the hierarchy of understanding God

In the Bible there are three main ways that characteristics about God are communicated:

1. Statements God makes about himself
2. Statements the Bible makes about God
3. Statements that are quotes by third parties

The natural inclination should be to value those methods in that order.

When God describes Himself, we should take special note of what He is trying to communicate. When the Bible talks about God, it might be communicating a generality or a rule of thumb. When other people talk about God, they might be flat out wrong (such as Job’s friends). What should matter most is how God portrays Himself.

Calvinists demoted the first one to the last. God’s own speech about Himself is regulated to the lowest rung of understanding God. There is a systematic denial of God’s very utterances about Himself.

God says:

Gen 22:12 … for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.

Gen 6:7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created… for it repenteth me that I have made them.

Jer 15:6 … I am weary with repenting.

Gen 18:21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.

Jer 32:35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Isa 5:3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.
Isa 5:4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?

The Calvinist will try to explain away all of God’s utterances about Himself. God is pleading with mankind, hoping for change, hoping that they repent and turn to Him. God shows us His relational nature, His passion, and His deap love. But Calvinists would rather take vague verses, interpret them in light of abstract theology, and then overwrite what God says about Himself.

Final Note: the 4th way (and maybe the most important way) of understanding God is through Jesus

About christopher fisher

The blog is meant for educational/entertainment purposes. All material can be used and reproduced in any length for any purpose as long as I am cited as the source.
This entry was posted in Bible, Calvinism, God, Open Theism, Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

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