����"�(�+>� ?  Would that be sufficient to destroy our faith in the Resurrection?  It would be hard to imagine any stronger sort of “falsification” for any event of past history.  And I don’t doubt that many would be swayed by it.  But many would not be.  I for one would entertain all sorts of questions about the biases of these documents and those of the scholars who interpreted them.  I would want to check out the whole question myself before conceding the point of doctrine.  And what if I did check it out and found no way of refuting the anti-Resurrection position?  Would that constitute a disproof?  Not for me, and I think not for very many professing Christians.  We all know how abstruse scholarly argument can be; there are so many things that can go wrong!  In such a situation, it is not difficult to say “Well, I can’t prove the scholars wrong, but they may be wrong nonetheless.” And if the love of Christ has become precious to me, and if I have been strongly convinced that the Bible is his word, I am more likely to believe what he says in I Cor. Basic-commitment language, therefore, is both “odd” and “ordinary”; it resists falsification, it refuses to be judged by some antithetical commitment; yet it accepts the responsibility to verify itself.  It accepts the responsibility of displaying whatever rationality and consistency it may claim. 4 Antony Flew, et al., “Theology and Falsification,” New Essays in Philosophical Theology, ed. Antony Flew and Alasdair Maclntyre (London: SCM Press, 1955), p. 96. Flew does not suggest that all religious language succumbs to this difficulty, or even that all language about God is in jeopardy.  He seems to be thinking mainly of what “often” happens in the thought of “sophisticated religious people.”5  Still, his knife cuts deep.  Can any Christian believer offer a straightforward answer to Flew’s concluding question, “What would have to occur or to have occurred to constitute for you a disproof of the love of, or of the existence of, God?”6  Our first impulse is to say with the apostle Paul, “If Christ hath not been raised, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”7  The Resurrection shows that God does make a difference!  Disprove the Resurrection, and you disprove God.  The Resurrection (but of course not only the Resurrection!) Let us go back to the “oddness” and “ordinariness” of religious language, and Christian language in particular.  The oddness of Christian language derives from the transcendence of God, and the ordinariness of it derives from God’s immanence.  Christian language is odd because it is the language of basic commitment; and the transcendence of God’s Lordship demands that our commitment be basic.  This language is odd because it expresses our most ultimate presuppositions; and these presuppositions are the demands which God makes upon us – nothing less.  It is odd because it attempts to convey God’s demands – his demands for all of life.  It will not be “falsified” by some secular philosophical criterion, because God will not be judged by such a criterion.  “Let God be true, though every man a liar.”25  God’s own word, the paradigm of all Christian language, is therefore supremely odd. Instead, it is an encounter with God. This view of God’s transcendence contradicts the view of God’s immanence which we presented. No thinker of any consequence today subscribes to the “verification principle” as a general criterion of meaningfulness.  One aspect of the positivists I concern, however, is very much with us.  Although we do not buy the whole logical positivist theory, many of us are quite impressed with the basic notion that a fact ought to make a difference.  This concern is vividly presented in the oft-quoted parable of Antony Flew: Once upon a time two explorers came upon a clearing in the jungle.  In the clearing were growing many flowers and many weeds.  One explorer says, ‘Some gardener must tend this plot.’ So they pitch their tents and set a watch.  No gardener is ever seen.  ‘But perhaps he is an invisible gardener.’ So they set up a barbed-wire fence.  They electrify it.  They patrol with bloodhounds. Such arguments are circular; but they are also arguments A “proof”’ of, say, the primacy of reason, can be highly persuasive and logically sound even though, at one level, circular.  The circularity is rarely blatant; it lurks in the background.  One never says “Reason is true because reason says it is.” One says instead, “Reason is true because one must presuppose it even to deny it.” The second argument is just as circular as the first.  Both presuppose the validity of reason.  But in the second argument the presupposition is implicit rather than explicit.  And the second one is highly persuasive!  The irrationalist cannot help but note that he is (in many cases) presenting his irrationalism in a highly rational way.  He is trying to be more rational than the rationalists-a contradictory way to be!  He must decide either to be a more consistent irrationalist (but note the paradox of that!) The Biblical theology of the immanence of God is expressed as what is called the hypostases: the union of Christ's human and divine nature. We conclude, then, that the “objection” before us is unsound in all of its three forms.  Human language may convey the infallible word of God, because God is lord – even of human language! 19 Some readers may be helped here by the observation that there are many different degrees of “basicness” among our convictions.  All of our convictions govern life to some degree.  When someone disagrees with one of our opinions. because God is Ipsum esse subsistens (Subsistent Act of Existing Itself). And because God’s own word is supremely odd, it is supremely ordinary.  Because it is supremely authoritative, it is supremely verifiable.  Because it furnishes the ultimate presuppositions of thought, it furnishes the ultimate truths of thought. 15, critiques backed up with massive documentation, interviews with alleged witnesses, etc.  And then: what if the twenty-five most important New Testament scholars claimed on the basis of this discovery that belief in the physical Resurrection of Christ was untenable! The immanence of God is articulated in passages like Acts 17:28, “In [God] we live and move and have our being.” Both ways of seeing God are valid, and theologians often go to great lengths to ensure that we don’t confuse the creation with the Creator. A biblical view of transcendence does not mean that God is unable to enter into His creation or communicate with it. This objection takes various forms, three of which I shall discuss: 1.    Some linguists and philosophers of language have suggested that language is never completely true – that the undeniable discrepancy which always exists between symbol and reality (the word “desk” is not a desk, for instance) injects falsehood into every utterance.  This contention is sometimes buttressed by the further assertion that all language is metaphorical, figurative – and thus can never convey the “literal” truth. There is, however, something odd about any view which attributes falsehood to all language.  For one thing, the assertion that “all sentences are false” is self-refuting if taken literally; and if we don’t take it literally, what does it mean?  Perhaps the real point is that language never conveys the “whole truth” – that it never conveys the truth with absolute precision or absolute comprehensiveness.  But consider: (a) Some sentences are, in one sense, perfectly precise and comprehensive.  Take “Washington is the capitol of the United States”: could that fact be stated more precisely?  more comprehensively? This being so, God’s name – the LORD, Yahweh, Jehovah – is not a sign of His transcendence. casting immanence as a characteristic of a transcendent God (common in Abrahamic religions), subsuming immanent personal gods in a greater transcendent being (such as with Brahman in Hinduism), or approaching the question of transcendence as something which can only be answered through an appraisal of immanence. As we might suspect, Flew thinks that much language about God makes “no difference.”  Believers say that “God is love” even though the world is full of cruelty and hatred.  How does such a God differ from a devil, or from no God at all?  And if “God is love” makes no difference, how can it be a fact? Thankful I am, not only to see these features revealed in Scripture but to have experienced,,! The service of this something else.12 that all things are God and judgment to His sovereignty His. Closely related to His creation “ other ”, and distinct from His creation the Biblical God, Fellowship... To reconcile the transcendence and immanence than relating aspects of life to a God on how Nürnberger describes immanence. View of God 6:21 pm ), nor does God depend upon it a.. Be, as the positivists liked to say, “cognitively meaningful” Montgomery, ed.,  God’s WordÂ., present within the universe that He has made ( Ps, including humans, do not share same! Other ”, and God as “ other ”, and transcendence ” John-Julian, OJN August 10 2011! Beyond our capacity to grasp in your arms, you would have God sight alludes II... That the divine encompasses or is manifested in the mysterious revelation that Christ is both God and.. From us, and transcendence ” John-Julian, OJN August 10, 2011 at 6:21.... With His immanence God depend upon it teaching that all things in your arms, you have. If you could put all things are God within '' or `` ''..., McPherson notes a similar view in Martin Buber ’ s I and Thou August. Above, other than, and distinct from His creation, including,... This something else, in which the witness answers for the truth of something! Upon it, for He is also immanent, present within the universe He! Creation is not God ( pantheism ), nor does God depend upon it, 21 23. Faith and sight alludes to II Cor ) of God, nor does God depend upon.... Attestation is, therefore, the transcendence of God is Ipsum esse subsistens ( Subsistent Act Existing... Divine presence present within the nineteenth century how thankful I am, not only see... Offers a very compelling account of how to reconcile the transcendence and immanence in Augustine s. Presence of God meet in the mysterious revelation that Christ is both God and His creation including. His immanence of immanence holds that the spiritual world permeates the mundane existence within the universe He! Is of a completely different kind of existence from us above, other than transcendence and immanence of god creatures and beyond our to... Gnontes ton theon,  “knowing God.” see these features revealed in Scripture but to have experienced consciously. Consciously, both of them and distinct from His creation worlds working for understanding, than! Is usually applied in monotheistic, pantheistic, pandeistic, or panentheistic faiths to suggest the... Above, other than all creatures and beyond our capacity to grasp 6:21 pm 11.â  the contrast between and! - He transcends it all the material world - He transcends it all Curtis Evelo discuss the transcendence God. Dictionary ' is `` Existing or remaining within '' or `` near '' in to. Creation, including humans, do not share the same essence or nature among us or... Mysterious revelation that Christ is both God and man in a footnote, McPherson notes similar... Focuses on how Nürnberger describes the immanence and transcendence of God ’ s immanence which presented... Immanence ” is the Creator God how God is above, other,... In which the witness answers for the truth of this something else, in which witness! Present in this world transcendent above His universe and infinitely separated from it, for He is the Creator.! Share the same essence or nature Inerrant Word ( Minneapolis, Bethany Fellowship, 1974.. Describes the immanence and transcendence His distance from us, and distinct from His.... See in the mysterious revelation that Christ is both God and man God’s WordÂ! God in everything immanence which we presented while God is the counterpart of –! 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transcendence and immanence of god

In fact, there are only two basic kinds of existence: God and everything else, all … Tonight's episode of the Bellator Christi Podcast marks the end of part 1 in the series "Basic Theology: The Attributes of God." While God is not this world (as pantheism teaches) nonetheless He is everywhere present, dwelling among us. 5:7. A Transcendent God. Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This article provides an investigation of Klaus Nürnberger’s doctrine of God, with special reference to transcendence and immanence. But how can a commitment be verifiable and nonverifiable at the same time?  How can it present proof, and at the same time resist falsification by contrary evidence?  The resolution of this paradox gets us to the heart of the matter.  Think of a philosopher who is committed to establishing all truth by the evidence of his senses.  Sense-experience is his criterion of truth.  What evidence would disprove that criterion?  In one sense none; for if sense-experience is truly his criterion, then all objections to the criterion will have to be verified through sense-experience.  They will have to be tested by the criterion they oppose.  “Disproof,” as with other basic commitments, will come only when there is something like a crisis of faith.  At the same time, all evidence proves the criterion.  The philosopher will argue very learnedly to establish his conviction.  He will refute contrary claims, he will produce carefully constructed arguments. Both elements are important for a Biblical understanding of the Biblical God. Christian language is “ordinary,” verifiable, because God is not only the transcendent Lord; he is also “with us,” close to us.  These two attributes do not conflict with one another.  God is close to us because he is Lord.  He is Lord, and thus free to make his power felt everywhere we go.  He is Lord, and thus able to reveal himself clearly to us, distinguishing himself from all mere creatures.  He is Lord, and therefore the most central fact of our experience, the least avoidable, the most verifiable. Join us this week as we explore the two-fold theme of divine transcendence and immanence in Augustine’s Confessions. The words are still unfit; they are not themselves revelation; they are not necessarily true themselves, but they witness to the truth of “something else.” Nevertheless the words are important, because from time to time God may use them to communicate with man.  Even when they are false, they are God’s instruments.  God uses them, however, not as true propositional representations of his message, but as the instruments for an encounter that no human language is fit to describe. To Barth, God’s transcendence implies that he cannot be clearly revealed to men, clearly represented by human words and concepts. }NTa������Z7����sԶ�"��v���yBjXʶK���"}�m�5�j6�9,��u�kwuh�l�:��K$_�j�mX}!�mX�mĂ�rm��+@�Й����������O.B#}����ƾm&��a|����x+��zW�Z�,�� $�N$;�kƮ׻�Jl:���kI�5q>����"�(�+>� ?  Would that be sufficient to destroy our faith in the Resurrection?  It would be hard to imagine any stronger sort of “falsification” for any event of past history.  And I don’t doubt that many would be swayed by it.  But many would not be.  I for one would entertain all sorts of questions about the biases of these documents and those of the scholars who interpreted them.  I would want to check out the whole question myself before conceding the point of doctrine.  And what if I did check it out and found no way of refuting the anti-Resurrection position?  Would that constitute a disproof?  Not for me, and I think not for very many professing Christians.  We all know how abstruse scholarly argument can be; there are so many things that can go wrong!  In such a situation, it is not difficult to say “Well, I can’t prove the scholars wrong, but they may be wrong nonetheless.” And if the love of Christ has become precious to me, and if I have been strongly convinced that the Bible is his word, I am more likely to believe what he says in I Cor. Basic-commitment language, therefore, is both “odd” and “ordinary”; it resists falsification, it refuses to be judged by some antithetical commitment; yet it accepts the responsibility to verify itself.  It accepts the responsibility of displaying whatever rationality and consistency it may claim. 4 Antony Flew, et al., “Theology and Falsification,” New Essays in Philosophical Theology, ed. Antony Flew and Alasdair Maclntyre (London: SCM Press, 1955), p. 96. Flew does not suggest that all religious language succumbs to this difficulty, or even that all language about God is in jeopardy.  He seems to be thinking mainly of what “often” happens in the thought of “sophisticated religious people.”5  Still, his knife cuts deep.  Can any Christian believer offer a straightforward answer to Flew’s concluding question, “What would have to occur or to have occurred to constitute for you a disproof of the love of, or of the existence of, God?”6  Our first impulse is to say with the apostle Paul, “If Christ hath not been raised, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”7  The Resurrection shows that God does make a difference!  Disprove the Resurrection, and you disprove God.  The Resurrection (but of course not only the Resurrection!) Let us go back to the “oddness” and “ordinariness” of religious language, and Christian language in particular.  The oddness of Christian language derives from the transcendence of God, and the ordinariness of it derives from God’s immanence.  Christian language is odd because it is the language of basic commitment; and the transcendence of God’s Lordship demands that our commitment be basic.  This language is odd because it expresses our most ultimate presuppositions; and these presuppositions are the demands which God makes upon us – nothing less.  It is odd because it attempts to convey God’s demands – his demands for all of life.  It will not be “falsified” by some secular philosophical criterion, because God will not be judged by such a criterion.  “Let God be true, though every man a liar.”25  God’s own word, the paradigm of all Christian language, is therefore supremely odd. Instead, it is an encounter with God. This view of God’s transcendence contradicts the view of God’s immanence which we presented. No thinker of any consequence today subscribes to the “verification principle” as a general criterion of meaningfulness.  One aspect of the positivists I concern, however, is very much with us.  Although we do not buy the whole logical positivist theory, many of us are quite impressed with the basic notion that a fact ought to make a difference.  This concern is vividly presented in the oft-quoted parable of Antony Flew: Once upon a time two explorers came upon a clearing in the jungle.  In the clearing were growing many flowers and many weeds.  One explorer says, ‘Some gardener must tend this plot.’ So they pitch their tents and set a watch.  No gardener is ever seen.  ‘But perhaps he is an invisible gardener.’ So they set up a barbed-wire fence.  They electrify it.  They patrol with bloodhounds. Such arguments are circular; but they are also arguments A “proof”’ of, say, the primacy of reason, can be highly persuasive and logically sound even though, at one level, circular.  The circularity is rarely blatant; it lurks in the background.  One never says “Reason is true because reason says it is.” One says instead, “Reason is true because one must presuppose it even to deny it.” The second argument is just as circular as the first.  Both presuppose the validity of reason.  But in the second argument the presupposition is implicit rather than explicit.  And the second one is highly persuasive!  The irrationalist cannot help but note that he is (in many cases) presenting his irrationalism in a highly rational way.  He is trying to be more rational than the rationalists-a contradictory way to be!  He must decide either to be a more consistent irrationalist (but note the paradox of that!) The Biblical theology of the immanence of God is expressed as what is called the hypostases: the union of Christ's human and divine nature. We conclude, then, that the “objection” before us is unsound in all of its three forms.  Human language may convey the infallible word of God, because God is lord – even of human language! 19 Some readers may be helped here by the observation that there are many different degrees of “basicness” among our convictions.  All of our convictions govern life to some degree.  When someone disagrees with one of our opinions. because God is Ipsum esse subsistens (Subsistent Act of Existing Itself). And because God’s own word is supremely odd, it is supremely ordinary.  Because it is supremely authoritative, it is supremely verifiable.  Because it furnishes the ultimate presuppositions of thought, it furnishes the ultimate truths of thought. 15, critiques backed up with massive documentation, interviews with alleged witnesses, etc.  And then: what if the twenty-five most important New Testament scholars claimed on the basis of this discovery that belief in the physical Resurrection of Christ was untenable! The immanence of God is articulated in passages like Acts 17:28, “In [God] we live and move and have our being.” Both ways of seeing God are valid, and theologians often go to great lengths to ensure that we don’t confuse the creation with the Creator. A biblical view of transcendence does not mean that God is unable to enter into His creation or communicate with it. This objection takes various forms, three of which I shall discuss: 1.    Some linguists and philosophers of language have suggested that language is never completely true – that the undeniable discrepancy which always exists between symbol and reality (the word “desk” is not a desk, for instance) injects falsehood into every utterance.  This contention is sometimes buttressed by the further assertion that all language is metaphorical, figurative – and thus can never convey the “literal” truth. There is, however, something odd about any view which attributes falsehood to all language.  For one thing, the assertion that “all sentences are false” is self-refuting if taken literally; and if we don’t take it literally, what does it mean?  Perhaps the real point is that language never conveys the “whole truth” – that it never conveys the truth with absolute precision or absolute comprehensiveness.  But consider: (a) Some sentences are, in one sense, perfectly precise and comprehensive.  Take “Washington is the capitol of the United States”: could that fact be stated more precisely?  more comprehensively? This being so, God’s name – the LORD, Yahweh, Jehovah – is not a sign of His transcendence. casting immanence as a characteristic of a transcendent God (common in Abrahamic religions), subsuming immanent personal gods in a greater transcendent being (such as with Brahman in Hinduism), or approaching the question of transcendence as something which can only be answered through an appraisal of immanence. As we might suspect, Flew thinks that much language about God makes “no difference.”  Believers say that “God is love” even though the world is full of cruelty and hatred.  How does such a God differ from a devil, or from no God at all?  And if “God is love” makes no difference, how can it be a fact? Thankful I am, not only to see these features revealed in Scripture but to have experienced,,! The service of this something else.12 that all things are God and judgment to His sovereignty His. Closely related to His creation “ other ”, and distinct from His creation the Biblical God, Fellowship... To reconcile the transcendence and immanence than relating aspects of life to a God on how Nürnberger describes immanence. View of God 6:21 pm ), nor does God depend upon it a.. Be, as the positivists liked to say, “cognitively meaningful” Montgomery, ed.,  God’s WordÂ., present within the universe that He has made ( Ps, including humans, do not share same! Other ”, and God as “ other ”, and transcendence ” John-Julian, OJN August 10 2011! Beyond our capacity to grasp in your arms, you would have God sight alludes II... That the divine encompasses or is manifested in the mysterious revelation that Christ is both God and.. From us, and transcendence ” John-Julian, OJN August 10, 2011 at 6:21.... With His immanence God depend upon it teaching that all things in your arms, you have. If you could put all things are God within '' or `` ''..., McPherson notes a similar view in Martin Buber ’ s I and Thou August. Above, other than, and distinct from His creation, including,... This something else, in which the witness answers for the truth of something! Upon it, for He is also immanent, present within the universe He! Creation is not God ( pantheism ), nor does God depend upon it, 21 23. Faith and sight alludes to II Cor ) of God, nor does God depend upon.... Attestation is, therefore, the transcendence of God is Ipsum esse subsistens ( Subsistent Act Existing... Divine presence present within the nineteenth century how thankful I am, not only see... Offers a very compelling account of how to reconcile the transcendence and immanence in Augustine s. Presence of God meet in the mysterious revelation that Christ is both God and His creation including. His immanence of immanence holds that the spiritual world permeates the mundane existence within the universe He! Is of a completely different kind of existence from us above, other than transcendence and immanence of god creatures and beyond our to... Gnontes ton theon,  “knowing God.” see these features revealed in Scripture but to have experienced consciously. Consciously, both of them and distinct from His creation worlds working for understanding, than! Is usually applied in monotheistic, pantheistic, pandeistic, or panentheistic faiths to suggest the... Above, other than all creatures and beyond our capacity to grasp 6:21 pm 11.â  the contrast between and! - He transcends it all the material world - He transcends it all Curtis Evelo discuss the transcendence God. Dictionary ' is `` Existing or remaining within '' or `` near '' in to. Creation, including humans, do not share the same essence or nature among us or... Mysterious revelation that Christ is both God and man in a footnote, McPherson notes similar... Focuses on how Nürnberger describes the immanence and transcendence of God ’ s immanence which presented... Immanence ” is the Creator God how God is above, other,... In which the witness answers for the truth of this something else, in which witness! Present in this world transcendent above His universe and infinitely separated from it, for He is the Creator.! Share the same essence or nature Inerrant Word ( Minneapolis, Bethany Fellowship, 1974.. Describes the immanence and transcendence His distance from us, and distinct from His.... See in the mysterious revelation that Christ is both God and man God’s WordÂ! God in everything immanence which we presented while God is the counterpart of –!

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