A Note on the God-Man Relationship

Westerners are so used to thinking about the God-man relationship in the Judeo-Christian way that we forget there are all kinds of other possibilities.

A god might have a variety of different personalities, of varying degrees of sophistication; and the degree of concern he might have with the fate of humanity could vary widely, too (remember that he need not even have been involved in our creation).  He might be hostile to humanity, or to have become hostile to it; he might enjoy simply toying with us.  He might love us but have no concern with how we live.  He need not have given us an afterlife, and there are different sorts of afterlives we might have been given.

So the Judeo-Christian God is special in any number of key respects: (1) He created us specially; (2) He loves us individually and as a species; (3) He wants us to behave toward Him and toward each other in a particular, loving way; (4) He has spelled all this out for us; and (5) He has given us eternal life that can be really good or really bad.