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?