Transformed World View Essay
1. Consider the farmer in Isa. 28:23-29, whose God-given knowledge of farming techniques comes through general revelation. Have you ever experienced anything similar? Have you ever learned how to do something through tradition, observation, experimentation, but believe the lessons come ultimately from God?
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6. A friend tells you that she is struggling because her sociology (or psychology, or physics) professor is regularly saying things that conflict with her faith and, what troubles her even more, he seems to have a lot of evidence to support his claims. What advice would you give your friend?
I would tell my friend to read the bible and study things her Prof is claiming. If the bible then conflicts with his claims no matter his facts, the bible is truth she should refrain from taking advice from her Prof. but if the bible confers what he is claiming then she should act upon the advice.
Read Packer, Chapters 12-17 (pp.117-175) and Chapter 20 (pp.230-242), and give written responses to the following study questions:
Chapter 12, “The Love of God” (pp.117-127).
1. What three comments does Packer relate to the Flood of Love? o Shed Abroad – he says that this is an “outpouring and a flood.” He believes Paul is referring to an overwhelming love. o Fills Them Now – God’s love is complete love.
We’re never love less than the next person. His love is perfect. o Regular Ministry of the Spirit – We put too much emphasis on extraordinary events. We need to value the basic events of the Spirit as well. We need to appreciate the little things. (118)
2. How do you explain the love of God and the fact that God punishes sin? God calls us to be Holy and we strive to be Holy. God disciplines us to obtain a holy stature and directs our paths into holiness. He loves us enough to show us how to be holy. (122)
3. How does Packer define love?
“God’s love is an exercise of His goodness toward individual sinners whereby, having identified himself with their welfare, He has given His son to be their savior, and now brings them to know and enjoy Him in a covenant relationship.”
• God’s goodness – God feels “affection” for us. • Goodness towards sinners – God’s mercy, grace and love covers ALL sinners • Goodness towards individual sinners – Christ gives us an opportunity through His death and resurrection. • Identifying Himself with their welfare – God feels the same emotions we do; happy, sad, fear…etc •
Chapter 13, “The Grace of God” (pp. 128-137).
This chapter deals with grace from a very Calvinistic point of view. State in your own terms the three principles Packer sees as connected to this doctrine of grace.
• Justification – Christ dying on the cross is justification for our sins. It erases them and allows us to access His mercy and grace. • God’s plan will be complete in the end when He has had final judgment and grace is the motive. (138) • We shouldn’t worry about losing salvation because it will stay intact through grace and faith. (133-136)
Chapter 14, “God the Judge” (pp. 138-147).
1. What are the four characteristics of a judge?
o Authority – God is our lawgiver and judge. He reigns over creation and therefore sets our laws and punishments. o Knowledge – God is righteous. He loves justice and is always fair, is identified with good and right. o Wisdom – God is the ultimate judge. He is all-knowing and therefore judges us with wisdom and perfection. o Action – Comes from power (142). God not only judges us, but also carries out punishment.
2. What is the principle of retribution?
“Christians as well as non-Christians will receive according to their works.” Everyone will be judged and receive retribution for all they have done. God rewards good with good and bad with bad. (142)
Chapter 15, “The Wrath of God” (pp.148-157).
1. What is the function of the wrath of God?
o Express how much God hates sin
o Develops a fear of God in us
o To Praise God when we are delivered from His wrath (156-157) o These are the reasons for us to meditate on the wrath of God
2. Why are we hesitant to preach about the wrath of God?
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Chapter 16, “Goodness and Severity” (pp.158-166).
1. What is the Santa Claus theology? Concentrates on God’s goodness, a person believes that it doesn’t matter what they do, because God will still look kindly upon them. There is no relevant fear of God. When they develop this theology, it’s a negative view of God because they don’t understand where He stands on evil things… (i.e.) such as Idolatry (159-160)
2. What is the condition of our “continuing in his kindness”?
Chapter 17, “The Jealous God” (pp.167-175).
1. What are the two parts of human jealousy? Which one is not a vice? o Vicious Jealousy – carried out through unrighteous anger and resentment. This is a negative jealousy. This is a vice and feeds off itself and continues in a downward spiral. It’s a snowball effect. (170) o Zeal Jealousy – Packer describes this as marriage jealousy. This is a positive jealousy. 2. What do we mean when we call God a jealous God? What does this say about religious tolerance in a pluralistic age?
God wants us to be completely loyal to Him. If we are to stray from His loyalty, God acts out in a jealous manner to draw us back. (169)
3. What is the three-fold objective of God’s divine plan?
o “Vindicate His rule and righteousness by showing sovereignty in judgment upon sin” o “Ransom and redeem His chosen people” o “Love and praise from His chosen people” God seeks for man to glorify Him and when this isn’t done He becomes jealous. This causes judgment upon us and results in discipline and wrath, but also to restore us. (172)
Chapter 20, “Thou Our Guide” (pp.230-242).
What are the six pitfalls that Christians face as they are seeking the will of God? • Free will – God created us wise and to be thinkers. It’s a waste not to think and consider all options. • Planning ahead – We’re to think of the different options, and then choose what we think maybe best for that situation.
• Selfishness — we are so quick to place the blame and point fingers to everyone else but ourselves. • Testing the spirits – people are quick to accept advice from non-believers and make it sound like God’s will when it actually isn’t. • Pride – sets into our hearts and we cannot move to the advice someone gives us. • Patience – God doesn’t always move when we want Him to or think He should. We need to wait for His guidance. (237-238)
Study Questions for student guide article “The Significance of General Revelation to Our Understanding of God.”
1. What was a general supposition of theologians about our contact with nature (General Revelation)? That mankind can relate to God through nature.
Within this type of revelation, it is believed that God does not use specific words, or specific actions, but more general or encompassing events that occur in creation, conscience, and history. This belief in general revelation claims to have its support from the scriptures of Romans 1:19-20, the idea is that general revelation is to show the works and existence of God in indirect ways.
One of the few theologians in Christian history who seriously questioned validity of general revelations was Karl Barth. In his deep desire to express the incredible transcendence of God and humanity’s complete loss of God without His special grace, Barth concluded that General Revelation was null and void and must be judged sinful. Natural Theology is the belief that people can come to a genuine knowledge of God on the basis of reason alone.
Barth felt that those who held that knowledge of God could come through General Revelation were in essence saying that people could come to the Truth without Jesus Christ or the Bible. True knowledge of God, for Barth, meant obedience. Since “general revelation” failed to lead the person to obedience in Christ, this “general revelation” could not indeed be called “revelation” for it lead to no knowledge.