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Why People 'Anthropomorphicize' God (Talk about Him as if He's 'a Person' ... Like I Did There)

I realized this while reading a letter from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, with the lines "that void in their hearts can only be filled by Jesus Christ. He is what is missing in their lives." (see the emphasis I added here ... 'He,' not "that"; but 'what,' not "who" or "whom"!)

We talk about God with 'Person'-pronouns (He, Him, His) instead of 'Object'-pronouns (It, Its), because "salvation" entails 'higher functions than we even know-of' and we don't put faith in some "salvation-tool" (which can be operated just as well by an evil being as by a good) but we do put faith in 'a power that can choose to save us.'

But we try to eliminate the power of "choice" by calling Him "Our Father" (because 'What kind of father would let his children "burn forever"?')

But how do we know that 'that's what he saves us from'? We don't, but we know that He knows where we can best serve His Kingdom (another reason why it's important that He has 'the power of discernment'). Even Jesus had enough trust in God's power-of-discernment to submit to the punishment of The Passion---such punishment that Jesus was driven to believe that God LEFT HIM! 
God's Identity
  1. Is God a Person or a Tool?4 votes
    1. Person - Why we thank him for CHOOSING to bless us
    2. Tool - He blesses us because we know how to use Him.


  • Giving God human-like aspects helps us understand "HIS" essence better because we directly relate him to ourselves. In numerous biblical passages we can read antropomorphic characteristics to this Superior Being. For example "Keep me as the apple of your eye...". 

    Us Christians (broadly speaking) have a more human-like way of percieving God than Jews for example. I've always been pleasantly amazed how they even consider God in "spoken and written" word, because God, as a Spirit, is in everything. This somehow has an oriental influence to it, also keeping a notion of a God that is more than human. 

    So why do we Catholics or Christians anthropomorphicize God more? 
    The answer is simple if you consider that our main example of relating to God the Father comes from the influence that Jesus Christ has made over all of us. From there is that we actually give more human-like characteristics to God. I think it's a good idea to relate like this to HIM and at the same time learn from the Jewish that God is also more than just an anthropomorphic being: He is the HOLY SPIRIT in everything. 

    Thanked by 1rabst
  • Posts: 129
    It really depends on your faith. There are people who look to God as not only a person but like a guardian angel who is always with them. God being omniprescent is taken literally by those born again Christians.

    My concept of God is, of course, the supreme being. And being a being means He is like me and you although he has more superior qualities particularly the part that God is not physical. And that God can be anything and everything so I am looking up to Him with personification because it is difficult for my mind to have faith in someone with no personification. How can you pray to someone who has no shape, form or image?
    Thanked by 1rabst
  • Posts: 18
    I believe that you have made an accurate observation. I believe that Jesus being the Son of G-d, who said, " You see me, you see The Father." When there are Bible verses that consistently describe G-d and his image as male, how can you present us with a different perspective without going totally outside of the Bible? Of course G-d is infinite and can not be explained by man, but he is also not a liar. If he shows himself to men as a man, it is at least symbolic of his function on all other levels. Who are we to question G-d with our limited mind sets? It seems to me that The Lord appeared unto us in ways that were detrimental to us understanding, Him or It. I do not know anything.
    Thanked by 1rabst
  • Posts: 31
    DStMars, are you entranced by the illusion that the Holy Bible was originally published on some Supernatural Press? That the typesetting for the Holy Bible in your library was etched out by lightning on the mountaintop?

    Then read this post no further.

    Because its ideas will be 'foolishness'---and further debate would be answering a fool according to his folly (which that verse-pair says TO do to be more like me, but NOT to do to make me think I'm right ... 3:-) :-P )

    I believe that the Bible was written & published by mankind---"under the inspiration of God," yes; but "mankind" nonetheless. Sort of the way writers today assume that everyone who contributes to society "goes out and gets a job and works for a living."
  • I think it depends on a person not only faith or religion. I really do not like to perceive God as a human. That would mean that he is just like us and we cannot do much about anything except to try endlessly. Being omnipresent is something else entirely. I like to believe that what we call god is just balance or some invisible force that control some things on this world.
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