Tuesday, November 08, 2005

NBB Theology: God - Part I

Yesterday I touched, briefly on my inerrantist view of scripture. While there is much more to say on the matter, I'm going to assume that the foundation for what I come next is sufficiently explained. Before I drop the topic completely, though, I'm going to point you to an excellent series by Dr. Mark D. Roberts that covers the reliability of the Gospels. He touches on some of the same points I hit in my series on Biblical reliability back in March (I really need to put up link pages to the series I do), but more eloquently.

If we hold that scripture is inerrant, and inspired, we necessarily put some value in what it says, and about whom it says things. The primary person about whom the Bible speaks is God. For the inerrantist in me, I see that there is truth to learn about God as He revealed it (via inspiration) through the Bible.

Of course the Bible isn't the sole source of revelation. We have evidence from philosophy, nature, personal experience and testimony (not to mention miracles) that tell us things about God. But the scriptures are the most explicit and universal tangible source of material about God.

What kinds of things can it tell us? Quite a few things. Today I will start by talking about God's essence, so to speak, of what God is. Following posts will cover the attributes of God, as well as the works of God.

Scripture tells us that God is, first of all, spirit and not a physical being. He is also living - contrary to Mr. Nietzsche. Being a spirit, though, and being alive doesn't necessarily tell us much. Fortunately, there's more! (Insert infomercial music here...)

God is also a person, with the attributes of personhood. (Here, of course, I am talking about the philosophical view of personhood, which differs from the legal view of personhood.) Some of these attributes are self- consciousness, and self-determination. God is eternal and immense.

God is all of these things and more; I've barely scratched the surface, but we're starting to see a picture of God from scipture. He is real - alive and eternal, the literal Alpha and Omega of creation. Coming up next we'll take a look at the attributes of this awesome God.

God bless!

Note: For the references and list of "essence" characteristics, I relied on Lectures in Systematic Theology, by Henry Clarence Thiessen - Eerdman's Publishing, Grand Rapids - 1979. I highly recommend this text for those looking for a more in-depth, yet quite readable, treatment of theology.

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