Saturday, August 19, 2006

Glorifying God or defending the dignity of ones theological understanding?

In my favorite chapter in "Mere Christianity", The Great Sin, CS Lewis speaks about why God is concerned about Man's pride. He says, "We must not think Pride is something God fordibs because he is offended at it, or that Humility is something He demands as due to His own dignity-as if God himself was proud. He is not in the least worried about his dignity. The point is, He wants you to know Him; wants to give you Himself. And he and you are two things of such a kind that if you really get into any kind of touch with Him you will, in fact, be humble-delightedly humble, feeling the infinite relief of having for once got rid of all that silly nonsense about your own dignity which has made you restless and unhappy all your life."

So often we Reformed folks are so concerned about God's dignity and believe that we must defend it against those simpiltians who simply seek to love Him. We are offended by their lack of systematic and confessional sophistication when it comes to theology. For, don't they understand what the Westminster says, "The Chief end of man is to Glorify God!" This means knowing your catechism in and out and being able to explain the difference between one who is Truly Reformed and one who Thinks they're a Christian.

Far too often we forget the last part of the catechism answer, "and enjoy him forever!" Lewis makes a great point when he states that God is not concerned about His own dignity as if He were proud. This is not why he mourns over our sinful pride, rather, its because it keeps us from enjoying Him, it seperates us from the life of the Trinity and the beauty of his holiness.

Lewis makes another great point when he explains that when we are redeemed by Christ and the power of the spirit joins us to the divine life, we come home. Pride within a home is like a cancer that destroys the love between the husband and wife and spreads to the very ends of each childs soul. Joy only flourishes within the home when the principle of my life for yours is applied in every room.

The Father, Son, and Spirit are not concerned about their own honor or glory. They sacrifice their own glory, offering up their life for the other. This love is poured out into creation and then most profoundly in the redemption of God's people. We are told within Scriptures that God is Love. The very thing that reveals God most clearly, the Cross of Christ, is the greatest manifestation of love, and this is the pinnacle of history. When God became man and walked this earth He said that the most important thing to remember was to love God and neighbor.

If we are not loving God and neighbor we cannot possibly be enjoying him, if we are not loving and enjoying him we cannot glorify him.

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