Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Theology

I thought I would try to relate a little of what I am reading theologically. I'm not sure how this will work, but thought I would give it a try . . . so here it goes. . .

I was reading about The Doctrine of God. Under this section of theology comes topics such as “Existence of God, the Knowability of God, The Incommunicable Attributes of God, The Communicable Attributes of God, The Trinity, Creation, Prayer, God’s Providence, Angels, Miracles, satan and demons.”

That’s quite a whopping section. Thus far I have read through the first 3 chapters.

Here’s a brief synopsis ~

Romans 1:18-25 is a key section of scripture used to indicate that even gentile unbelievers still know God, but they have “exchanged the truth about God for a lie” (Rom. 1:21). It is the fool who says in their heart that there is no God as shown in Psalm 14:1 and 53:1. Paul states through a number of active verbs in Romans 1:23, 25, 28, 32 that those who don’t believe in God willfully suppress the truth.

We have the opportunity to know God through His Word (the Bible) and through nature. We also can look at the creation of humanity by God, along with the perfect order of the world (which implies the exact amounts of oxygen, etc. are needed for us to survive, not that we operate perfectly).

There are traditional proofs for the existence of God . . .

1. The cosmological view - considers the fact that every known thing in the universe has a cause.
2. The teleological view - focuses on the evidence of harmony, order and design in the universe, and argues that its design gives evidence of an intelligent purpose.
3. The ontological view - begins with the idea of God, who is defined as being greater than which anything can be imagined. It then argues that the characteristic of existence must belong to such a being, since it is greater to exist than not to exist.
4. The moral view - begins from humanity’s sense of right and wrong and of the need for justice to be done, therefore there must be a God who is the source of right and wrong and who will someday mete out justice to all people.

Yup, that can be a little intimidating to say, let alone think about those words, but suffice it to say those are fancy ways to say God has revealed Himself in a number of different ways, ways which help us proclaim Him as our God. Remember we all come to God out of His calling and our longing for a relationship with God. Hence God calls us in the very unique ways only He can, since He knows us.

As we seek to know God, we come to realize that God is incomprehensible, which means God cannot ever be fully or exhaustively understood. Psalm 145 reminds us “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable.”

While we can admit we can never fully understand God, we can still know God, as we see when we proclaim God is love (1 John 4:8), God is light (1 John 1:5), God is spirit (John 4:24), God is just / righteous (Romans 3:26, and so forth.

What is important, vitally important is that we just don’t know facts about God, but we know Him and have a relationship with Him.

Consider any relationship you have, you want more than facts about that person, you want to know and relate to them.

So what are incommunicable attributes of God? Glad you asked . . . Incommunicable attributes are those characteristics God does not share with us. Some are —

Independence - God does not need us or the rest of creation for anything. Think about it this way, we cannot contribute anything to God that which He did not already give to us. We are to bring glory and honor to God. God is absolutely independent and self-sufficient.

Unchangeable - God is unchanging in His being, perfections, purposes and promises. Hebrews 13:8 is a great scripture as it declares, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.” God’s unchanging nature is called His immutability.

Eternity - God has no beginning, end or succession of moments in His own being and He sees all time equally vividly.

God is infinite, there is no beginning or end to God, God has always existed, there is no start or ending to God. One of the really neat aspects of God is this since 2 Peter 3:8 says, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”

From God’s perspective, this means any extremely long period of time seems as if it just happened, and anything which occurs in the short term (one day) seems to last forever to God. God then, takes in all of our moments without losing sight of any aspect of our lives. That’s pretty cool to think about.

Omnipresence - God is not limited by space and time. God is present with His creation everywhere at all times.

Unity - God is not divided into parts. There is one God, we call the triune God. This is also called the simplicity of God. God is not comprised of various parts, such as body and soul of people.

If you are still awake, those are some learnings, form my theological readings of the day.

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