Does faith in the personal God of Scripture make sense if we acknowledge that we do not have free will? This blog presupposes that we don’t have free will, but argues that far from being a source of anxiety or even a death sentence for faith, our lack of free will may actually be the central point of Scripture and essential to our inherent human dignity.
December 23, 2016 - Fear of God
fear came upon all their neighbors,
and all these matters were discussed
throughout the hill country of Judea.
All who heard these things took them to heart, saying,
“What, then, will this child be?
For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.
were Elizabeth and Zechariah’s neighbors struck with fear when the infant John
the Baptist was born?
suspect it was a fear akin to Casasdastrapobia, or fear of falling into the
vastness of the night sky. Popular-culture Christianity focuses on the approachability
of Jesus. C.S. Lewis once criticized a
relative who talked about approaching God as though he would slap God on the
back and invite him for a beer. Martin Buber
once compared encountering God to dangling over an abyss.
is sovereign and vast; the Alpha and the Omega; He who set the world on its foundations. At the approach of
the divine, fear and trembling is the appropriate response, not because we anticipate
anything bad to happen but because we have a sense of our smallness and the asymmetry
of the relationship - our ‘creatureliness’ as Rudolf Otto would have called it.
night, we celebrate Christmas. God
becomes incarnate and enters the world.
How will our hearts respond?