Where did God live before heaven was created?


#1

When I was saying the Apostles’s Creed this morning I started to wonder why we say, "I believe in God the Father Almighty creator of heaven[size=] and earth?
If God is eternal it seems strange that he had to create the place where he exists already. [/size]


#2

What if He just exists and doesn’t need a “place”?


#3

I haven’t been to heaven yet but I hear it is an eternal infinite “place”. It just seemed strange to my little finite brain that we even mention the fact that God “created” an eternal place. Can anything that is eternal be created?:shrug:


#4

hi,

perhaps the creed means the heavens and the earth rather than
"HEAVEN". Heaven is wherever God is, e.g. in the tabernacle, in our souls at communion time, wherever the Body of Christ is.
to paraphrase John Paul II , heaven, more than a place, is a mode of existance, a glorious union with God.

God bless,

johnco


#5

From the Catechism regarding this section of the Creed:

325 The Apostles’ Creed professes that God is “creator of heaven and earth”. The Nicene Creed makes it explicit that this profession includes “all that is, seen and unseen”.

326 The Scriptural expression “heaven and earth” means all that exists, creation in its entirety. It also indicates the bond, deep within creation, that both unites heaven and earth and distinguishes the one from the other: “the earth” is the world of men, while “heaven” or “the heavens” can designate both the firmament and God’s own “place” - “our Father in heaven” and consequently the “heaven” too which is eschatological glory. Finally, “heaven” refers to the saints and the “place” of the spiritual creatures, the angels, who surround God.


#6

It is the word “create” that I am still concerned about not the word “heaven”. However, I very much appreciate your definitions of heaven. Thank you.

No matter what the definition of heaven might be, it seems ackward to say that God created heaven. It sounds as ackward as saying “God created Himself”.


#7

Long ago in one of my Catholic philosopy classes, I think it was Ontlology (the study of being), we covered the concept of “place”. “Place” was defined as “the innermost,immobile surface of a surrounding body”. The professor (and textbook) went on to explain that only physical matter occupies “place”. Since God is not made up of physical parts, we could not refer to Him as “occupying place”. Therefore, the answer to the question “Where is God?” does not apply. The correct answer is "God is not anywhere, because only material things occupy place.

So, as to the question of “Where was God before He created Heaven?” we would have to answer "He did not occupy any “place”. He just Is, complete in every way without need for a “place” (like heaven) in which to be. He created heaven for His own purposes, like a “state of being, as a reward for HIs created created creatures.” If He choose to expose Himself as a part of this “state of being for HIs creatutes”, that is His prerogative.

I hope this helps.


#8

Thank you to all of you who took the time to answer.

It is fun to stretch the mind to try to imagine a Godly existence without all of God’s creations.

I’ll accept the fact that God created a heavenly place as a reward for his created creatures. God created heaven for his angels and then later created hell after there was a need for it. We earthly creatures can now use our free will to chose one or the other.

I will say a special Apostles’ Creed tonight for Genek, 1ke, johnco, and davidv

:heaven: :gopray:


#9

The logic of existence as we know it is a part of creation and the concept of existence in one state or place and not another is also a logical part of creation.

God’s existence defies all logic. It is logical that the Creator of logic would have an existence that is outside logic and defies logic.


#10

No, logic applies to God. Else why would all the philosophers be talking about what He is and what He is not? When philosophers say “God is not finite, therefore He is infinite” they’re applying logic to God.


#11

Thought I’d point out that technically “Heaven” is the condition of union with God, so when (if that’s even the word) nothing but God existed, there was nothing to be in union with Him…except possibly that the three Hypostases were in union, come to think of it.

Ouch…the Trinity hurt my brain.

Also, though, before the creation of the physical universe there was no change, therefore there was no time–so it’s actually meaningless to say “before Heaven”.


#12

I think if in the Apostles Creed, “heaven” is “the heavens”, then God doesn’t “need” to be there, since He is in Heaven, which is, by definition, wherever He is. Hell, by contrast, is where He is not, which wasn’t anywhere, until the fallen angels cut themselves off.


#13

We apply logic and use logic because it is the only language of understanding that we have.

My point is that God created the language. We don’t have the vocabulary to fully describe Him.

This is evident in that His Existence as both Three and One is not logical. But as I said, it is logical that the Creator of logic would not be bound by logic.


#14

I agree. We apply logic to God, but that does not necessarily mean logic applies.

I remember that old saw about God and a rock, the one that atheists trot out a lot.

Q. Can God make a rock so heavy He can’t lift it?
Me. Yes.
Q. But if He can’t lift it, then He isn’t omnipotent, so He’s not God.
Me. Not at all. He can still lift it, because He’s God.
Q. But you said He couldn’t lift it.
Me. No, I said He could *make *a rock so heavy that He couldn’t lift it, because He can make anything. I never said He couldn’t also *lift *it if He wanted to, because He can lift anything.
**Q. **But that makes no sense!
Me. Great to be God, innit?

:stuck_out_tongue:


#15

If the Trinity is not logical, then the Councils of Nicea and Constantinople, as well as many Saints and Doctors, wasted a lot of time trying to understand the difference between substance and person.


#16

Q: What did God do before He created?

A: Nothing, He did not have time.

.


#17

The Trinity is a mystery. This is taught by the Church. One of the reasons for this is because we believe that God is One and God is Three. Not God is One or God Is Three. God always, whatever that is, One and Three.

It is the same as saying 1 and 0 in a digital computer memory at the same time. It is either 1 or 0, on or off, true or false. To say that something is true and false at the same time is not logical.

This is how the Trinity is a mystery and is mathematically impossible not logical. The way I reconcile this is to say, Well then God must have created math and logic. The beauty of this is that you don’t have to hurt your brain thinking about the Trinity. You realize that since your brain works in the language of logic and God invented the language He is going to have to give you a different language to understand it so don’t try to understand it right now.


#18

That is not what the teaching of the Trinity is! The teaching is that God is of one substance, but three persons! It is not contradictory when God is one SOMETHING and three SOMETHING ELSE. There can be no contradiction in God.

This principle (of non-contradiction) is the first principle of logic. Thus logic is present in God and comes from God, but that is different than saying that God created logic. For if God created logic, then God is not bound to logic, and logic itself loses its force (a least in theology), and we slip into radical relativism-at least in relation to theology.

We might still be able to say things about the world, but we could then say nothing about God, not even negatively! Many of the Church Fathers (such as the Cappadocians) said we can’t make positive statements about God, except insofar as we can deduce them from what we know God is not (this is known as apophasis). Like as I said before, we know God cannot be finite, therefore He is infinite. But if say that God is beyond logic, then we cannot conclude even that.


#19

I don’t think substance is the right word here but I understand what you mean, One God, Three Persons where all Three are Fully God and not a part of God. I agree, it is not a contradiction and that is why it is a mystery. It does have the appearence of contradiction. The appearence of contradiction is that each individually could not be fully God and at the same time there be One God. But if I said there was a contradiction the better understanding is that it is a mystery.

I’m not sure how God creating logic causes us to slip into relativism in relation to theology. Our understanding of God is based upon faith and reason. The faith includes the mystery parts so we can say God is Three Persons and God Is One and all Persons are Fully God. Faith allows us to leave logic or reason behind and just believe. Reason is limited but it is a big part if our purpose; to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him.

Why not? Logic may be limited but it is not useless. Logic, natural law and moral law are all true even if God is not bound by any of it. God can do all things. Logic and Math are not above God, therefore I submit that God created them for us to think and to come to know Him in as much as we can.

I believe math is a part of creation. 2+2=4 is true because God said so, not just because it is.

I admit though, Genesis does not include, God said let there be Math. It is speculation on my part, but I don’t think I’m stepping outside Church teaching.


#20

The word that the Council used was “Ousia” which is Greek. In Latin this word was translated as “substantia” and in English: Substance. The word for persons was “hypostases”

I’m not sure how God creating logic causes us to slip into relativism in relation to theology. Our understanding of God is based upon faith and reason.

No logic, then no reason, hence relativism.

Why not? Logic may be limited but it is not useless. Logic, natural law and moral law are all true even if God is not bound by any of it. God can do all things. Logic and Math are not above God, therefore I submit that God created them for us to think and to come to know Him in as much as we can.

I believe math is a part of creation. 2+2=4 is true because God said so, not just because it is.

I admit though, Genesis does not include, God said let there be Math. It is speculation on my part, but I don’t think I’m stepping outside Church teaching.

But if God is not bound by logic, and by that I mean logic is not part of God and was created by Him, then God becomes an absurd notion. Anything and its contrary could be asserted about God they would be both true and not true. Religion and theology become meaningless.

Let’s assume that God created logic and ask ourselves a few questions.

Is God created or uncreated? He’s uncreated.

Is the world created or uncreated? It’s created.

Does an uncreated thing come into being? No.

Does a created thing come into being? Yes.

Is it possible for an uncreated being not to exist prior to a created being? No, that is not possible. (If you say yes, then God came into being with creation, which is both absurd and opposed to what is said above.)

Thus did God exist prior to His creation? Yes, per what was said above.

Is God temporally prior to His creation? No, for God is outside of time.

Is God logically prior to His creation? Yes, this follows from what was said above. (If God is neither temporally nor logically prior to creation, then in what way is He prior to creation?)

Therefore, if God is logically prior to His creation, logic is not a part of that creation. QED.

I think you are stepping outside of Church teaching on this. I don’t know anywhere where the Church says “Logic flows from God’s essence; it was not created by Him” but it certainly has been assumed by the Doctors and philosophers.


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