The Reason for the Universe (and all therein)

So Edwards in the eighteenth century joins Barth in the twentieth in the belief that it is not God whose existence needs proof, but rather the existence of anything other than God, any world at all, that needs explaining. Edwards’ cosmic teleology was ultimately Christological; the work of redemption accounted for the history of the universe at large. God’s end in the natural world was the end of the moral world, the end of the moral world was the end of the good part of the moral world, the end of the good part of the moral world was the end of the saints at their best, venting their souls in praise of God, and the end of the best part of the moral world at their best was what Jesus Christ sought as his last or ultimate end, in his ‘great request’ in what we call his High Priestly prayer: ‘that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves’; ‘that they all may be one; as thou Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they may be one in us…that they may be one, even as we are one’ (John 17:13, John 17:21-22). That was Edwards’ ultimate answer to the question, Whence came knowledge of God to any human understanding, and whence any love to God? Since the being of that knowledge, love, and joy is existence most worthy of being, most remote from nonentity, the same was his answer to the perplexing question–if this be proper speaking–why on earth there is any being outside of God himself.

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