The recently deceased Christian author and teacher, Dallas Willard, made an important observation in his book, “The Divine Conspiracy.” He wrote, “God relates to space as we do to our body.” This is entirely scriptural.
In Ephesians 4:6, Paul put it this way: “There is … one God and Father of all who is over all, through all and in all.” Paul’s understanding of God’s presence is in contrast to both dualism and pantheism.
Pantheism is the belief that God is within and identical with the world. In this view God is everything and everything is God. It holds that God is in the world, but not more than the world. This is very different from the Christian view of God’s presence in creation, but transcending or going far beyond it.
Dualism, Christian and otherwise, divides the world into the material and the spiritual, the sacred and the secular, the natural and the supernatural. It sees the natural and the supernatural as two separate things. It sees God being present everywhere, but only in the sense that one person is present to other persons or objects.This view sees God as totally separate from creation; present to creation, but not present in creation.
A unitive view of the world, unlike pantheism, sees God as present in creation while, at the same time, being far more than creation. Just as I am in my body but more than my body, God is in, but more than, creation. The difference between a dualistic and a unitive, holistic worldview is sometimes subtle, but always significant. The Scripture does not divide the world into the natural and the supernatural or otherwise. Rather, it speaks of the visible and the invisible, but sees them as part of the same whole. It sees the invisible and the visible as the inside and outside of the one real world.
Why is this Important?
In Matthew 25, Jesus taught that He—Himself— was present in the poor and failure to respond to their needs was a failure to respond to Him. He made no mention of their worthiness to receive aid, their race or religion or anything other than their poverty.
“I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me … Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” (Matthew 25: 42ff)
This Cries Out for a Response
According to a recent World Bank study, 2.4 billion people live on less than $2 per day. That is 40 percent of the earth’s population living in abject poverty, and huge numbers over and above that threshold living on the very edge.
Our vision at Food for the Hungry is: “God called and we responded until physical and spiritual hungers ended worldwide.”
Can we accomplish this apart from the grace of God and Christ’s presence in us? No. Nor can we do it apart from those who share our sense of call. Will you join us?