I’ve decided Thursday is theology day around here. But that sounded so… cutesy. THursday THeology. So… I’ll call it what it is: me thinking out loud. On a Thursday. Oh great.. Thursday Thinking. *rolls eyes*
The assignment was to create my own doctrine of God. Define God. Give Scriptural support. I thought this was pretty much the hardest assignment ever. How do I know who God is???
I treated this as intellectually as I was capable of: Which is to mean, I did a full back flop onto our bed and sobbed. How was I – a mediocre intellect at best – supposed to know enough or somehow come up with even a beginning of where and what and WHO God is?
Actually, on a daily basis, even though it’s not an assignment, my mind and senses are taking in the beliefs around me, the hurts, the good times, the confusion, the experiences and painting layers on who I believe God is. I have been – and will continue to – create an image of who God is in my mind and soul. So will you.
Each of us myopically looking at our post-modern, individualistic, smart-ass selves in the mirror trying to hype ourselves up by attempting to overcome that general feeling of insecurity, fallibility, loneliness and despair. And in that insecurity, we shape the One that could take away those doubts by shaping Him into our own version of God. Except that now you’ve taken that very mind that doubts every single thing and you’ve formed a God in that image in order to erase those doubts. That’s called circular reasoning.
Listen: Your messed up mind can’t un-mess itself up because now your messed up mind is the one convincing you you’re not messed up.
That’s why it hurts to stand in front of the mirror and look yourself in the eyes. (Never mind the rest of what’s showing in that mirror.)
Defining God becomes an amalgamation of my own past self and my current self and the feelings created by knowing several people who have done their best to tear us down in their own way. (Only to make their own small g god self feel more… goddess like? Who knows. All I know is hurt people hurt people. Yay for cliches!) Defining God can – even when we are in Christian circles/churches – bring on implications and beliefs from those around us. It took me forever to realize that just because someone claimed something to be of God or from God, that did not mean it was God.
I kept sobbing for a while.
And then I remembered something a good friend of mine once told me. (A friend who would go on to get his doctorate in Christian Thought, so I hope it’s a good idea he had…) I had asked a question about God. He had answered that the smartest thing to do when doubting God is to write down what you know to be true about God (because, yes, God can even speak to our finite, doubting selves).
Sometimes you write this:
God is love.
God is merciful.
And sometimes all you can get out is:
And once, in a particular hard hard place in my life, all I could get out was:
No, we can never ever know all about God. We can never have all the answers. But He has made a way for us to know Him. He has spoken to us through Scripture. He has given us the Word of God to study and soak in and develop our knowledge of who He is. Whether I can write a long list or write out a definition, that doesn’t mean He’s not. But for me to be intellectually irresponsible by not investigating who He says He is… well, then I’m not being honest with myself and I continue to keep myself as god. (And if that’s true, (aka ipso facto): apparently god sure likes cookies.)
So after unceremoniously dumping myself on the bed and yelling out, “But I don’t KNOWWWWWW who God is”, I prayed. And recovered my grip on my emotions. And slowly, I started a list:
And there was the peace that He is not me. And I am not He.
And a peace that I can know Him.
He is the only entity in existence; the reason for whose existence is in Himself.
All other entities have the reason for their existence outside of themselves. We are finite, dependent, caused. God is infinite, not contingent – He’s a necessary being – it is impossible for God, therefore, by definition, not to be. His very existence is perfect. -Ravi Zacharias
In case you’re interested, here’s my doctrinal statement on God. (I’ll leave the footnotes off, but yes, there are scriptural backups to each statement, and if you want the footnotes, email me at kelli at kelli wick.com)
I believe God is one God in three persons. Within the Godhead, the Father, Son and
Holy Spirit are equal but different persons. They are equal in deity. I believe the Father,
Son and Holy Spirit are equally God. There is no difference between the divinity of each
Person in the Godhead. The “Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father. Implicitly,
too, the Spirit is in the Son and vice versa.” The love between the Father and the Son is
one of self-sacrifice and the ultimate picture of love for us as humans. God has revealed
Himself to humankind through creation and through His Word, the Bible.
I believe God the Father is one God and Father of all.” God is holy, as stated in Isaiah
6:3, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
God is Father. God is the Father of Jesus Christ. As a believer, I can know God is my
God the Father is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.He is eternal – with no beginning and no end.
God is love. God loved mankind so much He sent His Son to die on the cross so that
we might be reconciled to Him.
I believe Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God and “is coeternal with the
Father.” While He is the Son of God, He is coequal with God.
Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary in fulfillment of prophecies in the Hebrew
Scriptures. He was born in the flesh and had a sinless human nature.
Jesus was both fully human and fully God, in order that He could be a propitiation for all
of humankind’s sins.
He declared Himself to be the Son of God. And He performed miracles showing His
Jesus “bore our sins, in His body, on the cross.” His perfect sacrifice provided
propitiation, “for without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin.” Jesus
died for the sins of the world because of His great love for mankind. He was bodily
buried and rose again on the third day. He bodily ascended to the Father to the right
hand of the throne of God, promising to one day come again for those who have faith in
Him and declare Him as their Savior.
I believe the Holy Spirit was active during the creation of the world, “hovering over the
waters.” The Holy Spirit was active in the Old Testament and was sent by Jesus Christ
for special ministry in this present age. He is at work in the world bringing people to
faith in God. He indwells the believer and seals us until the day of redemption.
The Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses, by helping us pray, “for we do not know
what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too
deep for words.” We are to be filled with the Spirit and not quench His work in our lives.