In Why would a god let so many of his "flock" stray?
God uses sin, evil, and suffering as a means of magnifying and enhancing his own grace and glory.
...to which tandex
What you're saying then is that God tempted man to fall in order to enhance and magnify his own grace and glory. Once again it doesn't say much for a merciful God who would dangle knowledge before an ignorant, innocent man and woman and then punish him/her with eternal damnation simply for complying with God's need for Grace and Glory.
There are plenty of issues to tackle in that exchange, but in this node I'm going to focus on the admittedly perplex
ing and, on the surface of it sort of offensive
, fact that when God
acts He does so in order to magnify His own glory
Why offensive? Because of our tendency to anthropomorphize
Him. This is not wholly a bad
thing -- we were after all created in His image
, and through the Incarnation
, God the Son
became both God and man in full. We are more like Him than we are anything else. But what I'm referring to is the unfortunate habit we get into of picturing the eternal
, omnipotent creator
of the universe as a crabby, unpredictably dangerous old man with a long white beard. (In this we are confusing God
If a human being were to act primarily out of a desire to show the world how unbelievably fantastic
he is, we would think him egotistical
; most of us on some level or another see humility
as a virtue and resent braggart
s. Self-congratulation is frowned upon, while for Christians at least, all thanks and praise are due God.
This is because God by His very nature is the highest possible good
, and a life that is lived in such a way that it points toward the glory of God would be the best possible life. So it's good for us to glorify God -- but what about Him?
Not only is God the highest possible good, perfection
in fact, but He is also the only completely self-aware being in existence
. God knows that He is the only person in creation that is truly and without reservation deserving of glorification. And because He is who He is, this is not arrogance; it is a fact. For Him not to magnify His own glory in the world He has created would be in violation of His own nature and the true order of things. It is an acknowledgement of the way things really are. Even evil and death, which if they reigned unchecked would appear to be a failure of God to protect His creation from itself, are turned by His grace into an occasion for triumph.
So his motives (insofar as we can translate them into terms our limited brains can wrap around), which would seem selfish in one of us, are entirely appropriate for God and in no way contradict His love
or the selfless
ness He has shown in redeeming us. In fact, they are part of a divine whole; when God reveals His greatness to us we are led back to Him.