My God is Greater than your God. A Muslim, a Calvinist, and a Catholic

My God is Greater than your God. A Muslim, a Calvinist, and a Catholic

Everyone will tend to defend God according to what they consider to be the highest principle. Muslims likes to focus on God’s power and how to him man must submit - the meaning of Islam. He relishes in the idea of how man submits to the great power of Allah, their name for God. They believe God is so powerful, that nothing can constrict or bind him. He is free, they believe to even lie or contradict himself and they believe that shows his power. Or at least that is how they explain the contradictions in the Koran. And so, the Muslim will relish in the idea of God contradicting himself.

A Calvinist likes intellectual mystery. He holds that God predestines some people to go to heaven and others to go to hell. Each person has a fate at birth that cannot be avoided. However, it is hard to understand how a person will be sent to hell and even from birth has no chance to avoid that outcome. The Calvinist will relish in the idea that God’s ways are so beyond our understanding.

“God himself is willful, incomprehensible, and even self-contradictory, since he is good but makes man incapable of anything but evil.”
James Kalb’s
explanation of Luther’s theology.

For the Catholic God’s greatest attribute is love. And so, the Catholic will always explain how God’s actions are based on love.

So, for the Catholic, we will always explain verses like the one below in the Old Testament in the context of God’s perfect love and how he gives each person a chance to be saved.

Ezekiel 14:9
“And if the prophet be deceived and speak a word, I, the Lord, have deceived that prophet …” RSVCE

So, in response to

The Old Testament often speaks of what God allows by His Divine Providence as what God does. So, if God deceives them, it is because they willed act contrary to God’s will and they deserved to be treated as such and God’s plan was best for all, and IF they had truly desired to repent of their sin God would take them back.

See forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=14556402&postcount=9

Which attribute is your favorite, his Power, his incomprehensible ways, or His Love ?

Hope this helps.

John

.

This was really interesting. And I’d have to say my favorite attribute is His love. Which is pretty incomprehensible and powerful, isn’t it? :wink:

Thanks. Good point.

It seems to me that part of the problem with the Ezekiel question has to do with what the Bible is. We agree that the Bible is not a verbatim text that God sent to us through the prophets. (that would be too close to Islam)
We also agree that the Old Testament is inspired by God, but no where do we take the meaning of each passage literally.
Is it then possible to hypothesize that a statement of a prophet of the Old Testament, inspired as he was, could convey an idea which on its own can fall outside what the church teaches regarding God, his prophets and the Old Testament?
Just asking.

In defense of what I call the Catholic approach to explaining these bible passages, today’s Bible reading is quit useful.

Wisdom Chapter 12:13, 16-19

There is no god besides you who have the care of all,
that you need show you have not unjustly condemned.
For your might is the source of justice;
your mastery over all things makes you lenient to all.
For you show your might when the perfection of your power is disbelieved;
and in those who know you, you rebuke temerity.
But though you are master of might, you judge with clemency,
and with much lenience you govern us;
for power, whenever you will, attends you.
And you taught your people, by these deeds,
that **those who are just must be kind;
**and you gave your children good ground for hope
that you would permit repentance for their sins.

1 Timothy 2:3-6
“This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 **who desires all men to be saved **and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all …”

My response on how to respond to the Muslim and how to show the Christian, the One and only True God is more powerful, see

defendingthebride.com/sc/greatness.html#muslim

John
.

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