What is worship?

Some people disagree with the idea of a non-classical ‘omni’-God (a classical omni-God being an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent entity in the classical philosophical sense, derived significantly from Plato) because they believe this would not be worthy of worship.

My suspicion is that often this reflects a misunderstanding of what worship means. In its most basic sense, worship is reverence. In Christian terms, this is typically accompanied by a sense of awe.

Consider the key Christian metaphor for understanding the nature of our relationship with God, of Him being a Father and us being (potentially) His Children. Now consider: can one reverence one’s own (actual) Father without thinking him omnipotent, and so on, in the classical philosophical sense? Similarly, another way to describe reverence is deep respect tinged with awe. Imagine someone said they could not have deep respect for their (actual) Father because he wasn’t omnipotent in the classical philosophical sense!

Regardless of what someone might say, however, it is clear that people do have deep respect or reverence for their (actual) Father without believing he is omnipotent, and so on, in the classical sense. Furthermore, many people revere with a sense of awe God without conceptualizing Him in the classical omni-God sense.

So, it seems that God can be the classical omni-God or not, and regardless be worthy of worship, i.e., reverence and awe.

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