Divine Artistry

Divine Artistry February 3, 2016

It is common for theists to speak of God’s artistry in creation. But that image sits awkwardly with a number of purported beliefs of classical theism. Artistry involves challenge and accomplishment, but an omnipotent God cannot overcome obstacles in any meaningful sense. Artistry involves choosing colors or melodies, but classical theism has asserted that God always “chooses” what is “best” – which doesn’t seem like a choice at all.

The Onion recently had a piece which depicts a God who could meaningfully create in an artistic sense – and whose being in a bad place could naturally account for the darker aspects of creation.

God is often depicted in this manner in the Bible – as powerful rather than all-powerful, as angry but able to be dissuaded from pouring out wrath if he accepts the counsel of a human who is more level-headed than he is.

I wonder how many religious people today, when push comes to shove, side with the philosophical and theological tenets of classical theism, and how many side with the more anthropomorphic depiction of God on the pages of the Bible.

God is the artist


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  • histrogeek

    The idea that art necessarily involves overcoming obstacles and suffering developed in the Romantic Era, so it’s a pretty recent idea. It’s not surprising that older ideas like classical theism wouldn’t use it.
    In terms of my own understanding, I tend to focus on the more anthropomorphic aspects of God, with the understanding that an infinite being really can’t be fully defined that way. So the anthropomorphic aspects are just an incomplete model.

  • I think God is omnipotent but often relates to the world and to humans as if Xe were not. A God who Self-limits makes tons of sense to me.

  • charlesburchfield

    I think God is so much more than we will ever know! the way I know one of the many facets of God is to look in your eyes and feel your love. *iiii]:-}