Tuesday, March 05, 2013

God's Love versus His Moral Purity

So I was having a conversation recently with someone about the character of God (big surprise right!  His reason for not going to church is not being able to reconcile all of the sin stuff (we settled on moral purity) with God’s love.  I LOVE beginning this kind of conversation from this sort of starting point!  By doing so, the person I may be speaking with has already acknowledged that God is personal and is capable of having a reciprocal relationship with other personal beings.[1] God is not an “it” or some sort of abstract entity but rather is an individual being with which we may have a relationship.  A great example of this is God coming to talk with Adam and Eve in Genesis 3.  How much more personal can one get than that?

If we are beginning a discussion from this point, in my opinion the heavy lifting has already been done.  The conversation then centers on the nature of that personal relationship.  What an awesome conversation for a Christian to have!

In responding to the charge that there is tension between God’s moral purity and His love, I began by pointing out that God is powerful and has the ability to do that which He chooses.  God is also wise thus He knows what to do.  Finally, God is good and thus chooses to do that which is right.[2]  That does not mean that God can do anything He can conceive.  God can only do that which is a proper use of His power.  In short, God cannot lie[3] or act in a way contrary to His nature.  He cannot fail to do something He promised to do. 

Fortunately for us, there is much more to God than this.  The preceding references to God concern His greatness.  There is also God’s goodness which must be discussed to respond to the tension charge.  God’s moral purity refers to His absolute freedom from anything wicked or evil.[4]  Further, the fact that God shares Himself with us demonstrates His love.  God wants to have a personal relationship with His creation. 

[1] Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology 2nd Edition. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1998) 295.
[2] Ibid, 303.
[3] See Hebrews 6:18.
[4] Ibid, 310.

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