Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Flee the Absolute God

Quoting from Prof. Roland Ziegler’s paper “Natural Knowledge of God and the Trinity”:

Thus Luther writes: "The people of Israel did not have a God who was viewed 'absolutely,' to use the expression, the way the inexperienced monks rise into heaven with their speculations and think about God as He is in Himself. From this absolute God everyone should flee who does not want to perish, because human nature and the absolute God – for the sake of teaching we use this familiar term — are the bitterest of enemies. Human weakness cannot help being crushed by such majesty, as Scripture reminds us over and over. Let no one, therefore, interpret David as speaking with the absolute God. He is speaking with God as He is dressed and clothed in His Word and promises, so that from the name 'God' we cannot exclude Christ, whom God promised to Adam and the other patriarchs. We must take hold of this God, not naked but clothed and revealed in His word; otherwise certain despair will crush us. This distinction must always be made between the Prophets who speak with God, and the Gentiles. The Gentiles speak with God outside His Word and promises, according to the thoughts of their own hearts; but the Prophets speak with God as He is clothed and revealed in His promises and Word. This God, clothed in such a kind appearance and, so to speak, in such a pleasant mask, that is to say, dressed in His promises-this God we can grasp and look at with joy and trust. The absolute God, on the other hand, is like an iron wall, against which we cannot bump without destroying ourselves" (AE 12, 312). Martin Luther, Luther's Works, Vol. 12: Selected Psalms I, American Edition, ed. Jaroslav Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1965), 312.

No comments: