What kind of God?
Christians believe that the planet on which we live is not here by accident. The progress of the universe from a particle of matter to a human being living in the vast expanses of space was brought about by the plan of God.
The Bible describes God as:
God doesn’t live in a particular place, separate from his creation, but is everywhere in it.
Even though the world has evil things in it, God can and will bring about justice.
When you pray, it is to a God who understands every thought.
Beyond space and time
God is eternal and doesn’t rely on anything else in order to exist.
Even when circumstances look terrible, goodness will have the upper hand.
God is set apart in awesome perfection, but he is also utterly loving.
Although you would expect God to be unapproachable because of his holiness, he is immensely tender toward human beings. Knowing him is an entirely wonderful experience, bringing a sense of being loved, blessed and sustained through life.
Way above gender and language
However you try to describe God (including using the words he or she), the truth is even greater.
There is only one God, although he can be encountered in three different ways – Father, Son and Spirit.
What the Bible says about it
An extract from the Bible:
The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all life and breath and everything else ... God did this so that [humans] would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
Where to find it:
About these words:
They were spoken by Paul, one of the first leaders of the Christian church, to a crowd in Athens about twenty years after the life of Jesus.
And they said...
Richard Coles, clergyman, broadcaster and former rock star:
God is the reality of unimaginable surprise, wonder, love and light that lies beyond the darkest, furthest horizon of human depravity.
Magneto, in Marvel Comics’ X-Men:
Are you a God-fearing man, Senator? That is such a strange phrase. I've always thought of God as a teacher — a bringer of light, wisdom, and understanding.
Michael Palin, comedian and broadcaster:
I once gave a talk at a church on the subject, 'Does God have a sense of humour?' My obvious answer being that if he created us, then he must have.
Victoria Coren, broadcaster and journalist:
Come on, let’s make this a fair fight, at least. Identify yourselves, thinking believers! Don’t be cowed into silence by the idea that faith is the weakness of a halfwit, like buying your goldfish Christmas presents or watching ITV2. It isn’t. I’ll start. I believe in God and I’m perfectly intelligent and rational. Not that you’d think so if you saw me on Wednesday night!
Carrie Longton, founder of Mumsnet:
I was brought up to believe that God was my Father. That wasn't a hard image to live with as I had a very loving dad. But the God I know definitely has a mothering side ... 'Mothering' goes beyond gender, and the God I know through Jesus is both a great father and a great mother.
Tony Jordan, writer of BBC1's Eastenders, Hustle and The Nativity:
I'd like to be locked in a church with an atheist scientist, so that he or she can explain to me how they can dismiss the notion of God when they can't even explain what makes up 96 per cent of the universe we see, let alone what's beyond it. It's a bit like a three year old sitting in the Sistine Chapel with a sheet of A4 crayon and a chunky wax crayon, trying to explain Michelangelo.
Frank Skinner, comedian:
I have friends who are atheists. There's this mate of mine. He says, 'It's such rubbish. Come back to my flat and I'll make a cup of tea and we'll talk the whole thing through.' So I go back with him and he puts the kettle on. 'The thing is, Frank, the universe - it just happened. A big bang, an accident, no one made it happen. There's no great designer, no thought went into it or planning, it just happened - do you get it? ... Anyway, that cup of tea won't make itself.'
I said, 'Why not?'
Stephen Hawking, physicist, writing in 'A Brief History of Time':
The usual approach of science constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe ... If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for then we would know the mind of God.
Maria Mitchell, 1818-1889, astronomer:
Scientific investigations, pushed on and on, will reveal new ways in which God works, and brings us deeper revelations of the wholly unknown.
Woody Allen, film director:
If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss bank.