I just encountered a statement that I had to think through to understand fully.

Consider this quote from Dr. Sweet:

Quantum spirituality bonds us to all creation as well as to other members of the human family. . . . This entails a radical doctrine of embodiment
of God in the very substance of creation. . . . But a spirituality that
is not in some way entheistic (whether pan- or trans-), that does not extend to the spirit-matter of the cosmos, is not Christian.

For a theology refresher, he is saying that God is IN creation, in the earth & in humanity (all of it). Not simply by the Spirit of God within the Christian, but everyone and everything.

Panentheism--The belief that the universe is contained within God. The universe is a part of God, but not all of God.

Transtheim--Belief in one or more deities which transcend the universe and yet are also immanent; belief in a panentheistic God.

Psalm 95 says that the sea & the mountains are in His hand & that His hand made the land & the sea. This clearly communicates that He is transcendent over all Creation. Furthermore, the bible proclaims that God is the same yesterday, today & forever, that He is unchanging. Panentheists maintain that God has potential to become or change & that the earth is God's body.

"Penentheism is unbiblical since it denies God’s transcendent nature, says that God is changing, confuses creation with God, denies miracles, and denies the incarnation of Christ along with the atoning sacrifice." (www.carm.org/panentheism)

I wonder how Sweet handles the Scripture that says, "Creation groans...."


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Comment by Joel Royce on March 31, 2010 at 4:28pm
I'd encourage you to share those scriptures that would support your disagreement. But you're right; it is off topic :)

On the breath of life issue, animals also share it with humanity (according to Genesis' use of Nephesh), but plants do not have this breath of life.

Here is where we are back on topic, because this refutes any sort of entheism that uses a 'breath of life' sort of reasoning.
Comment by Joel Royce on March 31, 2010 at 1:16pm
Thanks for the comment.

I am always careful to distinguish between the breath of life (from God) from the indwelling presence of God only reserved for His people in Christ.

As a passing thought, it occured to me that Israel didn't have a corporate indwelling of the Spirit; God chose them. He then worked through them to bring about His plan (Jeremiah 24:7). This works against any entheistic view.

Consider also Genesis 17:8 "And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God."

God makes a distinction between His being God & their being given possession of the land of their sojournings.


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