Christian Metaphysics

This is taken from Jamin Hubner’s blog: http://www.realapologetics.org/blog/

This is an excellent summary of metaphysics from a biblical perspective. Hubner shows how theology should always interpret philosophy and not the other way around.

The study of metaphysics seeks the ultimate causes or explanations for the nature and existence of things in the world as they exist. “Metaphysics” is often interchangeable with “ontology,” the study of being. A few features of a Christian metaphysic (which is the only true metaphysic) includes:

1.       God is God, unique and one, and has created all things, and all things depend on Him.

a.       “There is one God, the Father, by whom are all things…and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things.” (I Cor. 8:6)

b.      “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and For him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Col. 1:15)

c.       “For in him we live and move and exist.” (Acts 17:28)

2.       God declares what is and what isn’t. He can speak things into existence (i.e. Gen. 1), and through his Word declares accurately and sufficiently how things are.

3.       God also makes things differ from each other (I. Cor. 4:7; Ex. 11:7; Rom 9:21; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 15:38-41).

4.       God exists on an entire different level than creation. He “who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.” (I Tim 6:16). He is transcendent because He is above and beyond creation. God is not the highest being on a continuum or a spectrum, his being cannot be measured like ours at all. It’s not as if God is standing at the top of a staircase, human beings are in the middle, animals are below us a few steps, and dirt is at the bottom. He stands not at the top of the staircase, but outside of the entire house, above the earth looking down. God exists as self-sufficient and self-contained (“a se”), the Great “I AM,” while we exist as God’s images, created and dependent.

a.       “…when we say that God exists, on the one hand, and we exist, on the other, we should understand two very different modes of existence, each applied to the objects of existence in different ways, according to the nature of those objects. God’s existence is a se, it is Eimi; our existence is eikonic, it is an image, dependent, limited, finite, and (since the fall) marred by sin. There is not one existence exemplified in two different ways; there are, rather, two different existences – God’s and creation’s. Given God’s revelation to us, therefore, we should see that those things which pertain to God and to us – goodness, for example – presuppose a relationship to God and to us – goodness, for example – presuppose a relationship to God as ‘I AM,’ in the first place, and then a relationship to things created after that. In that sense, they should be seen as two essentially different properties, yet connected by God’s condescending revelation to us.” Oliphint,Reasons for Faith, 262.


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