Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Believe or Belief in God

Now belief in God is not the same thing as belief that God exists, or that there is such a thing as God. To believe that God exists is simply to accept a proposition of a certain sort - a proposition affirming that there is a personal being who, let's say, has existed from eternity, is almighty, perfectly wise, perfectly just, has created the world, and loves his creatures. To believe in God, however, is quite another matter. The Apostle's Creed begins thus: "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and earth..." One who repeats these words and means what he says is not simply announcing the fact that he accepts a certain proposition as true; much more is involved than that. Belief in God means trusting God, accepting Him, committing one's life to Him. To the believer the entire world looks different. Blue sky, verdant forests, great mountains, surging ocean, friends and family, love in its many forms and various manifestations -- the believer sees these things as gifts from God. The entire universe takes on a personal cast for him; the fundamental truth about reality is truth about a Person. So believing in God is more than accepting the proposition that God exists. Still, it is at least that much. One can't sensibly believe in God and thank Him for the mountains without believing that there is such a person to be thanked, and that He is in some way responsible for the mountains. Nor can one trust in God and commit oneself to Him without believing that He exists: "He who would come to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who seek Him"(Heb 11:6)
Alvin Plantinga - God, Freedom, and Evil.


At 4:59 am, Blogger vandorsten said...

i.e., James 2:19 - You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.


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