Thursday, July 23, 2015

not an abstraction

"Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.  Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves."  (John 14:10-11 ESV)

"You believe in Christ. You believe that his saying is true: “He that hath seen Me, has seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” On bended knee you confess him as your Lord and your God. But what is the incarnation of the word except that God became man? And what profit can this be to you, unless you realize that in Christ God has come close to you in a human way? Before the days of the Bethlehem birth God spoke to us in the human word, but in Christ God is manifest in human nature. He reveals himself to us as the son of Man. A human heart speaks here in human language and in human ways. As the Apostle John asserts: In Jesus they have not only seen and heard what is God’s, but have touched, that is they have handled with their hands, and have actually seen before their eyes the eternal—Godlike in human manifestation and in human form. Hence the whole Christian faith and Christian confession rests upon the clear and firm conviction that God has not willed himself to be lost to us in endless abstractions, but that in our human nature, in human form and in human language he comes to us ever more closely, in order through the medium of our human heart to establish affectionate and full fellowship with us.

"Our Lord Jesus makes no high-sounding, abstract statements of the infinite in the Eternal, but shows us God as our Father, and calls us to be his children, and with childlike confidence, in a childlike way, and with childlike intimacy to have fellowship with him. Let it be distinctly understood that this rests on sober reality. That this is not mere semblance but actual fact, since God created us after his image. That thus, in the face of a broad difference, Divine reality is expressed in the human. And that, when the Word became flesh, the fact that the Son of God became Man, is directly connected with our creation after God’s image. Would we undo all this, and create a distance between us and God which would exclude all personal fellowship, by putting a whole system of abstract ideas about the immensities of God in the place of this heart-to-heart intimacy which can not be cultivated with God except in a human way? Let us leave this to philosophers who do not pray, and to theologians dry-as-dust who are not children of their Father in heaven. But as for us, let us love God with a devotion which can only express itself in childlike fellowship with him."

-- Abraham Kuyper, To Be Near Unto God

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