Implications for the Personal Nature of God

Angry-Kid1. God is not a Person; God is Personal.
God,   according   to   the   Bible   is   a   tri­personal   Being.   What   sets   the   Christian   doctrine apart   from  unitarian   theologies   is   that   God’s   personhood   exists   independently   of   creation,   within   himself.   Jesus  explains   the   dynamics   of   the   Trinitarian   relationships   when   he   states:

“No   one   knows   the   Son   except   the  Father,   and   no   one   knows   the   Father   except   the   Son,   and   anyone   to   whom   the   Son   chooses   to   reveal  him.”

Implicit   to   the   statement   that   Christ   reveals   the   Father   to   whomever   he   wills   is   the   omniscience   of  the Holy Spirit who, according to Paul, “comprehends the thoughts of God” and reveals them to the elect. (cf. 1 Cor 2:10-11)

The   Father,   the   Son,   and   the   Holy   Spirit   know   one   another   perfectly,   act   in   unison   with   one  another,   and   created   and   now   sustain   all   creation   in   complete   harmony   with   one   another.   To   put   the   matter  briefly:   God’s   personal   nature   antecedes   creation.   God   does   need   to   be   personally   engaged   with   men   in  order   for   him   to   be   personal.   For   the   atheist   to   assume   that   God   must   personally   engage   men   in   order   for  him   to   be   shown   to   be   an   existent   personal   being   is   for   the   atheist   to   assume   that   God   is   a   person. Christianity does not teach unitarianism, however, but Trinitarianism.

2. God is Sovereign.
There   is,   therefore,   not   only   no   ontological   obligation   God   must   meet   in   order   for   him   to   be   shown  to   be   an   existent   personal   Being,   there   is   also   no   creaturely   established   moral   obligation   to   personally  engage   men   that   God   must   meet   in   order   for   him   to   be   shown   to   be   an   existent   personal   Being.   God   does  not   act   in   submission   to   a   law   given   to   him   from   without;   God   is   the   Law,   the   Definition   of   good,   the   One  who   holds   creatures   accountable   to   himself.   When   the   atheist   demands   God’s   personal   engagement   with  him,   therefore,   the   atheist   is   acting   as   if   God   is   obligated   to   personally   engage   men   on   their   own   terms!

God   is   Sovereign;   ipso   facto,   God   is   under   no   obligation   to   personally   engage   any   man,   let   alone   men   who  shake their fists at him in sinful defiance.

3. Self­-disclosure, and the refusal to disclose oneself, are personal actions.
Therefore,   the   atheist   objection   that   if   God   existed   he   would   disclose   himself   to   the   challenging  atheist   is   patently   irrational.   I   have   not   personally   engaged   many   friends   of   my   close   friends,   but   that   has  no   bearing   on   whether   or   not   those   persons   exist.   In   fact,   given   that   refusal   to   disclose   oneself   is   also   a  free   personal   being’s   choice,   it   follows   that   such   a   refusal   actually   would   constitute   evidence   of   his  existence   if   there   were   others   claiming   to   have   had   the   privilege   of   knowing   such   a   being.

The   atheist  retort,   it   seems,   would   state   that   they   do   not   believe   that   God   is   refusing   to   disclose   himself   but   cannot  because   he   does   not   exist,   but   see   point   2.   If   God   is   independently   personal   and   Sovereign,   then   he   is   free  to   disclose   himself   or   not.   Consequently,   reports   of   God’s   self­disclosure   to   a   limited   group   of   persons  would   constitute   evidence   of   not   only   his   existence   but   his   attributes   of   Personality,   Sovereignty,   and  Absolute freedom of will as well ­­ as would reports of God not disclosing himself.

4. No Argument.
The   atheist   belief   that   God   would   reveal   himself   if   he   existed   presupposes   that   God   is   under   a  moral   obligation   to   reveal   himself.   He   is   not.   It   also   presupposes   that   God   cannot   be   intra­personal,   but  must   reveal   himself   to   his   creatures   in   order   for   him   to   be   personal.   This   is   also   false.   God   is   not   a   person;  God   is   (Tri)Personal.

The   atheist   belief   also   presupposes   that   God’s   non-­self­-disclosure   would   constitute  evidence   of   his   non-­existence,   but   this   too   is   false,   for   non­-self­-disclosure   is   the   action   of   a   free   personal  being.   Thus,   the   atheist   has   no   argument.   If   the   atheist   has   not   experienced   an   interaction   with   God   this  does not prove that God does not exist. It, ironically, provides evidence to the contrary.

5. The Problem
The   problem   is   that   the   refusal   to   reveal   oneself   as   x,   y,   or   z   typically   suggests   that   between   the  the   refuser   and   the   refused   there   exists   a   fractured   relationship.   Either   the   refused   party   does   not   meet   the  refuser’s   standard   for   personal   engagement,   or   the   refused   party   has   failed   to   approach   the   refuser   in   an  appropriate   manner,   or   the   refused   party   failed   to   meet   his   obligations   requisite   to   further   relational  engagement with the refuser. Scripturally, the situation is stated very simply:

1Behold, the L ORD ‘s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,
or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
2 but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
so that he does not hear.
3 For your hands are defiled with blood
and your fingers with iniquity;
your lips have spoken lies;
your tongue mutters wickedness.
4 No one enters suit justly;
no one goes to law honestly;
they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies,
they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity.

5 They hatch adders’ eggs;
they weave the spider’s web;
he who eats their eggs dies,
and from one that is crushed a viper is hatched.
6 Their webs will not serve as clothing;
men will not cover themselves with what they make.
Their works are works of iniquity,
and deeds of violence are in their hands.

7 Their feet run to evil,
and they are swift to shed innocent blood;
their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;
desolation and destruction are in their highways

8 The way of peace they do not know,
and there is no justice in their paths;
they have made their roads crooked;
no one who treads on them knows peace.

9 Therefore justice is far from us,
and righteousness does not overtake us;
we hope for light, and behold, darkness,
and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.
10 We grope for the wall like the blind;
we grope like those who have no eyes;
we stumble at noon as in the twilight,
among those in full vigor we are like dead men.

11 We all growl like bears;
we moan and moan like doves;
we hope for justice, but there is none;
for salvation, but it is far from us.

12 For our transgressions are multiplied before you,
and our sins testify against us;
for our transgressions are with us,
and we know our iniquities:
13 transgressing, and denying the LORD ,
and turning back from following our God,
speaking oppression and revolt,
conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words.

­–Isaiah 59:1­13

The   atheist’s   problem   with   God   is   that   God   will   not   overlook   sin.   God   is   a   relentless   judge,   in   other  words,   who   will   not   wink   at   sin.   Consequently,   man   is   severed   from   God’s   fatherly   kindness.   The  unrepentant   man   is   also   severed   from   husband-ly care and protection   of   God   the   Son.   And   the   sinner   who   refuses   to  acknowledge   his   guilt   before   God   is   severed   from   God   the   Holy   Spirit’s   loving   counsel.

The   atheist   belief  that   God   does   not   exist   because   he   does   not   personally   engage   the   atheist   is   analogous   to   the   child’s   claim  that his parent’s don’t exist because they will not let him have his own way.

The   relationship   between   God   and   man   has   been   fractured   by   man’s   sin.   The   atheist   does   not   like  this,   but   he   is   not   ignorant   of   it.   Man   is   proud   and   self­righteous,   refusing   to   acknowledge   his   own   sin;  therefore,   he   sees   God’s   silence   as   unnecessary,   unnatural,   unjustifiable,   and   hurtful.   He   would   rather  redefine   God’s   judgment   (i.e.   God’s   distance   and   refusal   to   engage   personally   as   father   and   husband   and  counsellor)   as   evidence   that   God   does   not   exist,   rather   than   repent   of   his   sin   and   trust   Jesus   Christ   as   his  Savior.

This why Scripture declares:
The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God!’

Repent and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Soli Deo Gloria.

There is salvation and reconciliation to God found in no other name.

-h.

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2 thoughts on “Implications for the Personal Nature of God

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