Saturday, January 13, 2018

2.1 Biblical Theology of God: Basic Beliefs

Every time I teach biblical theology I think, "I should write my own book." So I might put some fragments here as I have opportunity. I have no book contract and have too many things to do to write extensively, but I want to put some depth probes here.
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Chapter 1: What is Biblical Theology?
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Basic Approaches
1.3 History of Biblical Theology
1.4 This Book's Approach

Chapter 2: Theology of God
2.1 Basic Beliefs
The Christian understanding of God is relatively uncontroversial in its most fundamental aspects. For example, the idea that "God is one" is fundamental not only to Christianity but to Judaism and even Islam. We will see later in the chapter that the understanding of what monotheism means developed some within the pages of Scripture and in the first couple centuries of the church. [textbox] Modern cosmology may help us refine our understanding even further. Nevertheless, the central doctrine goes back to Deuteronomy 6:4.

God's attributes or characteristics are often divided into two categories. These are his "communicable" attributes (characteristics that humans share to some degree) and his "incommunicable" attributes (characteristics that are unique to God alone). However, we might also divide his attributes into his transcendent and economic attributes. Transcendent means apart from or beyond the creation. "Economic" in this means God in relation to the creation, the way God administrates the universe. [1]

We might mention seven attributes as characteristic of God in his being apart from the creation: 1) holiness, 2) self-sufficiency, 3) triunity, 4) love, 5) freedom, 6) eternity, 7) immutability.

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Similarly, we might mention six attributes of God that reflect the way God relates to the creation: 1) creator, 2) spirituality, 3) omnipresence, 4) omnipotence, 5) omniscience, 6) justice.

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[textbox] Monotheism is the belief that there is only one God who stands alone and distinct from everything else that exists.

[1] As a side note, we might argue that all of our knowledge of God is in relation to his creation. That everything we know about God we know by analogy to the creation.

1 comment:

Martin LaBar said...

How about holiness, desire for intimacy, and love?