Jessica Rodriguez Discussion Questions

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Jessica Rodriguez Discussion Questions

Post by Jessica Rodriguez on Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:41 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.

Old Testament narrative: Abraham and Isaac.

God had promised Abraham that through Isaac he would make a nation. And then God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. God made a promise to Abraham and even though God told him to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham knew that God’s promise still had to be true and trustworthy and unchanging. Abraham did everything to go through with the sacrifice and as he was about to do it, an angel of the Lord stopped him. This shows that God is unchanging and that His plan can’t be thwarted. In other words, God is illustrated as omnipotent. Nothing is impossible for God, not even fulfilling His promise that Isaac would carry on the line of blessing and covenant while creating the possibility for Abraham to obey Him. This narrative shows that God keeps His word. He is not a liar. He is intrinsically good and benevolent. He wouldn’t let Abraham go through with actually sacrificing his son, because that is against God’s laws. Then, God provides a ram in the thicket instead for the sacrifice. This shows God’s provision. God is all knowing. He knows exactly what is in Abraham’s heart. He knows the will of Abraham was to sacrifice his son, in obedience, so God didn’t need to wait for him to actually do it. He foreknew what would happen. Yet, God still required a sacrifice and He was the one who provided, with the ram and of course, and with Jesus. This demonstrates that God is just. God is also unchanging. It was His plan the whole time to provide a lamb, for Abraham and for the whole world, through Jesus. This narrative is also a demonstration of God’s love by doing the thing that we cannot do, present a sacrifice holy and blameless to pay the cost for our sins.

New Testament narrative: Prodigal Son.

In this narrative, the father gave the younger son his inheritance, even though it technically wasn’t even his to take yet. God gives us what we don’t deserve, life, and doesn’t give us what we deserve, death. Technically, the father gave the younger son His own livelihood, the same way God gives us His own life through Jesus. The father clearly illustrates God’s love for His children. The father knew what the son would do, foreknowledge, yet, because of His love, let him make his own decision and allowed him to see what life is like apart from Him. God’s love transforms us from slaves, sinners, outcasts, foreigners, to sons and daughters, just like the father in this story. The father’s love waited for the son. God’s love never changes toward us, the way the father never stopped loving the younger son. The father had compassion, not because the son repented, for the father started running toward the son before the son even confessed. But, like the father, God chooses to have compassion on us. This demonstrates God’s goodness and benevolence. God is faithful to us even when we are not faithful, the way the father was faithful to his son when he was squandering his father’s livelihood. The father swallowed the debt of the son and took him home. The father chose to pay the son’s debt and forgive him the way God does for us. The father also clothed his son in the best robe and rings, making him beautiful. That is what God does. God’s goodness, glory, and holiness is what makes us good and holy.


2.Select question #1, 2 or 3 from page 231 and write a response.

Question 1. 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”?

I think this statement is accurate in that if we try to understand everything about the Trinity we will indeed lose our minds. God is infinite, without limit or measure. We, as humans, are constrained by time, space, matter, and the limits of our minds. God is the creator and we are the creation. Based on that fact alone, we could not possibly hope to completely understand all that God is. I also believe that if we do not believe in the Trinity, then we take away the logic and sense behind why and how Jesus died for our sins and restored our relationship with the Father God. Without the Trinity, God would not be a relational, personal God. If God were not in communion and relationship with Himself, then He would need communion, relationship and love from humans, those He created. That would mean love is something created and God’s love would be selfish. But, because God is triune, He is self-sufficient. He is love, He is in communion and so He chose to love us through the sacrifice of His son, selflessly. God did not create us in order to be loved, but from out of the overflow of love that He is as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
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Response to Second Question

Post by Bethany Hutson on Fri Sep 28, 2018 5:55 am

Jessica Rodriguez 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.

Old Testament narrative: Abraham and Isaac.

God had promised Abraham that through Isaac he would make a nation. And then God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. God made a promise to Abraham and even though God told him to sacrifice Isaac, Abraham knew that God’s promise still had to be true and trustworthy and unchanging. Abraham did everything to go through with the sacrifice and as he was about to do it, an angel of the Lord stopped him. This shows that God is unchanging and that His plan can’t be thwarted. In other words, God is illustrated as omnipotent. Nothing is impossible for God, not even fulfilling His promise that Isaac would carry on the line of blessing and covenant while creating the possibility for Abraham to obey Him. This narrative shows that God keeps His word. He is not a liar. He is intrinsically good and benevolent. He wouldn’t let Abraham go through with actually sacrificing his son, because that is against God’s laws. Then, God provides a ram in the thicket instead for the sacrifice. This shows God’s provision. God is all knowing. He knows exactly what is in Abraham’s heart. He knows the will of Abraham was to sacrifice his son, in obedience, so God didn’t need to wait for him to actually do it. He foreknew what would happen. Yet, God still required a sacrifice and He was the one who provided, with the ram and of course, and with Jesus. This demonstrates that God is just. God is also unchanging. It was His plan the whole time to provide a lamb, for Abraham and for the whole world, through Jesus. This narrative is also a demonstration of God’s love by doing the thing that we cannot do, present a sacrifice holy and blameless to pay the cost for our sins.

New Testament narrative: Prodigal Son.

In this narrative, the father gave the younger son his inheritance, even though it technically wasn’t even his to take yet. God gives us what we don’t deserve, life, and doesn’t give us what we deserve, death. Technically, the father gave the younger son His own livelihood, the same way God gives us His own life through Jesus. The father clearly illustrates God’s love for His children. The father knew what the son would do, foreknowledge, yet, because of His love, let him make his own decision and allowed him to see what life is like apart from Him. God’s love transforms us from slaves, sinners, outcasts, foreigners, to sons and daughters, just like the father in this story. The father’s love waited for the son. God’s love never changes toward us, the way the father never stopped loving the younger son. The father had compassion, not because the son repented, for the father started running toward the son before the son even confessed. But, like the father, God chooses to have compassion on us. This demonstrates God’s goodness and benevolence. God is faithful to us even when we are not faithful, the way the father was faithful to his son when he was squandering his father’s livelihood. The father swallowed the debt of the son and took him home. The father chose to pay the son’s debt and forgive him the way God does for us. The father also clothed his son in the best robe and rings,  making him beautiful. That is what God does. God’s goodness, glory, and holiness is what makes us good and holy.


2.Select question #1, 2 or 3 from page 231 and write a response.

Question 1. 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”?

I think this statement is accurate in that if we try to understand everything about the Trinity we will indeed lose our minds. God is infinite, without limit or measure. We, as humans, are constrained by time, space, matter, and the limits of our minds. God is the creator and we are the creation. Based on that fact alone, we could not possibly hope to completely understand all that God is. I also believe that if we do not believe in the Trinity, then we take away the logic and sense behind why and how Jesus died for our sins and restored our relationship with the Father God. Without the Trinity, God would not be a relational, personal God. If God were not in communion and relationship with Himself, then He would need communion, relationship and love from humans, those He created. That would mean love is something created and God’s love would be selfish. But, because God is triune, He is self-sufficient. He is love, He is in communion and so He chose to love us through the sacrifice of His son, selflessly. God did not create us in order to be loved, but from out of the overflow of love that He is as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Very well stated! I agree with you. Sometimes it is hard to wrap our minds around these concepts. However, they are important in understanding who God is and how we relate to Him. Since God is infinite, our human minds have a hard time grasping the richness and fullness of who God is. It makes you long for the day when we can be in the full presence of God and we won’t know everything until we are with God in eternity. To understanding the Gospel, we have to have a basis for the trinity. The trinity helps God be relational and personal.
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Bethany Hutson

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