Theology Proper (Part 1)

When one looks at the world around themselves, he or she is faced with certain questions about the universe that demand answers. For example, one of the biggest, if not the biggest questions is “Is there a God?” From this single question proceeds related questions: “What does it mean if there is a God?” or “What does it mean if there is no God?” Everybody must answer these questions and in a certain way all people do answer these questions. Because everybody answers these questions, all people are nature theologians.

A theologian then is one who seeks to answer ultimate questions like the ones above, but also ones like “Why am I here and what is my significance?” What this study will cover is certain aspects of Christianity that we don’t normally cover. For the most part, churches do not typically spend focused time on answering ultimate questions: we typically will have a quick answer that we throw out like the kid in Sunday school who answer “God” or “Jesus” for every question. However, actually discussing the question and showing how to arrive at the answer to these questions is sometimes more profitable then the answer itself.

We will begin our study with Theology Proper. What is theology proper? It comes from two Greek words: theos meaning God and logia which used in certain contexts means the study of. So, theology proper is the branch of theology dealing with the first member of the trinity: the Father.

Probably the most asked for and demand question to be answered by Christians is “how can we know if God exists?” This is not an easy question to answer because by definition God cannot be studied by our senses as we would study an insect or the human body. He is by definition invisible, so we cannot observe him directly. Therefore we can only truly study God as he has chosen to reveal Himself through nature and scripture. ((Obviously giving scripture the primary and overriding viewpoint.))

There are four ways that put together form a strong case for the existance that must be reckoned with. Though there are some big words used in this area, the concepts they describe are actually quite simple. The first argument for the existance of God is the cosmological argument.

 I. The Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God

For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God (Heb. 3:4)

We call this argument the cosmological argument because the word kosmos refers to the entire created realms. This includes outer-space and all astrological bodies such as stars, planets, and nebulas. It includes the earth and all its inhabitants of plants, animals, and humans. It also includes things unseen like angels and demons.

The cosmological argument goes like this: (1) the universe and everything created exists. (2) It could not have always existed. (3) therefore, the created realm must have a beginning. (4) the one who began all things must be the one we call God.

 A. Scripture assumes that God is the creator of all things.

The Genesis narrative in chapters 1 and 2 simply state that God is the creator of all things. Both heavenly bodies as well as the earth and its inhabitants are clearly said to be the result of a creator.

 B. Paul affirms that God is the creator and sustainer of all things

Colossians 1:15-20. Christ who is the image of God is creator of all things. In this sense, God created the world through the second person of the trinity, Jesus. Not only did he make all things, but he is actively and intimately involved in sustaining the creation.

The CERN super collider made a couple years ago in Switzerland was designed to explore the most internal details of an atom. In fact, scientists still don’t know why a atom holds together and just does not fly apart and dissolve immediately. One scientist believes that there is a yet to be discovered particle that makes the atom heavy enough so that the electrons do not simply fly away from the atom. Weather or not the particle is found, the ultimate cause of the atom staying together is simply Christ sustaining the world through his vast might.

 C. Old testament writers affirm that God is the creator of all things

Isaiah 44:24. Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, And he that formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; That stretcheth forth the heavens alone; That spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;

Isaiah 45:12. I have made the earth, And created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, And all their host have I commanded.

Jeremiah 10:11,12. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. He hath made the earth by his power, He hath established the world by his wisdom, And hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.

 D. What does the cosmological argument teach us?

The realization that God is creator must cause us to recognize that God owns all things. There is nothing over which God does not claim “mine.” Your time? “Mine.” Your health? Your wealth? Your family? Your home? Your mind? All is “Mine.”

He also has the right to do what he pleases upon and in and through this world. The fact that God created all things ought to move the believer to a place of utter humility.