Prep Post #19: Hartshorne p1-26


In our reading, one of the things that came up was the rejection of the belief that God is “perfect” in the literal sense of the word; I find this interesting because apparently, this interpretation of God stems from Greek philosophical views, and as we learned earlier, early Christians used Greek philosophy in order to gain greater appeal to their beliefs. However, this text argues that God being described as “perfect” is more of a general appreciation for God rather than actually claiming for him to be literally flawless.


I think one of the more interesting points in which the text refutes ‘classical theism’ is in that of God being omniscient. The idea of a deity being all-knowing is cited by the text as being ambiguous and full of contradictions; not only that, but the idea of a deity being ‘all-knowing’ is a mostly Western point of view. Furthermore, and most interestingly to me, this way of thinking seems to be most like that of Stoicism, which denies human freedom. The connotations that come from this is somewhat contradictory to the surface and supposedly Christian idea of free will, but I have to say, it actually makes sense, considering that it could definitely go along with the idea of humans being ‘chained by their sin’. Overall, though, this text, I think, cites the omniscience of a deity to be ambiguous and denying human freedom because if a God is all-knowing, how can we truly have freedom of thoughts and actions?


There was a comparison to God being more of a divine author or artist in this text, and I thought it was interesting, considering that it’s actually really similar to the Romantic idea of poets or artists in general being ‘co-creators of reality’. Taking that into account, I feel like there is, therefore a stress on God as an individual (and an imperfect one at that). So that’s really worth thinking about, I think.


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