The nature of God

London based young actor, Kezia, describes her daily life as a Christian

Christians believe that God is one but exists in three different 'persons'. God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - and that these three Persons form a unity. The word Trinity comes from the word 'tri' meaning 'three' and 'unity' meaning 'one'.

  • Omnipotence - God is all-powerful. The evidence for this includes the creation of the world and the resurrection of Jesus.
  • Omnibenevolence - God is all-loving. Christians believe that this is expressed in many different ways. God sacrificed his own son for humanity, which shows how much he loves all human beings without exception.
  • Just - God is fair to all and he forgives those who say sorry for their actions. The Psalms say, God is fair and just (Psalm 25:8).
  • Omniscience - God knows everything. Christians believe that God knows every person's inner thoughts as well as knowing all that has happened and all that will happen in the future.
  • Transcendence - God exists outside of our worldly constraints and physical laws. For example God does not live and die as we do - he is eternal. Complete understanding of God is beyond the human intellect.
  • Immanence - The belief that God is 'in the world'. God has interacted with the world throughout history and continues to do so. For example, Jesus being sent to earth. Nowadays, people believe that God is immanent, working miracles and answering people's prayers.

The problem of evil

Christians can question why evil and suffering in the world still exists if God really is all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving.

Solutions to the problem of evil

The idea that evil can exist alongside an all-loving God produces a problem for Christians. They have developed a few different solutions to this problem:

  • God gave humans free will, so although he exists he cannot interfere in any suffering humans experience either as a result of choices they have made or consequences from the natural world.
  • Experiencing bad things could be a test of faith. For example, in the Holy Bible, Job is tested on many occasions but still keeps his faith in God and ultimately receives a reward.
  • Humans need evil to appreciate good. According to many Christians, balance is essential.
  • God is beyond human understanding, but God is fair so the good will be rewarded in Heaven.
  • Experiencing bad things is all part of God’s plan and humans should respond positively.
Question

What does omniscience mean?

The word omniscience means all-knowing.