Omnipresence: Biblical, logical, necessary?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Greektim, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. Greektim

    Greektim
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    First, is it Biblical? Ps 139:7-12 and Jer 23:23-24 seem to indicate it BY INFERENCE. But it is not stated clearly. It appears multi-presence is affirmed. But not necessarily omni-presence.

    Second, is it even logical? Doesn't it imply that God is in hell? Doesn't it seem pantheistic in some sense?

    Third, is it even necessary? I mean, if God resides on his throne and takes up residence in his temple & God knows and sees everything from his locale, does he even need to be everywhere? Couldn't God's omnipresence be better understood as not being everywhere but simply knowing and observing everything and thus communicating it in terms of multiple presences??? Does God know everything b/c he is everywhere observing everything OR is God expressed in multiple locales because he knows everything and observes everything form his place of residence (throne and temple)???
     
  2. preachinjesus

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    I actually think these verses are pretty good. I'd also toss in Peoverbs 15:3.

    Omnipresence, properly defined, clearly moves away from pantheism and panentheism. If one thinks omnipresence is pantheistic it often arises from a poor definition of omnipresence.

    One of the things that I think it important here is noting that God has causal access to all places and all times in creation. One, we're talking about this ontological plane where He can be omnipresent. Second, I don't have a problem with God having causal access to Hell...even though I don't believe it is on this ontological plane.

    If God isn't omnipresent then He isn't God. It is vital to our conception of His being to understand Him in all the omnis.

    Perhaps the best person I've read on this issue is William Lane Craig. I'd suggest listening to his talk on this here: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/questions-on-the-singularity-omnipresence-and-morality

    Omnipresence is an important characteristic of God. It is good to have a healthy discussion about it too.
     
  3. humblethinker

    humblethinker
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    Regarding the "Omnis"

    While I would in a sense support all of the traditional 'omnis', I don't think we can quite understand or make sense out of the "omnis" in their maximal, unqualified extremes particularly in relation of one Omni to the others. All existence is in reference to relation so our reasoning should take that into consideration.
     
  4. webdog

    webdog
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    If God is not omnipresent, open theism would be true.
     
  5. humblethinker

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    I don't see why that would necessarily follow. I can imagine having knowledge of something without being present.
     
  6. webdog

    webdog
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    How can you know something without experiencing it? How can He know all yet be confined to time and space?
     
  7. Greektim

    Greektim
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    While I wouldn't deny that those verses may infer that, the most you can say the clearly teach is multi-presence. Or that God's vision is vast that he sees everything (Prov 15:3). Or it appears as hyperbole as in Jer. 23:24 to indicate how God can appear and follow and guide anywhere.

    Couldn't the way we understand God's omnipresence be simply the way God expresses his omniscience or his ability to observe everything from his throne in heaven.

    Which brings me to another thought. Clearly, the OT conceived of sacred space in a different way as opposed to the neo-platonic concept of omnipresence. God's presence was localized to the temple and also in heaven. Now that Christians are the new temple, God's presence is spread to all believers (lo I will be with you always and what not). Are we to say that God's omnipresence is multi-layered? Is it better understood as a hierarchal omnipresence where he is in some places more than others? But this is more of the logical dilemma I was posing.

    The idea is pantheistic in some sense but not equated with it. But that is not even the primary issue for me. I am not saying that God is everything, but if God is in everything b/c he is everywhere, then that is teetering on the pantheistic side (lite?). At least that is how it is perceived.

    This sounds like multi-presence more than omnipresence. Or at the very least he restricts his omnipresence. I don't want to get into the ontological plane issue b/c I'm not sure I draw a dualistic distinction for sacred space. Again, that is neo-platonic.

    Isn't that the error though? Isn't it vital that the conception of God accords with Scripture rather the neo-platonic notions of "all the omnis" and what not? Seriously, I take issue with this argument. How much of our perception of God has been more influenced by neo-platonic thought on perfection and dualisms?

    I'm going to look into the article later.

    I should state too that for orthodoxy sake, I will submit to the teaching. I am just fleshing out questions I am wrestling with in my head.
     
  8. humblethinker

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    And we're getting closer to the point. It is an interesting thing that you seem to imply that knowledge must be due to experience. If this were the case then if God is Omniscient in all extremes and unqualified then he knows what it is like to murder, in every way that murder can be experienced. He knows guilt as well in all the ways knowable, including as someone who IS guilty.

    But getting back to the point of omnipresence correlating to omniscience... There is plenty that is knowable that does not require presence but all that I'd have to prove to make my point is to identify ONE thing that is knowable that is irrespective of presence. Can you really not think of any? This is besides the point anyways. I have no problem with the idea that God is omnipresent, except to say that he is not in places that don't actually exist, but that is an 'omni' with a qualification.
     
  9. psalms109:31

    psalms109:31
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    2 Chronicles 16:9
    For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”

    Zechariah 4:10
    “Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?”

    We can't forget these verses with Proverb 15:3
     
    #9 psalms109:31, Mar 8, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2013
  10. Greektim

    Greektim
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    Yet again, these verses seem to say more about God being omni-observant from his throne (implied omniscient then) rather than he is everywhere. God seeing everything is not a necessary equivalent that he is everywhere. God can see everything from his throne b/c (a) he is transcendent of time/space and so his perspective of time/space is completely different from ours (b) omniscient & (c) ordained it all as it were. Thus I even wonder about the necessity of omnipresence.
     
  11. humblethinker

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    "They have bound God to Omnipresence!" Shouldn't one be able to say that if He is not Omnipresent the way that I think he should be then HE IS NOT GOD? When people say stuff like that, is it a threat? As in, "If God is like that then I can't believe in him!"?
     
  12. psalms109:31

    psalms109:31
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    We have God in our box of understanding, how can God be everywhere at one time in every time and be just in a moment just with you spending time watching just you.

    I believe it is through God given us a life to our self like He did His Son Jesus Christ.

    John 5:26
    For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.

    In that life to our self He can be in a moment with us in a relationship with Him and only Him.

    To be in a relationship it is just the two of us. We can't be every where at one time in every time and be in one moment with our love one.

    God can that is why He can be in a relationship just with us and be every where at one time at the same time.

    God does not desire a relationship with Himself, He desires a relationship with you personally that is why you have a life to your self in the boundaries God has placed us in, a free agency.
     
    #12 psalms109:31, Mar 9, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2013

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