Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The God of the Ivory Tower

Some people see God as someone who sits up in an ivory tower somewhere, totally detached from us and what we are going through. Someone who looks down and sort of shakes His head at all the foolish things we do and occasionally offers sage advice about how we should live. This is not the God of Christianity. Rather, the Bible says that God came down and became a human being and suffered the things we suffer so that He might rescue us and make us His children if we put our faith in Him (Hebrews 2:9-18; John 1:1-18; Philippians 2:5-11). Further, He promises to be with us and to sympathize with us in our trials and ultimately to bring us home to be with Him forever (Hebrews 4:14-16; John 14:16-21; Revelation 21:4). This does not speak directly to the problem of evil as an intellectual issue. But on the emotional level it makes a huge difference that God is not pontificating somewhere off in heaven, but came down into our world to deliver us from the problems we are in. 


  1. I think that he mainly is with us today in the form of each other.

  2. I am convinced there is more involved then that but certainly this is a major aspect. We are God's hands and feet to minister to one another in times of need.

  3. I have always been a fan of the phrase "Jesus with skin on". I think that the Holy Spirit is there to love us but mainly through each other and the gifts that He has imparted to us. That has been my experience but perhaps your experience is different?

    1. I certainly was not intending to totally disagree with and I hope I did not come off that way. I agree that other Christians are one of the major ways God makes His presence known to us. Everyone's experience is different and I do not want to make mine the standard anyone else has to follow. I have found that as well as other Christians the Holy Spirit makes His presence known to me in Scripture and in personal experience, especially when I am involved in worship. (I do believe you have to be careful of the latter that you do not base something questionable on it alone, but I am convinced there is something real there.) But as I said we all experience the Spirit in our life in different ways and other believers are certainly one of the main avenues for it.

    2. Thanks for that Mike. I agree with the idea that the Holy Spirit ministers to us even when we are alone. He has spoken to me in such times and has ministered peace to me in troubling times.

      Even so, I experience so much more of Him when I worship with others. I find that other people are essential to the ministry of the Spirit. Some of my most treasured moments with God have been worshiping with others.

      My concern (not really with you) is the way that Evangelicals have personalized the Holy Spirit and having a personal relationship with God. That "emphasis" seems to communicate something that I don't find so much in the scriptures.

      Hope your weekend is off to a great start!

      Blessings, Bob

    3. I agree with you that there is a real danger of too much individualism today and we need to be careful of going too far in that direction which unfortunately we are prone to do. I just want to be careful of throwing out any babies with all the bathwater.

      Hope you had a good weekend too.