The Nature of God….

August 14, 2011 — 2 Comments

Trying to determine the nature of God is something many who are much smarter than I am have been doing since our very existence. I don’t pretend to have any answers that they have not considered.  But, I have been looking at a different understanding of God at least from a personal perspective. This new approach came from a comment on a previous post here on RLL.  In that post I was lamenting how I have  trouble reconciling the God of the Old Testament to Jesus Christ in the New.  To me these two faces of God have always seemed to be in stark contract to each other.

The comment I received on this post was to the effect that maybe differences between the Old and New Testament Gods is the difference in men and not in God? I have been living in the “literal and inerrant bible” world for so long that I never really considered this a possibility.

  • Could it be that the Old Testament writers just didn’t understand the true nature of what God was telling them?
  • Could many of the words that they recorded have contained some well-intentioned words of man and were not words from God?
  • Many of today’s evangelist, mostly of the TV variety it seems, say they have direct contact with God but then they say things that are contrary to God’s nature. Could this be the case with some of the Old Testament writers as well?

I cling to the idea that God is God and therefore infinitely more wise than any of his creations could possibly be. When we see differences in our written text of God those difference just might have occurred due to man’s inability to understand God and his messages to us. Are we are making God into our image of what we want him to be by believing everything the biblical writers thought (or maybe wanted) him to be?

To my “literal and inerrant” friend this idea goes against everything he believes God to be. As he often says that if the Bible contains even one error then the whole thing must the thrown out as we therefore cannot believe anything in it. This type of logic, which primarily has come in to prominence in the last century or so, has put a tight straight jacket on their versions of Christianity. To say that if somethings is not 100% pure then it is worthless certainly prevents them from gaining new insights of God.

So, here I am contemplating the idea that the God of the Old Testament is very much the same God as Jesus Christ portrayed Him in the New Testament. The only difference is that in the beginning man’s understanding of God was very hazy at best but has evolved over time. Do I cling to this concept the same way my “literal and inerrant” friend clings to the total purity of absolutely ALL Biblical words? Certainly not!  I only think of this as another  possibility.  As God permits me to understand him more thoroughly this concept may end up in the trash alongside the totally inerrant and literal Bible.   The Bible is absolutely the greatest document ever written by man but the total understanding of God is just too big for even those pages. As man evolves, God continues to give us increasing understanding  into his true nature.

So it turns out that this intended study of the nature of God is actually a continuation of the study of man. God is unchanging; our study and understanding of him is not.

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2 responses to The Nature of God….

  1. 
    Woleola Oluwole October 29, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Hi Mr RJ,
    I am not much of a writer, but I will try. I actually came accross this blog because the Holy Spirit directed me. It may be because of you.
    I am not likely to return to this blog. The Lord will lead you and I also into the Truth.
    The God of the old covenant is the same God that the Lord Jesus preached. The Bible is totally inerrant and literal, and yes, the understanding of the men cannot really comprehend the greatness of God. Nevertheless, the Lord knew all that before he inspired those men and they wrote the exact words He gave to them. 2 Peter 2:19-21
    The differences you saw are indeed something to ponder. I did, and the Lord took time to explain to me. You see RJ, I AM is a contradictory term as a name.
    What seems a contradiction in men is no contradiction in God. That was why He gave His name as I AM to Moses.
    The God of the Universe is the same as the Humble lowly Servant. I AM.
    The Creator and Giver of Life was killed on the cross by the created that He gave life. I AM
    The Lamb is also The Lion. I AM
    They wondered why the Saviour could not save Himself. I AM.
    The same God that is Love is the same God that will cast the unbelieving and disobedient into the everlasting lake of fire (Rev 20:15). Yet this God’s love is everlasting. I AM.
    The Lord is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8), yet His compassion is new every morning. Check out the “contraditions” in Lamentation 3:1-23.

    I AM is like a Mirror: He will, He must, He should, He surely will and He can only reflect back to you whatever you stand before Him with. HE IS to us whatever we have allowed to reside in our heart, our choices. Simple. He is sever yet good all at the same time. Not interchangeably. He is a well from which we draw out according to our choices (Rom 11:22), either Intentionally or ignorantly.

    Nevertheless the sciptures were given us to avoid us making ignorant choices.
    If there be any weakness or frailty or haziness in any of the writers understanding, be confident that God is wise enough to communicate perfectly with the roughest, basest material.
    It’s all in the plot. Afterall He used a donkey to communicate to a “prophet”! (Num 22:28-30). Isn’t that a laugh?

    I hope this opens another vista of possibilities to you as it has to me.
    His strength is made perfect even in our weakness. If He put His Name on it (2 Tim 3:16), be sure the goods are genuine.

    Thank you.

    Woleola

    • 

      Woleola, It is wonderful that you agree with everything man has put before you in regard to Christianity. Thanks for your boilerplate response. I will include it here with that in mind. I no longer get into debates with my literal and inerrant friends. The effort is not worth the results.

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