It Is Impossible that Glory Should Be Without Radiance

As the light from the lamp is the nature of that which sheds the brightness, and is united with it (for as soon as the lamp appears the light that comes from it shines out simultaneously), so in this place the Apostle would have us consider both the Son is of the Father, and that the Father is never without the Son; for it is impossible that glory should be without radiance, as it is impossible that the lamp should be without brightness.

Gregory of Nyssa commenting on Hebrews 1:3

– Reeves, Michael; Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith;  IVP Academic; Downer’s Grove, IL, Page 27

God is No Abstract Diety

In the covenant, God binds himself to a specific people, places and things.  He is not an abstract deity worshiped by some as Yahweh and by others as Allah, the Great Spirit or the Benign Providence mentioned by many of America’s founders.  Rather, he is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of Israel, the God who dwells in Zion – and the God who became flesh in the virgin’s womb.

– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 29

What a wondrous Being is the God of Scripture!

What a wondrous Being is the God of Scripture!  Each of His glorious attributes should render Him honorable in our esteem.  The apprehension of His omniscience ought to bow us in adoration before Him.  Yet how little we do meditate upon this divine perfection!  Is it because the very thought of it fills us with uneasiness?

– Pink, Arthur W.; The Attributes of God; Kindle Edition; page 16

Our Stuggle With a Holy God

The struggle we have with a holy God is rooted in the conflict between God’s righteousness and our unrighteousness.  He is just, and we are unjust.  This tension creates fear, hostility and anger within us toward God.  The unjust person does not desire the company of a just judge.  We becomes fugitives, fleeing from the presence of the One whose glory can blind us and whose justice can condemn us.  We are at war with Him unless or until we are justified.  Only the justified person can be comfortable in the presence of a holy God.

– R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, Tyndale House Publishers, Carol Stream, Ill., Copyright 1985, Kindle Edition

The Council of Antioch, 267 A.D.

At the Council of Antioch in 267 the church rejected Sabellius and his formula that Jesus is homo-ousios with the Father.  Homo-ouios means “of the same essence, substance, or being,” so Sabellius was declaring that Jesus is of the same essence as God, but he was still lower than God in his modalistic order of being.  In place of homo-ousios, the church declared that Jesus was homoi-ousios, “of similar or like substance.”  The church rejected the term homo-ousios because it was loaded with the gnostic idea of modalism

Sproul, R.C.; Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 1997; p. 81

The Theology of Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism

[Christian] Smith defines moralistic, therapeutic deism as expressing this sort of working theology:

  1. God created the world.
  2. God wants people to be good, nice and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and most world religions.
  3. The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
  4. God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when needed to resolve a problem.
  5. Good people go to heaven when they die.

– Horton, Michael; Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 2008; p. 41

Do You Believe Like Most Americans? I Hope Not…

Most Americans have at least an intellectual assent when it comes to God, Jesus Christ, and angels.  They believe that the Bible is a good book filled with important stories and lessons.  And they believe that religion is very important in their lives.  But this same group of people, including many professing Christians, also believe that people are inherently good, that our primary purpose is to enjoy life as much as possible.

– George Barna

as quoted by Horton, Michael; Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 2008; p. 31