References to: God

Is God a Family?

I’m sometimes asked why we do not refer to God as a “family.” Isn’t that term appropriate, given that there is a Father and a Son who are bringing “many sons to glory”? My answer is that whereas the analogy of God as a family works at some levels, we must be very careful because it can lead in directions that distort the biblical revelation of the one God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Related Articles & Content: 

Other articles about this topic: 

Other articles by: 

Knowing God (article)

In Psalm 113:5-6, the psalmist asks: “Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?”

We still are asking that question. The self-help sections of bookstores and online catalogs offer seemingly countless books addressing ways to know God from Christian, quasi-Christian and other religious perspectives. Some of these books teach universalism; others teach pantheism or panentheism. Those with a New Age perspective often promise keys to finding secret knowledge concerning God.

By: 

Joseph Tkach
Related Articles & Content: 

Other articles about this topic: 

Other articles by: 

Steve McVey: The Father Gets a Bad Rap

Steve McVey

Steve McVey: The Father Gets a Bad Rap

Dr. McVey stresses the importance of an accurate understanding of the cross, and how it affects our view of the whole being of God, Father, Son and Spirit.

(29.8 minutes)
Program download options:
Biography:
Steve McVey

Dr. Steve McVey is founder of GraceWalk Ministries. He is the author of Grace Walk, Grace Rules, Grace Amazing, The Godward Gaze, A Divine Invitation, Walking in the Will of God, The Grace Walk Experience, Beyond an Angry God, The Secret of Grace, Anchored and 52 Lies Heard in Church Every Sunday. For a PDF file of five YI interviews, click here.

Learn More:

Perhaps you know of someone who might like to watch this program. If so, go to the bottom of the page and click on "Email this page." Fill out the short form, and share the good news! There's also a way to share the page on Facebook, Twitter, and other websites.

If you'd like to support this ministry, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about Trinitarian theology, check out Grace Communion Seminary. It's accredited, affordable, and 100 percent online.

Small group discussion guide

Discussion groups might wish to prepare their own topics, request topics from the group, use the following suggested topics, or mix and match all three.

Suggested topics:

1. In what ways can a “penal substitution” view of the atonement affect our sense of intimacy    with the Father?

2. How does a Trinitarian perspective of the cross impact our view of the Father?

3. “The prodigal story is about God’s unconditional love, not the sons’ behavior.” Your views?

4. Steve likened the church to the older son in the prodigal story. Why do you think he did this?

5. The atonement is described as “game over.” Why is it so often presented as “your move”?

6. Hell was presented as of our own making and choosing. Please share your thoughts on this.

7. Please comment on the concept that all of humanity is wrapped up in the first and last Adams.

8. What do you think of Steve’s understanding that God did not forsake Jesus on the cross?

A few simple guidelines for leading a discussion: 1) Encourage open discussion. 2) Ask questions relevant to the topic. 3) Listen attentively. 4) Encourage divergent views. 5) Encourage everyone to participate. 6) Summarize and paraphrase. 7) Minimize teaching and preaching.

 

Mike Morrison: Steve, thanks for being with us.

Steve McVey: Thank you. Glad to be back with you.

MM: Earlier, you commented that many people view the sacrifice of Jesus as God punishing Jesus. You objected strongly to that notion. Could you tell us why you think it’s important for people to have an accurate understanding of what was going on in the crucifixion of Jesus?

Related Articles & Content: 

Other programs in this series: 

Other articles about this topic: 

Other articles by: 

Paul Molnar: God Chose to Enter Into Our Humanity

Paul Molnar

Paul Molnar: God Chose to Enter Into Our Humanity

When Christ saves us, he is drawing us into his relationship with God the Father. Although God is changeless in one sense, he was able to become human.

(26.0 minutes)
Program download options:
Biography:
Paul Molnar

Paul Molnar is a professor of systematic theology at St. John's University in New York and a former president of the Thomas F. Torrance Theological Fellowship. For a PDF of all interviews with him, click here. He has written the following books, including:
__Thomas F. Torrance: Theologian of the Trinity
__Incarnation and Resurrection: Toward a Contemporary Understanding

Learn More:

Perhaps you know of someone who might like to watch this program. If so, go to the bottom of the page and click on "Email this page." Fill out the short form, and share the good news! There's also a way to share the page on Facebook, Twitter, and other websites.

If you'd like to support this ministry, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about Trinitarian theology, check out Grace Communion Seminary. It's accredited, affordable, and 100 percent online.

Small group discussion guide

Discussion groups might wish to prepare their own topics, request topics from the group, use the following suggested topics, or mix and match all three.

Suggested topics:

1. “The problem of sin is trying to run on our own steam.” How did this concept impress you?

2. Human self-reliance and self-will was stressed. How do these work against God’s grace?

3. Dr. Molnar linked the essence of sin to lack of trust in God. Please share your thoughts on this.

4. How do you understand salvation as being in right relationship with God through Christ?

5. The atonement was said to be an act of grace rather than judicial in nature. Why?

6. Why is it critical to not separate the “immanent” trinity from the “economic” trinity?

7. God’s “unchangeableness” is defined as faithfulness to his covenant promise. Comments?

8. It was asserted that God created us out of free love rather than need. Why is this important?

A few simple guidelines for leading a discussion: 1) Encourage open discussion. 2) Ask questions relevant to the topic. 3) Listen attentively. 4) Encourage divergent views. 5) Encourage everyone to participate. 6) Summarize and paraphrase. 7) Minimize teaching and preaching.

Introduction: Paul Molnar is a Catholic theologian and Professor of Systematic Theology at St. John’s University, in New York. He is author of Thomas F. Torrance: Theologian of the Trinity, Incarnation and Resurrection, and Divine Freedom and the Doctrine of the Immanent Trinity: in Dialog with Karl Barth and Contemporary Theology. Dr. Molnar has also been editor of the Karl Barth Society of North America Newsletter and president of the Thomas F. Torrance Theological Fellowship.

Related Articles & Content: 

Other programs in this series: 

Other articles about this topic: 

C. Baxter Kruger: Where Is God in the Darkness?

Dr. C. Baxter Kruger

C. Baxter Kruger: Where Is God in the Darkness?

Dr. C. Baxter Kruger discusses the goodness of God and our moments of darkness.

(34.6 minutes)
Program download options:
Biography:
C. Baxter Kruger

Dr. C. Baxter Kruger is the founder and the president of Perichoresis, Inc. and of Mediator Lures. He obtained his doctorate working with James Torrance in Aberdeen, Scotland. He is author of
     The Great Dance: The Christian Vision Revisited
     Jesus and the Undoing of Adam
     God Is For Us
     Across All Worlds: Jesus Inside Our Darkness
     The Shack Revisited

For a PDF of our all interviews with Dr. Kruger, click here.

Learn More:

Perhaps you know of someone who might like to watch this program. If so, go to the bottom of the page and click on "Email this page." Fill out the short form, and share the good news! There's also a way to share the page on Facebook, Twitter, and other websites.

If you'd like to support this ministry, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about Trinitarian theology, check out Grace Communion Seminary. It's accredited, affordable, and 100 percent online.


For a PDF of all the edited transcripts of our interviews with Dr. Kruger, click here.

Small group discussion guide

Discussion groups might wish to prepare their own topics, request topics from the group, use the following suggested topics, or mix and match all three.

Suggested topics:

1. How would you explain the goodness that comes from “unbelievers”?

2. What did you think of the statement, “All goodness that there is comes from God”?

3. How do you view God being the origin of our grief and our participation with God in his grief?

4. Please comment on Dr. Kruger’s assertion that God meets us in our “darkness.”

5. Tell us some of the ways that the “light” of Jesus Christ has affected your personal darkness.

6. How did the concept of God’s forgiveness as an “overflow” of his triune love affect you?

7. “The gospel is completely about relationship.” Why do you think this is hard for people to accept this?

8. How does the word “dance” help us understand relationships and acceptance?

A few simple guidelines for leading a discussion: 1) Encourage open discussion. 2) Ask questions relevant to the topic. 3) Listen attentively. 4) Encourage divergent views. 5) Encourage everyone to participate. 6) Summarize and paraphrase. 7) Minimize teaching and preaching.

J. Michael Feazell: When unbelievers are good, where does that come from?

C. Baxter Kruger: I think that’s a fantastic question. If you grew up (like I did) with Calvinism, then you would look at people who are outside of the church and say “that’s not really goodness. I don’t know what it is, but it’s really depravity, because it’s really sin.”

Related Articles & Content: 

Other programs in this series: 

Other articles about this topic: 

Other articles by: 

Gordon Fee: Like Father, Like Son

Gordon Fee

Gordon Fee: Like Father, Like Son

Dr. Gordon Fee talks about the renewed image of the Father through his likeness shared in Christ the Son.

(28.3 minutes)
Program download options:
Biography:
Gordon D. Fee

Dr. Gordon Fee is emeritus professor of New Testament at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. For a PDF of all three interviews, click here. Among his many publications are
     How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (co-authored with Douglas Stuart; now in its fourth edition)
     How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth (co-authored with Mark Strauss)

Learn More:

Perhaps you know of someone who might like to watch this program. If so, go to the bottom of the page and click on "Email this page." Fill out the short form, and share the good news! There's also a way to share the page on Facebook, Twitter, and other websites.

If you'd like to support this ministry, click here.

If you are interested in learning more about Trinitarian theology, check out Grace Communion Seminary. It's accredited, affordable, and 100 percent online.

Small group discussion guide

Discussion groups might wish to prepare their own topics, request topics from the group, use the following suggested topics, or mix and match all three.

Suggested topics:

1. Why is viewing the Father “just like Jesus Christ” so important for understanding him?

2. How does a Trinitarian concept of God help us escape false ideas regarding his nature?

3. How can taking the book of John seriously help us to know who God is and what he is like?

4. Why do “broken” human fathers often affect our view of God and his desire for a relationship?

5. Please share your thoughts on our being Christ’s “image bearers” by loving our enemies.

6. Why is it usually better to “love our neighbors as they are” rather than try to “convert” them?

7. Dr. Fee said, “True evangelism has to stem out of good relationships.” Please comment. 

8. The distinction was made between “doing good” and “doing works.” Your thoughts?

A few simple guidelines for leading a discussion: 1) Encourage open discussion. 2) Ask questions relevant to the topic. 3) Listen attentively. 4) Encourage divergent views. 5) Encourage everyone to participate. 6) Summarize and paraphrase. 7) Minimize teaching and preaching.

J. Michael Feazell: Welcome to You’re Included, the unique interview series devoted to practical implications of Trinitarian theology. With us today is author and New Testament scholar Dr. Gordon Fee. Dr. Fee is Professor Emeritus of Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He’s considered a leading expert in the field of biblical interpretation and is author of many books, including How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth and How to Read the Bible Book by Book, both of which he co-authored with Douglas Stuart.

Related Articles & Content: 

Other programs in this series: 

Other articles about this topic: 

Other articles by: 

We Were Always On His Mind

The doctrine of the Trinity has been with us for more than 1,600 years. Most Christians consider it to be one of the “givens” of their faith, and don’t give it much thought. Theologian J.I. Packer noted that the Trinity is usually considered a little-thought-about piece of “theological lumber” that no one pays much attention to.1

By: 

Joseph Tkach
Related Articles & Content: 

Other articles about this topic: 

Other articles by: 

Who's Afraid of God's Judgment?

Imagine a courtroom scene. You are accused of a crime and now on trial. Problem is, you know you are guilty. But as you walk in, you notice the judge gives you a reassuring nod of recognition, as if he had known you all your life. He summons you to the bench. “Don’t worry about a thing,” he tells you with a warm fatherly smile. “I know all about this case. In fact, I’m going to be your defense attorney.”

By: 

Neil Earle
Related Articles & Content: 

Other articles about this topic: 

Let God Be God

May I ask you a couple of personal questions?

You don’t have to respond out loud; silent answers will do. The answers are for you, not for me.

Here’s the first question: Has your child ever gotten a bit rebellious, uncooperative or disrespectful?

And here’s the second: Did you punish him or her? Remember, just a silent answer. No need to raise your hand.

Now let me ask you this: How long did the punishment last? More to the point, Did you decree that the punishment would last forever?

The very idea of it sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

Related Articles & Content: 

Other articles about this topic: 

Other articles by: 

Pages