Biggest question i have is why did God create man. This is not why is there evil I understand why there is evil in the world my question is if God me that some would eternally septate themselves from him and endure eternal punishment then bring a loving God why even create man to begin with
@Joshgould That is a great question and one that presses upon the heart of anyone who sees the suffering in the world and also weeps for those who choose to reject Jesus.
A few reasons God created us:
- to bear His image
- to have fellowship with Him as His sons and daughters
- to rule over His creation
Things to consider about those who reject God:
- not everyone agrees that those who reject God will suffer eternally - scholars such as John Stott believe they will cease to exist after being judged (annihilationism)
- we can trust that God will judge everyone with perfect mercy, love and justice because we can trust that He loves us - Jesus is the evidence of that fact
You might find the following thread on the death of an unbeliever helpful regarding this second concern:
None of these reasons seams to me to be sufficient for a God of love to create man if even one May suffer by it. I’m not doubting God nor does this make me question my belief at all. It just seams like something that I should know. I believe we all soon and that we fell short that we need God and that he is the truth. All that said he is a triune God so he did not need companionship and he has angels which he created so he needed none to love. he does love us that’s not what I mean I’m just saying he didn’t need to create man. I would like some insight on possible reasons
@Joshgould Perhaps God’s reasons might be more like no-seeums than St. Bernards? Here is an excerpt from Tim Keller’s book ‘The Reason for God’.
Flaw: If suffering/evil appears pointless to me, it must be pointless.
“Tucked away within the assertion that the world is filled with pointless evil is a hidden premise, namely, that if evil appears pointless to me, then it must be pointless. …Just because you can’t see or imagine a good reason why God might allow something to happen doesn’t mean there can’t be one. Again we see lurking within supposedly hard-nosed skepticism an enormous faith in one’s own cognitive faculties. If our minds can’t plumb the depths of the universe for good answers to suffering, well, then, there can’t be any! This is blind faith of a high order.”
St. Bernards and No-seeums
Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga provides an illustration to address the above flaw in reasoning. “If you look into your pup-tent for a St. Bernard, and you don’t see one, it is reasonable to assume that there is no St. Bernard in your tent. But if you look into your pup tent for a ‘no-see-um’ (an extremely small insect with a bite out of all proportion to its size) and you don’t see any, it is not reasonable to assume that they are not there. Because, after all, no one can see 'em. Many assume that if there were good reasons for the existence of evil, they would be accessible to our minds, more like St. Bernards than like no-see-ums, but why should that be the case?”
Example of Joseph.
“Joseph was an arrogant young man who was hated by his brothers. In their anger at him, they imprisoned him in a pit and then sold him into a life of slavery and misery in Egypt. Doubtless Joseph prayed to God to help him escape, but no help was forthcoming, and into slavery he went. Though he experienced years of bondage and misery, Joseph’s character was refined and strengthened by his trials. Eventually he rose up to become a prime minister of Egypt who saved thousands of lives and even his own family from starvation. If God had not allowed Joseph’s years of suffering, he never would have been such a powerful agent for social justice and spiritual healing.”
Josh, I share the same question! I think it’s so important to think through it as much as we can because understanding why God created us bears enormous ramifications on how we live. I asked this question back in August. If you want to check out how that discussion went, here’s a link to the forum:
To be honest, I’m still grappling with the question, although the discussion helped me think in terms of love. I think that @SeanO gave several good reasons why God created us: to bear His image, fellowship, ruling over creation. At the same time, these kind of seem more like functions of humanity that don’t necessarily need humans to happen, than answers to why he created us (I could be wrong, Sean! Maybe flesh out that idea some more for us?). The no-seeums idea is interesting…
Perhaps we should break this question down a bit more? I’ll give it a shot, y’all, but help me out…
So – the question is, why did God create us?
It assumes #1 that God has a reason, and #2 that we’re able to know this reason. I think it’s reasonable to assume #1 because God is orderly and doesn’t do things randomly. #2 is debatable, as I think we’ve demonstrated (i.e. no-seeum). Any more assumptions in there you guys see?
The word why is interesting. It implies that there was something that God wanted that could be accomplished by the creation of humanity. To borrow from Sean’s potential reasons, God wanted someone to bear his image, therefore, to accomplish that, he created humans.
I think this is where I’m struggling – it’s hard for me to think of a God that wants, because it’s so difficult for me to reconcile his sovereignty over everything and him not having something that he desires. This might be due to the wording of the question – perhaps why isn’t the best word.
Anyone have recommendations for reading in this specific area? It feels beyond my theological depth and I’m feeling very conjecture-y without sources/Biblical references.
I believe there is a point when we just rest in the fact that God is good and that we can trust his judgment…I also want to make sure I understand as much about the question itself that I can now in case it comes up in conversations.
Anyway, that’s to say, you’re not alone in having this question, @Joshgould!
Thank you Olivia David you have raised the question to it’s basic roots. I agree with all you said and that for me Christianity is the right and only course based on all the information available and now also based on my walk with God. However I have prayed and looked and thought and it’s likely that is not something we see supposed to know but if we are I have found little to know viable reason. To address SeanO about his points witch I think are good reasons when you have creation I think they are valid Fri the creation to thrive but not too make man. I look at it this way if I were planning on having a child (I have six) to have a kid like me is nit a good reason not is it good enough to say I want to raise it right is only valid if they are here and I surely didn’t do it to have communion with it as I have my wife and friends and in other children,(angels) already. I am thankful for my life and I plan on living it to the best of my ability for God then rely on him to make what I do great for him. And why am I here is not only answerable but I love the answer. It is hard and it is trying but it couldn’t be a greater reason and I love hard work so praise God for that. However why is the key how could God want and if he didn’t want then why again comes into play and the only thing I have come up with, although I have no biblical or any proof, is that love by it’s nature is creative if this is true then in the sense that God crafted more then created man is true and if that is the reason then that is a huge distinction. Because if God crafted then created man then one we are more loved then I could ever imagine and two the rules he set forth are not to help us or to deliver us or really even to protect us they are to complete us to make us run smoother to help us run more efficiently. The only flaw that I see and it is a big one is why send something that you crafter to be broken unless by doing so you are accomplishing something and then my question becomes again why make us to accomplish what task.
Yes, I agree with much of what you’re written – especially that we are loved more than we can imagine! I think that’s true and that we’ll never really understand the extent of God’s love for us – what a wonderful thing!
I think this question is drifting into a question about the problem of evil, as in, how can God allow his creation to reject him and still be good. One way to go about an explanation might be that God wants no one to reject him, but the possibility of rejection must exist for the relationship between him to be real. This is the free-will argument; you’re probably familiar with it. God didn’t create us to break us – he made us love him, but it’s not really love if we don’t know that love is volitional.
But, yes, I do see the circular nature of the question, and how we return again to why. I feel like it isn’t explicit in scripture (as I think we’ve all established), and so we must not have to know why to live well. And we can know well, as you say, the meaning of our lives to us, without understanding fully (we have partial understandings, like being in a relationship with him) why God initiated them in the first place (to put it reductively, but perhaps not incorrectly?).
Anyway – I’m keeping my eye out for literature on this topic and I’ll let you know if I find something helpful. It’s a fascinating subject because it deals far more with the nature of God than man. Sometimes it’s tempting to conceive of God as “someone” like us – someone who wants – and that’s partially why, I think, it can be so difficult to understand…and why it’s so interesting!
Yes I agree with you on most everything. I would appreciate any good books on this. Yes I am familiar with the free will argument and that does explain why we can love not why we were created but it’s a good line to start with thank you.
Why did God create us? In His Sovereignty and Perfect love, He must have had a/some good reason(s). The choice before Him was to either create us or not create us. Why did He choose to create us? Is the glory of the eternal experience of the potential of God’s love so (perfectly and unimaginably) great and beautiful that it is too good for only a few creatures to experience? Does God’s love require of Him to have as many creatures as possible “enjoy Him forever?” This explanation connects coherently with the question, “Why would God create a potential He wouldn’t want to actualize? And isn’t the potential of God’s infinite love only actualizable in 1. eternity and 2. if this pertains to as many creatures as God can create within the omni-logical confines of God’s ability to experience this? Does this thinking make eminent sense?
God is love, so I think it stands to reason that the answer to this question is coherently connected to the very essence of His nature. God always, necessarily chooses that which is coherently connected to His Perfect, Infinite Love.
What do you think?