Tuesday, May 02, 2006

On Love and God and the understanding of the world

The following incredibly dramatic and important excerpt is from pages 50 & 51 of Bible and Science by S. L. Jaki.
-- Dr. Thursday
This dynamic mental grasp by both the learned and the simple of an all far beyond human enumeration witnesses the eminently philosophical, that is, metaphysical, acumen of the human mind. But in the case of the Hebrews that acumen rested on grounds that, in addition to being human, were godly as well. Such is, above all, the insistence in Genesis 1 that the all made by God is good, and indeed very good. That goodness meant much more than, say, the stability of an edifice. It carried the broader meaning which is celebrated, for instance, in Psalm 136, where the assertion of God's goodness is introductory to the repeated assertion that "his great love is without end."

That God does indeed love and can in turn be loved is that most godly ground upon which rests the Hebrew (biblical) understanding of the world. It is a ground that sets that understanding wholly apart from the Babylonian as well as the Egyptian world views, although in its grasp of purely physical details it does not differ from them. There is still to be found a clay tablet to the effect that man is loved by any of the deities comprising the Babylonian or the Egyptian pantheon, or by any of the countless Baals of the Canaanites, and that therefore man has to love them. Moreover, that biblical understanding of the world, as rooted in God's love for his creatures, is the supreme protection against the temptation to assume that behind the all too numerous physical and moral catastrophes there is an evil principle equal in dignity and power to God.

The barring of such a principle (another aspect of the absolute sovereignty of God) assures that nothing can, in independence of him, influence any event or process in heaven or on earth.


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