Initial Ideas on God: Where Did He (or the Idea of Him) Come From?


I was asked recently where God… or the idea of God comes from. Note: though I jotted this post down quickly, some of my ideas follow a sequential pattern, so it may be best to read it slowly–otherwise parts of it may not seem to make sense.

The idea of God is the greatest idea and most powerful concept possible. No other concept carries the weight or the import of this singular postulation. In fact, the great mind that was Mortimer Adler listed the “idea of God” (a Supreme Being) as one of the great themes ever conceptualized. His research implies that there are more references to “god” in literature and popular culture than any other concept. That’s saying something.

The idea of God is birthed in our consciousness because, as the Bible says, “deep calls to deep.” The core and epicenter of our inner man innately recognizes in its deepest and innermost existence, the reality of an ultimate reality– not only a “higher power” but a profoundly absolute being, with inestimable force, which awakens in us a longing and a desire for intimacy.

That is not mere God Speak. It is a fair characterization and articulation of a universally experienced reality. It is simply a fact that people naturally believe, without being coached or told, that an awesome force and uncaused cause or Prime Mover is “there.” And this sense within themselves causes a longing to (watch this) KNOW and BE KNOWN by this Being.

Ironically, this very reality speaks to the personal nature of this Being– for, if the ultimate being were impersonal and only a force or power alone– without attributes of personality and identity, then it would make no sense for people to seek to know or be known by it. But, in fact, we DO have an innate hunch that this being is knowable and perceivable, and that it (dare I say “He”) could also “know” and “perceive” us back. Wow.

What’s more, because the idea of God represents belief in a Supreme/Ultimate/Sovereign Being, it is natural for such an “organizing principle” and reality to define everything about usin reference to Himself AS THAT Supreme Being.

Meaning what?

Meaning that, because God is the Supreme Being and because we sense His existence and being naturally and without coaching, as non-supreme, temporal, limited, finite beings, we naturally seek to understand Him and our relationship TO Him, because (as the Supreme Being), he must be the one fixed, immobile, and non-transitory reference point of existence. In other words, and this is critical to get, our very identity (understanding who we are) and our sense of meaning (understanding why we are here) is bound up and wrapped in His identity and existence.

FOR THIS REASON– (to recap, because, as created beings, our existence is dependent on and wrapped up in God as the Supreme Being and Creator), this explains humanity’s restlessness with their own sense of meaning and purpose in life– and also explains and speaks to the nearly universal issue of identity crisis. The fact is that we SIMPLY DON’T KNOW WHO WE ARE– NOR DO WE KNOW WHY WE ARE HERE OR THE PURPOSE OF LIFE, and HOW TO FIND ULTIMATE MEANING IN IT, without the organizing principle of God.

When a person finds God– or, rather, is found by the One and Only True God, those fears, insecurities, doubts, and threats always begin to fade into distant memory. This is the God of the Bible– He created us this way and, though we are estranged from Him, He loves us nonetheless, and in our estrangement and emptiness and longing, He seeks and pursues us.

That pursuit is a deep stream of inquiry and wondering that routinely filter through our minds and consciousness– it is nothing other than that Deep calling to Deep (Psalm/Song 42:7, Old Testament).

Perhaps more to come.

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