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Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Contemporary Attribute of God

It is clear that man attributes to God his greatest needs:  God as Creator (answers the need to know where the universe came from); God as Designer (answers the question where the order of things come from); God the Defender (fills the basic human need for security); God the Healer (the one to call upon in ill-health); God the Controller (answers man’s need for a tie to a source of control); God the Eternal (answers man’s need for significance and  meaning); God the Savior (answers the need for redemption from missteps and error).  Man continues to need all these aspects of God.  But for the 21st century I would add another: God the Experimenter.  This answers the need to understand flux and change over time.  This attribute would seem at first glance to undermine God the all-knowing.  If God knew all the answers, he would not need to experiment—to undergo a process of discovery through sometimes trial and error.  However, we simply must confront the facts of universal change and (for life on earth) evolution.  The key concept in evolution is not survival of the fittest, but the necessity for trial and error in development of life on earth.  This does not rule out that man was made in God’s own image.  It simply means that getting there involved a process of iterations and change.  The capacity to perform beneficial experiments is one of the greatest attributes of man; but it is limited.  There is ample room left and need for the human mind to appreciate the Ultimate Experimenter who through iterations and change accomplishes his divine will over time. 

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