Friday, July 25, 2008

God's Greater Glory: The Exalted God of Scripture and the Christian Faith - by Bruce A. Ware

"God's full self-revelation must be accepted by evangelical theology with the deep conviction that all of what God has disclosed of himself is important for our understanding, and that no part of it should be granted the regulatory function of a prime datum in its doctrine of God." (pg. 44)

"If we felt the strain and ultimate inability to comprehend fully each of these two truths central to a proper understanding of God - the transcendent self-existence of God, by which he stands eternally independent of the world, possessing the infinite fullness of all perfections within his own nature, intrinsically; and the immanent self-relatedness of God, a relatedness expressed supremely in the cross, in God's relentless love that pursued its beloved in the face of open and willful rebellion - we now must acknowledge our complete wonder and amazement at an even greater mystery, one that is exposed only when these two grand truths of God are brought together: the God of the Bible loves and seeks us out with such eagerness and persistence when he himself stands in no need whatever of the objects of his love. His love, then, is unconditional without qualification." (pg. 56)

"If...our freedom consists in our choosing to act according to our strongest desires or inclinations, then it stands to reason that we can change our behavior only when our strongest desires and inclinations change. Character transformation is the key to behavior modification. And, of course, this is why Scripture is so consistently concerned with the renewal of our minds, our hearts, our characters, and our inner persons. Only as the Spirit of God works in us to transform our deepest desires will we choose and act in ways, increasingly, that are pleasing to the Lord." (pg. 81)

"The work that God does, then, in the life of a believer to produce fruitfulness and growth is by his direct-causative agency, working in and through us from out of his very character of wisdom, truth, goodness, holiness, and love. And because it is altogether his work, to him belongs all the glory, honor, and praise (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14)." (pg. 105)

"...God possesses eternally and necessarily the attributes of goodness and love, but apart from the creation and fall, God simply would not appropriately be called or thought of as "merciful" or "gracious" since neither of these can have any rightful and appropriate expression within the immanent Trinity." (pg. 153)

"...worship happens only when we are granted eyes to behold God's magnificence, and splendor, and glory, and majesty. This is a seeing with deep and abiding longing, a seeing that savors, eliciting a savoring that satisfies. In this seeing, God invades our lives, and we experience the truths about him that we have beheld. Truth about him becomes existential within our own minds, hearts, hopes, fears, plans, dreams, values, and desires. We marvel at his character, we embrace his will and his ways as we savor the richness and bounty of all that he is." (pg. 158)

"...the end of life is God - God's worth and glory extolled as needy and humble creatures live in full and happy dependence upon him, to the glory of his name." (pg. 159)

Bruce A. Ware, God's Greater Glory: The Exalted God of Scripture and the Christian Faith (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2004)