“Let me tell you why God made the world …”

Let me tell you why God made the world. One afternoon, before anything was made, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit sat around in the unity of their Godhead discussing one of the Father’s fixations. From all eternity, it seems, he had had this thing about being. He would keep thinking up all kinds of unnecessary things — new ways of being and new kinds of beings to be. And as they talked, God the Son suddenly said, “Really, this is absolutely great stuff. Why don’t I go out and mix up a batch?” And God the Holy Spirit said, “Terrific! I’ll help you.”

So they all pitched in, and after supper that night, the Son and the Holy Spirit put on this tremendous show of being for the Father. It was full of water and light and frogs; pine cones kept dropping all over the place and crazy fish swam around in the wine glasses. There were mushrooms and mastodons, grapes and geese, tornadoes and tigers — and men and women everywhere to taste them, to juggle them, to join them and to love them. And God the Father looked at the whole wild party and said, “Wonderful! Just what I had in mind! Tov! Tov! Tov!” And all God the Son and God the Holy Spirit could think of to say was the same thing, “Tov! Tov! Tov!” So they shouted together “Tov!” And they laughed for ages and ages, saying things like how great it was for beings to be and how clever of the Father to think of the idea, and how kind of the Son to go to all that trouble putting it together, and how considerate of the Spirit to spend so much time directing and choreographing, and for ever and ever they told old jokes, and the Father and the Son drank their wine in unitate Spiritus Sancti, and threw ripe olives and pickled mushrooms at each other per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

It is, I grant you, a crass analogy; but crass analogies are the safest. Everybody knows that God is not three old men throwing olives at each other. Not everyone, I’m afraid, is equally clear that God is not a cosmic force or principle of being or any other dish of celestial blancmange we might choose to call Him. Accordingly, I give you the central truth that creation is the result of a Trinitarian bash, and leave the details of the analogy to sort themselves out as best they can.

Robert Farrar Capon

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7 Responses to “Let me tell you why God made the world …”

  1. Robert Fortuin says:

    This is super, I had not read this before. Quite clever and I suspect reflects more than a little of the truth of things.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Being without beings is not being.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. David says:

    This is beautiful and lovely. I remember reading your reflections of Capon’s writings in the ‘readings in universalism’ section of your blog and being intrigued, as he sounded like a thinker very much in the ‘weird and wonderful’ mould – this excerpt has definitely inspired me to read more!

    Like

  4. Brandon says:

    Thank you for introducing your readers to Robert Farrar Capon! WOW! He’s helped me, a general reader, make sense of so much.

    Like

  5. JBG says:

    Warning: Heretical viewpoint shared below.

    God would not have “made the world” without some impetus; some “desire” to be fulfilled.

    The notion of God’s desire has long been a stumbling block for me, as I suspect it is for many others. Doesn’t desire necessarily imply a lack? Doesn’t it imply a deficiency of some kind? I had always thought so.

    But then I realized that there is one desire (and likely only one desire) that does not issue forth from a deficiency. And this was so stupendously obvious, as we all have had this form of desire. In fact, we have it all of the time. When we experience something that brings us enjoyment, happiness, pleasure (in short, positive experience)—we naturally want to share the experience. This desire to share goodness (positive experience) flows naturally out of the experience and is not self-directed. Having a positive experience ignites in one, almost invariably, the desire to give that experience to another and share it; it is wholly oriented toward the other.

    If there is a subjective aspect to what we call “God”; if it experiences the perfection of Being, then its “desire” to share this experience would flow inexorably from such experience.

    To my mind, this is the only reason for creation that makes any sense. Some say that God created for his own pleasure or that he desired creaturely relationships. It obviously makes no sense for God to have desired something for himself. This entails both deficiency and selfishness.

    The sharing of this experience of the fullness of happiness and bliss (i.e., the experience of being God) necessitates creating other “experiencers”. God creating us out of nothing is tantamount to God creating us out of himself. It may not be too far from the mark to say that God is, in some sense, replicating itself.

    Is God replicating itself in order to share the perfection of the God-experience with innumerable fellow God-experiencers? To my mind, no other scheme of creation is justifiable or coherent.

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