2. We cannot comprehend God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence unless we know what the divine design is, and unless we learn that God is the divine design and that he imposed that design on the universe as a whole and on everything in it as he created it.

Astounding quantities and varieties of folly have crept into human minds and slithered into the church through the heads of its founders as a result of their not understanding the design that God built into the universe and everything in it. A mere list of these foolish notions, which appears below [Sections 56–58], will make this clear.

For now let me open a discussion of the divine design with a general definition: A “design” is the quality of arrangement, boundaries, and interaction among parts, substances, or entities that together make up a form. This quality results in a state—a state that is perfect when produced by wisdom acting on the basis of love, and imperfect when spawned by unsound reasoning acting on the basis of mere desire.

This definition uses the terms substance, form, and state. By substance we mean form as well, because every substance is a form, and the quality of that form is its state. The perfection or imperfection of that state is a result of the design it has.

Because these points are metaphysical, though, they are unavoidably cloaked in thick darkness; but in the ensuing discussion, application of these terms in illustrative examples will dispel this darkness.

God is the divine design because he is substance itself and form itself. He is substance because from him come all things that subsist, that came into existence in the past, and that are coming into existence now. He is form because every quality of [these] substances arose and arises from him. Quality comes from no other source than form.

Now, because God is the absolute, the first, and the only substance and form and is also the absolute and only love and the absolute and only wisdom, and because wisdom produces form on the basis of love, and the state and quality of the form depend on its design, it follows that God is the design itself. It also follows that from himself God imposed a design on the universe and on every single thing in it, and the design imposed was absolutely perfect because all that he created was good, as we read in Genesis, the Book of Creation.

(In its own place we will show that evil of every kind and hell itself came into existence after creation.) Now we turn to thoughts that are more accessible to, clearer for, and gentler on the mind.

from True Christianity, Sections


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