Saturday, July 24, 2010

Go Ahead...Slap the Person Next to You........

...And say "anthropomorphism!!!!"
While you don't need to know all the fancy terms, as a Christian you certainly need to know the meaning behind anthropomorphism and it's use in the Bible. So what is anthropomorphism? It is the tendency to ascribe human features or attributes to God. (such as hands or arms, or when it talks of God repenting ect.)
We see this all over the Bible, and rightly so. We cannot ascend to where God is and figure Him out, but He can descend to where we are. God relates to us in terms that are familiar, so it's no surprise that sometimes God presents things that seem paradoxical. For example, God is all powerful (Jer. 32:17), and yet He rests. (Gen. 2:2). God is in all places (Psalm 139:7-12). Yet He asks Adam "Where are you? (Gen. 3:9). He knows all things (1 John 3:20) Yet He says "Now I know that you fear God..." (Gen. 22:12)

So because God said to Abraham "Now I know that you fear me..." does that mean that God does not know all things?  Certainly not!

"We see things as they come one after the other in a procession, but God is in a
position from which he sees all at once. A man travelling through England sees a
portion at a time; but he that looks at a map sees the whole country present before
him there and then. God sees everything as now. Nothing is past, nothing is future to

C. H. Spurgeon 

Because God condescends to us and says that he "rested". Does that mean that He is not all powerful? of course not.

Because God said that He "repented that he had made man" does that mean that He is fickle and can change His mind? 

"There are some persons who talk about God changing his purpose; such people do not
know what God is at all. How could God change? God must either change from a
better to a worse, or from a worse to a better. If he could change from a worse to a
better, he is not perfect now; and if he could change from what he is to something
worse, he would not be perfect then, and he would not be God."


Because God tells us to go and preach the word, does that mean that He is not sovereign over salvation? 

"Depend upon it, it is God's Word, not our comment upon God's Word, that saves souls."

Robert Murray M'Cheyne  

Next time you are reading your Bible think about anthropomorphism, see if you can find more examples while you're reading. Having a proper hermeneutic is vital when reading the Bible. Understanding anthropomorphic language is a part of having good hermeneutics. 

"Our degrees and ranks are only shades of littleness; that is all. When the Lord
communes with the greatest of men, he must become little to speak with him."


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