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Mere Christianity; Space is the place

Jon Kennedy
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Jon Kennedy's recent book, The Everything Guide to C.S. Lewis and Narnia, from Adams Media, F&W Publications, is available for purchase in support of the Liberty Museum in Nanty Glo and can be ordered here. It is also available on Amazon.




In the previous Jonal I introduced Jonathan Edwards's idea that space (as he defined it) is God, and among other questions, I asked, "If God is space, what about Genesis 1:1, 'In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth'? What is the difference between space and 'the heaven'?" My take is that both space and heaven have dual meanings. Heaven can mean 1) the sky / the atmosphere, or 2) the place we go to (God willing) when we die / God's place. And space can be 1) the room or "locus" occupied by any object, or 2) it can be the locus of the cosmos, the whole universe (deep space or all space). So when we refer to either space or heaven as where God is, we are speaking of an eternal place, not one created. So Genesis 1:1 must be understood as meaning, "in the beginning, God created our heaven (our space, and, it occurs to me, the place occupied by the heavenly beings other than God, the angels) and our earth."

I recently saw a TV broadcaster answering a child's question, "if God created us and the world, who created God?" Unfortunately, the answer, from a world-famous evangelical personality, "We don't know where God came from" must be labeled a heretical error that the church has consistently fought against from New Testament times to the present. The church has always known, as the Old Testament church before it knew, that God didn't come from anywhere. He has always been who and what and "where" He is now. He is unoriginate by definition. He is and always has been everywhere. Before the creation of the universe there was no time, so I'm even in error in speaking of a "before creation"...but I'm getting ahead of the topic.

As always when I take up a "mere Christian" topic in this space I'm assuming the Judeo-Christian understanding of God and what nature and Scripture reveal about Him and the material world, not other doctrines like gnostic views, the latest PBS physics or new-age theories. They're all up for discussion if anyone wants to go there, and I definiely plan to go back, in later installments, to how we (the Judeo-Christian "church") came to arrive at our big assumptions about God, but first some more unpacking of Edwards's awesome proposition that God is space.

I wrote recently that it seems hard to conceive of a God big and powerful enough to create a universe as vast and complex as we know (from current science) exists. But the problem with doubting that is that the only alternative is even harder to believe (at least to my thinking). That is that the universe created itself. That's what all the atheistic physicists like Stephen Hawking and the evolutionists' theories amount to (and I'm not implying that all physicists and evolutionists are atheistic; they're not). And lots of new agers and latter day gnostics profess that belief when they throw out little religious mantras like "we'll ask the universe" to grant whatever favor we want (I've heard it from personal acquaintances repeatedly). There's even an organized cult in Australia, I've read, based on "the Force," the variation of "the-universe-as-creator" theory put forth by the Star Wars movies.

So when I read Edwards's claim that space and the Creator are the same person, that struck me as closer than I ever expected to come to the religion of the self-creating universe. That, as I started out by saying, is mind-blowing. Some of these believers in a personal universe might at least be willing to shift their attention to the envelope that holds the universe. That might take a "leap," as most believers in alternatives to orthodox Christianity seem reluctant to reconsider what they've already consciously rejected as somehow not for them. But you never know when your quest for coreligionists might turn up someone with an open mind.

— Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Feedback: I received one reply to the previous Jonal:

Two things: One of my all-time favorite books is True Spirituality by Francis Schaeffer. In it, he posits that the only difference (basically!) between the spiritual world and the material is that it is unseen by us. It's all at hand; we just can't see it. There is something of the God-space in that, I think. Beyond my mortal ken.

The other thing is: Genesis says that "the earth was without form and void." I'd like to know (and will, eventually!) what that exactly means. It implies that there was an "earth," but that it was without form and void. Earthness, if you will. Or not? In the mind of God, but not physically created yet? Wow.

Loved your post. God is a consistent mind-blower, that's for sure.


Any suggestions about what the significance of "the void" might be?