What is Christian pantheism?
Question: "What is Christian pantheism?"
Answer: Christian pantheism is an attempt to connect the Bible with the false idea that everything that exists is, itself, actually God. This is the central idea of pantheism: that “God is everything, and everything is God.” However, the Bible clearly speaks of God as something separate from His creation. References to “Christian pantheism” are as self-contradictory as speaking of “square circles.” The two ideas are inherently incompatible. As a result, most attempts at interpreting Scripture to support pantheism involve dismissing that very Scripture in some way. This either happens through questioning the accuracy of the Bible or taking verses completely out of context.
Pantheism declares that only God exists; everything is God. This blatantly contradicts many core concepts presented in the Bible. God explicitly says He is not the same thing as man (Numbers 23:19), the universe is a created thing (Genesis 1:1), man is made in His image (Genesis 1:27), and so forth. Scripture describes man and God speaking to each other (Genesis 3:9–10; Exodus 3:4–5), God judging man (Isaiah 2:4; 33:22), and God separating Himself from certain beings (Revelation 20:12–15). The entire concept of prayer implies there is an “other” to hear the prayer (Matthew 6:9). This is why true pantheists do not pray; they meditate, since pantheism denies there is an “other” with whom to communicate.
Those attempting to defend Christian pantheism take certain Bible verses badly out of context. Almost all such errors focus on the idea of God’s Spirit indwelling man. For example, Galatians 2:20 speaks of Christ living “in” us. First Corinthians 3:16–17 refers to man’s body as the “temple of God.” First John 3:24 mentions the Spirit “abiding” in believers. These verses, according to the pantheist, show that God and man are one and the same.
However, both the specific contexts of these verses and the overall context of the Bible show this view to be false. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not an obscure, poetic metaphor for pantheism. If Scripture intended to teach that “all is God, and God is all,” it would not reference concepts such as salvation, sin, prayer, or judgment, all of which imply an absolute, objective difference between two non-identical things.
Scripture is clear: God is not the same as His creation. He is certainly not the same as man. Obscure or not, Christian pantheism is ultimately another example of poor Bible interpretation and even worse logic.
Recommended Resource: Jesus Among Other gods by Ravi Zacharias
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