Colossians 1:17 (NET)- He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him.
Years ago I sat down for a conversation with a potential disciple who had a seminary degree and a doctorate in philosophy. She was trained by one of the best seminaries in the nation and her grammatical veracity was admittedly impeccable. I admired her level of intelligence and ability to reason, yet it also seemed that her abilities served as a spiritual barrier to grasping a transcendental awareness of the Gospel..
When we walked out of the establishment where we were sharing a coffee, I noticed that she seemed pretty shaken-up. I asked my sister in Christ what was wrong, to which she responded:
“I’m not used to mystical theology. I wasn’t trained in that school of thought and I have problems accepting it, even though what you say sounds rational.”
I felt an immediate overwhelming feeling of compassion for her. She was right…since Western seminaries don’t usually expose divinity students to the almost incalculable wealth of Patristic (disciples of the Apostles) philosophy and wealth of transcendental knowledge.
In fact, the medieval university model followed by Western seminaries and the Christian denominations they have birthed, greatly discourage any inkling of doctrine that seems to transcend the superficial definitions that our scholastics have forced upon us.
My friend and I were talking about the dynamic presence of God that not only stands in distinction from His creation, but also permeates, sustains and holds together all things.
My friend had virtually built her entire life upon the faulty Protestant conception of God which depicts Him as completely separated from His creation, yet imminent.
In most Protestant theologies, the relationship between God and His creation is usually expressed through words that form a two-dimensional depiction in our minds that is alien to the Scriptures and Apostolic teaching. This understanding of God’s diametrical relationship with His creation is usually expressed with the following axiom:
“God is outside of Space and Time.”
When the Apostle Paul was preaching to the Greek philosophers on Mars Hill, he explained that throughout the span of human history, God had determined and established the “Space and Time” for every nation that has existed upon the face of the planet. (Acts 17:26) This of course, included their distinct cultures, languages and particular notions regarding the divine.
In Acts 17:27, the Apostle Paul seems to confirm the Protestant concept of the divine as both separated from His creation, yet imminent. The Apostle said that God had done this so that men would seek Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.
As it is… these are very challenging words to the average Evangelical mind, since most are trained to believe in the exclusive nature of popular Christianity which puts forward the proposition that everyone but Christians (and perhaps some Orthodox Jews) are far removed from God.
But verse 27 shatters the Protestant 2-dimensional view of God’s relationship with His creation with the following words:
“For in Him we live and move and have our being.”
In other words, God is not far removed nor existing diametrically opposite from His creation nor His creatures. God is infinitely aware of everything He has created because everything and everyone in Space and Time are CONTAINED WITHIN Him.
Protestants understand that God is omnipresent in the sense that He is present everywhere… but they interpret the concept of God’s divine omnipresence as a diametrical imminence that exists besides His creation. This of course, is a heterodox concept of the divine that is alien to the New Testament.
God is omnipresent, not because He is diametrically present in every locale, but because WE LIVE, AND MOVE, AND HAVE OUR BEING IN HIM!
Apostolic Teaching refers to Christ Jesus as the LOGOS (Word) of God, which is the external expression, manifestation, and glory of the Infinite, Eternal and Incomprehensible, Supreme Consciousness we call GOD. Through the LOGOS all things were made and without him nothing was made that has ever existed. (John 1:3)
Hebrews 1:1-3 (NKJV)- God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…
Astrophysicists explain that gravity holds all things together and that through the process of Time-Space continuum, all things are created, sustained, destroyed and re-created.
Gravity is not God… but it is surely made and sustained by the Word of God, which is the eternal expression of The Supreme Personality of the Godhead.