My Life Verse

God causes all things to work together for good, for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose...

Throughout my life, in all its ups and downs, this has been the one constant truth I can confess.
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« A Necktie (hemp preferably) For A Two-Headed Idiot | Main | Some Sobering Thoughts On Suffering:Reflections on Scott Hafemann's "The God of Promise and the Life of Faith »

June 13, 2006


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Thanks for the review . . . a thought on "God is incomprehensible to us in His Being. His delight is ultimately incomprehensible also." I agree that we, as finite creatures, will never completely understand an infinite God. But, on the other hand, God revealed himself to us in scripture and creation so that we would know him, his love and saving grace. The reason John Piper can write such a reverent work as this book is because God has made himself, in part, comprehensible to us. And I think you would agree that God wants us to be drawn into scripture so that we indeed can come to comprehend him at greater and greater levels.

Thanks for the comment. I think we are pretty much in agreement. Perhaps it might help if I expand my thoughts on the topic a bit more.

I think most of the problem in this type of discussion has to do with the definition of "comprehensible". Colloquial use tends towards "having a true idea of" as opposed to "knowing". We even sometimes qualify our use of the word by saying that we do or do not "fully comprehend" something - which, technically, is redundant.

An example of how we may know "true things" about God's delight without being able to "comprehend" it is, I think readily available. Those of us who have loving wives may be able to say that we "know" our wife's love for us by her affirmation of that love and by the manner that she acts in a loving manner toward us. We may then have a further insight into the manner by which her love is experienced in her own being by drawing a parallel with the way that our love for her is experienced in our own being. But we cannot really "comprehend" her affections. We cannot really "know" what she feels unless we feel the exact emotion she feels which means that we would have to be somehow integrated into her.

In a similar fashion we "know" God's delight by analog in our delight. We can say that it is a true analog and that God's delight must register in some manner in Him comparable to how our delight registers in us. But the difference between God and us is far greater than the difference between us and our wives. If we cannot really "know" our wife's affection, how it truly registers in her, how much less can we know that of God. It is incomprehensible to us though we can know true descriptive things about it. Those descriptive things are true only to the extent that the analogous things we experience have something in common with what He "experiences". Since we do not know the degree to which God's Being is represented in us, we can not even make the first qualitative comparison about "how" God's delight compares to our own. We can only speak in metaphors without knowing for certain how far that metaphor is accurate.

Thank you for your post, I'm a recent fan of John Piper's. To me he's a modern day Jonathan Edwards, fearless, scriptural, and loving.

I disagree with one of your points however. You stated to the effect that God didn't experience more pleasure when Christ was baptized than any other time, that to parellel our emotions with God's is incorrect. I disagree. Although God is in one sense incomprehensible, I do believe (And not arrogantly), that we do indeed share more similarities with our creator than we may think.

We know good from evil, and I do also believe we share the same emotional life. We CAN be sorrowful, yet joyful, we can love, yet hate, at the same time. It's really incredible, test yourself. God, obviously, is infinite, he hears millions of prayers simultaneously, he can feel sadness for some, joy for others, simultaneously, from millions. We are not infinite, so we can't do that, but we can certainly feel contradictory emotions at once, try it!
God Bless

I am probably more in agreement than you might think - as far as our human capacity goes, and as far as having more things in common with God than we think.

However, the main point I am drawing is how God is distinct from man, thus emphasizing where we are different. We are made in the image or likeness of God, but we are not made "like", or in any sense possessing His attributes. That is why it is so incredible that God became man. It is also why it is so critical that never confuse the Divine and Human natures of Jesus.

God's passions are not "like" ours, they do not ebb and flow in time. That is the main point.

Thanks for the comment.

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