Sunday, March 21, 2010

God is Love, Wisdom: And Power

Updated (March 22, 2010)

Here's the video I intended to include with this post. Better late than never?

"Jesus Music - 'He's Alive' - Don Francisco - Easter"

NoneBeforeNoneAfter, YouTube (February 17, 2007)
video, 4:59

"http://www.rockymountainmin... Fans are encouraged to visit the Site. EASTER is coming...."
I've been spending the weekend assembling and organizing information needed to fill out the tax forms. With a whole lot less time to work with than I thought. ("Lemming Tracks: Tax Time Surprise," Apathetic Lemming of the North (March 20, 2010))

There's only so much of re-arranging data in a spreadsheet and verifying the data in each line that I can take at a time, so I took a break. A cup of coffee, a walk around part of the house, and I was back at the computer.

I suppose it's a sort of procrastination, but I decided to take a look at this blog. A little later I was re-reading "Home Schooling, Religious and Moral Instruction, and American Culture" (March 6, 2010). Something I'd written wasn't clear, so I added a footnote.

It got longer than I'd planned, so I decided to spend another - seven minutes, so far, including what follows these words - writing this post.

Our God is an Awesome God

I've heard that Rich Mullins didn't think his song, "Our God is an Awesome God" was one of his best. I like it, and my family's heard me humming and singing parts of it now and again - but I'm pretty sure Mr. Mullins was right.

Regarded as a serious work of musical art, "Awesome God" isn't particularly outstanding.

Which didn't keep it from becoming quite a hit in the - eighties, I think.

Creative matters notwithstanding, there's pretty good sense in the words. Like the chorus:
"Our God is an awesome God
"He reigns from Heaven above
"With wisdom power and love
"Our God is an awesome God!"
(Chorus, "Our God is an Awesome God!" Rich Mullins)
Starting at least as far back as the sixties, it's been okay to talk about God's love. And that's fine. God is loving: for which I'm grateful.

He's also wise and powerful.

The "wise" part may have been okay as grooviness, disco, and The Simpsons left footprints on Western culture: but "powerful"? Well, that was one of those things one simply didn't discuss. Prudery wasn't limited to the Victorian age. Which is another topic.

I recognize and rejoice that God is loving and wise. I also am okay with the idea that God is all-powerful. Omnipotent.

Which may be why He communicated through the prophets so often. There's something to the old idea that seeing God, unshielded, meant death. It's easy to imagine that facing God directly, unless He toned down his presence - a lot - would be like stepping into a blast furnace: only more so.

Then there was what happened in Bethlehem - but I've spent too much time on this post already.

Throughout the Old Testament, God generally used prophets to deliver messages and give instructions. On a few occasions, though, He got more obviously involved. The burning bush, that run-in with Pharaoh's army, and the Mount Sinai audience, for example (Exodus 14:24, 19-20, for starters)

Then there's that intriguing visible phenomenon, the column of cloud/fire, and Exodus 14:19-20:
"The angel of God, who had been leading Israel's camp, now moved and went around behind them. The column of cloud also, leaving the front, took up its place behind them, 2so that it came between the camp of the Egyptians and that of Israel. But the cloud now became dark, and thus the night passed without the rival camps coming any closer together all night long."
Reading that part of the Bible, I think that in general Cecil B. DeMille's "Moses" underplayed the visible effects of God's intervention. But then, there was only so much you could do with special effects then - and DeMille may have decided that there was only so much that the audience would accept.
Not-entirely-unrelated post:


Brigid said...

Little typo, maybe? "stepping into a bast furnace"

I think that's supposed to be blast furnace, but I'm not sure.

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...


Thanks! Fixed it.

I don't think there's any such thing as a "bast furnace" - although I suppose there could be a Bast furnace - but I'm getting off-topic.

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