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Volume 28 - Page 34 of 217 Index | Zoom | |
Fruits of Fundamental Studies.
The Living God.
pp. 22 - 26
Before leaving our study of God as Creator and Moral Governor of the world, we
must give some consideration to the question of personality. In a previous article we
quoted W. James as saying:
"In fighting against the God of the Absolutist, I am fighting for the God of Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob."
The God of Metaphysics* may be infinite and absolute, but He is not a person, and
cannot be the "Living God" of revelation. An Infinite Being is unlimited, and Absolute
Being is unrelated; and anything wholly unlimited and unrelated is, so far, as man is
concerned, unknown and unreal. The God of the Scriptures, the God of Abraham, Isaac
and Jacob, the "God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" is a living, loving Person.
God is limited not by limitations imposed upon Him by others, but by His own nature.
Holiness, righteousness, love--these are Divine limitations everywhere recognized in the
Word. God is "absolute" in the sense that He is self-sufficient, and is not "in need of
anything" (Acts 17: 25), but although He is independent in His fullness of relations with
any other, His absoluteness is not such as to exclude His relationship with His creatures,
nor does it prevent His self-sufficient fullness from flowing out to them. "In Him we
live, and move, and have our being."
It has been objected that to describe God as a Person is to speak of God in terms of
man. This, however, is not a valid objection; for this figure of Speech--known as
Anthropomorphism--is precisely the language of Scripture. It is true that human persons
are finite, but it does not follow that personality need be finite. God must either be
personal or impersonal; there is no third possibility. Moreover, the ultimate revelation of
God has been made in a Person--whose name is Emmanuel, "God with us". This,
however, is a subject that must be given due study in its own time and place. We
mention it here so that its light may reflect back to the beginning, and that we may see
that the Personality of God is vital to our faith.
[* - The term "Metaphysics" (meta, "after" and physica "physics") owes its
origin to a work of Aristotle's that was placed in a collection of his manuscripts
after his treatise on Physics. It has now come to mean theoretical philosophy as
the ultimate science of being and knowing. Metaphysics deals with the first
principles of things, including being, essence, substance, time, space, cause, etc.]