THE DOCTRINE OF GOD
THE COVENANT GOD
GOD
Creation
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THE COVENANT GOD
and the Non-Christian Dilemma
Either:
Divinize Man
The inevitability
Of One Circle
Thinking
Or:
Humanize God
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THE COVENANT GOD
• Transcendent
• Distant
• Creator-creature
Distinction
• Man is image of
GOD
• In Adam, covenant
keeper becomes
covenant breaker
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• Personal
• Immanent
• Creator-creature
Relationship
• Man is IMAGE of
God
• In Christ, the
covenant breaker
becomes again the
covenant keeper
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THE COVENANT GOD
• Theology and Children of the
Covenant
– The Nature of Scripture as Covenant
Book
– Our Theistic Presupposition
• Theology and “Covenant Logic”
– Philosophical Problems
– The Nature of doctrine as “living
truth” not merely cognitive
propositions
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THE COVENANT GOD
• The Basic Doctrinal Affirmation of
Scripture is the Being of God
• God is “being”; other beings “come to
be”
• Scripture:
– Heb. 11:6
– John 8:58
– Psalm 10:4, 14:1, 53:1
• Scripture “uses the language of God’s
being, the personal God of the
Covenant”
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ARGUMENTS: EXISTENCE OF GOD
Block-House
Methodology:
Theistic Proofs
GOD
Universal
Consent
Moral
Cosmological Teleological
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Doctrine of God
Ontological
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ARGUMENTS: EXISTENCE OF GOD
Moral
Universal Consent
Ontological
Teleological
A REFORMED
APPROACH
Cosmological
PROOFS ARE
CONFIRMATORY
AUTHORITY OF THE WORD
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KNOWING GOD
• In Theology proper, we employ the same
methodology we use in Theology in general
– Our approach is Covenantal
– We are in relationship with God and we proceed to
reflect on that relationship
• As covenant partners, we begin with the Biblical
affirmation of God- that is our a-priori
• All our knowledge of God is the result of his free
self-disclosure
• We do not begin with any philosophical a-priori
• Finitum non capax infiniti
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THE TRIUNE GOD
• The Doctrine of the Trinity is not
“biblical” as are other doctrines, such as
justification
• Its primary support does not lie in
“Trinitarian passages,” though they are
important
• The doctrine is the result, rather, of
considering how Scripture speaks of
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
• Thus- it is necessary to account for the
biblical language of unity and diversity
– Avoiding Modalism
– Avoiding Tritheism
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THE TRIUNE GOD IN THE BIBLE
• THERE IS ONE GOD
• THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY
SPIRIT EACH IS GOD
• THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY
SPIRIT EACH IS A DISTINCT
PERSON
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THERE IS ONE GOD
• Deuteronomy 4:35,39,
“The Lord is God, beside
him there is no other”
• Deuteronomy 6:4, “the
Lord is one”
• Isaiah 44:6, “apart from
me there is no God”;
45:21,24
• John 17:3, “the only true
God”
• I Timothy 2:5, “one God”
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THE FATHER IS GOD
• Malachi 2:10, “Have we not all one Father?
Did not one God create us?”
• Matthew 6:1-9, “your Father in heaven”
• John 1:14,18, “who came from the Father”
• Romans 1:7, 15:6, “Grace and peace . . .
from God our Father”
• I Corinthians 15:24, “hands over the
kingdom to God the Father”
• Hebrews 1:1-6, “I will be his Father”
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THE SON IS GOD
• Isaiah 9:6, “He will be called . . . Mighty God”
• Micah 5:2, “whose origins are from of old, from
ancient times”
• John 1:1,18, “and the Word was God”
• John 20:28, “My Lord and My God”
• Romans 9:5, “Christ, who is God over all”
• Titus 2:13, “great God and Savior, Jesus Christ”
• Hebrews 1:8, “your throne, O God, will last
forever”
• I John 5:20, “He (Jesus Christ) is the true God
and eternal life”
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THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GOD
• Genesis 1:2, “Spirit of God hovered over the
waters”
• Judges 3:10, “the Spirit of the Lord came upon
him”
• Isaiah 63:10, “they rebelled and grieved his
Holy Spirit”
• Romans 8:9, “the Spirit of God lives in you”
• Ephesians 4:30, “do not grieve the Holy Spirit
of God”
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THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GOD
• Hebrews 9:14, “Christ, who through the
eternal Spirit”
• Psalm 139:7, “where can I go from your
Spirit”
• I Corinthians 2:10, “God has revealed it
to us by his Spirit”
• I Corinthians 12:4-6, “same Spirit . . .
Lord . . . God”
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RELATIONSHIPS
• The Father is God, is not the Son, is
not the Holy Spirit
• The Son is God, is not the Father, is
not the Holy Spirit
• The Holy Spirit is God, is not the
Father, is not the Son
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RELATIONSHIPS
• The Father is not begotten neither
proceeds from any, but from eternity
begets the Son and together with the
Son from eternity breathes forth the
Holy Spirit.
• The Son is eternally begotten of the
Father and proceeds from none, but
with the Father eternally breathes forth
the Holy Spirit.
• The Holy Spirit is not begotten, but
eternally proceeds from the Father and
the Son.
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FATHER, SON, HOLY SPIRIT EACH
IS A DISTINCT PERSON
•
•
•
•
Matthew 1:20,21, announcement to Joseph
Matthew 3:16, baptism; 17:5, Transfiguration
Matthew 28:19, Great Commission
John 3:34, the one whom God sent . . . for God
gives the Spirit
• John 15:26, when the counselor comes whom I
will send to you from the Father; cf. 16:5ff
• John 20:21,22, Father sent me; receive Spirit
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FATHER, SON, HOLY SPIRIT EACH
IS A DISTINCT PERSON
• Acts 1:9, 2:4, Ascension-Pentecost
• Romans 8:14-17, Spirit testifies we are
God’s children . . . heirs of God, joint heirs
with Christ
• I Corinthians 12:3, by Spirit, say Jesus is
Lord
• Hebrews 9:14, blood of Christ offered to
God by eternal Spirit
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ETERNAL GENERATION
• Eternal Generation refers to the
relationship between the Father and the
Son
• It affirms a necessary relation- not an
act of God’s free will
• It is an eternal and spiritual relation,
which had no beginning, no division of
parts, and is continual and ongoing
• This affirmation is only in reference to
the person of the Son (theos ek theou);
as to his deity, he is autotheos (God
himself)
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ETERNAL GENERATION
• We must affirm that the Son, as God,
is his own source of divinity,
• The communication from the Father to
the Son is an eternal communication of
personal subsistence which we call
generation or filiation.
• As to the mode of this generation,
Scripture offers no clues and we should
avoid any temptation to speculate.
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ETERNAL PROCESSION
• Eternal Procession refers to the
relationship between the Father/the
Son and the Holy Spirit
• It affirms a necessary relation- not an
act of God’s free will
• It is an eternal and spiritual relation,
which had no beginning, no division of
parts, and is continual and ongoing
• This affirmation is only in reference to
the person of the Holy Spirit; as to his
deity, he is autotheos
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ETERNAL PROCESSION: “Filioque”
• Latin, “and from the Son”
• In the Eastern Church, the formula says
that the Spirit proceeds from the Father
through the Son- there is a fear of
subordinating the Spirit to the Son
• In the Western Church, the formula says
that the Spirit proceeds from the Father
and the Son- there is a greater fear of
subordinating the Son to the Father
• This is countered by affirming the
coordinate activity of Father and Son in
breathing out the Spirit
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THE TRIUNE GOD
Not a Biblical construct, but a theological construct that is
necessary to account for all the data. Truly, a Mystery!
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