In the stipulations of the Sinaitic covenant, Israel is accordingly forbidden from worshiping other gods (Exod 20:3; 23:24; 34:14; Deut 12:31; Judg 6:10; 1 Kgs 9:6–7; 2 Kgs 17:35–38; Jer 25:6)— not because God is some kind of jealous narcissist, but because of God’s passion for his own glory (Deut 4:24) and because of the dehumanizing effects of idolatry (12:31). In other words, the biblical materials witness to an exclusive monotheism.

Michael Bird, Evangelical Theology

This is one of the problems I have with Reformed theology. I don’t disagree with the conclusion, but I fail to see how “God’s passion for his own glory” is different from jealous narcissism. If I said I had great passion for my own glory, what would you think of me?

Discuss amongst yourselves. And leave a comment.

4 thoughts on “

  1. It seems to me that by comparing God’s nature to human nature, we are making comparisons that are invalid. Because His nature is obviously not the same as ours. It’s clearly not valid, for instance, to accuse God of narcissim. In fact it is absurd to think that a being who is capable of doing what He does is also capable of having an inflated sense of importance. How could anyone be more important? How can you inflate infinity? And how He must have humbled Himself, to become one of us in order to show us how we should live, and to suffer and die at our hands. I think we are not very capable of appreciating the gulf between us and God. We want to think we are more like Him than we really are.

    1. I get all that and I don’t disagree. But theology is speaking about God in human language and the language needs to describe home as he is, as much as we can. Much theological writing just bails on it and says we can’t understand. That’s unacceptable as theology, though disclaimers are needed for our lack of understanding.

      1. Sometimes I feel like an insect trying to describe humans to other insects. Of course there’s more similarity between humans and insects than there is between humans and God, without “Christ in us, the hope of glory”.

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