Greetings, friends of the blog. Today, I’d like to share some thoughts in relation to the question of why God might have chosen to create human beings and other creatures.
In my book God’s Grand Game: Divine Sovereignty and the Cosmic Playground I speculated that one reason why God might have chosen to create could be a kind of loneliness. Due to God’s omnipresence, I believe there is nothing outside of God, which means that in reality God is all that exists, and any material things and creatures exist within God. God’s boundlessness is, I believe, something which could never be changed, and there will never be a possibility for anything to exist outside of him.
What must it be like for God, I questioned, to never have another free being with whom to interact? What must it be like for God to be alone for all eternity? I wondered whether God might have created human beings for the purpose of relationship.
A related question I raised in the book concerns what it must be like for God to be unable to cease existing. I believe existence is part of God’s essence, so taking a break from existence might be impossible, even for an all-powerful God.
I acknowledge that these speculations are rather anthropomorphic, but the Bible does say God created man in his own image, so speculating in this way isn’t necessarily problematic. I also acknowledge that understanding God completely is beyond my limited human comprehension, and that’s part of being human — God has created human beings with certain limitations and has made certain things mysterious to us.
I would like to share something T. D. Jakes said when he was addressing a conference a few years ago:
“It is suggested that God made man because he is lonely, but I disagree. If God was lonely then he needed something outside of himself to fulfil himself. But the Bible says he is complete within himself. He is the all-sufficient one, lacking absolutely nothing to make him whole.”T. D. Jakes, Megafest 2013
In a blog post I wrote in 2019 entitled Life: Tragedy or Comedy? I speculated on this matter in more depth. As I say in that post, I believe the question of whether or not God suffers is incredibly important philosophically, because if he does suffer we might understand our own suffering in a different way to if God doesn’t suffer. Please read that article for an elaboration on this point.
I have come to agree with T. D. Jakes — that it’s most likely God is absolutely complete. But why, then, does God choose to create? Some people might find my description of the universe as a ‘cosmic playground’ created by God as part of a ‘grand game’ to be a strange way of describing things. But the reason why I chose the word ‘game’ in my book title relates to the question of God’s purpose in creation. I believe that unfolding the story of the universe is God’s pastime; God’s entertainment; God’s play.
Someone might rightly ask how I can describe reality as a ‘game’ when there is so much suffering in the world. I understand this point and I acknowledge its validity. However, when looking at the big picture of existence, and looking at the question of whether or not God is ultimately kind and merciful, I maintain a hope that he is.
Let me put the question to you: Haven’t you always found God to be merciful in your life, after you have gone through the challenges he has placed in your path?
I believe that God probably creates because creating is entertaining for him. Whether or not this is the truth of the matter I may never know during my life on Earth, but I hope things will become clearer one day, perhaps after death. In terms of understanding God’s purposes as they relate to human beings on Earth, I’m grateful to have the ‘instruction manual’ of the Bible to guide me in terms of answers to all of the most important questions related to God’s purposes for human beings.