Sunday, April 13, 2008

Abrahamic conceptions of God
Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Bahá'í Faith see God as a being who created the world and who rules over the universe. God is usually held to have the properties of holiness (separate from sin and incorruptible), justice (fair, right, and true in all His judgments), sovereignty (unthwartable in His will), omnipotence (all-powerful), omniscience (all-knowing), omni-benevolence (all-loving), omnipresence (present everywhere at the same time), and immortality (eternal and everlasting). He is also believed to be transcendent, meaning that He is outside space and outside time, and therefore eternal and unable to be changed by earthly forces or anything else within His creation.
Jews, Christians, Muslims and Bahá'ís often conceive of God as a personal God, with a will and personality. However, many rationalist philosophers felt that one should not view God as personal, and that such personal descriptions of God are only meant as metaphors, as it was widely viewed that God's transcendence meant that He could not act in the lives of ordinary people.
In Christianity, it remains essential that God be personal; hence it speaks of the three persons of the Trinity. It also emphasizes that God has a will, and that God the Son has two wills, divine and human, though these are never in conflict. However, this point is disputed by Oriental Orthodox Christians, who hold that God the Son has only one will of unified divinity and humanity (see Miaphysitism). The personhood of God and of all human people is essential to the concept of theosis or deification.
In Mormonism, God the Father and God the Son are considered personal beings who have separate tangible exalted bodies and one purpose given that they are each omniscient, omnipotent, and omni-benevolent. LDS teachings include that God the Father is the literal father of the spirits of all of mankind, that He loves each of His children unconditionally, and that He desires that they progress in their own ability to love, to experience joy and faith, and to learn the truths that govern the universe. He is the center of LDS worship as the governing Supreme Being in the universe. The mainstream LDS teaching is that God the Father does much of His "work" through God the Son, who is Jesus Christ, and that this delegation and divine investiture of authority occurred during what is described as the pre-existence (pre-mortal life) when all the spirit children of God lived in His presence. It includes the belief that both God the Father and Jesus Christ were involved in the creation (from existing matter or energy) of this earth and other similar earths and many of the stars and planets in the known universe. It also includes the belief that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was the Jehovah of the Old Testament. This teaching is prevalent in the Book of Mormon. The LDS belief is that Abraham received revelation from Jehovah, including the Abrahamic covenant and the Abrahamic test to see if he was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac in similitude of the sacrifice God the Father would offer to mankind through the willing offering of His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ to carry out the infinite atonement. The belief includes Abraham's faith in the promise of resurrection for Isaac, as stated by the Apostle Paul in KJV Hebrews 11:17-19.

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