God (Christianity)

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God is transcendent when it stands apart from the universe, and immanent when its presence dwells within its creation. A transcendent God is often believed to exist eternally (outside of time), while the universe has a beginning and/or an end. This is typical when the universe is considered fallen, or imperfect, relative to the perfection and unity of God. In this case, God is usually the transient cause of all things (i.e.—God directly fashioned the universe in conscious act of creation). An imminent God is often believed to be the divine presence or principle that defines the universe and all things within it by its very existence (i.e.—everything that exists is a direct part of God's very being—immanent cause). Such a God may or may not be conscious or exhibit intelligence or will, and usually does not act in any overt ways to intervene in human affairs. In contrast, a transcendent God usually possesses a divine will, establishes rules and covenants for its subjects, and often metes out rewards and punishments.

A transcendent God is often referred to as a divine parent (e.g.—Heavenly Father), and has a personal relationship with its subjects much like a ruler. An immanent God is intrinsically woven into the fabric of reality, and interacts with its creation in a more or less impersonal manner, as a divine presence, organizing principle, or source of spiritual illumination.

God is almost always considered omnipotent, or all-powerful, and all-good, even defining all that is good, in itself. Often, God is also omniscient (all-knowing) and omnipresent (existing everywhere), as well. Omnipotence usually leads to the problem of evil, which questions how an all powerful God would allow suffering and evil to exist in its creation. Omniscience usually leads to the question of predestination vs. free will; namely, how humans can be free to choose to obey or not when God knows beforehand whether or not they will. Ominpresence also often leads to questions of evil, since such a God must (by definition) be present even in the most henious events.