The nature of God has been a subject of philosophical and theological inquiry for centuries. Throughout human history, people have attempted to understand the nature of the divine and the role it plays in the universe. While the concept of God varies among different cultures and religions, there are some common features that define the nature of God.
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Moses learned an important lesson about violence and anger here. In the first case, he observed violence against a fellow Israelite and responded by killing the perpetrator. Clearly, other options were open to him: reporting the misdeed, using his position to bring the power of the state to bear against the perpetrator, advocating a change in state labor laws. In the second case, he intervened when some annoying shepherds pestered a group of young women, This time he did not kill but drove off the nuisances.
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As students , we learned to raise our hand in the classroom to gain recognition to speak. The en masse raising of hands at a sporting event signals celebration. Neither of these forms of hand raising are apparent in the art and literature of the ancient Near East, but we do find both morals and gods depicted with uplifted hands in a variety of scenarios.
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Most Christians approach this topic from one of three viewpoints. One group sees all the gifts mentioned in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, Ephesians 4, and 1 Peter 4 as still operative today. Another group says that the more spectacular, so-called “sign” gifts (prophecy, tongues, healing) were given only for the beginning era of the church (people who hold this position are called “cessationists”). Still others teach that all the gifts were temporary in nature.
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