Thursday, March 05, 2015

God Beyond Theism (What Some of the Great Thinkers Have Said)


Omnipresence, the All-Presence, the Presence that is always present! The Presence dwells everywhere even to the uttermost parts of the Universe, now and forever.  What is our name for Omnipresence – “The Presence that filleth all?” [Eph 1.23]. We love to speak of it as God…Infinite Mind, Source and Cause, Principle. It, in fact, makes but little difference what name we use; the vital matter is that we…live in the consciousness of It.Nona Brooks (Divine Science pioneer, Short Lessons in Divine Science)

God is not person, but principle.” Charles Fillmore (Co-Founder of the Unity Church, The Revealing Word)

Each one of us is inseparably one with God, the source and substance of life and wisdom and every good.” Myrtle Fillmore (Co-Founder of the Unity Church, Healing Letters)

In Divine Science the term ‘Omnipresence’ is used more than any other word, and it is really the foundation principle of all our work. Wherever we use the term Omnipresence, we mean to convey…the eternal fact of the all-inclusive, all-pervading, all-infilling, all-sustaining Life, which [humans have] pleased to call or name ‘God’, and of which [we are each] a part.” Daisy Baum (early Divine Science teacher, Studies in Divine Science)

God is invisible energy which permeates all that is.” William Warch (author, The New Thought Christian)

God: The First Cause, the Great I Am, the Unborn One, the Uncreated…the One and Only. Spirit, or the Creative Energy which is the cause of all visible things. Love, Wisdom, Intelligence, Power, Substance, Mind.” Ernest Holmes (author, The Science of Mind)

[A]n eternally existing substance, uncreated and never-ceasing motion, infinite time and infinite space, are inseparably connected. Any particular substance, motion, interval or space must be part a great unitary whole which includes yet transcends them all…[T]here is one, and only one, eternal, omnipresent Reality, whence came all that ever existed, or ever will exist, which includes and is all that ever proceeds from it, the one, ultimate, all-embracing Cause…It is self-existent, uncreated, indestructible, at once the basis and the essence of all being, the once source to which all activity is ultimately traceable.” Horatio W. Dresser (early New Thought philosopher, influenced by the work of Phineas P. Quimby, The Power of Silence)

God is the principle responsible for all creation. The Principle cannot abandon the creation, without the creation ceasing to be. So, truly, God is in all things…This God is…an indwelling Spirit, ever eager to find expression through creation – through you.” William L. Fischer (author, Alternatives: New Approaches to Traditional Christian Beliefs)

There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts or passions; of infinite power, wisdom and goodness; the Maker and Preserver of all things both visible and invisible.” (from the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England)

“…God is called the being as being or the ground and the power of being…” Paul Tillich (Protestant Theologian)

Apparently humans everywhere and at all times have concepts of a power [or] idea…that lies beyond everything. This idea…is called God.William Hendricks (Protestant Theologian)

God is…Living Intelligence…God is universal, infinite Mind. God is Spirit. Spirit is vital essence, formless, radiant, vibrant, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient…God is stable Principle…The Creator is absolute Good…God is infinite Being…God is the originating cause and the continuing source of all life, all being, all creation. God is at the same time the supporter and the support in its essence and basis. God is the creator and moves within the creation unceasingly.” Helen Zagat (author, Faith & Works)

As inadequate and confused as the god metaphor may be in the Christian tradition, no other word has yet appeared to replace it.James Rowe Adams (Episcopal priest, founder of The Center for Progressive Christianity, From Literal to Literary: The Essential Reference Book for Biblical Metaphors)

We must get away from this theistic supernatural God that imperils our humanity and come back to a God who permeates life so deeply that our humanity becomes the very means through which we experience the Divine Presence.” Bishop John S. Spong (retired Episcopal bishop)

“…much of 20th century theology…tended (1) to recognize all statements about God as poetic and metaphorical rather than factual and literal; (2) to delve for divine images in women’s experience, in nature, and in Asia’s great non-theistic religions; and thus (3) to emphasize God’s immanence, intimacy, and dynamic relationship to the universe, rather than the traditional theistic attributes of transcendence, remoteness, and static perfection. With the increasing dialogue between the great religious traditions of the Occident and Orient, these trends will almost certainly continue.Paul A. Laughlin (religion scholar, Remedial Christianity: What Every Believer Should know about the Faith but Probably Doesn’t)

“…there is some minimal good, beauty in all life, including my own, and…what finally matters, even to me, is the life of the Whole, the Something that includes me, outlasts me (save as I contribute myself to it), and contains more good than I can distinctly imagine.” Charles Hartshorne (philosopher)

You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in one drop.” Rumi (poet)

I am an event. You are an event. So is a bear, a rainforest and the winding of the helix within us all. All are active participants within the bigger picture…[Some] would call that big picture God, a reality that includes all of us but is larger than any of us.” Gary Kowalski (Unitarian Universalist minister, Science and the Search for God)

If the idea of a personal god is incomprehensible to you, drop it. Substitute instead the idea of eternal Absolute Goodness…the ‘universal energy’…Thomas Shepherd (New Thought Theologian, Good Questions)

Our English word ‘God’ is derived from the German language and means ‘the good,’ but in the Near Eastern languages – Aramaic, Hebrew, and Arabic – the term ‘God’ has a deeper significance than simply ‘the good.’ The Aramaic Alaha, the Hebrew Elohim, and the Arabic Allah all come from the…root words AIL and EL, and mean ‘to aid,’ ‘to help,’ ‘to defend,’ ‘to sustain,’ and ‘to succor.’ The name of God in the biblical languages also has various subordinate applications which express the idea of might, power and strength. Thus, God is thought of as All Might, All Power and All Strength. And in the East in general God is understood as the very essence of all life and as the great Provider.” Rocco Errico (author, bible teacher, expert on Aramaic idioms and culture, Let There be Light)

God is all-pervading Spirit…our life, substance, intelligence and power is God. [God] is our love, truth, beauty and perfection.” Malinda Cramer (founder of Divine Science, Divine Science and Healing)

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