En:Supreme Architect of The Universe
Supreme Architect of the Universe
Source: Wikipedia "Great Architext of the Universe
The Great Architect of the Universe (also Grand Architect of the Universe or Supreme Architect of the Universe) is a conception of God discussed by many Christian theologians and apologists. As a designation it is used within Freemasonry to neutrally represent whatever Supreme Being to which each member individually holds in adherence. It is also a Rosicrucian conception of God, as expressed by Max Heindel. The concept of the Demiurge as a grand architect or a great architect also occurs in gnosticism and other religious and philosophical systems.
The concept of God as the (Great) Architect of the Universe has been employed many times in Christianity. Illustrations of God as the architect of the universe can be found on Bibles from the Middle Ages and regularly employed by Christian apologists and teachers.
Christian theologians such as Thomas Aquinas hold that there is a Grand Architect of the Universe, the First Cause, and that this is God. Commentators on Aquinas such as Stephen A Richards have pointed out that the assertion that the Grand Architect of the Universe is the Christian god "is not evident on the basis of 'natural theology' alone but requires an additional 'leap of faith' based on the revelation of the Bible".
John Calvin, in his Institutes of the Christian Religion (published in 1536), repeatedly calls the Christian god "the Architect of the Universe", also referring to his works as "Architecture of the Universe", and in his commentary on Psalm 19 refers to the Christian God as the "Great Architect" or "Architect of the Universe".
Masonic historians such as William Bissey, Gary Leazer (quoting Coil's Masonic Encyclopaedia), and S. Brent Morris, assert that "the Masonic abbreviation G.A.O.T.U., meaning the Great Architect of the Universe, continues a long tradition of using an allegorical name for the Deity". They trace how the name and the abbreviation entered Masonic tradition from the Book of Constitutions written in 1723 by Reverend James Anderson. They also note that Anderson, a Calvinist minister, probably took the term from Calvin's usage.
Christopher Haffner's own explanation of how the Masonic concept of a Great Architect of the Universe, as a placeholder for the Supreme Being of one's choice, is given in Workman Unashamed:
- Now imagine me standing in lodge with my head bowed in prayer between Brother Mohammed Bokhary and Brother Arjun Melwani. To neither of them is the Great Architect of the Universe perceived as the Holy Trinity. To Brother Bokhary He has been revealed as Allah; to Brother Melwani He is probably perceived as Vishnu. Since I believe that there is only one God, I am confronted with three possibilities:
- They are praying to the devil whilst I am praying to God;
- They are praying to nothing, as their Gods do not exist;
- They are praying to the same God as I, yet their understanding of His nature is partly incomplete (as indeed is mine — 1 Cor 13:12)
- It is without hesitation that I accept the third possibility..
- — Christopher Haffner, Workman Unashamed: The Testimony of a Christian Freemason, Lewis Masonic, 1989, p.39