The Immensity of God

God is truly huge.  In fact, God is infinite.  Before anything was created and time began God existed at all points simultaneously.  One essense, three persons in all locations – assuming you can have absolute location in infinity.  When the universe was created and matter existed it existed within the infinity of God.  God did not become the matter, limited in some way, but God continued cutting through the matter at all points maintaining his infinity and not becoming something less than infinity.  i.e. infinity – m (where m=matter).  It would have then been possible to conceive of a greater being who filled the space around the matter and the matter itself, and since ‘God is that than which a greater can not exist’  the existence of God precludes a God-m existence.

Some of the matter would be called by us ‘The Earth’.  This matter existed within the immensity of God.  God cut through this matter at all points.  Some of the dust of the earth was made into humans.  God cuts through them at all points.  Some humans made tables, God cuts through them at all points.

The doctrine of the immensity of God means that there is no point that God is not present, whether that point be in a solid, liquid, or gas.  This is quite distinct from Pantheism which places God within a thing and limits him there.  To see God, who is Spirit, in all the places he exists, does not mean to literally ‘see’ him in the physical sense.  It is to understand that he exists in all things at all times.  There is not a place where his existence, his being, is limited.  If mankind works with the materials God has created and makes a building or a table, God does not vacate that space.  If a gas cools to a liquid or a solid, God is not pushed out.  God exists at all points simultaneously, but He is also a person. 

Some of my students think that this is a guise for New Age thinking.  Some think that God is present wherever they are, but God’s existence is somehow contingent on human presence.

What do you think?  If I am not orthodox, I wish to be so.

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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6 Responses to The Immensity of God

  1. rookie1987 says:

    Reading through it I didn’t spot a problem. I agree with it just make sure past and present tense for all the verbs talking about God’s infinite nature and you are set as far as I’m concerned. I’m not getting the New Age thinking thing your students came up with….. maybe it’s just something they haven’t heard before? But I’d say you are within the context of Scripture.
    Salt and Light

  2. Argentina01 says:

    I agree with your premise, but several questions came to mind. Is this to assume also that God will exist in the lake of fire? If hell is eternal separation from God, how can someone be eternally separated from an infinite God? In these cases does God choose to limit His infinite nature just as God can do all things and yet does not sin?

  3. I think your students hear an echo of New Age thinking because you do not explicitly distance yourself from panentheism (note the extra “en”).
    Pantheism sees God as the sum of the created world. The total system of the universe is God. Thus, each thing in the universe is “part” of God.
    Panentheism, however, is the view that God transcends creation, and yet everything in creation is still a “part” of God. So for the panentheist, God is “more than” creation or the universe, but God is not truly separate from the universe.
    Your post implies that you don’t hold with panentheism when speak of God in terms of “cutting through” matter. The panentheist would say that matter is part of God, and so you are not a panentheist. Still, you don’t directly address the issue, which gives room for possible misunderstanding.
    Biblically, God dwells in the world/universe/creation, but God is also separate from creation. God does “cut through” all space and time, but God is fully independent of what He creates.
    And so I would emphasize more that God is transcendent and truly “Other” than us, Other than matter, and Other than the universe. (While God is responsible for there being being (matter, souls, etc.), God Himself is not a being, nor is God “Being Itself.”)
    Indeed, I would go on to ask the following questions of you: (1) What does it mean for God to be present?  (2) What does it mean that God is spirit?  I think reflection on those two questions will yield much for your thoughts on God’s infinity.

  4. Good reading on this topic: William Lane Craig’s essay, “Pantheists in Spite of Themselves: God and Infinity in Contemporary Theology,” in For Faith and Clarity, edited by James Beilby, pages 135-156.
    From page 155: “There really is no separate divine attribute denoted by “infinity.” Rather, “infinity” serves as an umbrella term for capturing all the properties that serve to make God the greatest conceivable being. In saying that God is infinite, we mean that God is necessary, self-existent, omnipotent, omniscient, holy, eternal, omnipresent, and so forth. Were we to abstract these properties from the concept of God, there would not remain some further undefined property infinity. Rather God’s infinity is constituted precisely by these great-making properties.”
    (In order to fully appreciate what he means in this quote, you must follow his argument about what monistic arguments are and why they fail. But if you’re interested in what “infinity” is and what it isn’t, this is a great essay.)

  5. l225N1231 says:

    “There is not a place where his existence, his being, is limited.” i really like this statement. While i was reading this, i reall  thought of the immensity of God. How Great is He ?

  6. Justinbuege says:

    I agree with you. I’ve never posted something like this, and I know after reading the comments before mine I don’t have much to say, but you just about covered it. I’m still stumped on how God can associate himself so closely with the evil that is in the world, and underworld per say, so until I can I’ll just keep it a paradox

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