Personal God

I believe God has personhood. This means He has the traits of a person rather than being an impersonal force. This is especially relevant since an impersonal force cannot love, show mercy, or make deliberate choices. God does all of these things and more. He is self-aware and cognizant of others. He holds appropriate emotions at their proper occasions.

The movie Star Wars ruined a lot of people’s theology. After that movie talked about a force as the most powerful thing in the universe, the idea of an impersonal God gained a lot of steam. But this is not how Scripture speaks of God, nor is it how any of us have experienced God. We experience God relationally and it takes personhood to have a relationship.

But if God is personal, and we relate to Him the same as any other person, then we must have an obligation to Him. The created one must relate to the creator in the manner the creator chooses. I suspect this is part of the appeal of God as an impersonal force. If God was impersonal we would be off the hook, but since God has personhood we are under His authority.

Understanding these details of God’s nature also helps us to understand how come salvation comes not by a series of rituals, or a benchmark of personal holiness, but rather through relationship with God. Why would a personal God want anything else? How could we expect our activities to measure up to God who is so much higher than us? (Please note I am not saying behavior is holiness and worship are irrelevant, I am only saying they do not bring salvation.)

Instead of earning or achieving salvation, we receive it by grace when we enter into a relationship with God.


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