Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Personal God

The omnipotent God that literalist Protestants believe in has another problem. You can't have a personal relationship with him.

Our range of emotions (happiness, sadness, anger, regret) comes from changes in our circumstances. We feel anger when someone opposes us, regret when we see that our actions had unintended consequences, sadness when things don't go our way, and happiness when they do. But an omnipotent God could not undergo any of these changes. He'd be static.

As humans, we take for granted that things are always changing. For an omnipotent entity, change would be a contradiction, not a given.

In an old issue of God-Man, God-Man is speeding to rescue Mary May, when he hears her exclaim "God-Man is an outdated Western myth!" So he decides not to rescue her. But if he was really omnipotent, he would have known that she didn't believe in him and wouldn't have been on his way to rescue her. He wouldn't have been upset or surprised that she didn't believe in him because he would already know that.


  1. I would like to point out that our emotions are an intricate process and a product of much more than just our circumstances.

  2. Tia,
    I'm not saying that emotions come from "only" changing circumstances. My point is that without changing circumstances, you can't have most human emotions. You can't be surprised if you don't go from not-knowing to knowing. Happiness means something to us, because we know what it is to feel sad. An omnipotent being would not even have desires the way we understand them.

    When you desire something, it's because you don't have it. But God would know in advance anything he might want, and would already have it. Even talking about it tends to create contradictions. Makes my head hurt...