G is for God
G = God and Allah, Divinity, Truth, and Creation.
God is Love, Life, Truth
God or Allah
god (gŏd) noun
1. God a. A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions. b. The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being. c. Christian Science. “Infinite Mind; Spirit; Soul; Principle; Life; Truth; Love” (Mary Baker Eddy).
2. A being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by a people, especially a male deity thought to control some part of nature or reality.
3. An image of a supernatural being; an idol.
4. One that is worshiped, idealized, or followed: money was their god.
5. A very handsome man.
6. A powerful ruler or despot.
[Middle English, from Old English.]
THEOLOGY & PRACTICES
God, center and focus of religious faith, a holy being or ultimate reality to whom worship and prayer are addressed. Many people consider God the creator or source of all that exists.
Conceptions of God
Many religious thinkers have believed that God is a mystery beyond the powers of human conception. Most philosophers and theologians assume that a limited knowledge of God is possible and formulate different conceptions in terms of divine attributes and paths of knowledge. Some theologians attempt to combine philosophical and experiential approaches to God.
God may be considered transcendent (beyond the world), emphasizing independence and power over the world order; or as immanent (present within the world), emphasizing presence and participation within the world process. In the major monotheistic religions, God is considered the One, the supreme unity embracing or creating all things. Polytheism, the belief in many gods, has also flourished throughout history.
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, God is conceived primarily in terms of transcendence, personality, and unity. The Hebrew Scriptures present God as creator, and the created world is a product of God’s will. Human beings are made in God’s image. Thus, the Hebrew understanding of God is anthropomorphic (humanoid). God’s primary attributes are righteousness, justice, mercy, truth, and faithfulness.
Christianity began as a Jewish sect, incorporating the Hebrew God and Jewish Scriptures. Jesus Christ was probably considered a prophet of God, but by the end of the 1st century, Christians viewed him as a divine being (see Christology). Although Christian theology speaks of the three “persons” of the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, these are not persons in the literal sense, but three manifestations of one God.
In Islam, Allah, which means “the God,” is personal, transcendent, and unique. Allah has seven basic attributes: life, knowledge, power, will, hearing, seeing, and speech. Allah’s will is absolute, even to the extent that believers and unbelievers are predestined to faith or unbelief.
Asian and Other Religions
The major religions of Asia encompass a different realm of theological ideas. The word Holy Being in an Asian religious context can include both the idea of a personal God and the idea of an impersonal or suprapersonal absolute.
In Hinduism, Holy Being is understood as Brahma, the one eternal, absolute reality embracing everything. All other gods are actually manifestations of Brahma. The three principal gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, are joined as the Trimurti, or three powers. In bhakti Hinduism, the god Ishvara is conceived as personal, similar to the Judeo-Christian God.
In Theravada Buddhism, Holy Being is the impersonal cosmic order. In Mahayana Buddhism, the Buddha himself was transformed into a divine being. In Daoism (Taoism), Holy Being is the rhythm of the universe; in Confucianism, it is the moral law of heaven.
In polytheism, there are many holy beings, each manifesting a certain divine attribute or caring for some aspect of nature or human affairs. Polytheism probably developed out of animism, the belief in a multitude of spiritual forces. In animism, the sense of Holy Being is diffused throughout the environment.
Grounds for Belief
Some degree of belief in a Holy Being has existed in almost all societies throughout history. The primary basis for belief in God is founded in experience, especially religious experience. This belief has been challenged by philosophical doctrines of skepticism, materialism, atheism, and other forms of disbelief. Atheists absolutely deny the existence of God. Agnostics believe the evidence for and against God’s existence is inconclusive. Positivists believe it is meaningless either to affirm or deny the existence of God.
See Also Faith; Religion.
Divine grace is a theological term which is present in many and varied spiritual traditions. However, there are significant differences between the way people of different traditions use the word.
Christian conceptions of grace
Romans 5:1-2 (King James Version) “1Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand…” Galatians 5:4 (King James Version) “4Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.”
Grace in this context is something that is God-given, made possible only by Jesus Christ and none other. It is God’s gift of salvation granted to sinners for their salvation.
The Christian teaching is that grace is unmerited mercy (favor) that God gave to us by sending his son to die on a cross to give us eternal salvation.
In the New Testament, the word translated as grace is the Greek word charis (Greek χάρις), pronounced khar’-ece, for which Strong’s Concordance gives this definition; “Grace, the state of kindness and favor towards someone, often with a focus on a benefit given to the object.” A Greek word that is related to charis is charisma (gracious gift). Both these words originated from another Greek word chairo (to rejoice, be glad, delighted).In the Old Testament, the Hebrew term used is chen (חֵן), which is defined in Strong’s as “favor, grace or charm; grace is the moral quality of kindness, displaying a favorable disposition”.In the King James translation, Chen is translated as “grace” 38 times, “favour” 26 times, twice as “gracious”, once as “pleasant”, and once as “precious”.
Within Christianity, there are differing conceptions of grace. In particular, Catholics and Protestants use the word in substantially different ways. It has been described as “the watershed that divides Catholicism from Protestantism, Calvinism from Arminianism, modern liberalism from conservatism”. Catholic doctrine teaches that God uses the sacraments to facilitate the reception of His grace.Protestants generally do not hold that view. In other words, even without the sacraments, divine grace has been imparted by God to humanity.
Hindu conceptions of grace
Hindu devotional or bhakti literature available throughout India is replete with references to grace (kripa) as the ultimate key required for spiritual self-realization. Some, such as the ancient sage Vasistha, in his classical work Yoga Vasistha, considered it to be the only way to transcend the bondage of lifetimes of karma. One Hindu philosopher, Madhvacharya, held that grace was not a gift from God, but rather must be earned.
Grace in Islam
Dr. Umar Al-Ashqar, dean of the Faculty of Islamic Law, at al-Zarqa’ University in Zarqa, Jordan wrote that “Paradise is something of immense value; a person cannot earn it by virtue of his deeds alone, but by the Grace and Mercy of Allah.” This stance is supported by hadith: according to Abu Huraira, Muhammad once said that “None amongst you can get into Paradise by virtue of his deeds alone … not even I, but that Allah should wrap me in his grace and mercy.”
pur·pose (pûrʹpəs) noun
1. The object toward which one strives or for which something exists; an aim or a goal: “And ever those, who would enjoyment gain/Must find it in the purpose they pursue” (Sarah Josepha Hale).
2. A result or an effect that is intended or desired; an intention. See synonyms at intention.
3. Determination; resolution: He was a man of purpose.
4. The matter at hand; the point at issue.
pur·posed, pur·pos·ing, pur·pos·es
To intend or resolve to perform or accomplish.
to good purpose
With good results.
to little purpose or to no purpose
With few or no results.
[Middle English purpos, from Anglo-Norman, from purposer, to intend : pur-, forth (from Latin prō-). See pro-1 + poser, to put. See pose1.]
will: intent, purpose, intention
intention: purpose, set purpose, settled purpose, determination, predetermination, resolve, resolution
use: office, purpose, role, point, function
aspiration: aspiration, ambition, purpose, intention
dem·i·urge (dĕmʹē-ûrj´) noun
1. A powerful creative force or personality.
2. A public magistrate in some ancient Greek states.
3. Demiurge A deity in Gnosticism, Manicheeism, and other religions who creates the material world and is sometimes viewed as the originator of evil.
4. Demiurge A Platonic deity who orders or fashions the material world out of chaos.
[Late Latin dēmiurgus, from Greek dēmiourgos, artisan : dēmios, public (from dēmos, people) + ergos, worker (from ergon, work).]
– dem´i·urʹgeous (-ûrʹjəs) or dem´i·urʹgic (-jĭk), dem´i·urʹgi·cal (-jĭ-kəl) adjective
– dem´i·urʹgi·cal·ly adverb