Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A few more thoughts about God's attributes

A couple more thoughts after last night's study of the attributes of God —

No, we didn't get finished with the notes, but I'm okay with that, even if it means that we won't be able to cover some other things in as much detail at the end of the summer. There is nothing more important than getting right our understanding of the Godhead. We struggle spiritually because we don't think rightly about God and His Word. [I read this morning that God let the nation of Israel be hungry in the wilderness for the express purpose of teaching them that "man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord" (Dt. 8:3). We need more of God, not less.]

Twenty years ago, R. C. Sproul summarized the problem of man well: "The root problem is that man lives in an environment where many human beings experience a profound sense of the absence of God." Perhaps the reason so many (even more today than when Sproul wrote that sentence) live without God is because they are seeking the wrong kind of God:

Many people, both believers and unbelievers, are confidently gripping an image of God that simply doesn't square with the God of the Bible. One of the most common of these images is that of a God who is only love and kindness, a kind of deified Mister Rogers. C. S. Lewis said it well:

We want, in fact, not so much a Father in Heaven as a grandfather in Heaven — a senile old gentleman who, as they say, 'liked to see young people enjoying themselves,' and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, 'A good time was had by all.' [Dwight Edwards, Revolution Within.]

So if we take an extra week or two or three talking about God, the Trinity, Christ and His work of salvation, and the transforming, indwelling work of the Spirit, I'm okay with that.

Finally, as I studied, I found that invariably the best synthesizing quote I had on a given attribute of God was penned by A. W. Tozer, and most of those statements came from The Knowledge of the Holy. What a gift of God's grace that book is to the church. So last night I ordered several copies of it for the book cart — hopefully they will arrive in time for next week's study.

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