LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Revealing His glory

While driving recently with my nearly five-year-old daughter into town, I enjoyed pointing out a crescent moon visible in the daylight sun – something we don’t often see. As I was pointing out to her where exactly in the sky it was, suddenly a patch of cloud cover obscured its view, yet I remained intent on showing her the moon, expecting it to soon appear from behind its veil.

While waiting, I encouraged her to continue looking toward the sky in anticipation of its delightful appearance, and I was reminded of recent discussions in our church’s Sunday School class. I had asked our pastor if when we pray for God to be glorified, do we in essence mean that He would be revealed (in some way in greater measure than already revealed), since we can add no glory to the Ancient of Days, the great I Am?

I’m currently reading RC Sproul’s What is Reformed Theology?, wherein he discusses the holiness of God in the following manner:

“Calvin writes: ‘…men are never duly touched and impressed with a conviction of their insignificance, until they have contrasted themselves with the majesty of God. Frequent examples of this consternation occur both in the Book of Judges and the Prophetical Writings [Judges 13:22; Isa. 6:5; Ezek. 1:28; 3:14; Job 9:4; Gen. 18:27; 1 Kings 19:18]; so much so, that it was a common expression among the people of God, ‘We shall die, for we have seen the Lord.’’ …

“Calvin understood that idolatry is not limited to crass or primitive forms like those found in animistic or totemic religions. He realized that idolatry can become subtle and sophisticated. The very essence of idolatry involves the distortion of God’s character.

“As Paul declared to the Romans, idolatry consists in exchanging the glory of God for a lie, elevating the creature and denigrating the Creator. Paul says, ‘Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man – and birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. [Rom. 1:22-25] …

Any distortion of the character of God poisons the rest of our theology. The ultimate form of idolatry is humanism, which regards man as the measure of all things. Man is the primary concern, the central focus, the dominant motif of all forms of humanism. Its influence is so strong and pervasive that it seeks to infiltrate Christian theology at every point. Only by a rigorous attention and devotion to the biblical doctrine of God will we be able to keep from tasting and even swallowing this noxious brew.


As my daughter and I watched for the moon, I initially stated that the moon would rise from behind the cloud, but then corrected myself to tell her that it would actually be the cloud which moved in order to reveal the moon in our sight. This got me to thinking that it is not unlike our own moving down, decreasing in order that He may be revealed – and hence glorified – in the sight of others.

We then talked some more about stars in the night sky – and how they aren’t visible during the daytime. I told her that they’re merely reflections, not unlike ourselves, of a greater Light.

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14 Comments:

Blogger Susan said...

While rereading my post to check for errors, I realized that a person could read this post and think it means that man is insignificant.

It is not so. But it is so that man's significance is entirely based on his being made in the image of God. It is God Who gives man his significance and who created man to be higher than (and dominant over) the animals.

Yet compared to God, man is but a creature and one wholly dependent on God - for both daily bread and daily breath.

Man is very significant and very much loved of God, but needs to recognize his place and from Whom he derives his worth.

February 03, 2008 9:03 AM

 
Blogger Maalie said...

>We then talked some more about stars in the night sky – and how they aren’t visible during the daytime. I told her that they’re merely reflections, not unlike ourselves, of a greater Light

I'm afraid you are mistaken on this point. Our ability to see the moon and planets depends on light reflected from our sun. However stars are themselves sources of their own light. I wonder what other fallacies are told to Christian children?

February 03, 2008 4:37 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

My dogs love to go for walks.

Let's say that it is very late at night - in fact, the wee hours of the morning. Something spooks my dog(s), and the only way to calm them is to take them for a walk. The walk starts out peaceful and pleasant. All the neighbors are in bed, all lights are out. Dark, quiet and calm is the neighborhood. As the walk continues I pass old widower Larry's house. I notice something... a fire is burning in his living room, which is in the front of his house. I know that he is in bed in his bedroom, which is located in the back of his house. I also know that he takes his hearing aids out when he goes to bed. Here the fire alarms are screaming in his house, for I can hear them from the street; but I know old Larry can't hear them without his hearing aid. He is fast asleep. Unless I take the time to wake him he will burn in the fire...

Daniel's excellent response to Jim's disquiet was so very good; so spot on. Now when Jim returns from Spain he will answer Daniel's response. They will then go back and forth. The dabate will prolly end in an impasse, there being no common staring point as Daniel's faith is in the Bible, while Jim's is in science. Jim will walk away from the debate perceiving that he presented a water tight case. Many his friends, observing the discusion, will say, "Jim, way to go! You showed that creationist a thing or two!" Jim goes to bed that night with a sweet taste of victory in his mouth. The only thing is, though he gained the whole world's admiration for standing up to that creationist, this very night his soul is required of him.

Jim, God commands you to repent, put your faith in Jesus Christ as your only hope of salvation. For, you see, you are now like that Larry in the story above. There is a fire burning. I'm trying to warn you...

February 03, 2008 5:20 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Susan,
Great post. I was able to understand that you did not literally mean stars reflect light from another source like the moon, but that the ultimate source of light (even from stars) comes from God who is the uncaused cause and self-existent entity that created the entire universe from nothing.

When science can explain how something came from nothing apart from a super powerful God then they may can enter the debate with something besides nonsense. Until they do, they would do well to consider Mark's warning just as the men of Athens would have done well to consider Paul's warning in Acts 17.

February 03, 2008 6:30 PM

 
Blogger Jonathan Moorhead said...

Great thoughts, Susan. I love the quotes.

February 03, 2008 8:50 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

I wonder what other fallacies are told to Christian children?

Maalie/Jim -

You seem very hostile toward Christians. In spite of this, may I inform you that I am not entirely mistaken?

"A star is a ball of burning gases, mostly hydrogen and helium. A star shines or glows because its gravity causes its gases to fuse together. This process releases energy, hence the "shine". Our Sun is only a medium-sized star. There are stars that are bigger, smaller, hotter, and cooler. However, the Earth is very small compared to the Sun. More than a million Earths could fit into the Sun. All life on Earth depends on the Sun for light and heat.

"Until the seventeenth century, most scientists thought that the Earth was the center of the Universe, mainly because it appears that way to casual observation. It is quite obvious that the Sun and Moon travel across the sky from east to west. Ancient people often thought that the Sun and Moon were gods with chariots such as Apollo and Athena, and gave them personalities.

"Part of this confusion was because while all sky objects appear bright, some stars and galaxies (collections of stars) radiate light, while the others only reflect light. This is sometimes difficult for children to understand as well. When they look up at the night sky, they see the brightly shining moon. How can it be that it does not produce its own light, but yet it shines?

"The stars make their own light. The Moon, planets, asteroids, natural satellites, and comets shine by light reflected from the Sun. The Moon has no light of its own, so it appears to have phases, cycling from new Moon to full Moon and back every 29½ days."

Source: http://www.msnucleus.org/
membership/html/k-6/uc/universe/1/
ucu1_2a.html

And:

"Well, a good 'ole family debate.
The answer is yes, stars give off their own light. Stars (including the sun) are very large balls of ionized gas - that is gas whose atoms have electrons stripped from them, giving the atoms a net positive charge and freeing electrons. Light is emitted by "jiggling" electrons. (Visible light is only a small portion of "light" which we call the electromagnetic spectrum. Radio waves, for example are generated by jiggling electrons in an antenna.) These electrons are given energy by the core of the star.

"Even before the star is a "star", it radiates energy. The star forms from collapsing gas which is heated by pressure exerted by gravity. The heat begins to ionize the gas cloud and release light. The cooler the gas, the less energy the electrons have and the "redder" the light.
Eventually the center of the star reaches a very high temperature and pressure---sufficient to ignite its nuclear fires. The lightest element, hydrogen, fuse together to form helium and release energy (including light).

"That light however is trapped inside the very dense center region of the star. But that energy must go somewhere, and heat is conducted to the surface of the star, heating it and releasing light (both visible and invisible (ultraviolet and infrared). The hotter the star, the faster the electrons "jiggle" and the "bluer" the light that is emitted. The Sun's light warms the earth and reflects off the moon - giving us pause to look up in wonder at the skies. Anyway, yes stars shine by emitting light, and many objects reflect the light - planets, comets, gas clouds called nebulae... For completeness though, I should add that stars can do one more thing to light, it can bend light. Thank Al Einstein and his theory of relativity for that. But that explanation would take a bit more. Hope this answers your question. For more information, check out:

http://skyserver.sdss.org/dr1/en/
proj/advanced/color/
http://www.ph.surrey.ac.uk/astrophysics/
files/energy_generation_in_stars.html
http://archive.ncsa.uiuc.edu/
Cyberia/NumRel/EinsteinTest.html

Source: http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/
2004-02/1076002909.As.r.html

I should add that as I am a homeschooling mom, I appreciate your clarification, however sarcastic or hostile.

To my 4-year-old daughter, as she and I gaze at the night sky in wonder, we call all of the twinkling objects "stars." When she's older, I will clarify the difference between a star and a planet, but for now, knowing that objects that she calls stars in the night sky reflect light is neither incorrect nor bad for her to know. In fact, it's the start of science for a toddler.

As someone who appears to disagree with most Christian theology, you certainly enjoy reading this blog. I pray it's not only for the purpose of antagonizing.

February 03, 2008 10:33 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Jazzy,

That's true too - and the greater point actually - that my daughter can articulate at 4 years old. She knows that God created the world, the Sun, all that she sees, and her own self.

In my post I did in fact mean that the stars reflect the Sun's light - although not all that twinkles in the night sky is a reflection of the Sun's light. However, I'm not concerned that my four-year-old make the distinction between stars and planets at this point.

I am concerned about her spiritual learning, however, and take every opportunity to enjoy God's beautiful creation with her and stand in awe at His handiwork, teaching her (and myself) how great He is.

February 03, 2008 10:38 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Susan,
Great comment.
The question was asked.......
I wonder what other fallacies are told to Christian children?

You may want to check the PC leftist fallacies that are taught in public schools about such things as the environment, homosexuality, capitalism, abortion, socialism, and American history just to name a few.

February 03, 2008 10:47 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Maalie/Jim -

One more thing.

You make the comment "I wonder what other fallacies are told to Christian children?"

What you are doing is assuming that if I am in error in one fact (as you asserted that I was), therefore I must be in error in other ways. And you extend your assumption to uniquely Christian children.

Your assumption is based on a stereotype or bigotry you have regarding Christians and comes out in these kinds of comments.

If you yourself err (which I imagine you have and you do), should we therefore presume that you too are in error in your assertions of science?

February 03, 2008 10:50 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Jazzy,

Not to mention the teaching of the theory of evolution (and the Big Bang) to the total exclusion of creationism, which is what we are teaching our daughter. So she would attend school and be instructed that everything her parents teach her from the Bible and our church is rubbish. This is why I pray she never attends public school.

But it's not just this. I'm sure the school could teach her ABCs and 123s. It's the overall moral degradation of the children that would surround her in that environment that concern me even more. We're being very careful about the children whom she befriends - all of whom are from our church at this point.

February 03, 2008 10:54 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Susan,
You are wise to discern the dangers. Unfortunately, free speech and free thought is under attack in America today in favor of adopting the consensus view of our post-modern secular culture.

When you hear the global warming advocates assert that the debate is over, they are simply using the same techniques that the PC police use in setting what is to be tolerated and what is not be tolerated.

There is a book out by the title of, "The Closing of the American Mind" about this very subject. It is sad and dangerous for our freedom of expression. Scientists can't disagree with global warming because the debate is over!!!!! So much of our country has been blinded and lost the ability to be discerning.

February 03, 2008 11:50 PM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

Susan, this was a very well-written post, and filled with such truth about the majesty of our Creator.

(The effects of my pain med is kicking in, and I'm about to nod off. That's all I can write at the moment!)

February 04, 2008 4:08 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Gayla,

My posts often produce the effect of causing someone to nod off, so don't feel bad. I'm glad I can be of assistance in your recovery. ;-)

February 04, 2008 4:54 PM

 
Blogger donsands said...

"changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man"

That's me, myself, and I.

My pastor preached yesterday that we need to "speak the truth in love".

If we're too much love and not enough truth, that's simply being a people pleaser, and the bottom line is that I thinking of me, and that's idolatry.

Thanks for the great post, and wonderful quotes.

To God be all the glory, praise, honor and thanks!

February 04, 2008 6:38 PM

 

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