Question 22: How do I respond to the argument that God is impersonal and unconscious?

***DISCLAIMER***The following is far from an exhaustive answer to the question. It is simply an answer nonetheless.

Recently, someone asked me a question that basically asks how to refute the argument that God is unconscious, impersonal and One who would not reveal Himself to mankind. For brevity’s sake, I have labeled the question as one pertaining to whether or not God is impersonal and unconscious. What follows is the individual’s question/story followed by my response.

QUESTION

I have had a deep discussion with a friend lately (who’s neither an atheist nor a religious theist). He seems to be more of a deist (even though he says he’s not). He claims to have a “new way” of the God debate.

He basically “developed” a model in which he defines God as simply “infinity that caused the finite” and he fully relies on math (in the sense of the concept of infinity, not in the traditional sense that “mathematical rules are proof of God”). He says he does this to distinguish himself from “Faith-eists” (religious theists) as he thinks that all religious models of God (including the Christian one) fail. His definition of God is that He is infinite with no other attribute assigned to Him. He thinks that math is the only reliable way of proving God’s existence, not natural sciences, etc. I wasn’t sure how to respond to his “model”; he’s really smart (well-read in philosophers like Kant, Aquinas, etc.) and the way he argued for God’s existence isn’t the typical way I heard before. Besides all this, he seems to resist the idea of a God that reveals itself to mankind or that God is a Personal/Conscious Being.

How should I respond to his “model” of God?

MY RESPONSE

Greetings,

You should definitely respond to the friend with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15). Given he appears to “resist the idea of a God that reveals itself to mankind or that God is a Personal/Conscious Being”, it is possible he is not regenerate. After all, natural man does not understand the things of God since they are foolishness to him (1 Corinthians 2:14). Furthermore, Scripture makes it very clear that God is very personal, conscious and real. God made Himself personal when He made man in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27). Think about the complexity of the various parts of the human body (the eyethe brain, etc.). If God was an impersonal bring (and He is far from that), why would He take such care in making the human body as beautiful, detailed and orderly the way He did? Given the great details God used when making the human body, one can hardly conclude He is an impersonal God.

Another way God made Himself personal and real was via the person of Jesus Christ, His Son (John 1:1, 14). By sending His Son (the only way by which mankind may be saved) to die on the cross and rise from the dead to pay the penalty for our sins and purchase a place in heaven for us, God demonstrated the ultimate love for mankind (Isaiah 53:6; Acts 4:12; John 14:6; Isaiah 43:11; Matthew 1:21; John 1:29; 1 Timothy 1:15; Romans 5:8). This type of action is far from impersonal or unconscious.

Finally, the Gospel itself gives good details on how real Jesus is. 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (NASB) gives great information on Jesus’ physically appearing to many an individual:

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.

Here, the Apostle Paul, the author of 1 Corinthians, explains the Gospel. Of first importance is Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection for the sins of the world (vv. 3-4). He then lists the many people Jesus appeared to after He rose from the dead (vv. 5-8). If your friend finds God to be impersonal or One who would not reveal Himself to mankind, you may want to ask how he reconciles his beliefs with what the Bible says about Jesus’ physically appearing to no less than five hundred people.

I hope this helps as a start. I will most definitely be in prayer for you and how you witness to your friend. May God grant you the wisdom to explain to him how awesome and personal God really is.

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