Creative Writing: Understanding God and Christ

Pages: 6 (2136 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Religion  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] AAI3136773. https://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI3136773]

· the argument from motion;

· the argument from causation;

· the argument from contingency;

· the argument from degree;

· the teleological argument (“argument from design”)

Each of these ways is based on rational inquiry and can prove to one that God exists. A Methodist can then look to see which of God’s representatives on Earth is the true representative, and revelation and tradition both show that the true representative is Jesus Christ. Experience also tells one this because one can experience the power of the Holy Spirit and obtain a sense of what it is like to follow Christ through the application of His teachings.

The essence of these arguments is that we can know through our senses and our experiences and use of reason that God exists. The Five Ways indicate that God must exist because something cannot come from nothing: thus, life exists so there had to be something that existed before it in order to bring it into existence. An eternal being is the only thing that could bring something else into existence out of itself and so God must exist based on the fact that life exists. From this realization and from further examination of life, it follows that mankind was created but that something happened to bring about pain and suffering—and from here it is only a short step to the doctrine of the Fall and the need for Redemption.

In conclusion, a Methodist can arrive at an understanding of the doctrines of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Holy Trinity by using tradition (such as the prayers one is taught and the practices of the Church over time), revelation (such as that recorded in the Bible), experience (both personal and indirect), and reason (such as the Five Ways used by Aquinas). Each of these means is important to obtaining an understanding of God and identifying how God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Trinity are unique in the canon of world religions. And though many religions may profess similar principles and share similar values, the truth of Christ is tantamount to all of this because as tradition, revelation, reason and experience all show, Christ is unique among men in the history of the world. His birth, life and death were foretold; His mission was to show the way to grace and to redeem mankind so that people could obtain Heaven and partake of eternal life with God. Christ came to heal not just to teach a philosophical truth. He worked miracles and was rejected by those who wanted an earthly kingdom. Christ taught that the true kingdom is with Him in heaven and that the way there is through one’s love of God and one’s love of neighbor. This charity for others and this love and desire to know God is the root and foundation of all spiritual happiness and that spiritual happiness is the gift and legacy that Christ has left. All of this can be discerned by one using the powers of reason, the attributes of revelation, the quality and characteristics of experience, and the continuity of tradition.

Bibliography

Iovino, Joe. “Come, Holy Ghost.” The People of the United Methodist Church, 2015.

http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/come-holy-ghost-a-wesleyan-perspective-on-the-spirit

Rosental, Creighton. “The reconciliation of faith and reason in Thomas Aquinas,” 2004

Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3136773. 

https://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI3136773

Senior, Donald & Carroll Stuhlmueller. The Biblical Foundations for Mission.

London: SCM, 1983.

Sheen, Fulton. Life of Christ. NY: Image Books, 2008.

Swindal, “Faith and Reason,” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2018.

http://www.iep.utm.edu/faith-re/ [END OF PREVIEW]

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