Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

First Day is Goldingay

We are working through John Goldingay’s multi-volumed “First Testament” theology, and we are in volume 2 — Israel’s Faith. The first theme in Israel’s faith is God, and this chp — 151 pages long! — is worth the price of both of the books. I want to provide a brief sketch of the major ideas canvassed in this chp, though I’ll focus on pp 96ff because that is where we stopped last month.
He sketches Yhwh’s presence, love, hostility, and the two sides to Yhwh’s person and activity. Excellent, and if you are keen on doing a series on God in the First Testament, this would be a great place to start and also a good outline for a series. Goldingay’s approach to say what he sees and not to say what he believes (or what evangelicals are taught to believe).
A question for us: What do we mean when we say God is “present”? Maybe these ideas from Goldingay can trigger your response. What do we mean when we say God is “absent”? Do we believe God can be “absent”? In what senses?
How is God present?
Accompanying presence: with God’s people.
Settled, local divine presence: particular places (Ex 33:7-11)
Attentive presence: God listens (Ps 50)
Active presence: results show God’s presence (Ps 18; 97)
Narrative presence: tells the story (Ps 63:2)
Personal presence: Gen 18.
Intense presence: Exod 40:34-38
And God can be absent in an accompanying, attentive, personal absence.
“Everyone knows that the OT God is a God of wrath; the NT God a God of love. Oh no they don’t” (108). Maybe the best section I’ve read in the two volumes of his work. Here are some themes he sketches about God’s love in the OT … and there is discussion for each and I can’t include but one reference for each:
1. Fatherly dedication (Mal 1:6).
2. Parental “carrier” (Jer 1:5; Isa 44:2, 24; 4;9:5)
3. Motherly compassion (Deut 32:18)
4. Attentiveness (Ps 79:5-9)
5. Mercy (Isa 57:14-21)
6. Healing (Isa 57:14-21 again)
7. Commitment (Ps 62)
8. True faithfulness (Ps 31:5)
9. Passion (Ezek 16:8)
10. Cleansing (Ps 51:2; Ezek 16:63)
11. Carrying (Ps 85:2-3)
12. Getting over (Mic 7:18)
13. Pardon (Jer 36:3)
14. Risk (Gen 22:1, 12)
15. Sadness (Hos 6:4)
16. Letdown (Jer 26:3)
17. Grief (Gen 6:5-6)
Well, alongside this sketch of themes in God’s love, Goldingay has a sketch of God’s hostility: weary skepticism, hiddenness/withdrawal/absence, anger, rage, redress, self-assertion, repudiation, ruthlessness, slayer, warrior, enemy, vintner.

Comments read comments(4)
post a comment

posted June 2, 2008 at 9:10 am

Re: “God of OT vs God of NT” quote. I agree. But, it is the “Oh no they don’t” that keeps me tilted: in part because of the stark reality of it all. Well, two realities.
One, that folks still perceive two different gods in the Bible.
Two, that the kind of reading that takes place among the above really does not break through that disconnect between the two testaments. I fear too much of that reading-when it does happen- occurs outside of community or else the community does not risk allowing the text to have its own voice.
I just finished a camp with university students, leading a track on the OT. One of the students informed me at the end of the track that she had discovered that the God of the OT and the God of the NT were one and the same: a God of love. Give glory to God, I say! :) I was relieved and delighted for the student.

report abuse


posted June 2, 2008 at 9:23 am

Yes: “Everyone knows that the OT God is a God of wrath; the NT God a God of love. Oh no they don?t.”
More good stuff here, but I gotta run. This question of how God is present is what I typically think is really at issue every time the discussions about myth vs. history come up. We’re talking about whether God was really ever “present” in the ways the Bible seems to portray, which is so closely related to the more pressing question of how or will he be present to us now.
It’s hard to say “He did it then!” and also say “But he doesn’t now.” (Though I know many still try.) It’s much easier to say, “God doesn’t act like that” if you’ve already concluded, “he never really did act like that.”

report abuse


posted June 2, 2008 at 11:37 pm

“Goldingay?s approach to say what he sees and not to say what he believes (or what evangelicals are taught to believe).” Riksy, but I think true. Risky because sometimes people see what they want to see when they think they don’t have to see what they have been taught to see.

report abuse


posted June 3, 2008 at 2:01 pm

Goldingay on The “Wrathful” OT God

[…] Scot McKnight is slowly blogging through “Old Testament Theology Volume 2,” by one of my absolute favorite professors from Fuller John Goldingay. You can follow his posts on the book through this search link. Anyways, here’s a noteworthy quote I came across that I love: ?Everyone knows that the OT God is a God of wrath; the NT God a God of love. Oh no they don?t? (108). Maybe the best section I?ve read in the two volumes of his work. Here are some themes he sketches about God?s love in the OT ? and there is discussion for each and I can?t include but one reference for each: […]

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

More Blogs To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Jesus Creed. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog ...

posted 11:15:58am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Our Common Prayerbook 30 - 3
Psalm 30 thanks God (vv. 1-3, 11-12) and exhorts others to thank God (vv. 4-5). Both emerge from the concrete reality of David's own experience. Here is what that experience looks like:Step one: David was set on high and was flourishing at the ...

posted 12:15:30pm Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Theology After Darwin 1 (RJS)
One of the more important and more difficult pieces of the puzzle as we feel our way forward at the interface of science and faith is the theological implications of discoveries in modern science. A comment on my post Evolution in the Key of D: ...

posted 6:01:52am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Almost Christian 4
Who does well when it comes to passing on the faith to the youth? Studies show two groups do really well: conservative Protestants and Mormons; two groups that don't do well are mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics. Kenda Dean's ...

posted 12:01:53am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Let's Get Neanderthal!
The Cave Man Diet, or Paleo Diet, is getting attention. (Nothing is said about Culver's at all.) The big omission, I have to admit, is that those folks were hunters -- using spears or smacking some rabbit upside the conk or grabbing a fish or ...

posted 2:05:48pm Aug. 30, 2010 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.