The Alpha & Omega

Whats_in_a_NameWhat’s in a name? A name is more than just something by which we are called; in a sense, it is our reputation.

A name can conjure up images of glory, honor, and grace. It may cause sadness, anger, and dismay. Yes; a name is a powerful thing.

Did you know there are a multitude of names for God? Each name unique and powerful; the list is endless.

In hopes of helping my children have a better understanding of who God is and all He means to us, December will be dedicated to teaching my children various names by which He is called. Each Christmas season, our hopes are to learn even more names given.

Join us on this exciting adventure through Scripture, where we will learn some amazing verses, talk about how those verses should affect our lives, and discuss some practical ways to make these names “real”.

 ……
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” – Revelation 1:8
Eternity is a hard concept to understand, isn’t it? Even for us adults, the idea of God having no beginning and no end is a little mind-boggling. Think about it. God had no starting point; none. He always has been and He always will be. There was never a point that He didn’t exist and there will never come a time when He will cease to be.
So what is time anyway? Time is a way we talk about tensed events. Said event happened first, that happened next, this will be happening afterwards. The beginning of time is when God chose to act.
Here’s a question for you: Can we measure infinity? No; it is possible to always add one more. There is no number high enough which represents infinity. Here’s another thought: When we talk about the past, can we count infinitely backwards? No! There has to have been a beginning.
Let us use dominoes to illustrate this concept. Imagine you have a series of dominoes set up on end. Can you create an infinite set? No! It is physically impossible to do so. You could always add yet one more domino to your set. However, there was a starting point. Nothing comes before the starting point. You had a definite beginning, but you could continue adding till kingdom come.
Alpha&Omega
Now, in our row of dominoes, can the first domino choose to knock over the one behind it? No; our domino is a thing (an event) which cannot choose to act; things are merely acted upon. They have no powers of volition. Only persons have powers of volition, so only a personal first cause can choose to act. This first cause is also known as a prime mover. We refer to such a prime mover as “God”.
When God says He was the first, he is not indicating He was the first tensed event (our first domino); He is saying He was the prime mover. God existed logically prior to the first event. God is the being who put the first event into motion. Nothing caused God, He was self-existent. There was nothing before God.
When God says He is the first and the last, He is pointing out that He is an uncreated being. He is drawing our attention to false gods which all have a beginning. False gods did not always exist; there is only have one first cause.
God was, is, and is to come… How incredible is that?
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11 thoughts on “The Alpha & Omega

  1. As God says in the Quran. “An’al Awwalu wal Aakhiru waz Zahiru wal Batin” I am the First and the Last and the Manifest and the Hidden”.
    I love ur explanation…
    We believe in the same God… U and I. Check it out some day… 🙂

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    • Properties are universals and therefore can be had by two different and distinct entities. For example, I can be right-handed and you might be right-handed, but that doesn’t make us the same person. Therefore, any notion that the muslim deity is identical to the Biblical God cannot be based on an alleged shared property of eternality.

      What makes two entities identical is expressed by Leibniz’s Law of the Indiscernability of Identicals; Leibniz’s Law essentially states that for two entities, X and Y, to be identical, any proposition true of X must also be true of Y (and vice versa).

      So, for example, God’s word states that He is love. However, the same cannot be predicated of the muslim deity, because “love” requires a subject/object relationship. For an eternal God to eternally exercise love, He must have something to love for that eternal state of existence. Since there is no other eternal entity other than God, a unitarian deity would have had nothing to love prior to creating.

      Since the Holy Bible teaches the triune nature of God as expressed by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, this renders intelligible the description of God as “love”. To further clarify, the three eternal persons (three “who”s) in the one Godhead (one “what”) existing in an eternal relationship of love explains how an eternal God can be substantially the embodiment of love.

      Since muslims deny the triune personhood of the one, true God, they do not predicate the same things of their deity as does the God of the Bible. Therefore, the muslim deity and the true God of Christianity cannot be identical.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting.

      FG

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    • Thanks for your comment!

      Actually, “infinity” is not the same thing as “eternal”. There is no such thing as an actual infinite number of temporal, spacial, or physical things. Even infinity as a denumerable set of numbers is merely a concept, but it breaks down as an absurdity if you try to apply it to temporal, spacial, or physical reality. For example, consider an infinite set of apples. Let’s paint numerals on each apple, so that half of those apples have an odd numeral and the other have an even numeral. How many odd apples are there? Infinity. And what if we subtract that infinite set of odd-numbered apples from the total infinite set of apples? We’d still have an infinite set of apples. In other words, infinity minus infinity is still infinity. That’s the kind of absurdity resulting from “infinity” were one to take it as representing any real set of spacial, temporal, or physical objects.

      As pertaining to God, God does not represent a quantifiably infinite set of spacial, temporal, or physical entities. He is qualitatively infinite (for example, God may possess the quality of being infinitely loving, but there are no such things as units of “love” which can be counted/quantified). It simply means His love cannot be exhausted.

      Being “eternal” does not mean that God existed “for an infinite time past”, since there was no such thing as “time” logically prior (not temporally prior) to the first event. So to say that God existed “eternally” is simply to say that He had no beginning. There was no state of being in which God did not exist.

      I hope that helped to clarify.

      Thank you for visiting!

      FG

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      • A good book which explains God’s relationship to time is “Time and Eternity” by William Lane Craig. It’s a fascinating study of the nature of time.

        I’m not sure which college courses would discuss this specific topic other than a philosophy class. However, I doubt secular philosophy classes will delve into the subject adequately. I also don’t think science courses could do the subject any justice because the natural sciences do not have a well-developed philosophy of time. Scientists are usually not trained in philosophy, and as such, they often offer poor interpretations of phenomena which are rarely integrated into a coherent and comprehensive world view. That’s not to say that they can’t use the phenomena for practical purposes, but understanding the behavior of phenomena isn’t equivalent to understanding its nature or causes. In other words, while an engineer might understand physics well enough to know how much thrust is necessary to launch a rocket, that doesn’t mean he can tell you what gravity actually is or its ultimate cause.

        FG

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