Wednesday, October 2, 2013

To Wonder and Worship: God's Condescension in Covenantal Apologetics

The writing ministry of Scott Oliphint has been a great influence on the way I think about God and understand who He is. One of the most enriching aspects of Oliphint's teaching pertains to God's condescension in His dealings with humanity and all of creation. Oliphint teaches, through his books and lectures, on this subject better than anyone that I have come across. His book, God With Us, is a phenomenal treatment of this subject and I consider it a "must read." In his most recently published offering, Covenantal Apologetics, Oliphint returns to this topic and the following paragraph is an clear explanation of God's condescension:
The Bible, from beginning to end, is replete with instances of God's covenantal condescension. The Bible itself is a product of that condescension. Covenantal condescension is a necessary aspect of his binding himself to his creation. Once he (freely) chose to create, he would need to "stoop down" in order to relate himself to his creation. This "stoop" in no way modified or diminished his aseity. Rather, it gave us, his human creatures, a revelational way to understand his majestic character. It revealed that character to us to see his condescension for what it really was--his merciful determination that we have fellowship with him. Apart from that condescension, as the Confession says, "we could have no fruition of him as our blessedness and reward." (62)
God is glorious in his stooping down. God is gracious and merciful beyond measure as he condescends to relate to us creatures. The pinnacle of this condescension is, of course, the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of God the Son who humbled himself in coming to save us. There is no greater love than this. The condescension of God should fill us with wonder and worship!

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