11:33–36). So they are without excuse. the Trinity in Barth and Lossky. The biblical language of God “on high” or “in Heaven” refers uniformly to God’s royal dignity. (Exod. Over the last few decades, Klaus Nürnberger’s contribution to Christian theological discourse . How thankful I am, not only to see. It’s His Immanence. That is, he has full control over the world he has made. But there are certain places in the creation where God has ordained that we will sense his presence with particular intensity, like the burning bush in Exodus 3, the inner court of the Temple, and indeed the person of Jesus Christ, God’s temple incarnate (Matt. The Old Testament, for example, records a prohibition against idols, and this can be interpreted as an attempt to emphasize the wholly “otherness” of God which cannot be represented physically. Austin Cline, a former regional director for the Council for Secular Humanism, writes and lectures extensively about atheism and agnosticism. His eyes see, his eyelids test the children of man.” (Psalm 11:4) What a picture. 113:5); indeed, he is himself the “most high” (Ps. God has been personally active in the world since its creation and yet He is also set apart from it, superior in nature. How can these two qualities exist simultaneously? In sum, we can say that when it comes to God’s transcendence, Scripture uses metaphors of farness or distance, and speaks about him as creator, king, judge, warrior, master, etc. Is Atheism Incompatible With Free Will and Moral Choice? In Byzantine Rite theology the immanence of God is expressed as the hypostases or energies of God, who in his essence is incomprehensible and transcendent. 21:7). Theologians talk about the immanence and transcendence of God. God’s immanence is naturally contrasted with the idea of God’s transcendence, which describes God as existing completely outside the universe. Verse Concepts. Because he is our God and we are his people, he will be “with us” for all eternity: Immanuel! So understood, God’s transcendence does not imply that he is hidden from people; quite the contrary. But to say that God is “high” is not primarily to speak of his presence in any of those places. Transcendence God is wholly other in the sense that he is unlike his creation. Indeed, there is a sense in which the creation itself will be redeemed through Christ: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 1:23). All views expressed in this essay are those of the author. This time, I will be sharing about this extraordinary attribute of God that appears to contradict the truth about His transcendence; but no, it does not. 12:6; John 2:19–22). 57:5; 97:9). Scripture does not require us to use the terms transcendent and immanent, and some misuses of these terms have brought theological confusion. There are all sorts of commonalities and points of comparison. Immanence is the balancing concept to God's transcendence, which describes God as being of a completely different kind or substance from and completely independent of the universe He created. 6:7). To Barth, God’s transcendence implies that he cannot be clearly revealed to men, clearly represented by human words and concepts. God is really and truly near to us, difficult as that may be for us to conceive. 7:14; Matt. Many stories in the Old Testament depict a God who is very active in human affairs and the working of the universe. Secondly, deism, or the notion that since God is transcendent his nearness to us is only a figure of speech, an “anthropomorphism.” No! Paul says that there is "one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Ephesians 4:6). In primitive terms, immanence means His closeness to us, and transcendence His distance from us. This view of God’s transcendence contradicts the view of God’s immanence which we presented. The heart of the covenant is a relationship of intimacy. 4:7, 20; 7:6; 14:7; 26:18; 2 Sam. If we focus on His immanence and ignore His transcendence, we can become overly subjective about God, always looking for an immediate feeling, and limiting our perspective of God by what we have personally experienced of Him. 1:11) but because the created world serves his redemptive covenant purposes. Some ancient and modern writers, however, have taken God’s transcendence to mean something else: God is so far above us, so very different from anything on earth, that we can say nothing, at least nothing positive, about him. God’s immanence and transcendence relate to His relationship with the created world. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things were created through him and for him. These two concepts are able to coexist by differentiating between transcendence as an attribute of God – something that He inherently exists as – and immanence as a situation in which He has chosen to … It is to speak of why he has the right to dwell in such places. The idea of an immanent God can also be traced to both Judaism and other Greek philosophers. Immanence is an antonym of transcendence. (Lev. The need for both qualities can be seen in the other characteristics normally attributed to God. For this reason, many philosophers have tried to downplay or even deny one attribute or the other. Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the LORD your God. So we should understand God’s immanence, the covenant presence of his lordship, to be everywhere in the universe, as well as being especially intense in particular locations. Transcendence is a see also of immanence. We should especially avoid two errors in this connection. Amen. god's immanence and transcendence Posted on August 10, 2020 by He actually became what we are so that we might become like he is, as Athanasius put it.And his work on the cross, along with his resurrection, shows how God took great efforts to restore our relationship to himself, to allow us to again enjoy his immanence. God’s transcendence is seen in that he is exalted in his royal dignity and exercises both control and authority in his creation. If God is a person and works within human history, then it would make little sense for us not to be able to perceive and communicate with God. To be sure, there are passages in Scripture that emphasize God’s incomprehensibility, his mystery, such as Romans 11:33–36: Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! Immanence and Transcendence by Jack Kettler “Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.” (Psalm 25:4) In this study, we will look at the biblical teaching regarding Immanence and Transcendence. Divine immanence is the description of his kingly control and authority; because he rules over creation, he is present throughout the whole creation, especially to his people, in a personal and covenantal way. 1:23). “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Christians, especially mystics, have often described a God who works within them and whose presence they can perceive immediately and personally. “Heaven” is a way to refer to God’s throne (Isa. It is the heart of our relationship to God in Christ. (Rom. 1:20). 7:14; 8:8; Matt. 5:2), even “above the heavens” (Ps. 19:1–4). 66:1). 8:27). Divine transcendence does not mean that he is so far from and other than his creation that we are not able to understand his self-revelation in the Scripture or relate to him in any way. Our relation to God is always personal—a relation between the divine person and ourselves as human persons. On the face of it, the characteristics of transcendence and immanence appear to be in conflict. (Exod. Transcendence (God exists outside of space and time) and immanence (God is present within space and time) are both attributes of God. Therefore, we can define transcendence as God’s lordship over his world with particular reference to his royal prerogatives of control and authority. Indeed, God’s lordship is his covenant relation to the world he has made, particularly to the persons in it. They are his thrones, and he sits on them because he is the king. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. God loves before he creates theworld or any humans. This essay is part of the Concise Theology series. Eccl. Gods' Contradictory Characteristics: Making God Impossible to Exist, The Relationship Between Technology and Religion. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. On the other hand, if God is absolutely perfect beyond all experience and understanding, then God must also be transcendent. Religion (1985) 15, 373-385 THE PARADOX OF TRANSCENDENCE AND IMMANENCE OF GOD IN AFRICAN RELIGIONS A SOCIO-HISTORICAL EXPLANATION Emefie Ikenga-Metuh The paradox of the transcendence and immanence of God is not peculiar to African religions . It is not just a relationship of control and authority, but also of presence with his covenant partners. That is God’s transcendence. While affirming God’s transcendence, Scripture speaks in clear and certain language about his nature and actions. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. Through the Leviticus text, the refrain “I am the LORD your God” is repeated fifteen times to reinforce the truth that Israel’s law is based on the authority of Gold’s lordship over them. 8:18–22). (Rom. In fact, the mystical experiences are themselves generally described as “transcendent” and not amenable to the normal categories of thought and language which would allow those experiences to be communicated to others. Rather than describing God in an impersonal way, the doctrines of transcendence and immanence describe the royal dignity and presence of the God who came to be among his people in Jesus Christ, Immanuel, God with us. The Gospel Coalition supports the church by providing resources that are trusted and timely, winsome and wise, and centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ. In this context, God is so utterly alien that it's wrong to attempt to portray it any sort of concrete fashion. This does not imply In general, to say that God is transcendent is to say that he is exalted, above, beyond us. But Scripture itself never connects God’s transcendence with human uncertainty about God, let alone skepticism. Thus, we have the mystery of God’s immanence and transcendence. Parashat BeShallah brings us to the dramatic climax of the Exodus, the splitting of the Reed Sea. This chapter distinguishes three modes of immanence and transcendence with reference to God: cosmological, epistemic, and ethical. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. God is “omnipresent,” present everywhere (Ps. A transcendent is one who is beyond perception, independent of the universe, and wholly “other” when compared to us. In responding to this view of God’s transcendence and immanence, we discuss the amplified transcendence and immanence of 8:1; 57:5). Arvin M. Gouw, P hD. But transcendentist theology does not altogether abandon the idea of divine immanence, just as immanentist metaphysics does not com-pletely exclude that of divine transcendence. God’s Immanence and Transcendence. Indeed, it often refers to the way he rules the world of our history and experience. He is both “nearby” and “far away,” according to Jeremiah 23:23. Biblical or divine immanence means that He moves to, through, and in; abides and lives, exists within, all who believe in Him. He is “high” in the sense that the king’s throne is high above his subjects. (Col. 1:15–20). Science, Religion & Culture Pro … For though the term transcendent is not itself biblical, it is a convenient way of grouping together certain biblical ideas. Barth’s argument essentially reverses this picture (derived from Scripture) of God’s transcendence and immanence. His authority may be understood as his control over the moral sphere, but it would also be possible to understand God’s control as his authority over everything that happens. 16 thoughts on “ The Presence of God: Immanence and Transcendence ” John-Julian, OJN August 10, 2011 at 6:21 pm. Transcendence, belief that God' or other divine forces control our world, and Immanence, belief in looking within; both have been represented by certain sections and people of our society. God’s immanence as we have understood it is the heart of biblical redemption, the very name of Jesus, God with us. The Lord’s throne is in heaven. So God is transcendent in the sense that he is separate from his creation, … Continued God’s Immanence vs. Transcendence. And he expresses his authority by proclaiming to us his commands. The transcendence of God is reinforced in passages that envision God as dwelling above us in the heavens. Immanence affirms, while transcendence denies that God is contained within the world, and thus within the limits of human reason, or within the norms and resources of human society and culture. The word immanent comes from a Latin word meaning “indwelling”. Experiential realism is all that we have, the basis on which our knowledge of this world, and of God, is deduced. “You shall have no other gods before me. Transcendence and Immanence of. Kierkegaard, for example, focused primarily upon God’s transcendence and rejected God’s immanence, This has been a common position for many modern theologians. What is mysterious in this passage is his “immanence,” not his “transcendence.” As we saw earlier, Paul has spoken in Romans about the clarity of God’s revelation from “heaven” (1:18–21). 7:24; 2 Cor. The importance of this divine-human intimacy cannot be stressed enough. Mystics who seek a union or at least contact with God are seeking a transcendent God — a God so totally “other” and so totally different from what we normally experience that a special mode of experience and perception is required. Such a God must be wholly “other,” transcendent to everything we know. And he is the head of the body, the church. BY CLIFFORD GOLDSTEIN T heologians talk about the immanence and transcendence of God. Let us look first at the ways in which God is transcendent. If we focus on His transcendence without a sense of His immanence, we can perceive God as being aloof and distant. transcendence and immanence of God in the traditional African worldview. Indeed, when God reveals himself “from heaven,” he reveals himself clearly, so that those who reject him have only themselves to blame. In primitive terms, immanence means His closeness to us, and transcendence His distance from us. Many of the Psalms, for example, celebrate his kingship by praising the strength by which he controls his domain (Ps. But in a broader sense it is with his whole creation, for the whole creation is part of the program of redemption: For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. Clearly, then, it is wrong to think of God’s transcendence as a kind of cloud hiding God from the human mind. 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