Re: impassibility (Was Re: Vienna cardinal draws lines in Intelligent Design row)

From: Janice Matchett <janmatch@earthlink.net>
Date: Tue Nov 22 2005 - 16:34:04 EST

At 03:14 PM 11/22/2005, George Murphy wrote:

>I don't describe myself as a panentheist, in
>part because it's often taken to mean that one
>is a process theologian (which I'm not) & in
>part because some who describe themselves in
>that way (e.g., Matthew Fox) let the "en" drop
>out & are hard to distinguish from
>pantheists. But as far as the etymology of the
>word goes, "all in God," there is nothing
>inherently heretical about it. Paul was willing
>to quote a pagan author to the effect that "in
>him we live and move & have our being." Shalom George

### Likewise, ".... Sagan never described
himself as a pantheist; [howevrer] .... pantheism
fit his views better than any other term.
.." http://www.answers.com/topic/pantheism

Pantheism : God is everything.

Panentheism: God is IN everything.

Biblical Christian theism teaches that the
Creator and creation are distinct
(<http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?passage=GEN+1&language=english&version=NIV&showfn=on>Gen.
1,
<http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?passage=JOHN+1:1-3&language=english&version=NIV&showfn=on>John
1:1–3). Panentheism makes no such distinction.
(<http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?passage=EXOD+20:4-6&language=english&version=NIV&showfn=on>Ex.
20:4–6,
<http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?passage=ROM+1:23,25&language=english&version=NIV&showfn=on>Rom.
1:23,25).

We can't legitimately speak in spatial terms
concerning a Being who is Spirit and does not have location in space.

The preposition in has a variety of meanings.

When I say that I am “in hot water,” I am using a
figure of speech to describe my relationship to
trouble, not to my daily shower. Likewise, when I
say that my loved ones will always be “in my
heart,” I am using a figure of speech to describe
a relationship of love. While having a loved one
in your heart pales by comparison to having the
Holy Spirit in you, in both cases a personal
relationship rather than a physical location is being described.

Scripture teaches that the Holy Spirit is not a
material or physical being. In the Gospel of
John, Jesus clearly communicates that “God is
spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).

When Scripture speaks of the Holy Spirit being
omnipresent or present everywhere (Ps. 139:1-10),
it is not communicating that the Holy Spirit is
physically distributed throughout the universe,
but that the Holy Spirit is present (with all His
fullness) in every part of creation; that is, the
Holy Spirit exerts direct causal influence everywhere in space and time.

Scripture teaches God’s creative and sustaining
relationship to the cosmos rather than His physical location in the cosmos.

When 1 Corinthians 6:19 says the Holy Spirit is
in you, it is describing a personal relationship
rather than a physical location.

Thus to say that the Holy Spirit is in you is not
to point out where the Holy Spirit is physically
located, but rather to point out that we have
come into a special, intimate, personal
relationship with Him. When Jesus says, “the
Father is in me, and I in the Father” (John
10:38), He is not speaking of physical location but intimacy of relationship.

The dedicatory prayer of King Solomon (1 Kings 8)
reveals the futility of believing that the
infinite Holy Spirit can be physically contained
in any finite space, let alone the human body.
Indeed, Solomon exclaimed, “But will God really
dwell on earth? The heavens, even the highest
heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this
temple I have built!” (v. 27). Like Solomon, the
apostle Paul affirmed that God “does not live in
temples built by hands” (Acts 17:24).

~ Janice
Received on Tue Nov 22 16:35:58 2005

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