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Two Possibilities

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God is truly amazing, and yet all of God’s intricate, complex, and extravagant work is ultimately meaningless. I have written in my books about how this might be a kind of agony for God, although I believe God’s ultimate nature is perfect bliss, and that He is complete in a way that cannot be easily grasped by finite minds.

The book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible talks about how everything that happens has already happened before, and that there is nothing new under the sun. If this is true, it might be immensely frustrating for God. For if God cannot do anything new, how can He remain inspired, excited, and stimulated for billions upon billions of years?

I find in creation significant evidence that God has been playing the game of life for an incredibly long time. When we look, for instance, at the way global news stories unfold, and the way technology advances, there is a gradual and systematic unfolding of the events in history that is surely the work of an experienced Master Craftsman.

Consider for a moment the history of the last two thousand years, and the billions of people who have lived and died in that time, all contributing something different to God’s plan for Earth. And then consider that we are inhabitants of one planet out of possibly billions. The story of the universe is so epic that it puts a Tolkien or Lucas story to shame.

The countless stories within stories, and the way in which complex and diverse storylines fit together in the microcosm and the macrocosm, reveal a kind of intelligence so vast that it baffles the mind. And yet, I suspect that the story of the entire evolution of our planet is a relatively simple thing to God, because where we experience novelty and change, really God is employing the same techniques over and over again with only superficial variations, as might be compared to an aged composer who, having studied the intervals between notes for a lifetime, has become a master of the mechanics of the way in which musical notes communicate, and is able to churn out song after song with great ease.

If God has created everything which it is possible to create, I consider that there are two possibilities. One is that God is bored to the point of agony, and yet continues to create simply for something to do. The other is that creation forever remains an interesting, exciting, and joyful process for God, and that He delights ceaselessly in the new iterations of beings and things that He creates.

Which of these two possibilities represents the truth about God is possibly the single most important question I find myself asking as I mature as a philosopher and theologian. For if God suffers, it makes sense that we suffer, because God has frustration which He needs to vent. On the other hand, if God doesn’t suffer, and all is perpetually joyful for Him, then our suffering is much more likely to be only a stepping stone towards a happy resolution which God will manifest — and that we will enjoy — at some time in the future when this particular iteration of God’s grand game is brought to a conclusion.

(Image by Sumitkumar Sahare from Pixabay)