An omnipresent God or a pantheistic God?

Is there really a difference?  A pantheistic God is not only within everything, it IS everything.  An omnipresent God is only within everything.  Of course, if God is within all of me, then isn’t all of me God?  

I feel that the problem is similar to how Jesus and God are supposed to be separate but the same.  If Jesus had a separate nature from God, then would he still be God?  How about if Jesus had the same, shared nature but a separate will?  How could Jesus be God without God being Jesus?  Yet we are asked to understand that some part of Jesus was not God.

The only real difference is the concept of free will.  In a pantheistic God, God does not have a free will.  We do, but he is a part of us or, rather, we are a part of him just as all matter in the universe is a part of him.  Removing God’s free will sounds ridiculous.  

If we have free will, how could God not have free will?  That would almost make us superior to God in a way.  So we have developed this distinction between the omnipresent and the pantheistic God.  God is within us, in some compartment reserved for supernatural beings most likely located in our heart.  In this way, he can retain his free will and we continue to have ours.  But can we still qualify this God-passenger as omnipresent?

If God is omnipresent, is he within our thoughts?  Is our thought itself God?  It’s a vast, gray area which makes me wonder if a pantheistic God is the only form of God which could truly be labeled as omnipresent. If I have free will apart from God, then God does not exist in my free will, and that would negate his omnipresence.

3 thoughts on “An omnipresent God or a pantheistic God?

  1. God says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa 55:8,9). If God were God, how can I imagine I will be able to fully comprehend Him?

    The Bible makes a simple distinction. He is the Creator of the universe. We are part of His creation. We are distinct from Him and different from Him – and as far removed from Him as infinity is from anything finite.

    So how can we ever hope to know such an infinite God? Only if He chooses to make Himself known – and even then, our finite minds can only grasp so much. The Bible says that He has done exactly that. “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Heb 1:1,2)

    I find it easier to accept what I read about God from the Bible, than to philosophize about Him with my limited understanding. However, my Mathematics background helps me see why some of your “how can” statements are fallacies. For example, you ask about how Jesus and the God the Father can be two different Persons. Read up about “Isomorphic Sets” in Mathematics, and then see what happens when the sets are also infinite. This is not just a “can” scenario, but there are mathematical examples of this. If you learn the properties of one and you know the other, even though the other is different. When I come across such concepts, I am humbled and find it easier to accept what the Bible reveals about God, even if I cannot fully understand it.

    Coming to the main premise of this blog – a statement such as “God is omnipresent” is an oversimplification using human language and human understanding to describe something about our infinite God. If you don’t take it literally in a physical sense but understand that it means that nothing is “far” from God, then there is no problem. Again, with advances in Quantum Mechanics we see strange things even in the material world. An electron theoretically is not a particle at a given place at a given time, but a wave function, which is in a sense “everywhere” at that instant. So if Quantum Mechanics can turn my “common sense” upside-down, how much more should I cover my mouth with my hand, when God tells me about Himself, and just receive it with awe and wonder.

    1. Thanks for your comment(s). Actually, I don’t recall using too many “how can” statements. In fact, the whole purpose of my blog is to show how Christianity as well as all other religions all underestimate God. The Bible is God’s revelation to us. It is all we need to know but not necessarily all we “can” know.

      The purpose of this specific post was not to diminish God in anyway. I do however feel that we can understand God’s attributes to a greater degree than what religion would want us to believe. Did you ever realize that there is no degreed program for metaphysics? Forget a purely scientific program, we don’t even have programs about the study of God from the Christian perspective. Why is that? My guess is because either we are not allowed to ask the questions, or we’re too afraid to know the answers.

      When you say “just cover my mouth with my hand…and receive it with awe”, you have to be very careful you don’t walk the same line as the Church did when they decided to discredit and arrest Galileo. I appreciate what you said about Quantam Physics, and I will explore more about Isomorphic Sets. You should not use the fear of turning your “common sense” about God upside down as a reason to decide that you know “enough about God.”

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