Against omnipotence


The Tikkun web site has published an article by Be Scofield that lays out many arguments against the notion of an omnipotent, interventionist deity. Much of what he says about the problem of God playing favorites in response to prayer echoes what John Shelby Spong has written on the subject of prayer (and his use of non-theistic in describing God suggests a possible connection to Spong.) Scofield writes this:

If one abandons the notion that God can intervene in the world to answer prayer God all of a sudden looks much different. Gone is the notion that the Holocaust could have been prevented and was part of God’s divine and “awesome” plan. Gone is the immense power for God to take sides in war as illustrated in the Hebrew Bible. Gone is a God that plays favorites. No longer can God be omnipotent as previously understood because God lacks the power to act in the world. For many who begin to interpret the divine in this non-theistic new light, God then becomes synonymous with love, creative energy and relatedness. Just because the theology of yesterday is insufficient for our modern standards doesn’t mean we need to abandon God, religion or appreciation for the divine.
Well stated, and I couldn't agree more.


CT said...

The bottom line is that omnipotence doesnt reflect reality. Not in any way that makes any sense of our world or our history.

BTW - that first comment on this topic leads to a site called 'Dating Young Girls' or something like that. Any way that e-blogger can prevent that sort of rubbish ?

Mystical Seeker said...

I don't know of a way to block this kind of spam with blogger. Wordpress has a nice spam blocking feature, but I am not aware of one with blogger.

Cynthia said...

Power is all about control and we humans have great difficulty with not having any control, so we project it onto the mystery that we call God. Love is a power with no control because it would not be love if it did have control. Those who desire control have no clue about the power that love has.

Reminds me of Lord Voldemort.

CT said...

"Power is all about control and we humans have great difficulty with not having any control, so we..."

The atheist answer is

"......create a being called God that makes us feel that we do retain some control. Its illusory"