Archive for April, 2007

The Beauty of God and Its Derivatives

April 23rd, 2007 Posted in Uncategorized

If the Triune God is the paradigm of beauty, all other things in this universe derive their beauty from him.

This means that this world is beautiful, despite the horrors of human sin and fallenness that we have seen this past week.

And to long to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ is not only an eschatological passion that should grip our souls but is something that we can experience in the here and now—in his Word, among his people, and in his creation.

And does this not mean that the longing for that beatific vision of the Triune God in the face of Christ cannot simply entail a turning away from this sin-sick world? Is it not the glory of God in this world—yes, experienced imperfectly because of the Fall—that drives in part my longing to see that glory in the world to come?

Thinking about God

April 2nd, 2007 Posted in Uncategorized

Within the borders of the universe that humanity inhabits there are two types of beings. There are those beings that are dependent on another. They encompass everything from elephants to snails, from angels and demons to galaxies and suns, from human beings to viruses. Then, there is that One Being, upon whom all of this depends. He alone is self-existent—the great Yahweh, the One who told Moses that his name was “I am that I am.” All other beings draw their sustenance and existence from him. He is utterly unique in that he has no need of anything outside of himself. He alone possesses what students of theology (the study of God) call aseity, the attribute of self-existence. And in giving life and being to all of creation, from the greatest object to the smallest particle, he is to be confessed as the one and only Creator.

There are many gods that men and women worship. Being made in the image of the true God human beings have an unquenchable desire to worship. But being fallen they inevitably worship gods of their own making. Well did John Calvin, the French Reformer, say that the human mind is a factory of idols. The sole remedy is God’s gift of spiritual sight, by which, when it is given like a ray of light from heaven, people are awakened to know the true God and know themselves as his creatures.

He is thus sovereign over his creation. He gives life and he takes it away, he raises up nations and mountains and casts down them down, he brings suns to light and extinguishes them. And none can hinder him. What he has decided will surely come to pass, and in this exercise of sovereignty is his glory.

Human beings have the privilege and responsibility of acknowledging this sovereignty of God. Again, they can only do so when God so inclines their heart. By nature they are rebels, despising his authority, with some going against what they instinctively know, and claiming that God does not exist.

But oh he does exist! Of that fact the Christian is more sure than anything else he or she knows. And it is the Christian’s “sweet delight”—to borrow a phrase from Jonathan Edwards, the 18th century Christian preacher—to submit to this great God and acknowledge utter dependence on him and live for him and his glory.As such, Christian talk about God is far more than a philosophical discussion about his existence. It is joy itself, for the Christian has come to the one and only true God and in knowing him find meaning for life, and yes, life eternal.