I often hear Christians speaking of what a miraculous and wonderful thing it is that God chose to enter into His own creation in the person of Jesus Christ in the event known as the Incarnation.
The problem with this notion is that it implies that God is normally somehow separated from creation. How can this be? The God I believe in is omnipresent and pervades and sustains the whole of creation. The universe and everything in it is part of His being.
Isn’t it God who grows the trees and flowers, moves the planets by His power, and grows the hair on our heads? How could He do these things if He isn’t present everywhere all of the time?
I cannot conceive of a God who is somehow separate from certain parts of existence as this would imply a limit to His power and to the very things, ontologically speaking, that make Him God. I feel uncomfortable with the idea that before and after the Incarnation God is somehow existing in a place outside of the world in which we live.
Surely, as believers, we know intuitively that God is everywhere. If, for instance, I pray to God asking Him to plant me in a great church, isn’t the implication that He is in control of my actions?
God is the cosmic animator, and I find it illogical to say He entered into creation at a specific moment in history when all of creation is part of Him.
One response to “God’s Omnipresence and the Incarnation”
The proportion of Christians who subscribe to Panentheism is probably quite small, and of those who do, I suspect their appreciation or view of it varies between individuals. For instance, I agree with you that the universe and everything in it is a part of His being, but disagree that He grows the trees and the flowers and moves the planets by His powers. My feeling is that the trees and flowers grow as directed by their DNA in the presence of Carbon Dioxide, water vapour and sunlight. God has created the circumstances for the growth to occur automatically. Similarly, the planets rotate around their various stars according the laws of gravitation, devised by God.
Our hearts beat automatically. We are not normally aware of this beating, unless we experience an adrenaline rush that speeds and intensifies it. Normally, part of our brain controls this function, although it can be stopped or started electrically, and regulated by a pacemaker.
I believe that God is the brain that regulates everything and that He is fully aware of it all, but the consistency we have determined through science, shows to me that the mechanisms are self-sustaining. I think if this was not so, God could just as easily sustain everything in a chaotic and unpredictable way that science could never describe. How much more in awe of Him would we be if that was the case? However, I agree that without Him everything would cease to exist.
I too, find that God’s incarnation is a difficult concept to understand, and I don’t pretend to know the answer. For an Eastern Christian perspective, you might want to check out the website in the link below –
Peace and love to all,