What is the biblical basis for the idea that God can be defined as the Ground of our being?
Secondly, anyone (perhaps already familiar with this) who can give us a better sense of it, beyond definitions and simple descriptions?
This link describes the theological concept of God as Being Itself or, equivalently, The Ground of Being, but those don’t seem identical. I cannot recall from whom, but I have read also Ground of our being and Ground of one’s Being, especially the former. Why the former? Is there an “our being” corporately beyond the church? Also, the definition would seem to describe some ongoing grounding beyond creation?
The article promotes the idea that it is better to think of God as The Ground of being and doing and provides verses for that, but it does introduce the main concept. I feel that in its criticism it probably misses the motivation for defining it solely on being. It has been hard to find lay descriptions that weren’t either trite or merely definitional. Also, the article seems to equate existing with being, whereas some don’t (existence vs reality):
From the link:
Paul Tillich(1886-1965) was a German-American philosopher and theologian who coined the term “Ground of Being” to describe God. He taught that God is Being Itself. In fact, Tillich used the terms “Ground of Being” and “Being Itself” interchangeably.
Tillich’s concept was born in a time when existentialist philosophy was popular. Tillich and others were saying two of the most critical questions facing humanity were, “Why do I exist?” and “What does my existence mean?” Seeing God as the Ground of Being provides some answers to these questions. Yet not all the questions of existence are answered. The concept seems too static. Scripture describes a God who not only exists but also acts.
Of course we have Acts 17:28 (KJV), possibly the best support:
For in him we live, and move, and have our being.
That wonderful verse can’t be the whole of the theory, nor motivate why it’s primary or even definitional, nor can it be the only basis. The verse as primary support for some of these descriptions of God doesn’t work. If God is Being Itself, then it isn’t “our” being it’s His (or it’s Him), which only strengths the confusion about Tillich equating Being Itself with Ground of Being. That said, thoughts about that verse are very welcomed.
Edit: this UU page says Tillich also used Ground of our being. I guess both could be true, with and without “our”? It also doesn’t do justice to his emphasis on that, implying it’s one of many metaphors, all equally true, but that’s another story: https://www.uufhc.net/sermons/s050102.html
Thanks in advance.