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What is a person?

  1. The extended self
    • one who can perform the actions of knowing, thinking, speaking, planning, loving, and so on.
    • personal identity includes character and personal story (relationships and memory)
  2. The centered self
    • isolated individual
    • psychological entity


Is attributing personhood to God an anthropomorphism?

  • He is not a person in the same way we are persons (human persons)

  • God’s personhood is original and primary. Our personhood is secondary and derived.

    • It would be better to say that humans are theomorphic creatures.


What does it mean to say that the anthropomorphisms about God in Scripture are real?

Although God is a Spirit and he does not have a body, the functions that the Scriptures ascribe to God are real, and therefore these are not metaphors.


How can we affirm anthropomorphism?

  • God manifests himself in human forms.
  • The whole revelation of God is concentrated in the Logos, who became flesh and is, as it were, one single act of self-humanization, the incarnation of God.
  • From creation, God condescends to his creatures and speaks and appears to them in human fashion.


What is the role of the incomprehensibility of God?

  • God is knowable, although we cannot know him exhaustively and completely.
  • God can only be known as he enters and relates.


What is the key to God's identity?

  1. God's name or names
  2. Mighty deeds (including God’s words about himself)
  3. Historical roles and relationships
  4. Character traits and personal abilities (attributes)
  5. Persons (the Trinity)


In Biblical times, what was in a name?

  1. The communication of character
  2. A name calls a narrative, a story. 
  3. Power, plan, commitment, demonstration of heart and soul


What is Elohim?

  • Generic word for gods (plural)
  • could be derived from the root meaning "to be strong or powerful"
  • emphasizes God's transcendence


What is the philosophical definition of the meaning of YHWH?

Aquinas: YHWH is a philosophical assertion of being. God is "Being" itself.


What are some problems with the philosophical view of "I am that I am"?

  1. Hebrews did not think abstractly, but functionally.
  2. It fits with classical theism, but not with the context

    • how would the knowledge that God is ‘Being’ have encouraged the Israelites to expect divine deliverance?


What is the meaning of "I am that I am?"

  • Yes, it may mark the certainty of God’s existence

  • But in the context of Moses' missionary command, the issue is more the active presence of God than the being of God.

    • “as surely as I was with the fathers, and I am present with you now, I will be with you in Egypt.”


How does Elohim relates to YHWH?

  • Elohim = name that denotes power and transcendence
  • YHWH = denotes covenant intimacy, immanence


Why is access to God's presence prohibited for the Israelites at Sinai?

  • Primarily there is a creator/creation distinction
    • God is unsearchable, inscrutable, inexhaustible, exalted above all things

  • This separation is rooted in human's sinfulness.

    • being cleansed will eliminate this separation


How can a holy God be with sinful people?

  • By sanctifying them
  • God's holiness can be given away
    • as all that comes into proximity to Him becomes holy


What does it mean to be holy?

  1. Being distinguished from the common or the profane
  2. Being free from moral impurity


Would God still be holy if sin didn't exist?

  • God's holiness is best described as his moral perfection
    • Love is his disposition towards his people
    • Holiness in his character


What are some implications of God's holiness for us?

  1. God’s holiness places a demand upon his people: “Be holy as I am holy.”

  2. The vision of God’s holiness is the basis for Christian service

  3. Regulates and informs our worship


What's our part in sanctification? Doesn't God do everything?

  • Regeneration is unilateral
  • Sanctification is bilateral
    • God sanctifies us, at the same time that we also participate in it.


What is the closest thing we get in the Bible to a list of the attributes of God?

Exodus 34:5-7

5 The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 

6 The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,

7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation.”


What are some passages in the NT that entails Jesus's Lordship as the same as YHWH?

  1. YHWH is Lord & Jesus as Lord = Jesus is YHWH
    • Shema // Rom. 10:9
  2. "Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue shall swear"
    • Isaiah 42: 21-23 // Phil. 2:11
  3. "Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved"
    • Joel 2:32 // Rom. 10:13


What are some passages in the NT that entails Jesus's name as the same as YHWH?

God's name is to be revered. 

  • When Moses asks to see his glory, YHWH expounds his name (Ex. 33:18-19)

The NT uses the same motif for Jesus's name

  • Acts 4:7-12
  • Acts 9:21
  • Acts 22:16


How does Jesus's "I am" sayings refer to YHWH?

  • John 8:58 refers back to Ex. 3:13-15


What is the importance of God's action to his identity?

  • Biblical theism is primarily historical
  • The people in the Bible knew God existed primarily because he related to them and interacted with them through his actions in history. 


What are the two OT confessions?

  1. Deuteronomy 26:5-9: the little credo
  2. Deuteronomy 6:4-5: the shema
    • “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.


What are the primary issues of OT confessions?

YHWHism and the historical action of God on Israel’s behalf (esp. The exodus, yet always against the presupposition and confession that the redeeming God is the Creator).


What is the similarity and difference of NT confessions?

  • They too underscore the uniqueness of YHWH
  • Nevertheless, Jesus becomes the center of YHWH's historical acts


What are some NT confessions?

  1. Col. 1:15-20
  2. Phil. 2:6-11
  3. 1 Tim. 3:16
  4. 1 Cor. 15:3-7


What are the primary issues of NT confessions?

YHWHism and the historical action of God in Jesus of Nazareth (esp. The resurrection)


How did the people in the Bible speak about God's attributes?

Not in a cognitive, isolated way but stemming from their relationship with him

  • He is faithful
  • He is just
  • He is loving


What was Calvin's method in attribution?

  • to recognize God from his works
  • "he is shown to us not as he is in himself, but as he is toward us"