Stephen Averitt: Discussion Questions

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Stephen Averitt: Discussion Questions

Post by S.h.ave on Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:00 am

1.If you had to pick two stories (narratives specifically, not just passages) from the Bible that best illustrate what God is like, which would you choose? Select one story from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, then explain your choices.

To best describe what God is like, I think the Creation Story of Genesis 1-2 and The Parable of the Prodigal Son from Luke 15 are greatly suited for the task. First, in the Creation Story, God is identified as the One who created the heavens and the earth; we attribute Him as Creator. God is the One who brings all things into existence, who breathes life into man. The Creator creates the pro-creating man, displaying that God is like a Father because the one created in His image fathers children. In this story, we also see God commission the man with His Word, commanding Him to subdue and fill the earth, as well as to cultivate the garden. Additionally, God is more than one, making man "in our image". His unity with the Son and Spirit display the complexity of the Trinity. Thus, God is shown in this story to be Creator, Father, Commissioner, and Triune.

In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, the story tells of a son that wishes his inheritance from his father prematurely. This shows the son to be dishonoring his father and wishing he were dead. Furthermore, the son squanders the wealth he received with prostitutes, figuratively spitting in his father's face. The father should have had no desire to reconcile with his son. However, when the son started to return, the father ran to meet him, pursuing him. He showed grace, mercy, and love to his son. And he celebrated the one he had lost. He even defended his son at the protest of the other son. In this story, God is shown to be loving, merciful, pursuing, celebratory, Defender, and a giver of grace.

2. What do you think of Augustine's statement that "whoever denies the Trinity is in danger of losing his salvation; whoever tries to understand the Trinity is in danger of losing his mind"?

To Augustine's first point, one cannot have the gospel without a foundation of God as the Trinity. Scripture does not collectively teach that one must simply believe in God to be saved; one must believe that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead. One cannot attest to anything about Jesus without first clinging to the Father and the Spirit. They are in a constant balance, a "mutual reciprocal relatedness to each other." Thus, if one were to only believe in God the Father or confess Jesus and the Spirit as lower than the Father, it lessens the authority and impact of the Father. "The Father glorifies the Son", showing that part of the Father's nature is to elevate another Person of the Godhead. To deny the Father of his nature by not accrediting Christ His due lordship takes away part of the role of the Father. In short, "God is not God apart from the way in which Father, Son, and Spirit in eternity give to and receive from each other what they essentially are." (Gunton, 118-119).

Secondly, the Trinity is so complex a concept that is it too difficult for a human mind to comprehend. Such is appropriate since we believe in an infinite God; our finite knowledge cannot grasp the infinite. Furthermore, Scriptures aid one to comprehend the Trinity, but they don't explicitly state the nature of the Trinity. It is the result of biblical and theological work, starting as early as the first century. One must consider all these sources to attempt to comprehend, but may lose their mind figuratively in the process.
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Re: Stephen Averitt: Discussion Questions

Post by Admin on Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:29 pm

Hi Stephen, will you please add a picture to your profile on this forum?
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Re: Stephen Averitt: Discussion Questions

Post by Katie A on Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:16 pm

S.h.ave wrote:1.If you had to pick two stories (narratives specifically, not just passages) from the Bible that best illustrate what God is like, which would you choose? Select one story from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, then explain your choices.

To best describe what God is like, I think the Creation Story of Genesis 1-2 and The Parable of the Prodigal Son from Luke 15 are greatly suited for the task. First, in the Creation Story, God is identified as the One who created the heavens and the earth; we attribute Him as Creator. God is the One who brings all things into existence, who breathes life into man. The Creator creates the pro-creating man, displaying that God is like a Father because the one created in His image fathers children. In this story, we also see God commission the man with His Word, commanding Him to subdue and fill the earth, as well as to cultivate the garden. Additionally, God is more than one, making man "in our image". His unity with the Son and Spirit display the complexity of the Trinity. Thus, God is shown in this story to be Creator, Father, Commissioner, and Triune.

In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, the story tells of a son that wishes his inheritance from his father prematurely. This shows the son to be dishonoring his father and wishing he were dead. Furthermore, the son squanders the wealth he received with prostitutes, figuratively spitting in his father's face. The father should have had no desire to reconcile with his son. However, when the son started to return, the father ran to meet him, pursuing him. He showed grace, mercy, and love to his son. And he celebrated the one he had lost. He even defended his son at the protest of the other son. In this story, God is shown to be loving, merciful, pursuing, celebratory, Defender, and a giver of grace. c


I LOVE the Parable of the Prodigal Son! I agree with you that it most certainly does well to show God as merciful, pursuing, celebratory, graceful and also as a Defender. Something that I like a lot about the moment in which the father defends the Prodigal Son, is that it shows us as children of God how we should act towards people. Jesus uses this passage to teach people to celebrate when someone comes to him, just as he does. This passage teaches us not to compare ourselves to others but to celebrate with them as they grow closer to Jesus. This truly reflects God's heart. Not only does he show mercy and Grace to his children as they come to him, but he loves all of his children enough to discipline them well and show them how to love their siblings just as he does.
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