Sunday, May 20, 2007

God is Love and God is God

This is cited from Brothers We Are Not Professionals, by John Piper (pg. 102-103):

Consider that God is love (1 John 4:8, 16), and that God is God (Isa. 45:22, 46:9). In the truth that God is God is implied that God is who He is in all His glorious attributes and self-sufficiency. But in the truth that God is love is implied that all of this glory is moving our way for our everlasting enjoyment.

Now those two truths from the Bible have unleashed different impulses in the world. And we will see that a balance is introduced here, lest we make of Christianity an elitist affair, which it definitely is not.

- That God is love unleashes the impulse of simplicity, and that God is God unleashes the impulse of complexity.
- That God is love unleashes the impulse of accessibility, and that God is God unleashes the impulse of profundity.
- That God is love encourages a focus on the basics, and that God is God encourages a focus on comprehensiveness. One says, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31). The other says, "I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:27).
- That God is love impels us to be sure that the truth gets to all people, and that God is God impels us to be sure that what gets to all people is the truth.
- That God is love unleashes the impulse toward fellowship, and that God is God unleashes the impulse toward scholarship.
- That God is love tends to create extroverts and evangelists, and that God is God tend to creat contemplatives and poets.
- That God is love helps foster a folk ethos, and that God is God helps foster fine ethos. The folk ethos revels in the intimacy of God and sings softly,
Lord, You are more precious than silver.
Lord, you are more costly than gold.
Lord, you are more beautiful than diamonds,
Nothing, I desire compares with you.
(Lynn Deshazo)
And the fine ethos revels in the transcendent majesty of God and sings with profound exultation:
Far, far above thy thought
His counsel shall appear,
When fully He the work hath wrought
That caused they needless fear.
Leave to his sovereign will
To choose and to command:
With wonder filled, thou then shalt own
How wise, how strong His hand.
(Paul Gerhardt)

1 comment:

Ben Eilers (SBC) said...

Matt,
Thought this was an excellent book and a nice quick read. I really appreciated his chapter on "Fighting flesh tanks with pea-shooter ammunition." I also appreciated his chapter on not "confusing uncertainty with humility". The charge of arrogance gets thrown around so much within our circles. We have perhaps begun to equate a lack of knowledge with the simplistic ideal of humility. Nevertheless, it was a great book, getting to the heart of the matter quickly!