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God created the universe. Therefore He transcends the universe. He is outside the universe. Yet, He has a throne room in heaven:

Revelation 4:2 - Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.

I told someone that God is outside the universe, but "part" of Him is in it. I was told that violates divine simplicity, since God has no parts.

How does one explain God being outside the universe yet on the throne in heaven without violating divine simplicity?

Or is the premise wrong somehow?

  • from which denomination point of view are you looking for an answer? – depperm Jul 10 at 16:40
  • Divine simplicity has to do with God's attributes. In other words, God IS merciful and God IS just; He is not part one and part the other and the two are not conflicting within God. Divine simplicity doesn't impinge upon or limit omnipresence. Also, Divine Simplicity is a man-made theological term:) – Mike Borden Jul 10 at 17:04
  • @depperm Protestant – Jared Jul 10 at 17:11
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There is no throne 'room' in scripture.

There is the concept of a throne given to us for our understanding.

Since God created all things, heavens (plural) and earth, he cannot be 'part' of that universal creation. God is Spirit.

Being Spirit, he is not 'located' anywhere (in three dimensions).

God is Spirit and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit - and in truth. [John 4:24 KJV]

God is manifested, in flesh, in Jesus Christ, I Timothy 3:16 [TR] [KJV] but it is not revealed where (physically) Jesus Christ is now (a cloud received him out of their sight).

And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. [Acts 1:9 , KJV]

The further Revelation of Jesus Christ is spiritual - it is not a physical revelation.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave unto him (see Revelation 1:1) is, quite clearly, conceptual - for the apprehension of faith - and is not to be understood in a physical way.

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  • +1 For the invisible God to be sensible to Man, He must manifest in ways we can discern. – enegue Jul 11 at 1:11
  • From what you've said about Acts 1:9, do you believe that verse implies Jesus is physically present, in human form, somewhere in the universe? – Korosia Jul 14 at 12:59
  • @Korosia A cloud received him out of their sight. And he shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Acts 1:11. So what is your own conclusion ? – Nigel J Jul 14 at 13:05
  • @NigelJ I guess I hadn't really thought about it. My assumption had been it meant heaven in the spiritual sense, and so Jesus wasn't in the physical world anymore. I might try to turn this into a question, if I can find the right the right phrasing. – Korosia Jul 14 at 13:12
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    @Korosia Good question. Up-voted +1. I am Protestant. And I stand by and follow the Reformers. But I am not with modern 'reformed' and/or modern 'puritan' denominations. I do not agree with the Westminster Confession regarding so-called 'active and passive obedience' and with the believer being under law. – Nigel J Jul 14 at 13:36
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There is a misunderstanding of divine simplicity here, but also an unfortunately choice of phraseology.

When talking about space, divine simplicity just means that there are no subdivisions to God, not that he cannot be in many places at once. It is well-established doctrine that God can be with one group of "two or three who are gathered together" and also with another group at the same time.

The unfortunately phraseology is you use of the word "part". Saying that "part of God is outside the universe" is equivalent to saying that there is a part of God that is not inside the universe, which is fundamentally not true (according to divine simplicity).

If you were to phrase it as "God is both inside and outside the universe" that would convey what I believe you are trying to say without coming up against any theological doctrine. I suspect you knew it ws something like that because you chose to put quotes around "part".

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  • Indeed if omnipresence is a divine attribute you're last paragraph is spot on. – Mike Borden Jul 11 at 12:54

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