Friday, October 31, 2008

Snappy quotes that show Biblical illiteracy

I was busy on Facebook, when I discovered the profile of someone I knew some time ago. In her profile I saw that her favourite book is The Shack (also see this review), and that her favourire quote is "Religion seeks to define an infinite God. By definition, it is doomed to failure."

Of course, quotes like these seem very spiritual and they have a sense of mysticism to them, in which the one who quotes it seems to say that God is greater than the boxes we try to put Him in.

Naturally this goes well with that age old saying: "Don't put God in a box!"

Now, what would happen if we discover that God was indeed in a box? Or, rather, God's revelation of Himself is the box within which He wants us to think of Him. Is God, in His person, His grandeur, His glory, His magnificence, His power, His ability, in a box? Never! How can the Infinite be cast within the finite?

Yet, this is not the issue, is it? People who quote or make quotes such as "
Religion seeks to define an infinite God. By definition, it is doomed to failure," want to create a sense of greatness about their incredible knowledge about God, that He is so big, that we could not possibly define Him. They want everybody to fall into that illusion that God cannot be defined, therefore, we should not even try!

The problem with this scenario, is that it is a non-Biblical idea. The fact is, God can be defined. He defined Himself in His self-revelation to mankind in the Bible! The fact that God revealed Himself to us, in itself should tell us how important God deemed the fact that He can be defined! However, we do not do the defining of God; He defined Himself in His revelation to us!

I know it is true that "religion" cannot define God, but quotes such as the above hardly ever mean what they say on the face of it! There is usually some assumed meaning that the "quoter" is trying to convey. That is usually the meaning that has no Biblical warrant.

While it is true that religion cannot define God, this quote has that hidden transmission that tries to convey the message that we should put our doctrines aside, because they could not possibly define this infinite God! Yet, the fact is that God revealed Himself in those doctrines we hold so dear.

The problem with quotes like these is that they appear to convey the truth. It catches a lot of people off guard, and because it seems to convey the truth, they accept the message of the quote as truth.

Where will this lead us? This is a one way street that eventually leads to heresy! Since God is not defined, there can be no doctrines that limit what we believe about Him. As a result, we end up no longer believing in God, but 'god.' It is no longer god worthy of a capital letter, since it becomes a creature of our own making! This is no longer the God that revealed Himself to us in the Bible, but an image of our own making that we have carved in our own minds. This, God Himself has prohibited in the 2nd commandment: "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God."
(Exo 20:4-5)

When we start making God in our own image (god), then we have an inferior god that is worthless. This is the kind of god that Elijah mocked the Baal worshippers about: "Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened."(1 Ki 18:27) That is the kind of god that is created by little quotes like those above.

That is the kind of god we end up with in books like The Shack. It is not the God revealed in the Bible, but a god made in the minds of men. This is a god that has no power or influence outside the mind of the believer. This is NOT the God of the Bible!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Boettner's Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

Almost 3 years ago I wrote a short post giving the heads up for Loraine Boettner's book, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination.

If you do not know what the Reformed doctrine of predestination is all about, simply revisit that post!

The Cares of this Life: Trust in God

GOD'S UNSHAKABLE KINGDOM from Randy Rohde on Vimeo

Monday, October 27, 2008

Preacher's slip of the tongue

Every now and again a preacher gets tongue tied, and when that knot comes undone, he will have a slip of the tongue.

HT: Joanna @ Crazy Christian Clips

9Marks Nov/Dec eJournal is available!

The 9Marks eJournal for Nov/Dec 2008 is now available. This edition is all about counselling in the church. It is also available for download in PDF format.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another review of The Shack

Stephen Yuille wrote a very good review on the The Shack. In his review he writes:
"Whenever I get a book, I immediately glance at the recommendations. To be honest, I’m looking for names like Don Carson, J. I. Packer, R. C. Sproul, Sinclair Ferguson, John Piper, etc. – not because I think these men are infallible, but because I trust their discernment. Well, I didn’t find any recommendations from these men, but I did find one from Kathie Lee Gifford. You may think it’s unfair of me to say this, but I offer it for what it’s worth: a recommendation from Kathie Lee Gifford doesn’t instill confidence – not in me, anyway!...

"Young is unrelenting in his attempt to humanize God. In so doing, he crosses a line. Where is the awe and reverence? Where is the appeal to think great thoughts of God? Where is God’s glory and majesty? Where is God’s holiness? All of these things are trivialized by Young’s depiction of God triune as Elousia, Jesus, and Sarayu."

Continue the review here.

HT: Tim Challies

Gerald Hiestand also wrote a good review of the book:
"There are two fundamental difficulties I have with Young's 'anti-power”' motif. First, Young's portrayal of God is out of step with much of the way God is portrayed in Scripture. It's difficult to square Young's pacifistic Trinitarian portrayal with the God of Genesis 6, the Christ of Revelation 19, and the Holy Spirit of Acts 5. And it’s at this point that Young's theodicy falls short. The Scripture doesn't allow us to distance God from violence and coercion. The deeper question of theodicy is not simply how a good God can allow death and destruction, but how a good God can cause death and destruction. Young's book assumes the happiness of humanity is the highest good. The Bible does not affirm this."

Continue reading here.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Monday, October 06, 2008

Studying Grudem's Systematic Theology

I can just imagine the impact that the Hunter Street Baptist Church in Hoover, Alabama, must have experienced!

800 of its members have read through Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology. Just imagine the impact if all churches did that! Just imagine when truth once again abounds in the church! Just imagine if my own church did that! I suppose that will be like wishing upon a star...

HT: Tim Challies

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Lawsuit against ESV Study Bible project manager

Without further a-do, read about the lawsuit here.

Serious stuff, huh!

Here in South Africa I have to wait until November!
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin