Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Oliphint summarizes God With Us

The following is a good summary of God With Us by K. Scott Oliphint. Throughout the book Oliphint attempts, and in my opinion succeeds, to explain and elucidate the character of God in light of some apparent inconsistencies described in the Bible which relate to God's attributes and characteristics. Oliphint deals with these troublesome ideas with a study of God's condescension and uses our understanding of Christ's condescension as the foundation for that discussion. Consider,

So, God takes on covenant characteristics that are consistent with his essential character. But he also takes on covenant characteristics that seem to us to be inconsistent with that character. As with Christ, however, these inconsistencies are not such that we must explain them away or twist the texts to make them say the opposite of what they say. They appear as inconsistencies precisely because of God's condescension, and that condescension has the gospel as its central focus and Christ as its substance. So, the explanation of those inconsistencies is to be found in God's free act of mercy and grace, his stooping down to be "one of us" as he providentially works out his meticulously sovereign plan in history. This way of understanding these tensions has its focus in what God has freely done, and what he has sacrificed, in order to relate himself to us and conquer the sin that has taken his creation captive. (Oliphint, K. Scott. God with Us: Divine Condescension and the Attributes of God. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012. Print. 228)

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