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Reformed Dogmatics, Vol. 2 > Thoughts to Ponder

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message 1: by Alex, Moderator (last edited Nov 25, 2013 01:57PM) (new)

Alex | 356 comments Mod
Here are some quotations from the first few chapters that Pastor Overduin has pointed out as very thought-provoking. Take some time to ponder them!

"The knowledge of God consists in the perception of his incomprehensibility."

"Although [God] reveals himself in his names, no name is adequate to the purpose. He is nameless; his name is a name of wonder (Gen. 32:29; Judges 13:18, Prov. 30:4)."

"Not only is God free from all the imperfections present in finite, changeable, and dependent creatures, but also far exceeds their perfections. He is better than virtue, knowledge, and beauty; purer than oneness, more blessed than bliss itself."

"Neither in creation nor in re-creation does God reveal himself exhaustively."

Quoting Hilary: "The perfection of learning is to know God in such a way that, though you realize he is not unknowable, yet you know him as indescribable."

"Belief in a personal God is both natural and normal; it arises in human consciousness spontaneously and universally. Unbelief requires enormous effort. There is no proof available to it."

"However, when this natural theology stands on its own and in a self-sufficient and rationalistic fashion sets aside the need for special revelation, it is an invalid and impious activity."

"People tend rather to adopt the crudest superstition than to stick in the long run with cold and naked unbelief."



message 2: by Hans, Pastor and Moderator (new)

Hans Overduin | 24 comments Mod
Reflection:
It has been relatively quiet on the part of all in the reading group. I wonder are we so lost in amazement with the grandeur of God in studying His attributes? How wonderful when that might be and may be the case. Surely God’s attributes, each one and altogether, give endless reason for unceasing praise and adoration and amazement! Hopefully everyone is able to keep up with the reading schedule, more or less. Below is one quote from Bavnick that proves God’s grace and mercy and love in all His revelation to us, and how hopeless for us did He not act first in all our relationship with Him.
“It is not in our power to see him [God], but it in his power to appear to us….Every vision of God, then, always requires an act of condescension….., a revelation by which God on his part comes down to us and makes himself knowable.”
This reminded me too of the song, “I sought the Lord, and Afterward I Knew….

I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
he moved my soul to seek him, seeking me.
It was not I that found, O Savior true;
no, I was found of thee.

Thou didst reach forth thy hand and mine enfold;
I walked and sank not on the storm-vexed sea.
'Twas not so much that I on thee took hold,
as thou, dear Lord, on me.

I find, I walk, I love, but oh, the whole
of love is but my answer, Lord, to thee!
For thou wert long beforehand with my soul;
always thou lovedst me.

AS J. Conder put it too, “T’was sovereign mercy call me, And taught my opening mind;
The world had else enthralled me, To heavenly glories blind.
My heart owns none before Thee, For Thy rich grace I thirst;
This knowing, if I love, Thee, Thou must have loved me first.”
See I John 4:19.
Just some comments,
pho


message 3: by Hans, Pastor and Moderator (new)

Hans Overduin | 24 comments Mod
Correcting two typos---sorry about that.
“It is not in our power to see him [God], but it is in his power to appear to us….Every vision of God, then, always requires an act of condescension…., a revelation by which God on his part comes down to us and makes himself knowable.”
“T’was sovereign mercy called me, And taught my opening mind;
The world had else enthralled me, To heavenly glories blind.
My heart owns none before Thee, For Thy rich grace I thirst;
This knowing, if I love, Thee, Thou must have loved me first.”


message 4: by Alex, Moderator (new)

Alex | 356 comments Mod
That's beautiful. Thanks for sharing! :)


message 5: by Alex, Moderator (new)

Alex | 356 comments Mod
I just wanted to send out an encouragement to everyone that's reading along with us. Remember that Christian growth entails growth in faith, and faith requires knowledge of God. While faith certainly includes more than just knowledge, it never includes less.

"Although it is the 'the study of God,' theology has a reputation for being dry, abstract, and irrelevant for daily living. Many Christians assume that we can just experience God in a personal relationship apart from doctrine, but that’s impossible. You cannot experience God without knowing who he is, what he has done, and who you are in relation to him. Even our most basic Christian experiences and commitments are theological. 'I just love Jesus,' some say. But who is Jesus? And why do you love him?" ― Michael S. Horton, Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples, p. 14.


message 6: by Hans, Pastor and Moderator (new)

Hans Overduin | 24 comments Mod
The quote you post by M.S Horton reminds me of a quote from G.I. Williamson for this Sunday's March 30 bulletin.

“We must also realize that the true church of Christ is ‘catholic’ or ‘universal’. This means that it will always transcend the culture of any nation. The church must therefore resist conformity to the spirit of any culture or era…..The true church—in all ages and places---has one faith that unites it, despite its outward divisions. What Christians believed in the first century is the same in all essential points as what Christians still believe today. And right here we see how important it is for the church to be creedal. The great salvation given by God—revealed to us in the Scriptures—is exactly the same as it was when it was first given nearly two thousand years ago…The great work of Jesus Christ is historical in nature and therefore immune to the least alteration.”

Proverbs 22:28!
pho


message 7: by Alex, Moderator (new)

Alex | 356 comments Mod
We are now approximately at the half-way mark in our book study! As we complete the last half of our study, let's remember that the study of theology should draw us closer to God and in deeper love for Him:

"Reader, remember this: if thy knowledge do not now affect thy heart, it will at last, with a witness, afflict thy heart; if it do not now endear Christ to thee, it will at last provoke Christ the more against thee; if it do not make all the things of Christ to be very precious in thy eyes, it will at last make thee the more vile in Christ's eyes" (Thomas Brooks).


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