assumed personality. They simply discover the observable and offer an interpretive best guess. Even then, clashing and competitive interpretations exist among scientists, the social sciences, and philosophies. We could never know or comprehend love, mercy, forgiveness, justice, patience, gentleness, or other personal qualities apart from God as a person. Individuals defines such qualities in so many conflicting ways. Without God, these qualities are simply open to interpretation from clashing philosophies.
FOCUS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF THE PERSONAL TRIUNE GOD
It is easy to overlook the importance of the Triune God. Many people do, and end up concluding God to be other than who He is, one arising from the created order or from a myriad imaginations. One of the most crucial and fundamental characteristics of the image of God in which He created us is the capacity for personal relationship. This characteristic exists as fundamental to the being of the Triune God. When God created us in His image, that image implanted in us the capacity for relationships.
There is another extremely important reason for understanding why we relate to and worship a personal God. God is a Triune God. To know the living God is to know the personal Triune God. It is impossible to relate with something impersonal. You cannot have a relationship with a rock, but you can sell them. There is no reciprocation and no capacity to relate. Additionally, humans as personal beings cannot arise from an impersonal state or an impersonal god. The speculation and conjecture of evolution proposes that humans as personal beings can arise from an impersonal source by chance. However, such speculation fails to explain how our person-hood came into existence and how chance alone brought us about.
Let us return to statements from the previous article:
- When there is a rejection of a personal God and the desire to know Him, this leads to a breach between God and humanity as the historical account of the Fall demonstrated
- When a breach between the personal God and humanity occurs, worldviews with impersonal gods arise (pantheism, polytheism, animism, agnosticism, atheism). Atheism and agnosticism assumes the impersonal. Atheism stands for no god or gods. There is then no source for relationship resembling the personal and no explanation for the person-hood in humanity.
- Such worldviews turn men and women inward toward self (isolationism) rather than outward toward God (relational)
- When other worldviews minimize a personal God, they also tend to minimize the person-hood of humanity. This minimization shows up in the devaluation of individuals in treating them like numbers, statistics, or sources of profit
- Minimizing the person-hood of humanity leads to devaluing life altogether or valuing life in terms of monetary gain: abortion, human trafficking, and slavery serve as examples of individual devaluation
These statements show why it important to trust a personal God. Such trust is a personal attribute and demonstrates how the rejection of the true biblical God leads to the devaluation of humanity in various forms: abortion, human trafficking, and slavery. Some may claim, “Well now, here is a Christian who speaks of value but ignores what Christianity has done in the past.” This statement raises a straw man “Christianity,” one that is man-centered and not God-centered and biblically centered. It is easy to point fingers when one pointing them is guilty of the same thing. The one thing that does away with finger pointing and criticism is humility and faith in the one and only God of which the Bible speak, because He alone informs us of Himself and exposes us for what we really are – those separated from Him, living in darkness from the truth, and in need of Him.