Monday, September 8, 2008

God: Up Close And Personal

The wonderful aspect of salvation is the personal involvement of God in our salvation. God was in Christ reconciling me! Though the tone of the Bible is a corporate "us" the application is personal. We say give "us" this day our daily bread but we know when we pray we can ask God to grant "me" my daily bread. When we say God loves the World I know God loves me.

There are two views of closeness used specifically in creation. Transcendent and immanent. God is both separate from his creation and yet involved in creating.
There are three unbiblical views that are dispelled by the creation account: materialism, pantheism and dualism.

Basically creation accounts are Theistic accounts in contrast to evolutionary theories. There are Theist who attempt to blend evolution and creation into "Theistic evolution". Among the non-evolutionary theories (the word theory is an attempt to be fair to all sides) are the old earth and the young earth theories.

For many years I was non-committal on these and attempted to explain both in fairness. In the past 10-15 years I have been committed to the young earth theory. Old earth theorist believe that the earth is millions if not billions of years old yet God is none the less involved. Young earth theorist believe that the earth is perhaps 10-20,000 years old. God was involved in a literal seven day creation. Much of my beliefs have been influence by Ken Ham's ministry "
Answers in Genesis" (AiG). One of the things about a young earth theory is it brings God up close and personal to creation. This in no way overcomes the problems of aligning science and the Bible. It certainly frustrates the scientist and the "gap theorist" but it allows God to be very much involved in all creation. God is a personal being very close in creation to all his handiwork.

But also is it not a reach to say that it brings the God who is transcendent so close to man immanently in redemption? God who simply spoke by the gesture of his sweeping hand the solar systems into existence gave his only begotten son to reconcile the world unto himself. How immanent can you get? Perhaps this is why the gospel confounds the wise of this world.

But also the wise of this world are confounded by the determination of God to save his elect. They will bend over backwards to defend human free-will over God's sovereignty to choose freely who to save. Man just has to have a part in the decision for salvation never fully admitting that he squandered his choice in the garden.

If you allow for a
pelagian humanism then you have to deal with an unfair Savior. Of course no fundamental Christian wants to accuse God of being unfair. So they alter His sovereignty to allow for free choice. This argument of atonement is limited vs. general redemption. Does God send his son to die for everyone so that a choice is offered to man or does Christ die for the elect? This is not a question of his sufficiency to save all but of his application to save a selection. He saves me! I am an undeserving sinner saved by grace!

Before you question the fairness of God you have to admit the sinful condition of man from Adam and understand that in fairness God could damn all men to hell. It is not a matter of fairness but justice. God is merciful in saving the elect and that election is not according to worth because the determination was made before the foundations of the earth was laid, before we had done good or bad. The foolish things of this world confounds the wise but to us who have been recipients of God's redemption it is a powerful work in our hearts.

Limited Atonement brings salvation up close and personal for us. The transcendent God is immanent in our lives!

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