Christianity / Faith / Religion

God as an Egg or Water?

I’ve written a couple times about the God of Abraham. This topic seems to ruffle feathers and illicit very cold cut reactions such as: No. The god of Abraham isn’t God. Perhaps it sounds a bit crazy out of context like that. But when put in the context that Jews and Muslims worship the God of Abraham as do Christians, it becomes more understandable. Many people argue vehemently that Jews and Muslims do not worship the same god that we, as Christians, do. I believe that we do. How can we talk about this and perhaps agree to disagree?

I heard the other day a sermon in which a pastor explained the triune God that Christians believe in, as an egg. Which part is the egg? Well all three parts: the shell, yolk, and white; are all the egg. I have always tended to accept the God as the water, ice, steam analogy: God exists in three different states at the same time, but all are equally God. I think the difference between those who believe that we don’t worship the same god, and those who believe we do is the difference between accepting the analogy of the egg or of the water.

The egg  you see implies that God is three distinct and separate parts that make up on thing. To take it apart is to reduce it to parts. The water analogy implies that God is God in three different states at one time, but indistinguishable in make up. Inseparable. This is the heart of the conflict. Are God’s three parts distinct in make up or are they simply different states of being in the same thing? You see if you believe in God as and egg, you could then believe that it is possible to believe in the shell, which is part of God but not god. If you believe in God as water, you could believe then that worshiping or following one part of God is following or worshiping God.

When you think about these ideas, ask yourself: was God God before Jesus? Does God change or require different things from us than God did then? Did people who were in what we call “Abraham’s bosom” and were then raised to Heaven when it was created believe in the same God we do? Did the Father God become less important when the Son was sent? What was the purpose of the Son?

What do you think? Which analogy do you think is more fitting? Or do you have another?

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22 thoughts on “God as an Egg or Water?

  1. My answer to people who argue that Muslims and Jews and Christians worship different gods is, which usually shuts them up is, “Do you really think God is so small that he doesn’t hear anyone and everyone who addresses prayers to ‘God’? Do you think there is more than one God up there listening? No? Then if all those prayers are going to the same God, then by definition, Jews and Muslims and Christians worship the same God.” Each group believes different things about God, but they all have things in common: that he is One (Three-in-One for Christians, which Jews reject and Muslims in particular don’t grasp); that He was the God of Abraham; that He spoke through prophets. The three great monotheistic faiths share a common heritage.

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  2. Mm. I like it. I think I said that twenty three different to one individual throughout a fifty five email long discussion, but nope. Didn’t “shut him up” and didn’t keep him form asking again. Now, I’m trying a new approach.
    They share that and more. Yet, I feel sometimes people live in denial that we could worship the same God as those they find to be heretics. I always appreciate your insight, thanks for sticking with me. You strengthen me.

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  3. For me, Abraham worshiped the same God but did not know God as we know God. All the learning of the next four thousand years has not changed God, just how we know God. Jews now worship the same God, but know God differently.

    God is three and God is one. That is it. Do not try to make sense of it. Making sense of it is the problem. God does not make sense to us, the thing which makes sense is the idol.

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  4. I agree with the idea that we know God differently.
    I understand what you’re saying with the idol thing, but we all make sense of God. To not try to do so is either blind acceptance or surrender. Not to say that we’re not wrong, but we each have to build theologies on who we’ve experienced God to be. It doesn’t mean that other people must come to the same conclusion we do to be saved. I think that’s where it turns to idolatry.
    I love your input as always.

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  5. Okay, I am an incredibly new Christian…but here is my take
    God of Abraham was the same God set that we know now, meaning the three in one. I believe this because, the prophets when they speak of the messiah are so clear about it that it is almost like it already happened. I don’t think God time and people time are the same.
    Hope that makes sense. Great question. I never really thought about the difference between water and egg.

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  6. I know you have ur answers. My keybroad is broken,

    was God God before Jesus?
    Which one?

    Does God change or require different things from us than God did then?
    yup

    Did people who were in what we call “Abraham’s bosom” and were then raised to Heaven when it was created believe in the same God we do?
    We follow Jesus who is like a guru, the Eternal Son,
    Abraham received promises fr. different people, & met w/ different people, but it was always the LORD, who is Alanis Morisette, haha,

    Did the Father God become less important when the Son was sent? What was the purpose of the Son?
    No, we don’t like know our own dads, much less an invisibo one,
    The Son’s purpose was to die, b/c we so mad at da Father,
    & thru His MARTYR Blood we all can rise, but He keeps us then,

    Love,
    G.

    Thanks 4 allowing me to share,
    if u live in LA or NY you are mine,

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  7. Interesting post. To me, the God of Abraham was the same God as we know today. Just that like a book that is been read from the beginning; we see the development of the character more and more as the author prescribed and as the story unfolds, so does the unveiling of God grew throughout the years and centuries. And I would say, there were prophetic occurrences throughout the ages, in that God allows insights into the future as we know, where Jesus would come in human flesh through various instances.

    Is any part of God then any more important than the other?

    The way I see it, if God is really God then the entire logic of time and space might not apply the same way? Time essentially would be a created concept so using this ‘logic’, God hasn’t change and at the same time (the irony of it) would have seen that certain things would transpired and from his position, he has ‘prepared’ Jesus to be the remission for ‘sins’, has allowed people along the passage of time to see glimpses of his ultimate plan and himself understood all from the beginning what would happen.

    Don’t really understand the whole concept of ‘sin’ but from what I heard someone put it, there was an order in that God was first and then anything else second. So any disruption to this order is sin so the purpose of the son was to resolve and repair this disrupted order. Father God wasn’t any less important, in fact I feel He was the main reason the son was sent so in God’s logic, rationale, reality, the Son was necessary for him to establish a certain level of intimacy with us.

    Basically the differential view point lies in the Son I would say. We all worship the same God, yet the revelation of whether the Son was involved as the messiah has been the cause of religious conflicts. But if God is God, with the ability to step into and out of time, to move through different realms, then wouldn’t it be logical to believe that there would be more people in heaven/saved then what we give him credit for.

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  8. The difference is not pre & post Abraham but pre and post Christ’s death on the cross. Everything changed, we were at last brought back into union with Him through that great event. cheers Graeme

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  9. I think that the letters G-O-D are simply a word, that means whatever we define it. If we define God in one way (e.g. a supreme being) then all three faiths worship the same God, but if we define God as the trinity, then they don’t. But I don’t think the question is all that important, for it doesn’t matter what we think, what matters is how God judges each person – and we know it is his nature to love and forgive, and it is our choice whether we receive or reject his love and forgiveness.

    I think both analogies to the trinity are helpful, but like all analogies, they fail at some points while being helpful at others. We must remember that the Trinity is not a Biblical teaching, but rather a human way of explaining the Biblical teaching. Therefore, it is probably in itself an analogy of a reality that is beyond our understanding. I think we shouldn’t get too hung up on understanding the trinity, but rather get on with trusting and obeying Jesus, recognising that our understanding will always remain imperfect.

    Thanks for a thoughtful and interesting post.

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  10. it seems like there is a lot of hair-splitting going on, but hey lets keep the ball rolling – Christianity is not an Abrahamic religion, it is a union between God and man made possible by the blood of Christ. That’s why God said to Abraham, ‘all the world would be blessed through his seed’ (Christ) and now we have been reborn of that seed. It’s not about tracing our religious roots, it’s about receiving the work of Christ by faith. cheers Graeme

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  11. As always, I enjoy your posts, as well as the discussion that inevitably follows. Regarding the Holy Trinity the best analogy I have heard to date is from Dr. William Lane Craig. Dr. Craig likens the Holy Trinity to a triangle. A triangle is comprised of three angles that are all parts of the triangle much like the Holy Trinity is comprised of three “parts” of God that are all God. In fact, I just posted on this particular topic today (http://believinforareason.com/2012/11/16/a-case-for-the-father-the-son-and-the-holy-spirit-all-one-of-them/).

    Regarding Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all worshiping the same God, this is true in a very real sense. The divergence occurs with specific doctrines, such as the doctrine of the Holy Trinity held by Christians. I think this is significantly important in the understanding of God. Muslims, for example, rightly feel that if Jesus claimed to be God, but was not actually God, then the resurrection of Jesus would never have occurred due to the blasphemy of Jesus. Christians, of course, believe that Jesus was God, Jesus states He is God, and Jesus, therefore, was not a blasphemer. Jews also do not buy in to the Holy Trinity, or the New Testament for that matter. Ultimately all three religions believe in the same God; however, all three religions cannot be correct concerning the nature of God.

    Well what if, as was mentioned in this discussion, God changes over time? God is, in my view, unchanging. God did, however, employ a technique of progressive revelation as presented in the Bible. This progressive revelation was not due to any changing nature of God; rather, God, in His omniscience, knows how much we can handle at any given time. As such, God slowly, but surely revealed His nature, and His plan over time, so we could truly and fully understand who it is we are called to worship. I find this to be yet another example of God’s grace.

    Sorry for the long comment. I have yet to be accused of being too brief!

    Believinforareason

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    • As always, I enjoyed your comment very much. I have seen such a triangle with arrows depicting which part can equal which way. It’s interesting. As far as progressive revelation I agree with you completely. I believe God is unchanging which is probably a big factor in why I believe that the three Abrahamic religions believe in the same God.
      As a side note, I find it completely fascinating that Muslims believe that Jesus is the Messiah who is sitting on the right hand of God and will come again but because of strict monotheism find Him to not be God. I wish I could make sense of it.
      Thanks again for the comment!

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  12. “…that Jews and Muslims worship the God of Abraham as do Christians, it becomes more understandable. Many people argue vehemently that Jews and Muslims do not worship the same god that we, as Christians, do. I believe that we do. How can we talk about this and perhaps agree to disagree? ”
    They argue vehemently because that’s a complete wrong assumption. The Muslim race came from the illegitimate child of Abraham and his ‘maid servant’ — not Sarah. That child was sent away, along with his mother…. and promised to be a “great” nation = Islam.
    Christian (followers of Christ and the entire Bible – not just the New Test.) know that Jesus the Christ is the living Son of God. Islam says god has no son. There in itself is enough to know, Islam doesn’t worship the real God, but a god. All ‘religions’ have gods of different sorts they worship (Christianity isn’t a “religion” but a relationship with God) — as told (and warned) in the Bible. But there is still only ONE God. To cut through 20 pgs of explanation – if you’re not worshiping/ believing in the truth God of the Bible – but “another god”, that other god can only be the devil himself, who desires worship and desired to replace God Himself (all in Genesis).
    This is a serious mistake to think we all worship the same God. We do not and cannot simply by what is taught in the Bible, our only source.
    If you’re interested in further information: http://www.thebereancall.org/; and http://www.bereanmemorialchurch.org/ are good places to start.
    Most all the information is provided free of charge.
    Good luck and I pray the Holy Spirit will always be your guide.

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    • I thank you for your comments. I wonder though how much you know about Islam, though. Do you know Muslims believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah sent by God, and that He will sit on the right hand of God? Did you also know that Muslims revere and respect the Bible and teach it with the Qur’an? I have written many other posts about this. It would be great if you checked them out, so you can get a bit of background as to what I was talking about here. It was kind of the end of a many sectioned question.
      I believe that God has not changed since Abraham. God did not split into pieces when the Son came. God remained God and a different aspect of God was revealed to us. Not a change in God, but a new manifestation. Jews still worship the Father God but wait for a different Messiah believing that Jesus is not that Messiah. Muslims believe that Christ is the Messiah. It’s the divinity of Christ that they diverge with. They are a strict monotheistic religion and so that brings about the question I am asking in my post.
      I am well aware of the Biblical story behind Islam.
      Thank you for all your sources. I too pray that the Holy Spirit is my guide and ask questions like these of God daily.
      If you’d like to go into your 20 page explanation I’d love to hear it, but please email me at sacredstruggler@gmail.com Thanks.

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  13. If I could interject, I do understand where RightPunditry is coming from. If belief in the one and only God is defined as how an individual or group understands the nature of God, then I would agree that the three religions you mention (Islam, Judaism and Christianity) could be said to believe in three different Gods. I would not, however, define belief in God in this fashion. I contend that followers of all three religious groups believe in the same God as a foundation. The fact that each of the three aforementioned religions diverge, at points, in how they perceive the nature of God does not change the fact that they truly worship the same actual God. Consider the following example: I own a red Honda Civic. I might see the vehicle as maroon in color, super cool, and ultra-reliable. Another individual might see the same vehicle as brick red, kind of lame, and ultra-reliable. Neither view changes the objective truth that the vehicle is a Honda Civic. It is just the nature of the Honda Civic that is in dispute. The same can be said about how God is viewed by each of the three mentioned religions. God does not change regardless of religious beliefs. As such, followers of all three religions truly worship the same God, as God’s nature is objective and unaffected by our beliefs. This is not to say that all three religions are correct, as basis the critical diverging factors at least two thirds of the religions mentioned have to be wrong. Please know that I do not mean any disrespect by that statement whatsoever. Likely, Jews or Muslims would also make the same statement, though I will not speak for those individuals. Maybe this is just an issue of semantics, but I am in agreement with sacredstruggler. Just my two cents.

    Daniel Edward
    http://believinforareason.com

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    • Sorry this didn’t post for so long. It went to spam, not sure why. It is semantics, however, for some reason that makes it no less important. I am so glad you made this comment and that I checked my spam before deleting so I didn’t lose it. This really helps me see it more clearly than even the egg and water thing. And absolutely I love that you said that it doesn’t mean that they are correct simply that the God we all worship is unchanged by our beliefs about God. How eloquent and simple. My favorite kind of comment! Thanks, I always like to hear from you.

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  14. Just came across your blog, and the title of this post caught my eye.

    Thanks for this interesting post and thoughtful discussion.

    I would prefer not to spend much time talking with a Muslim or Jewish person about the nature of God’s being. It doesn’t matter whether I have water or an egg, I doubt that I’ll be able to do much to clarify the manner in which God exists.

    I’d much rather compare our understandings of the story, as told in The Bible, and discern which of our disagreements might be most important to work out.

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    • Well then. I obviously thought that it was worth discussing. Thanks for stopping by and telling me that what I write does not matter, I guess. Next time, perhaps just continue to the next blog.

      Blessings on your journey.

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