Friday, June 4, 2004

The God Who Names Himself

From the Anglican blog Pontifications, on "alternative names" for the Trinity (ex. "Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier"):
They all have one goal in common–to avoid the historical naming given in the gospel: “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” In other words, they all operate from a premise of apostasy. This sounds strong, I know; but I believe it is true. To confess that one has been saved by Jesus Christ is to implicitly assert that in Christ the Creator of the universe has faithfully communicated himself in the history of salvation. And included in this history are God’s self-namings. It is a basic article of biblical religion: We do not name God; he names himself. When a believer decides that the revealed Name, “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” is to be avoided, corrected, or rejected, he calls into question the salvation received in the gospel. When a baptized Christian says that the Bible’s masculine language for God makes it impossible for him to “relate” to God, he in fact denies his baptism, denies that he has already been reborn in Christ and brought into relationship with the Father through the Holy Spirit. To put it simply, a person who believes the biblical message of God’s unconditional love for sinners will certainly not be offended by God’s proper name. Faith rejoices in “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”; disbelief despises it.

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