Theology (1) Lecture Part III: Nature of God Jintae Kim, PhD Alliance Theological Seminary Nyack, NY 10960 (845) 770-5762 E-mail: Jintae.email@example.com Website: http://all4jesus.net
Common, Distorted Understanding of God (1) God as a celestial police officer who looks for opportunities to pounce upon erring and straying persons? (2) Cause of all catastrophic events? (3) As an indulgent, kindly old gentleman who would never want to detract from humans’ enjoyment of life?
Speculative Understanding (1) The debates on the doctrine of Trinity in the early church (2) Is He so transcendent or so immanent in human society and the processes of nature? (3) Excessive analysis of God
Right Attitude • The study of God’s nature should be seen as a means to a more accurate understanding of him and hence a closer personal relationship with him.
Immanence The degree to which God is present and active within the universe (Jer 23:23) Transcendence God's status being absent and removed from the universe 1. The Immanence and Transcendence
Biblical Basis of Immanence • Jer 23:24 God’s presence everywhere within the universe • Acts 17:27-28 “He is not far from us….” • Job 27:3;33:4 Indwelling and sustaining spirit or breath of God • Ps 104:29-30 Nature’s dependence upon God • Gen 1:2; 2:7; Ps 63:11; Micah 3:8; Hag 2:5; Matt 5:45; 6:25-30; 10:29-30
Nature and Immanence (1) God is active within the regular patterns of nature. He is God of nature, of natural law. (2) However, nature itself is not God. (3) What is to be emphasized is the total dependence of nature upon God.
Modernism on Immanence • Refer http://all4jesus.net/eng/P3ch9ImmanenceModernism.pdf
1. God is not limited to working directly to accomplish his purposes. • 2. God may use persons and organizations that are not avowedly Christian. • 3. We should have an appreciation for all that God has created. • 4. We can learn something about God from his creation. • 5. God’s immanence means that there are points at which the gospel can make contact with the unbeliever.
(2) Transcendence God is separated from, independent of nature and entire creative order.
Biblical Basis Isa 55:8-9 God’s thoughts transcend man’s. Isa 6:1-5 The Lord is depicted as “sitting upon a throne” Ps 113:5-6; 123:1; John 8:23
Models of Transcendence • Refer http://all4jesus.net/eng/P3ch9TranscendenceModels.pdf
6 Implications of Transcendence (1) There is something higher than man. Man is not the highest good in the universe, or the highest measure of truth and value. (2) God can never be completely captured in human concept. (3) Our salvation is not our achievement.
(4) There will always be a difference between God and man. (5) Reverence is appropriate in our relationship with God. (6) We will look for genuinely transcendent working by God.
2. The Nature of Attributes Permanent and intrinsic qualities which constitutes the entire Godhead.
Classifications of Attributes (Doctrines, 266-67) (1) Communicable property and incommunicable property - Berkof (2) Immanent or intransitive property and the emanant or transitive property: A. H. Strong (3) Absolute property and relative property (4) Natural property and moral property
Greatness of God • Spirituality • Life • Personality • Infinity: Space; Time; Knowledge; Power • Constancy • For the detail, refer • http://all4jesus.net/eng/P3Ch 9 Greatness.pdf
Goodness of God (1) Moral Purities: Holiness; Righteousness 의로우심: Justice 공정하심 (2) Integrity (온전성): Genuineness 실존; Veracity 정직; Faithfulness 신실 (3) Love (사랑): Benevolence 선의; Grace 은혜; Mercy 자비; Persistence 인내 * For the detail, refer • http://all4jesus.net/eng/ P3ch11Goodness.pdf
The Trinity 삼위일체 (106-15) (1) Introduction (2) The Biblical Teaching: Oneness; Deity; Trinity (3) Historical Constructions: Economic; Dynamic; Modalistic; Orthodox (4) The Essential Elements of the Doctrine (5) The Search for Analogies
Definition from Westminster Confession of Faith (제 2장 3항) • "In the unity of Godhead, there be three persons of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. The Father is of none, neither begotten, nor proceeding: the Son is eternally begotten of the Father: the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son.”
Problem • The doctrine is not overtly or explicitly stated in Scripture. This phenomenon caused a lot of confusion in formulating the doctrine throughout the church history.
Importanceof the doctrine • The doctrine of Trinity is crucial for Christianity. It is concerned with who God is, what he is like, how he works, and how he is to be approached. Moreover, the question of the deity of Jesus Christ is very much wrapped up with one’s understanding of the Trinity.
The Biblical Teaching concerning the Trinity (1) The Oneness of God (2) The Deity of Three (3) Three-in-Oneness
The OT Monotheistic faith: 1st commandment “There is but one God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not many.” (e.g. Exod.3:13-15) “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord.” (Deut.6:4) The NT Jam 2:19 “You believe that God is one…” 1 Cor 8:4-6 “…"there is no God but one." … there is one God, the Father… and one Lord, Jesus Christ….” 1 Tim 2:5 “For there is one God; there is also one mediator ….” The Oneness of God
Three-in-Oneness (Introducing, 111) “Although the doctrine of the Trinity is not expressly asserted, the scripture, particularly the New Testament, contains so many suggestions of the deity and unity of the three persons that we can understand why the church formulated the doctrine, and conclude that they were right in so doing.” * For the detail, refer http://all4jesus.net/eng/P3ch12ThreeInOneness.pdf
Historical Constructions The "Economic" View of Trinity (경륜적 삼위일체론) Dynamic Monarchianism (동력적 단일신론, 또는 단일주권론) Modalistic Monarchianism (양태론적 단일신론) The Orthodox Formulation: “one ‘ουσια’ in three ‘υποστασις’”
Essential Elements of a Doctrine of the Trinity (1) Unity of God. 하나이신 하나님 (2) Deity of each three persons. (3) The threeness and the oneness of Godnot in the same respect. (4) The Trinity is eternal. (5) Functional subordination between the three persons of the Trinity (6) The Trinity is incomprehensible.
The Search for Analogies (1) Egg: Yolk, white,Shell (2) Water: solid, liguid, vaforous forms (3) Role: Pastor, Professor, Father, Husband, Friend, US citizen
Try to explain it, and you will lose your mind; But try to deny it, and you will lose your soul