One big God is too simple of an idea, right? How can something that big both be infinite and personal? How is that possible for the God of the Bible, and what about other worldviews? We look at those questions today in the Doctrine of God series.
How can God be both infinite and personal?
The things that limit us and creation do not limit God. That’s what God’s infinity is, that He’s greater and beyond it.
He’s personal in how he relates to us as a person, and we can relate to Him the same. We can talk to Him through prayer, worship, obedience, and love: while he responds with words, rejoices in us, and loves us. God blesses and disciplines us.
Don’t other systems of religion have an infinite and personal God?
They have variations of sorts. Polytheism’s pantheons of gods aren’t big “G” gods. They’re limited but are personal. They can be killed; they have a beginning, yet are powerful. Not infinite or all-powerful. Think of superpowered humans.
Deism’s God is infinite, but not personal. It set everything in motion and stepped back. A lot of people like this idea since a deistic God doesn’t want or expect anything from them.
Pantheism says God is the universe, and that the universe is infinite. However, this God is unrelatable. It’s another popular line of thinking I see. It comes in various forms and is held by most Hindus, Buddhists, New Age religions, Christian Science, Unity, and Scientology.
If you want to walk through these more in-depth, I suggest Dr. Norman Geisler’s book Christian Apologetics.
If God is infinite, how can He be personal too?
He’s infinite in that nothing will change His being, perfection, promises, or purposes. He’s personal in His value and relation of and to us. Jesus and the cross is evidence of that.
Polytheistic gods can die for you but will face an ultimate end. Jesus died, rose again, and will never die again.
Deism’s God doesn’t care. The God of the Bible does, staying involved; coming to the world as a poor carpenter to go through the same things we do. Hunger, sickness, abuse, joy, happiness, love, all of it in order to redeem a fallen creation. He didn’t have to.
Pantheism’s God is everything, not standing above or present with us, but is part of everything including us. This isn’t a God who can save, we’re alone to save ourselves. God says, “Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
That’s how God can be both.
Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem
Chapter 11: Incommunicable Attributes of God