Theology pt. 6

Posted: 2009/02/21 in theology

* continued from my previous blog site.  

remember: i am not posting these blog’s as fact but as discussion starters to help form and solidify my (and your) theology. i love hearing all points of view and having good healthy discussions (feelings aside). leave me comments. molding my theology is my life long process so let’s get started.

 

Humanity’s Subconscious Knowledge of God:

i have embarked on a forever long study of the book of Romans in Scripture.  i have spent since then end of December studying Romans chapter 1.  wow, it has been intense but VERY fruitful.  the latest “wow” moment came yesterday as i was closing up chapter 1.  

in Bible classes that i have taken and in sermons i’ve heard in the past i’ve been taught theories into what it means to me made in the image of God.  in theory they make sense but the different list i’ve been given make me question their biblical backing…apart from theory.  i wholeheartedly believe we have to be careful of theory and look for hard core evidence, of any theory, backed up by Scripture.

this one point brings some “up in the air” questions “down” for me.  again, i am not stating them as fact, just recording them as i see them to help me process through it.  any readers opinion is welcome.

the apostle Paul, in the amazing book of Romans, is opening this book in stating his purpose for writing and giving a foundation for what is to come.  many theologians believe that Romans 1:18-32 parallels Genesis (the creation of the world and the fall of man).  i must agree, to a degree, but i don’t think its a direct/purposeful correlation.  i believe simply that Paul is stating the nature of God and the nature of man and it so happens to follow along the lines of the beginning of Genesis.

with this soft parallel i think it is safe to compare the statement of “being made in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27) with how God created man (all His creation) with an underlying knowledge of Him, that we supress in our fallan nature (Romans 1:19-20,32).

 

the problem i am facing right now is…where do i start with my scriptural explanation?  here goes nothing.    

 

the question i am raising here is “does all humanity (being a part of Gods creation) have a knowledge of God – His divine nature – and a knowledge that breaking His perfect order (sin) causes death?  when i mention all humanity there is no condition; from the remotest village in the world to the guy down the street from you who carries the strongest atheistic worldview to you and me.  do we ALL know there is a God and that breaking His order is called sin and it deserves death.  

a weird question i know…but profound if it is truth!

 

the biblical backing

Romans 1:19-20 “For what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them.  For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.”  

Romans 1:32 “Though they  know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” 

 

Interpretation

Paul is speaking of those who are ungodly and unrighteous as we see in v. 18.  but more specifically who is “them;” who are these ungodly/unrighteous people.  as we see in v. 16-17 this is all humanity. So the continuation of chapter 1 is talking about humanity.  

if this section in v. 18-32 is talking about all humanity (who are unrighteous apart from Him) then it is saying that He has instilled, in the innermost working of all humanity, the knowledge of Him and that (our) sin brings death.  the greatest truth about this reality is that God does not leave us hanging with this uncontained truth.  He contains is pretty nicely for us.  he states (in v. 19) for those who deny the existence of God are people who suppress this truth that lies deep in their knowledge.

why is this truth profound?  

think of the most atheistic or agnostic person you know.  if you were to have a conversation with this person about this truth, that they, deep down inside, have a knowledge of God…they might laugh in your face and discredit this comment/belief…STRONGLY.

think for me for a moment, how does conversion happen.  do we convince anyone of anything?  does someone become a believer in Christ because we said something smooth?  no!  does someone become a believer because Christianity stood the test of 3500+ years? no!  someone becomes a believer in Christ because God stirs in the heart and reveals the things that are already there…he begins to depressurize the suppression.

God saves people, we don’t.  everyone has a deep understanding of God and His wrath.  we just suppress it (which is our continued sin even as believers).  all God’s creation has a deep understanding of His existence to the point that even the rocks are ready to cry out!

 

i truly believe the being made in the image of God means that we all have a knowledge of God but that sin fractured that knowledge and made us suppress this truth.

 

* This insight came from this study: Click here

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