Sunday 27 October 2019

God in us, and/or outside us

Is God outside of us and/ or is God within us? This is often framed in terms of transcendent or immanent - but these are freighted terms, and create an either/or dichotomy that cannot be resolved except by 'mystery' formulations.

God is outside us because God is the creator of this world. And God is also within us because we are his children, and inherited divinity from him.

This is not generally accepted in any simple or literal sense by mainstream Christians, because they regard God as transcendent, utterly other, beyond, and qualitatively different from us... outside time, space and creation. Such a God cannot really be within us and also a part of us because so utterly alien from us.

Those who regard God as wholly immanent do not see God as a personal creator. They cannot coherently regard life as meaningful or purposive - things just are.

But if we instead regard time as part of primary reality, then we can understand this in a sequential fashion.

God (Heavenly parents, man and woman - that is persons) is in the universe, which always existed in uncreated form. And this primal reality also contained the primordial Men - some eternal essence distinct from God: these are the Beings.

Thus God is outside of us. God is separate persons from us, God created this world - and we did not.

God created creation (as it were ) around-themselves (and this is continuous); and also took the Beings that are potential God (i.e. primordial men and women) and procreated us into the children of God. Therefore God is now within us; by inheritance.

This is how Jesus could become fully divine, on a par with our Heavenly parents (although still their children, and still living in their creation) and how we too can potentially become fully divine; because God is literally within us.

As Jesus tells us in the Fourth Gospel - we can become full children of God, and have that Life Everlasting. As fully divine; we can then participate in continuing creation - expanding the pre-existent creation by our own unique creativity (that we have by virtue of having been primordially distinct from our Heavenly parents - so we are not merely copies nor combinations of them).

And this is what God wants, more than anything, and is the reason behind creation. So that our Heavenly parents are no longer alone, but surrounded by a divine family of divine children; engaged in the divine work of creation.

And what makes this all fit together, so that creation is a harmony despite being the open-ended work of many and diverse minds, is Love. Love is the primary value and basis of creation.

It is Love that means there is no conflict but instead glorious harmony, between God without and God within.


Rich said...


Did God create love or is it intrinsic to the eternal?

Bruce Charlton said...

ads. My understanding is that love originated with our Heavenly Parents, and then made possible creation.

Rich said...

Thank you for your response.

Bruce Charlton said...

Comment from Jared:

This post seems true.
One of the things that God's way of creating makes possible is He gives us resources to be able to make choices and this, even though we will choose in some ways to go against His better advice and commandments.
I think we all have experience with this, it is part of the investment of everyday life, where we trust people enough to interact with them even though sometimes we have to adjust who and how we trust after more information.
All the gospel principles interact and are related to one another. Justice, love, and mercy harmoniously meet to make existence and growth possible.
Like in craftsmanship it is not always that you never make a little mistake, but you learn more and more how to correct mistakes.
Or in interacting with people it's not that you don't have your our idiosyncracies, it's that you learn to be aware of them and make allowances for them.
In focusing on a home-centered, church supported church the LDS church is teaching again in a way adapted for our times that we each are children of God and can seek His direction in things that matter in our lives.