The nature of god

There is very little to precisely specify the nature of god in the Christian bible. What there is appears to me on occasion to be contradictory. The various books of the bible were written at different times by different authors and based on previous texts and other gods (the story of the flood had clearly been around in several versions before the Hebrews set it down). There remain many possible definitions for gods. It is often taken for granted in contemporary discussions that god is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient and there are references in the bible that can be interpreted as attributing these properties to him. It is not clear that he was always regarded as such in the bible or throughout history. He is also described by analogy to a father and in some sense (either literally, metaphorically or spiritually) we are stated to have been made in his image. He displays emotions; in bits of the old testament is angry, vengeful, loving and sometimes downright nasty. He acts through people and occasionally acts directly himself. In the new testament he is tri-natured and also incarnated as a human (although retaining supernatural powers). Whilst some of these ideas are easy to understand, some are quite bizarre. Taken as a whole, without tortuous interpretations and personal slants that always seem to conveniently miss bits out, this particular god seems to be so contradictory and internally inconsistent as to be meaningless. I find it very difficult to discuss ‘god’ when talking to Christians because I never quite know what flavour of god they personally subscribe to. How do the Christians out there reconcile their beliefs with the descriptions in the bible? Do you just pick and mix to suit?     

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

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