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Q. Is God Nature?

A. I recently noticed a bumper sticker which read: “God is Nature”. It is a saying which violates the Creator-Creature distinction and is, in the final analysis, irrational religiosity.

If God is nature then there is no God, for we know that by calling nature “nature” that we are talking about what is not God. Nature is, by definition, that which is purely material- that rules God out of the definition of nature. But if the bumper sticker is saying that God is this purely material realm, well, why bother calling it God? Why not just say that nature is nature? God, by definition, is not just pure materialistic existence. If God were just pure materialistic existence then there would be nothing worth worshipping, for God would just be nature- dirt, animals, mountains, and trees. The existence and beauty of these things should, actually, lead us to worship the God Who must have made them, but to worship nature itself is justly recognized as a sin, and is denounced thoroughly in the book of Romans, chapter one.

So, if one wants to worship nature, then, well, that is all he or she is doing, if God is nature and nature is God. If what the bumper sticker is really saying, however, is that God is in, behind, and through nature then "God is Nature" does not say what they really mean. But beyond that I would agree with them, for Scripture teaches that in Christ "all things hold together", Colossians 2:17. Christ holds nature together, keeping its form, keeping its very existence. But He is not that which He holds together.

What we must prayerfully grasp is that God is God and nature is nature. God created nature and maintains its existence. Nature reflects and displays the God Who made it, just like a painting displays the inner character and nature of the painter. But we would never say that the painting is the painter and the painter is the painting. "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)

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