A theistic worldview which believes that an eternal God freely created all of existence (time, space, matter, celestial realms and bodies) out of nothing (ex nihilo), and that He continues to act within the creation in varying degrees
Here is an illustration:
The key idea to understand about theism is that God, in his essence (ontos, ousia) is transcendent and completely separate from his creation. In this illustration, God alone exists above the arch. Above the arch is timeless, spaceless, and without matter. There is no extension into space or succession of moments with God. There is no before or after. He exists in an “eternal now.” He does not have parts. In his essence, you cannot divide (as ontological division requires space). He has no head, hands, or feet.
God created all things out of nothing. If he used preexisting material, it would have to be eternal and above the arch with him. But by definition, God, as the necessary being, does not share eternity with anything but himself and God must be one in order to explain his self-existence (aseity). He is not dependent on anything for his existence as he is the Ground of All Being, the First Cause, the Unmoved Mover.
In theism, it is important to understand that God relates to and interacts with his creation below the arch. There is a real presence, relationship, dynamic, and interaction between God and his creation. Yet in his essence, God remains the same.
We will never see God’s essence, as that is impossible. In order to see God’s essence, we would have to be above the arch. But to be such would mean that we would have to be God. And since there is no time (before and after), we would have to have always been God, which is formally absurd and self-defeating for all of theism.
This is expressed best in Paul’s statement to Timothy:
[God] who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.
A theistic worldview which believes that God created the universe, but has not been involved in it since
Here is the illustration:
The primary thing to recognize about deism is that it is the exact same as theism, minus God’s immanent relationships. The philosophical deist says that God, due to his transcendence to time, space, and matter, cannot interact with man. The practical deist merely believes that God doesn’t interact with his creation out of choice.
Lit. pan “all” theos “god.” A worldview that believes God is identical with the universe
Here is what it looks like:
Notice that God is not above the arch. In this view, God is ultimately an impersonal force. The universe — time, space, and matter — exist out of necessity. It is impossible for them not to exist as they are everlasting in time.
Pantheism is, in reality, an atheistic worldview, as any proper definition of God must include transcendence. If God is not transcendent to time, space, and matter, he is, by definition, not God. Therefore, pantheism is philosophically impossible, since it fails to give an explanation for the existence of all things. The “god” of pantheism can never be properly called “God.”
Lit. poly “many” theos “gods.” A worldview that believes there are many gods.
Here is how it works out:
The problem with this is that we are still dealing with an atheistic worldview. “Gods,” here, would simply be defined as “the most powerful personalities that happen to be caught up in this uncaused existence.” Another way we might put it is that polytheism defines “god” as “that which is worshipped.” It is a philosophically absurd definition of God. God, by definition, must be above the arch. Therefore, polytheists have no true God.
An atheistic worldview which holds that the natural world is all there is, was, or ever will be.
It can be illustrated as such:
Like the previous two, naturalism lacks a transcendent explanation for existence. Therefore, if naturalism were true, there would never be any existence as there would never be a sufficient cause to bring the universe into being. Therefore, naturalism is philosophically absurd.
Of all the worldviews, theism and deism are the only philosophically possible worldviews as they are the only ones that have a non-recessive creation. In other words, creation itself demands a transcendent explanation. If God were in time, he would always require an explanation for his own existence. One would get caught up in the “if God created everything, who created God?” trap ad infinitum. But since God is transcendent to time, he does not experience the before / after scenario that gives rise to such a problem.
However, deism does not explain the evident intervention of God in history, primarily seen through the incarnation of Christ.
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