HOT TOPIC: God's Nature vs His Character

michael_legna's picture

In another thread we veered off ending up discussing the Nature of God esepcially His omniscience and omnipotence.

I hold that God is ALL powerful and ALL knowing and He just chooses not to do somethings and to not know certain things when it suits His plans.

The other side of the argument is that there are certain things God cannot do, like sin. That it is not just Him choosing to not sin but that He is completely incapable of sin, that it is an actual limit to His omnipotence and omniscience.

This thread is meant to give all an opportunity to present arguments for either side.

I will begin by posting a few responses to the last few posts of one other poster in the previous thread.

michael_legna's picture

God's infinite character is about what is best for all creation

DanFugett asked -
Michael - What does your belief that God could choose to do evil do to your trust in Him? That is, can a God who is capable of lying be trusted to do what He says? What becomes your basis for trust?

I trust in His character, not in His nature. I trust God's infinite will, His infinite resistance to temptation so He will always do good rather than evil.

DanFugett asked -
How do you each resolve the following: If God can send evil spirits on Saul, tempt people with evil, repent that He made humanity and repent of destroying Nineveh when scripture says He doesnt repent like men and doesnt tempt people with evil,

I trust in what He does is best for all men. I believe that those who focus on single verses in isolation and come to the conclusions that those verses can be taken as absolutes are not interpreting the whole of scripture properly. But then I do not accept scripture as so simple any ploughboy can understand it for himself.

DanFugett asked -
then is His character always consistent with His nature?

His nature is absolute and so to is His character so yes in that way they are consistent. But we might ask is infinite mercy and infinite justice consistent? I would say that the answer is no, at least not as we understand them in our puny human minds. But scripture seems to indicate that both positions can be held by God and because I trust in His infinite character I trust the whole of scripture to portray the truth in its entirety.

DanFugett asked -
Is He a God who is both good and evil on the basis of what His Word calls good and evil?

No His infinite character makes Him good, but we are as incapable of judging the goodness as we are are understanding the dynamics of infinite justice and infinite mercy so sometimes to us He may appear inconsistent or in our estimation even to treat people in a way some may claim as evil. But that is our failing not His. I trust that what He does is always best for all of humanity, all of creation. Does God as the potter have to answer to the clay? Is He not free to harden the heart of the Pharaoh if it is best for not only His chosen people but ultimately for all mankind and in deed all of creation?

DanFugett said -
How does an all powerful and moral God allow suffering or sin or the devil or even us to exist?

Because it is best for all of men and all of creation to allow for free will. My guess is that is because without free will everything is meaningless. Without free will there is no love. That is what I believe is what is best for creation, at least as taught in scripture. That is what is meant by scripture saying that God is love.