Reason and Creation

 

While I was distracted, a veritable thought passed through my mind. It was rather quick, and possibly hoped it could sneak by me. Ha! I wrestled it to the ground. It turned out to be only a little thought however, and I considered letting it back into the wild. Before I did, though, I began to wonder whether or not it could be prepared for a post:

On one extreme, God can be conceived as purely logical, or more precisely, that what lies behind the universe is rationality on the level of mathematical formula. On the other end of the spectrum, we have a God of pure whim, a power which can do whatever it wills. And to either of these, it is hopeless to pray.

You cannot pray to an expression of fact such as mathematics, for it simply is, and has no underlying reason—indeed, it is reason itself. Neither can pure power be prayed to. On what grounds would power listen to prayers? Would this power god not be a Cthulhu, an unstoppable force which neither wants anything from us or for us?

And yet it seems an inescapable human quality that we pray. Why? I think it because God is both of these extremes: He is unlimited power limited by Himself, He is both the great and wild artist who can produce the cosmos, and the rules by which those starry host march through heaven.

It is in looking at the extremes separated from each other that we gain a distorted view of God, but God is someone to whom we can pray. Consider the world if, at bottom, it truly was logic devoid of power: How could reason itself ever generate anything of substance? And what if behind everything the answer were to prove to be pure power, the act of a will? What should we then make of self-evident rationality? Declare it irrational? But for something to be irrational there must be a rational.

And here the thought seems to be getting away from me. But then again, a bit of scripture comes to mind:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

John 1:1-4

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2 Comments

  1. Incidentally I accidentally clicked on the follow I think and turned off then back on the following of your site. Sorry! And about God, I get what you mean. It’s amazing isn’t it? I personally both see the existence of God as a rational/logical conclusion and also a conceptual/unknowable/unseeable one. I mean, all things in existence rely on something. Nothing can exist without something that it counts on to be here. So tracing that back and back, the universe cannot exist without relying on something or being run by something greater. That’s the logic I think about sometimes. Anyway. I hope my comment wasn’t offensive. I don’t think that it was but just checking. Have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

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