Wednesday, May 21, 2008

D A Carson on the Self Sufficiency of God

"Paul (in Acts 17) actually has the cheek to say that God does not need you. It is not as if God needs you. You see, that is so different than paganism. In paganism the gods and human beings have a kind of reciprocal relationship. The gods have their needs, we have our needs. You scratch their backs, they scratch your back. You give them the right to sacrifice, and they give you the right blessing. They are like suped up human beings with their fears their loves and their lusts and their hates, and then you make them happy and the gods make you happy, you see?

Thus, they have their needs. But God…doesn’t need us. Now it is important to keep saying that in our generation. Because we are so in danger of so psychologizing God that we are in danger of thinking of him as sort of up in heaven as really unhappy unless we get our praise choruses right.

Do you see? Dear old God is really unhappy unless we live holy lives, [God is] miserable, miserable.

Now do not misunderstand, I do not want to make God so withdrawn that he does not care about what happens. Or there is no place for his love or his wrath or his response to us. God is a personal God. But it is not as if God is a being larded with a whole lot of psychological needs, which only we can meet. So that in eternity past, dear old God was really quite lonely up there and decided to do something about it.

It is just not the way the God of the Bible is presented, you see?"
-D A Carson


Zach said...

Brilliant quote.

One of my favorites along the same kind of line is that God sent His Son because He couldn't "bear" to live without us.


God "needs" me like I need a need a centipede in my bed.

Praise be to Him forever who is eternally Holy, self-existent, self-sufficient, complete, and is unchangable in His Being.

Zach said...

Chris, feel free to edit my mis-spellings and typos!