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Denying God’s Transcendence

Posted by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 9:02 AM
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Denying God’s Transcendence

1 Chronicles 29:11 “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty…. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all” (v. 11).

Theological controversy did not end at the Council of Nicea, and in the following centuries the church had to deal with errors regarding the humanity of Christ, the authority of Scripture, justification, and others. Despite the various positions taken on these issues, however, most theologians still insisted on the transcendence of God. That all changed in the nineteenth century.

Our Creator’s transcendence is affirmed throughout Scripture and is reflected in today’s passage. When we say God is transcendent, we mean that He is separate from His creation and not dependent on the created order in any way. The Almighty made the universe and He is therefore its sovereign ruler (Gen. 1:1). A biblical view of transcendence does not mean that God is unable to enter into His creation or communicate with it. He is also immanent, present within the universe that He has made (Ps. 139:7). Nevertheless, creation is not God (pantheism), nor does God depend upon it. Creation, instead, depends upon our Creator for its continual existence (Eph. 4:4–6).

Due to the work of the philosopher Immanuel Kant in the eighteenth century, many thinkers began to question whether we could ever know anything about the transcendent realm. This was based on an unbiblical view of transcendence, one that says God is so “wholly other” that it is impossible for His creation to communicate with Him at all. In any case, these ideas trickled down into theology, and through a variety of alterations they produced a new emphasis on immanence. However, the immanence promoted was also an unbiblical one, which basically said that God is so closely identified with His creation as to be virtually indistinguishable from it. The new focus on immanence is known as “immanentism” and ultimately amounts to pantheism.

The result for Christology was to remove any sense that Jesus was unique as an incarnation of God. If all is God, then God is all, not only Jesus. At best, the philosopher G.W.F. Hegel said, Jesus is a picture of what it means that humanness and deity are ultimately one. This humanization of God and deification of man is antithetical to biblical orthodoxy.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

The immanentism we have discussed today is still with us. The New Age idea that we are all divine is a further alteration of immanentistic thought and also draws upon Eastern religions. We must be on guard against any view that would make God identical to His creation, for then He would be identified with the wickedness His creation has promulgated. To lose God’s transcendence is to lose any hope that He will overcome the evil of this world.

For further study:

Psalm 8:1; 96:4

The Bible in a year:

Hosea 3–4

INTO the WORD daily Bible studies from TableTalk Magazine, Matthew Studies. Copyright © 2008 by Ligonier Ministries.

by on Dec. 3, 2012 at 9:02 AM
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Debrowsky Debbie~Admin
by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 1:03 PM
2 moms liked this

I have come face to face with so many people who think this way. Truely New Age ideas have taken hold of our American society as well.  In talking to them, it becomes quite apparent as to why they do.  It's super easy on their conscience.   No real higher authority to answer to for inward thoughts and outward actions, just the every day dealings of getting along with people to the best of your own moral code.  

I love it when God makes His entrance with actions of forgiveness in the face of great wrong, love in the face of hate, healing in the place of pain and suffering.   I am praying for more of God to be seen and understood in these difficult times.  The contrast is so much stronger.


redheadstar Patricia~Admin
by on Apr. 28, 2016 at 4:10 PM

BUMP!

Debrowsky Debbie~Admin
by on Apr. 29, 2016 at 9:59 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting redheadstar:

BUMP!

a good bump!   seems everyday, I see this aspect of God being twisted and changed. 

redheadstar Patricia~Admin
by on Apr. 29, 2016 at 4:42 PM

Jesus is a picture of what it means that humanness and deity are ultimately one. 

John tells us that Jesus became flesh to show us God's glory

 John 1:14-The Word became a man and lived among us. We saw his divine greatness—the greatness that belongs to the only Son of the Father. The Word was full of grace and truth

redheadstar Patricia~Admin
by on Apr. 29, 2016 at 4:49 PM

Matthew 4:1-11 Is another example of the devil challenging God. But Jesus did not take the bait. He did not have to prove himself to the devil. And we, also, don’t have to prove anything to those who try to use the Word of God, or our faith, against us.


 
Quoting Debrowsky:


Quoting redheadstar:

BUMP!

a good bump!   seems everyday, I see this aspect of God being twisted and changed. 


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