Down to “Rock Bottom” of Christian Theism: God and the Good

Roger E. Olson | 1/23/2019 | Staff
jster97 (Posted by) Level 3
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Unfortunately for everyone (including God), the vast majority of people who consider themselves Christians have little to no understanding of basic Christian world and life perspective. Unfortunately for Christianity, the vast majority of people who consider themselves astute critics of Christianity have little to no understanding of basic Christian world and life perspective. A few of us Christians do, but getting people, Christians and critics of Christianity, to sit still and listen long enough to understand is almost impossible.

As a student and teacher of Christian intellectual history, I have worked hard to get down to the “rock bottom” of Christian thought. What is the most basic intellectual idea that governs everything else about Christian theism—belief in God and God’s relationship with the world?

Century - Fifth - Thirteenth - C - S

To jump to the twentieth century from the fifth and the thirteenth, C. S. Lewis, a Protestant, grasped this necessary (to escape nihilism) truth and attempted to communicate it through most of his writings—without precisely expressing it in the way I am expressing it here. However, the way I am expressing it here is consistent with Lewis’s entire Christian philosophy.

I believe the Bible simply takes this for granted; there is no other reasonable way to interpret Scripture than this—that the Creator, Redeemer, and Renewer of the world is goodness itself. God is the good and the good is God.

God - Tautology - People - Goodness - God

“God is good” is a tautology but not a useless one. Not useless because so many people misunderstand “goodness” as either whatever God does, making it contingent, or as humans independently of God willing and acting for the happiness of themselves and others. “God is good” really means “the true good, goodness itself, is God.” And God, goodness itself, love, if you will, is that “end” (telos) toward which all of creation is directed internally by virtue of having being....
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