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A week in Peru and an entire week teaching systematic theology (39 hrs of lectures in five days) has left me short of breath. Both have been exhilarating in ways that constantly challenge. The latter comprised mostly of the doctrine of Scripture and the doctrine of God. What emerged for me was a reaffirmation of four central issues:

First, that the knowing God is our greatest privilege. In the middle of a discussion on the validity or non-validity of listing and classifying the attributes of God in a certain way (natural versus moral, communicable versus incommunicable etc), I turned and found myself saying, "But this is not merely theoretical; I know him!" "Jeremiah 9:23, 24: "This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD." 

Second, knowing God is what God promises in his covenant. In that passage in Jeremiah 31, which sometimes gets in the way of paedo- and credo-baptist fellowship, the prophet says: they shall all know me, from the least to the greatest (Jer. 31:34). Knowledge formerly given in fragmentary fashion, through intermediaries of prophets and priests, now comes to every believer. Every New Testament believer is a prophet and a priest and a king!

Third, knowing God is at the center of what Jesus came to do. He came to "exegete" God to us (John 1:18). The things committed to the Father have been made known to the Son and he has shown them to us (Matt. 11:25-30).

Fourth, studying the doctrine of God is what makes us holy! "I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better" (Eph. 1:17).

Just think: when they first decided to print J. I. Packer's Knowing God they only printed 2,000 copies! Over a million copies later, the book keeps on going.

Posted July 19, 2008 @ 9:17 PM by Derek Thomas

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