We’re using the book “Handbook of Apologetics” by Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli to go over the arguments for the existence of God. We will now begin covering the attributes of God. Dr. Kreeft teaches logic in two major universities, so his arguments tend to be clear, concise and very helpful.
This week we’ll go over God is Transcendent and Immanent:
God cannot be a part of the universe. If he were, he would be limited by other parts of it. But God is the Creator of all things, giving them their total being. He cannot be one of them, or the totality of them—for each one of them, and so the totality of them, must be given being, must receive being from God.
So God must be other than his creation. This is what we mean by the transcendence of God.
At the same time God must exist in all things. They cannot be set over against him, for then he would be limited by them. Shakespeare was limited by his contemporaries but not by his creations; by Marlowe but not by Hamlet. God is the Creator, the giver of the total being to all things. As such he must be active in giving them what they need to be and to act. If God were not actively communicating being to all things, they would cease to be. So God must be present to all things at their deepest core, existence itself. “In him we live and move and have our being.” In other words, God is immanent.
Note how this affirmation of God’s transcendence and immanence avoids the one-sided pitfalls of pantheism (which identifies God with material nature) and deism (which makes God remote from creation, as if he could wind it up and let it run on its own).
Kreeft, P., & Tacelli, R. K. (1994). Handbook of Christian apologetics: hundreds of answers to crucial questions (pp. 93–94). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity