About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
or Interactive Theism
Many of America's founding fathers, including Thomas Jefferson, adopted a popular concept
of their day called Deism. In
part, Deism asserts that a deity (call Him God if you like) created all
things, but once created, He removed Himself from creation and let it
proceed to exist by natural laws. Consequently,
Deists believe that God does not interact with humanity, which includes
Him becoming human in the form of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am convinced that God created all things but I am far from convinced that Genesis 1 is an account of material creation. I am also convinced that God does interact with His creation more than we think, something King David addressed in Psalms 139:13. "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my motherís womb." You may question whether David was expressing his own opinion or God's opinion concerning this issue. That is a matter of your view of Biblical inspiration. I believe David was expressing the mind of God.
The common western world consensus concerning conception and embryonic growth is a matter of biology and natural law, which Deists affirm. It's simple. Two cells unite, and the rest is biological history as natural law takes its course. David had little to no concept of biological science. He understood that it was God who created him. God, not just biology, knit him together in his mother's womb. That implies God's active involvement in the process by which he came into existence, something Deism rejects.
With some validity
one might argue that David was expressing the cultural consensus of the
non-scientific age in which he lived.
All ancient near-eastern cultures, including Jewish culture of
David's day, believed that the gods, or God, were intrinsically active in
creation. Ancient near-eastern
culture had no concept of God or the gods existing apart from creation.
Deistic thought concerning this is a product of a scientific era,
thus its rise to popularity in the 17th century.
Hebrews 1:3, which
was written centuries after Psalm 139, confirms David's theistic view of
God's interaction with creation. "The
Son is the radiance of Godís glory and the exact representation of His
being, sustaining all things by His powerful word."
According to the author of Hebrews, Jesus is an exact human
representation of God. Furthermore,
He sustains or holds all things in place by His powerful word.
Hebrews 1:3 provides Biblical evidence that God is constantly
involved in His creation.
to the above two passages and others like them, God, who is separate and
distinct from His creation, exists and interacts with His creation. Although
science now tells us that the newly discovered, so-called "God particle"
sustains and holds all things in their place, from a Biblical perspective,
there is more to this issue than that.
I am not discounting the science, but from a Biblical
perspective, God ultimately sustains, knits, and holds all things
together. Whether they are
subatomic particles or the planets in the universe, God is the Sustainer
of all things.
speaking, the Bible states that it is God who knits a preborn human within
the mother's womb. It is God
who sustains all things. It is
God who holds the subatomic particles in their place.
It is God who keeps the universe from exploding out of existence
until such time when heaven and earth will flee from His presence
As Christians, we
should be careful not to discount science.
On the other hand, we cannot, and must not, confuse Deism with what
I call "Interactive Theism." We
are not Deists. We believe
that God is actively involved in every aspect of creation.
He entered humanity in the form of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He enters the believer's life in the form of the Holy Spirit.
We were created to participate in God's divine nature.
"Through these he has given us his very great and precious
promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine
nature" (2 Peter 1:4).
I, like the Apostle
Paul, thank God for His involvement in my life.
"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in Christís
triumphal procession and through us spreads the aroma of the knowledge of
him in every place" (2 Corinthians 2:14).