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Independence and God

Michael:

I have been listening to both podcasts and reading Wayne Grudem's book Systematic Theology on my own. I am intrigued with the Doctrine of the Independence of God. I am filling the pulpit on occasion with a local church and I want to put a sermon together on this theme of God's Independence. I have all the text book information but want to include some practical things for the congregation. Here are the questions I have in mind on the subject.

1.) As we think of the attribute of the Independence of God, should we see some faint reflections of this incommunicable attribute in ourselves as God created us to be?

2.) What would it mean to strive to become more like God in this area?

3.) At what point would it be wrong to even want to be like God in the area of independence because it would be attempting to usurp his unique role as Creator and Lord?

4.) Using this incommunicable attribute, what is your opinion on how we will be more like God in heaven than we are now, and also how we will for all eternity be unlike God in the area of independence?

5.) Explain how each aspect of the Doctrine of the Independence of God should make us feel emotionally. Should this doctrine have a positive or negative effect on our spiritual lives? Explain why.

6.) How can the incommunicable attribute of the Independence of God be of help in our own prayer lives?

Solution Preview

Thanks very much for the post! I'll try my best, and give thoughts in the questions' order.

1.) As we think of the attribute of the Independence of God, should we see some faint reflections of this incommunicable attribute in ourselves as God created us to be?

I think the key word in the question is "incommunicable." Part of the reasoning behind being in the image of God (Imago Dei) and not actually God is that there will inevitably be certain attributes or qualities that are non-transferrable (to use economic terminology).

2.) What would it mean to strive to become more like God in this area?

For better or worse, whenever I hear the phrase "become more like God," I end up thinking about Satan's temptation to Eve in the Garden (Gen. 3:5). We don't actually want to become "more like God," but become one with God (Jn. 17:20-21). Taking the question that way, I'd have to say that striving in that regard would probably look a lot like exercising our own desires instead ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides a discussion of the nature of independence as it relates to the divine, to humankind, and to the relationship between the two.

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