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The Omnipresent God

The Holy Scriptures proclaim that heaven and earth cannot contain God (1 Kings 8:27), but he also fills heaven and earth with his presence (Jer 23:23–24). Acts 17:28 even says that “in him [God] we live and move and have our being.” These verses make clear that God is present throughout heaven and earth, yet he cannot be contained by heaven and earth. Scripture is declaring that God is infinite in that he is not confined to space.[1] This concept is commonly called the doctrine of God’s omnipresence. As one of the most awe inspiring doctrines of the Christian faith, when we approach the doctrine of God’s omnipresence, we find we are standing on holy ground and must move forward carefully as the brightest among us quickly realizes that God cannot be fully grasped by any finite mind. This grand truth cannot be fully explained and we must avoid speculation as we investigate our omnipresent God.[2]

The purpose of this essay is to present the biblical teaching of God’s omnipresence. However, we will see that a proper view this doctrine of God’s omnipresence entails his transcendence as well. Though God’s transcendence will remain in the background of our discussion, if it is separated from our investigation of his omnipresence, then we will fall into the error of pantheism, which claims that God is part of his creation. If God is only transcendent, then we fall into the error of deism, which claims that God is far removed from and limited by his creation. In order to rightly understand the nature of God, a proper balance between the two must be maintained. Nevertheless, the rich and profound truth that God is everywhere present is the focus of this essay.

To begin, we will explore the biblical teaching of God’s omnipresence. Next, a theological explanation of God’s omnipresence, focusing on (though not exclusively) the Reformed tradition. Laying the biblical and theological foundation for God’s omnipresence allows us to conclude by discussing several modern approaches to the doctrine of God’s omnipresence that depart from orthodox Christian teaching, with the goal that we will be better equipped to positively articulate and explain the doctrine of God’s omnipresence.

I. Biblical Proof of God’s Omnipresence

The Scriptures of both the Old and the New Testaments leave no doubt that God is omnipresent. In Psalm 139:7–10, we learn that God is present in heaven and earth. The Psalmist writes, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” King David’s point is that, no matter where he goes or how hard he tries to run away, he cannot escape from the presence of God.[3] Though people try to escape from God’s presence, such as Adam and Eve (Gen 3:8) and Jonah (Jonah 1:3), this is ultimately impossible. Hebrews 4:13 reminds us that God sees us always and we are naked and exposed before him “to whom we must give an account.” Similarly, through the prophet Jeremiah, God asks, “Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD?” (Jer 23:23–24). The Scriptures clearly affirm that God is present both in heaven and on earth, in a word—everywhere.[4]

Scripture also teaches that God is not confined by spatial limitations. There is no place in creation that can restrict his presence to one finite location. Thus we read in 1 Kings 8:27, “But will God indeed dwell on earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I built.[5] While present in the house, God cannot be confined to only the house. He simultaneously fills the house and the entire creation.

Therefore, it is clear that God is also present to each person individually (Acts 17:27–28), but he is present in a special way with his people. In Exodus 33:14, God promises Moses that he would be present with him as he led Israel through their wilderness wanderings. Every time Israel saw the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, they were reminded that God was with them (Num 14:14).[6] The emergence of this theme of God’s presence comes as no surprise. It is the very thing he promises from beginning to end in the Bible. For instance, in Gen 28:15, God tells Jacob in a dream, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Upon waking, Jacob says, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it” (Gen 28:16). A similar promise is given to Joshua as he prepares to lead Israel into the land of Canaan (Josh 1:9).

This theme continues throughout the Old Testament.[7] Time and again we learn that God’s goal is to dwell with his people. In the Old Testament economy, God dwelt among his people in the tabernacle and then the Temple (1 Kings 8:10–11). In the New Testament, we learn that Christ is the New Temple (John 1:14) “filled with the Glory-Spirit, forgiving sins, ascending to heaven to prepare a place for us (John 14:3), and sending his Spirit to make us [his people] living stones of his Spirit-filled temple-sanctuary (1 Pet 2:4–5).”[8] In the Great Commission, Christ promised that he would be with the church until the end of the age (Matt 28:18–20). Presently, he is with us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (1 Co 3:16), but the ultimate fulfillment of this promise of God’s presence will not be realized until Christ returns and the New Heavens and New Earth descend. In Revelation 21:3, we read of this beautiful eschatological fulfillment: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”

There are several issues that arise when surveying the Scripture’s teaching on God’s omnipresence. For instance, Num 14:42 reads, “Do not go up, for the Lord is not among you, lest you be struck down before your enemies.” Similarly, Isa 55:6, suggests that God can be sometimes near and sometimes far away from us. These verses do not deny that God’s essence is omnipresent, but they do reveal that God is not present to all people and places in the same way. The point of Num 14 and Isa 55, is that God is not present to the wicked in his grace and favor to protect and defend them against their enemies.[9]

Furthermore, what are we to make of verses like Ps. 2:4, that seems to suggest God is only in heaven? These types of verses are meant to highlight God’s majesty and his exalted status as the only Sovereign Ruler of the universe. They direct our eyes and our prayers to God and remind Christians that heaven is their true home. The Psalmist is not denying God’s omnipresence.[10] Other problematic passages include those that seem to say God appears and then disappears (Gen. 18:21, 22; 35:13; Ex. 3:8). Robert Reymond explains a proper hermeneutic must be used in order to make sense of these passages. He writes, “God, being everywhere present, does not literally ‘come’ or ‘go’ to or from specific places. Where such language is employed (from example, Gen. 11:5; Isa. 64:1–2), it must be recognized for what it is—metaphorical language indicating or invoking a special manifestation of God’s working either in grace or judgment.”[11] Related to this idea of grace and judgment, one final question must be addressed: is God present in hell? Ussher answers, “The damned in hell feel no part of his goodness, that is, of his mercy and loving favor, but of his power and justice. So that God is in hell, by his power, and in his wrath.[12]

God is generally present with all creation and each individual created in his image. This is the message we read in Ps. 139, for example. Yet these perceived “problems” arise because, and often are used to evade, the primary focus in the Sacred Scriptures which is whether or not God is present in wrath or in grace. As Horton beautifully describes:

The question of God’s presence and absence in the covenantal drama is equivalent to the question of salvation and judgment. In other words, we meet in Scripture both an ontological omnipresence and a covenantal—judicial presence in blessing or wrath. Of course, God is omnipresent in his essence, but the primary question in the covenantal drama is whether God is present for us, and if so, where, as well as whether he is present in judgment or in grace. Can we stand in his presence? Can we withstand his appearing?[13]

The only hope of standing at his appearing is to find God present to us in grace and not in wrath. God comes to us in grace in the person of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is Immanuel, God with us. Even the incarnation was not a compromise of God’s omnipresence. Jesus Christ did not come into the world as if he came to a place where he was not before.[14] Church father Cyril of Alexandria wonderfully explains this profound truth: “although he assumed flesh and blood, he remained what he was, God in essence and in truth.”[15]

II. Theological Explanation

To speak of God’s omnipresence is to speak of God’s nature or of his attributes. Gerald Bray offers a critical warning as we begin. He writes, “Classical theism has always tried to maintain a balance…between the individual attributes of God and the totality of his essence by saying that each single attribute is equal to the whole of his being. Omnipotence for example, is not a part of God which might theoretically be removed; it is a concept which describes God as he is in his fullness.”[16] God’s simplicity makes it clear that God is not composed of parts. God is absolutely free from any and all composition. “Thus, God is not the sum of the divine attributes…the attributes are understood to be identical with and inseparable from, the essentia Dei.”[17] Therefore, it is important that we not think of God’s omnipresence as only one part of God’s nature. Oxford professor Richard Swinburne further explains, “The claim that the person [i.e. God] ‘necessarily’ has the properties of being essentially bodiless, omnipresent, etc., is to be read as the claim that these properties are inseparable from him; if he were to cease to be omniscient or whatever, he would cease to exist.”[18] Though we cannot fully understand, God’s omnipresence is one angle, so to speak, from which we can describe the fullness of the Godhead. If he were not omnipresent he would no longer be the God revealed in Sacred Scripture. Therefore, Christianity claims “[t]here exists now, and always has existed and will exist, God, a spirit, that is, a non-embodied person who is omnipresent.”[19]

Yet the question remains: how, then, is God everywhere present? Omnipresence, “strictly defined, indicates the repletive presence of God in all created places and in relation to the limited presence of all creatures.”[20] Muller defines repletive as: “incapable of being judged or measured by circumscription or defined by physical limitations or spatial boundaries, but rather identified as filling space or acting upon space while at the same time transcending it.”[21] Of course, God is eternally present everywhere, yet without the finite creation there is no “place.” Thus, theologians refer to God’s eternal presence, or his filling of all things, as his immensity, whereas omnipresence speaks to God’s relation to his creation. Berkhof explains that God’s immensity and omnipresence are in one respect the same, yet immensity emphasizes God’s transcendence, while omnipresence emphasizes his immanence.[22] This distinction is actually quite important because it clarifies that God was everywhere present even before he created the world. And, now, as the Creator and Sustainer of his creation, God must “be present to all space with the fullness of his being in order that it may exist at all.”[23]

God is able to be everywhere present because he is an infinite, non-embodied spirit.[24] Human beings can only be present in one locality at a time. We are limited by our physical bodies. It is impossible for an embodied creature to be physically at home and at the grocery store at the same time. This would be what philosophers call definitive presence.[25] Philosophy also speaks of bodies being circumscriptively present “because they are in place and space so as to be commensurate with parts of space.”[26] Yet, God does not have physical dimensions or limitations nor is he a part of the space in which he is present.[27] God alone, as we said above, is repletively present. Turretin explains, “For wherever he is, he is wholly; wholly in all things, yet wholly beyond; included in no place and excluded from none; and not so much in a place (because finite cannot comprehend infinite) as in himself.”[28] As Theophilus of Antioch says, “God is the place of all things, and is place to himself.”[29] He fills both heaven and earth (Jer 23:24). “God transcends all spatial limitations and is immediately present in every part of his creation, or (what amounts to the same thing) that everything and everybody are immediately in his presence.”[30]

What is meant by the claim that God is an infinite spirit (John 4:24)? Richard Swinburne helps us understand this claim and its implications. He writes:

By a ‘spirit’ is understood a person without a body, a non-embodied person. By ‘omnipresent’ is meant ‘everywhere present.’ That God is a person, yet one without a body, seems the most elementary claim of theism. It is by being told this or something that entails this (e.g. that God always listens to and sometimes grants us our prayers, he has plans for us, he forgives us our sins, but he does not have a body) that young children are introduced to the concept of God.[31]

Here we must remember that God’s omnipresence is not a part of God. When we speak of God’s omnipresence we speak of the fullness of his essence. Charles Hodge writes, “It is an omnipresence of the divine essence. Otherwise the essence of God would be limited.”[32] God, as non-embodied spirit, is everywhere present. God does not extend himself—this would be to divide himself into part, which is impossible; nor does God defuse himself like the sun does its rays. God “fills all space. In other words, the limitations of space have no reference to him. He is not absent from any portion of space, nor more present in one portion than another.”[33] God’s omnipresence is not a quantifiable “thing” but rather it is part of his very nature. And therefore, we conclude that if God is omnipresent, he is so in his very essence. Thomas Aquinas explains:

[T]otality of essence is not commensurate to the totality of place. Hence it is not necessary for that which is whole by totality of essence in a thing not to be at all outside of it…incorporeal substances have no totality either of themselves or accidentally, except in reference to the perfect notion of their essence. Hence, as the soul is wholly in every part of the body, so is God whole in all things and in each one.[34]

God is not present in things as their essence—this would make God pantheistic, but he is present in the fullness of his essence in that he fills and sustains all things. It is very important to begin by explaining that God is everywhere present in his essence because throughout history, theologians have denied this essential Christian truth. This leads us to consider now some of these problematic formulations of God’s omnipresence.

Theologians often affirm the omnipresence of God’s power and virtue, but deny the omnipresence of God’s essence.[35] Bavinck writes, “In polytheism, Gnosticism, and Manichaeism this omnipresence of God could not be acknowledged. But even in the Christian church there were many who, though willing to recognize the omnipresence of God’s power, wanted nothing to do with the omnipresence of his being.” [36] This was the case during the Seventeenth century era of Protestant Scholasticism. Turretin refutes both the Socinians and Vorstius for articulating such a view. Both the Socinians and Vorstius claim that God’s essence is contained in heaven and is not present on earth.[37] However, this articulation reduces God to a deistic being far removed from creation (and as shown above, is not the proper way to interpret passages that seem to teach this idea). Bavinck reveals what is at stake in such a position. He explains, “The deistic notion that God dwells in a specific place and from there governs all things by his omnipresence is at war with God’s nature…it reduces God to a human and renders creation independent.”[38] As Creator, God’s creation and creatures depend upon him for their existence. And God accomplishes this by being present in his creation. God is not a cosmic watchmaker who has set creation in motion and is now far removed. Though God is not to be equated with his creation, he is indeed present in every space and to every person.

Though often going the way of Deism, there is a legitimate concern among such thinkers to avoid the pantheistic error of equating God with the created world and, therefore, “polluting the divine being with the moral and material impurity of created things.”[39] This concern is not without warrant. Already in the days of the ancient church, the Stoics taught that the deity permeates all things.[40] The ninth century theologian, John Scotus Erigena, taught that the divine nature embraced everything. God is in everything and identical with everything, Erigena taught.[41] Later, the Enlightenment thinkers were guilty of the same mistake. Spinoza taught that God was an “extended thing” and that his presence “coincides with the being of the world.”[42] Hegel, Schleiermacher, and Biederman all taught that God’s being is immanent in the universe in a pantheistic way.[43]

This line of thought continued into the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries’ rise of liberalism. During this time, as critical scholarship led people to doubt the supernatural nature of Christianity, there was no longer room for a transcendent God. Therefore, liberalism emphasized the omnipresence of God, but as said above, a focus on omnipresence combined with a compromise of transcendence leads to the pantheistic error as we have just seen. Veli-Matti Karkkainen summarizes these developments:

One of the stepchildren of the Enlightenment was classical liberalism, whose influence on the enterprise of Christian theology has been unsurpassed. Liberalism followed the new scientific and philosophical mind-set and, like the Enlightenment, championed freedom of the individual thinker to criticize and reformulate beliefs free of authorities. The focus of theology was soon placed on the ethical dimension of Christianity rather than on metaphysical doctrines such as the essence of God or the Trinity. Along with confidence in the human ability to establish the truth of the Christian message, there was also a drift toward God’s immanence at the expense of God’s transcendence. Whereas orthodoxy posited a radical discontinuity between the natural and the supernatural, between God and humanity, liberalism suggested a continuity.[44]

In theological formulation, the Creator-creature distinction must never be confused or compromised. This “continuity” that Karkkainen writes of leads many modern theologians to hold a pantheistic view of God. This discussion leads naturally to a discussion of some of the modern approaches to God’s omnipresence.

III. Modern Approaches to God’s Omnipresence

Modern theologians continue to stand in the Enlightenment tradition denying the supernatural and placing themselves as the theological authority. This is certainly true in modern dogmatics. Understanding several of the more prominent modern theologians will, therefore, sharpen our thinking as we discuss God’s omnipresence.

One very important thinker is the German theologian Paul Tillich. Tillich, known as the “Apostle to the Intellectuals,” sought to make religion relevant to the modern secular person.[45] Tillich said all we can say about God is that he is “being itself” and the “Ground of being.”[46] When Tillich discusses God’s immanence he goes further than his liberal forefathers and articulates a view that is closer to panentheism than pantheism.[47] Panentheism is the doctrine that claims “God and the world participate in each other.”[48] Though Tillich claimed that God was still transcendent, he has clearly violated the Creator-creature distinction forming a God in his own image.

Another very important modern thinker is Thomas Altizer. His magnum opus, The Gospel of Christian Atheism, is dedicated to Paul Tillich who Altizer calls the “modern father of radical theology.”[49] Altizer’s main idea was the “absolute immanence of God in humanity.”[50] For Altizer, there is, therefore, no such thing as a transcendent God.[51] Using Philippians 2:5–11, the famous emptying passage, Altizer argued by emptying himself, Jesus divested himself of his transcendence.[52] Altizer explains this idea in this way:

The God who acts in the world and history is a God who negates himself, gradually but decisively annihilating his own original Totality. God is that Totality which “falls” or “descends,” thereby moving ever more fully into the opposite of its original identity. God or the Godhead becomes the God who is manifest in Christ by passing through a reversal of His original form: thus transcendence becomes immanence just as Spirit becomes flesh.[53]

The reason Altizer and his confusing quote are important is because he was one of the first to produce a theology in line with the “God is dead movement.” The death of God abolished his transcendence and made a new and absolute immanence possible.[54]

Another problematic movement of the early Twentieth century is process theology. The spearhead of this way of thinking about God was the British philosopher Alfred North Whitehead.[55] Whitehead believed that traditional metaphysics presented a static view of the world expressed in ideas like essence and substance.[56] Instead Whitehead thought of the world as an organic whole and as something dynamic, “something which happens.”[57] Whitehead is concerned to allow creation to develop freely and not be constrained by any supernatural notion of order.[58] God, for Whitehead, is not dead but his role in creation is merely to persuade or influence within the limits of the ongoing process.[59] “God is thus affected and influenced by the world.”[60] It is important to understand process theology as it leaves the door option for biological evolutionary theories.[61] Also, it presents an innovative theodicy that departs from the Scripture’s teaching. If God is limited by some ongoing process, then he is not to blame for evil in the world. God can influence and even persuade, but he is not responsible for evil.[62] While this way of explaining evil might sound good, it compromises the biblical teaching that God is perfectly sovereign, transcendent, and immanent while at the same time not responsible for evil. God is not subject to causes within his own creation he acts freely.

Conclusion

We end our discussion of God’s omnipresence with discussing these modern approaches because these ideas are still prevalent within liberal and progressive theologies today. Further, their ideas are prevalent among mainline denominations in the United States and even among American citizens. Therefore, Christ’s church must be able and ready to respond, gently and lovingly, yet truthfully because much is at stake when talking about the nature and attributes of God. As a corrective to these modern approaches to omnipresence and conclusion, here again the wonderful description of God’s omnipresence:

Since God is not a physical being who takes up space, it would be wrong to think of him as a sort of gas that fills up the universe. In that sense, he is not everywhere, since God is not a thing, like water or air, that can take up space. Rather, God is everywhere insofar as he is not limited by a spatio-temporal body, knows everything immediately without benefit of sensory organs, and sustains everything that exists. In other words, God’s omnipresence logically follows from his omniscience, incorporeality, omnipotence, metaphysical uniqueness, and role as creator and sustainer of the universe. Although neither identical to creation (as in pantheism) nor limited by it…God is immanent, spiritually and personally present at every point of the universe.[63]

For Christ’s church this doctrine is vital to the good news of the gospel. As Christ prepared to leave this earth and return to his Father, he promised his disciples that he would be with them until the end of the age (Matt 28:20). God is now present with his people by the indwelling of his Holy Spirit (1 Cor 3:16), and God’s omnipresence is at the heart of our eschatological longings. On that great day when our faith becomes sight we will gaze upon the beauty of our ever present Lord for eternity (Rev 22:4). On that day we will hear, as the Apostle John did in his great apocalyptic vision, God himself say, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” (Rev 21:3).[64]


Bibliography

Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologica. Vol. 19 of Great Books of the Western World. Edited by Mortimer J. Adler. Translated by Fathers of English Dominican Province. Chicago: William Benton, 1952.

Bavinck, Herman. God and Creation. Vol. 2 of Reformed Dogmatics. Edited by John Bolt. Translated by John Vriend. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004.

Beckwith, Francis J. “Mormon Theism, the Traditional Christian Concept of God, and Greek Philosophy: a Critical Analysis.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 44.4 (2001): Questia, Web, 5 Apr. 2012.

Berkhof, Louis. Systematic Theology. 4th edition. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1941.

Bray, Gerald. The Doctrine of God. Contours of Christian Theology. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993.

Cyril of Alexandria. The Anathemas of Saint Cyril Against Nestorius. In Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church vol. XIV: The Seven Ecumenical Councils. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. New York: Charles Scriber, 1900.

Frame, John M. The Doctrine of God. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 2002.

Genderen, J. van, and W.H. Velema. Concise Reformed Dogmatics. Edited by M. van der Maas. Translated by Gerrit Bilkes. Phillipsburgh, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 2008.

Gorder, Christian A, van. No God But God: A Path to Muslim-Christian Dialogue on God’s Nature. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2003.

Hodge, Charles. Theology. Vol. 1 of Systematic Theology. Reprint, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2003.

Horton, Michael S. The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011. Kindle Edition.

Karkkainen, Veli-Matti. The Doctrine of God: A Global Introduction. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004.

Kidner, Derek. Psalms 73–150: An Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 16 of Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1975.

Lloyd-Jones, D.M. God the Father, God the Son. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1996.

Manser, M.H. Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser, 1999.

McGrath, Alister E. Christian Theology: An Introduction. 5th edition. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.

Muller, Richard A. Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms: Drawn Principally from Protestant Scholastic Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006.

_____. The Divine Essence and Attributes. Vol. 3 of Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics: The Rise and Development of Reformed Orthodoxy, ca. 1520 to ca. 1725. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2003.

Reymond, Robert L. A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998. Kindle Edition.

Swinburne, Richard. The Christian God. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994.

_____. The Coherence of Theism. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993.

_____. The Existence of God. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991.

Theophilus of Antioch, Theophilus to Autolcus. In Ante-Nicene Fathers Volume II: Fathers of the Second Century. Edited by Roberts, A., J. Donaldson, and A.C. Coxe. Translated by M. Dods. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1885.

Thiselton, Anthony C. A Concise Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Religion. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002.

Turretin, Francis. Institutes of Elenctic Theology. Vol. 1. Edited by James T. Dennison, Jr. Translated by George Musgrave Giger. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1992.

Ussher, James. A Body of Divinity: Or, The Sum and Substance of Christian Religion. Edited by Michael Nevarr. Birmingham, AL: Solid Ground Christian Books, 2007.

Van Til, Cornelius. An Introduction to Systematic Theology. Vol. 5 of In Defense of the Faith. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1978.

Notes

[1] Herman Bavinck, God and Creation, vol. 2 of Reformed Dogmatics, ed. John Bolt, trans. John Vriend (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004), 166.

[2] Richard A. Muller, The Divine Essence and Attributes, vol. 3 of Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics: The Rise and Development of Reformed Orthodoxy, ca. 1520 to ca. 1725 (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2003), 337.

[3] Derek Kidner, Psalms 73–150: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 16 of Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1975), 500–501.

[4] See also: Num 14:21; Deut 4:39; Isa 6:3; 66:1; Amos 9:2–3.

[5] See also: 2 Chron 6:18; 2 Chron 2:6.

[6] See also: Ps 14:5; Isa 43:2; Zep 3:17; 1 Co 14:25.

[7] See also: Lev 26:12; Deut 27:9; 29:10–13; 31:8; 2 Sam 7:24.

[8] Michael Horton, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims On the Way (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011), Kindle edition, 23%.

[9] James Ussher, A Body of Divinity: Or, The Sum and Substance of Christian Religion, ed. Michael Nevarr (Birmingham, AL: Solid Ground Christian Books, 2007), 31.

[10] Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, vol. 1, ed. James T. Dennison, Jr., trans. George Musgrave Giger (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1992), 200. See also: Ussher, Body, 31.

[11] Robert L. Reymond, A New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1998), Kindle edition, 12%.

[12] Ussher, Body, 32.

[13] Horton, Christian Faith, 23%. See also: J. van Genderen and W.H. Velema, Concise Reformed Dogmatics. Ed. M. van der Maas, trans. Gerrit Bilkes (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 2008), 180–181.

[14] Reymond, New Systematic Theology, 12%.

[15] Post-Nicene Fathers 14:202.

[16] Gerald Bray, The Doctrine of God, Contours of Christian Theology (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1993), 103.

[17] Richard A. Muller, Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms: Drawn Principally from Protestant Scholastic Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1985), 283.

[18] Richard Swinburne, The Christian God (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994) 125, Questia, Web, 5 Apr. 2012.

[19] Richard Swinburne, The Existence of God (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991) 91, Questia, Web, 5 Apr. 2012.

[20] Muller, Dictionary, 147.

[21] Ibid., 147.

[22] Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, 4th ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdman’s, 1941), 61. Turretin also says the two must be addressed separately. See Turretin, Institutes, 197.

[23] Cornelius Van Til, An Introduction to Systematic Theology, vol. 5 of In Defense of the Faith (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1978), 215.

[24] J.I. Packer, Concise Theology (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1995), 35. See also, Swinburne, Coherence, 104–107.

[25] Turretin, Institutes, 197.

[26] Ibid., 197.

[27] Packer, Concise, 35.

[28] Turretin, Institutes, 198.

[29] Ante-Nicene Fathers 2:95.

[30] Reymond, Systematic Theology, 12%.

[31] Swinburne, Coherence, 101.

[32] Charles Hodge, Theology, vol. 1 of Systematic Theology (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2003), 384.

[33] Hodge, Theology, 384.

[34] Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, vol. 19 of Great Books of the Western World, ed. Mortimer J. Adler, trans. Fathers of the English Dominican Province (Chicago: William Benton, 1952), 36.

[35] Turretin, Institutes, 198.

[36] Bavinck, God and Creation, 165.

[37] Turretin, 198.

[38] Bavinck, God and Creation, 168.

[39] Ibid., 166.

[40] Ibid., 166.

[41] Velli-Matti Karkkainen, The Doctrine of God: A Global Introduction (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004), 87.

[42] Bavinck, God and Creation, 166.

[43] Ibid., 166.

[44] Karkkainen, Doctrine of God, 113.

[45] Karkkainen, Doctrine of God, 130.

[46] Ibid., 131.

[47] Ibid., 132.

[48] Ibid., 132.

[49] Ibid., 176.

[50] Ibid., 176.

[51] Ibid., 176.

[52] Ibid., 177.

[53] Quoted in Karkkainen, Doctrine of God, 177.

[54] Karkkainen, Doctrine of God, 177.

[55] Alister E. McGrath, Christian Theology: An Introduction (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), 214.

[56] Ibid., 214.

[57] Ibid., 214.

[58] Ibid., 214.

[59] Ibid., 214.

[60] Ibid., 214.

[61] Ibid., 214.

[62] Ibid., 215.

[63] Francis J. Beckwith, “Mormon Theism, the Traditional Christian Concept of God, and Greek Philosophy: a Critical Analysis,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 44.4 (2001), Questia, Web, 5 Apr. 2012.

[64] Since the voice comes from the throne, Rev 21:3, I take it to be God himself speaking.

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Jason Delgado

5 years ago

Great stuff. Just out of curiosity, is there any more info on the author? Jason Pickard?

Camden Bucey

5 years ago

A bio should be coming shortly. Jason Pickard graduated with an MDiv from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. He ministers to international students with RUF International at Texas A&M.

Philip

5 years ago

“The spearhead of this way of thinking about God was the *American philosopher Alfred North Whitehead”

*Whitehead was a British philosopher/mathematician

Camden Bucey

5 years ago

Thanks for that correction. I updated the post.

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