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53-59.  Wittgenstein seems to make the extreme suggestion that religious belief never is “probable” in character.  Wittgenstein obviously never spent much time around seminary students and academic theologians! because God is Ipsum esse subsistens (Subsistent Act of Existing Itself). %PDF-1.3 On the other hand, religious language is in some respects very “ordinary,” very similar to other language.  It is not a technical, academic language like that of physics or philosophy; it is the language of ordinary people.  It is not restricted to some limited and distinctive compartment of human life; rather it enters into all human activities and concerns.  We pray for the healing of a loved one, for help in a business crisis; we seek to “eat and drink to the glory of God.”18  I We believe that our faith “makes a difference” in the real world, that God can enter into all the affairs of our life and make his presence felt.  In this respect, the “action of God in history” is like the action of anyone in history.  God can change things, can make them different.  And what he does does not occur unless he chooses to do it.  God makes a difference, and in that sense he isverifiable – much as the existence of any person is verifiable (or so, at least, it appears to the simple believer! It is clear that transcendence is a value term expressing the unique excellence of God, because of which worship — utmost devotion or love — is the appropriate attitude toward the being so described. This, then, is the second form of the objection which I stated at the beginning of the paper, the second way in which human language is said to be disqualified as a medium of divine speech.  Let us briefly examine the third form of the objection before presenting our response: 3.    The third form of our objection is more distinctively theological.  Karl Barth, for example, suggests on theological grounds that human language is unfit to convey truth about God: The pictures in which we view God, the thoughts in which we think Him, the words with which we can define Him, are in themselves unfitted to this object and thus inappropriate to express and affirm’ the knowledge of Him.11, The Bible, further is not itself and in itself God’s past revelation, but by becoming God’s Word it attests God’s past revelation and is God’s past revelation in the form of attestation…. C�0�s�|K��Tuhv��nL?�j"���4vq��G�����Fb1MD+��6����F/ڼ�:[�їN^x��)��:P'aM"m���u�/)bDk!�2K��j�-�Qb�����:�ڬ��n�j�V��hQETz&��0&on��2��ۙ���b]U�"�mB�ɖ�M2 ���b½�x�*c�A�|�u�?���-��6����U���-b(*-��#�mq����&Μ�uu����?�. 4 0 obj 15 than to believe what a lot of scholars say on the basis of extra-biblical evidence.  Could we ever be persuaded that the Resurrection was a hoax? Perhaps; but such a change would be more than a change in opinion; it would be a loss of faith.  In terms of Scripture, such a change would be a yielding to temptation.  For our God calls us to believe his Word even when the evidence appears against it!  Sarah shall bear a son, even though she is ninety and her husband is a hundred!9  God is just, even though righteous Job must suffer!  The heroes of the faith believed the Word of God without the corroboration of other evidence: they walked by faith, not by sight.10  As long as we remain faithful, God’s Word takes precedence over other evidence. But no shrieks ever suggest that some intruder has received a shock.  No movements of the wire ever betray an invisible climber. The bloodhounds never give cry.  Yet still the Believer is not convinced.  ‘But there is a gardener, invisible, intangible, insensible to electric shocks, a gardener who has no scent and makes no sound, a gardener who comes secretly to look after the garden which he loves.’ At last the Sceptic despairs, ‘But what remains of your original assertion?  Just how does what you call an invisible, intangible, eternally elusive gardener differ from an imaginary gardener or even from no gardener at all?’4. The literal meaning of the immanence of God is "to be within" or "near" in relation to God's creation. 12 Ibid.. Vol. As we might suspect, Flew thinks that much language about God makes “no difference.”  Believers say that “God is love” even though the world is full of cruelty and hatred.  How does such a God differ from a devil, or from no God at all?  And if “God is love” makes no difference, how can it be a fact? All rights to this material are reserved. – denied that he was there.  Irrational it was, for sin is at its root irrational.  And Scripture tells us that ever since that day sinners have been guilty of the same irrationality.  God is verifiable, knowable, “clearly seen” in his works;24 but men still – “irrationally” because sinfully – deny him.  To the Christian, the denials lapse into cognitive meaninglessness – an attempt to evade God by using atheistic language to describe a patently theistic world. %��������� In primitive terms, immanence means His closeness to us, and transcendence His distance from us. https://www.learnreligions.com/god-is-transcendent-and-immanent-251063 11 1-50. 10 Heb. 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. Flew’s objection, therefore, is not to be lightly dismissed.  There is a sense in which, not only the language of “sophisticated religious people” but even the language of simple Christian believers, fails to measure up to his challenge.  God-language resists falsification.  It is difficult to say what would refute a faith-assertion; for faith requires us to resist all temptation to doubt, within the faith-language, no terms can be specified for renouncing the faith-assertions; for faith excludes, prohibits, such renouncement. Immanence of God. Our Transcendent, Immanent God What changes Job at the end of his suffering is not an answer to the question why or a logical conclusion that satisfies his reason. God’s immanence is naturally contrasted with the idea of God’s transcendence, which describes God as existing completely outside the universe. Nevertheless, creation is not God (pantheism), nor does God depend upon it. stream Paul says that there is "one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Ephesians 4:6). The immanence of God is articulated in passages like Acts 17:28, “In [God] we live and move and have our being.” Both ways of seeing God are valid, and theologians often go to great lengths to ensure that we don’t confuse the creation with the Creator. According to theism, immanence occurs in various degrees, more in the personal than the impersonal, in the good than in the evil." }NTa������Z7����sԶ�"��v���yBjXʶK���"}�m�5�j6�9,��u�kwuh�l�:��K$_�j�mX}!�mX�mĂ�rm��+@�Й����������O.B#}����ƾm&��a|����x+��zW�Z�,�� $�N$;�kƮ׻�Jl:���kI�5q>����"�(�+>� Used by permission of Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, copyright 2005. Then, if you could put all things in your arms, you would have God. Someone may object that for many people their religion is not their most basic commitment.  A man may mumble through the church liturgy every Sunday while devoting his existence almost exclusively to acquiring political power.  For him, surely, the liturgy does not express his “basic commitment.” True; but that is because there is something wrong!  A man like this we call a hypocrite; for the liturgy is intended to express basic conviction and our fanatical politician utters the words deceitfully.  He does not really “believe in God, the father almighty” in the sense of biblical faith, though he says he does.  His real faith is in something else.  The man is a liar.  But his lying use of the language does not change the meaning of it, which is to confess true faith in God. Immanence is usually applied in monotheistic, pantheistic, pandeistic, or panentheistic faiths to suggest that the spiritual world permeates the mundane. More might be said about this first form of the objection we are discussing – its reliance upon the discredited referential theory of meaning, its strangely generalized concept of “metaphor,” its dubious presuppositions about the origin and development of language, its ultimate theological roots.  These topics, however, have been adequately discussed elsewhere,1 and my own interests and aptitudes demand that I press on immediately to other aspects of the problem.  The following discussion will raise some basic issues which I trust will shed further light on this first area of concern. 5:7. At the same time, Barth does insist that the words of revelation have an importance: Thus God reveals Himself in propositions by means of language, and human language at that, to the effect that from time to time such and such a word, spoken by the prophets and apostles and proclaimed in the Church, becomes His Word.  Thus the personality of the Word of God is not to be played off against its verbal character and spirituality…. The transcendence of God is closely related to his sovereignty. Immanence guides away from transcendence by looking inside the worlds working for understanding, rather than relating aspects of life to a God. He is also immanent, present within the universe that He has made (Ps. 3 One of the sharpest debates was over the status of the verification principle itself.  Surely it was not to be regarded as a tautology; but it did not seem to be “verifiable” either in any quasi-scientific sense.  Was it then to be dismissed as “cognitively meaningless”?  Ayer himself (see above note) came to the view that the verification principle was a “convention” (see his introduction to the anthology Logical Positivism [Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press, 19591 P. 15).  He maintained that this “convention” had some basis in ordinary usage, but admitted that it went beyond ordinary usage in crucial respects. (2) These epistemological peculiarities attach to all “basic-commitment language,” not just to religious or Christian language – and thus they attach to unbelieving language as well.  Therefore, these considerations may not be urged as a criticism of Christianity.  They are simply descriptive of the human epistemological condition. Does this, then, mean that the Resurrection “makes no difference”?  We hope not!  We certainly want to say that it does make a difference.  Yet we find it difficult to say what would refute our belief in the Resurrection.  We find it difficult to conceive of any state of affairs in which we would abandon our belief.  We find it difficult to say what the Resurrection rules out.  And thus we find it difficult to state what difference it makes!  Perhaps, then, talk of the Resurrection does not really concern any empirical fact.  Perhaps all God-talk is cognitively meaningless.  And perhaps, then, God cannot be spoken of at all in human language.  And if that is true, all talk of Scripture as the Word of God is clearly nonsense. Both elements are important for a Biblical understanding of the Biblical God. These considerations do not prove that Scripture is the word of God.  They do show, however, that the biblical doctrine of divine transcendence does not compromise the authority of verbal revelation.  One may, indeed, prefer Barth’s concept of transcendence to the biblical one; but such a view may not be paraded and displayed as the authentic Christian position. This objection takes various forms, three of which I shall discuss: 1.    Some linguists and philosophers of language have suggested that language is never completely true – that the undeniable discrepancy which always exists between symbol and reality (the word “desk” is not a desk, for instance) injects falsehood into every utterance.  This contention is sometimes buttressed by the further assertion that all language is metaphorical, figurative – and thus can never convey the “literal” truth. There is, however, something odd about any view which attributes falsehood to all language.  For one thing, the assertion that “all sentences are false” is self-refuting if taken literally; and if we don’t take it literally, what does it mean?  Perhaps the real point is that language never conveys the “whole truth” – that it never conveys the truth with absolute precision or absolute comprehensiveness.  But consider: (a) Some sentences are, in one sense, perfectly precise and comprehensive.  Take “Washington is the capitol of the United States”: could that fact be stated more precisely?  more comprehensively? Immanence as defined by The Free Dictionary' is "existing or remaining within". Aquinas offers a very compelling account of how to reconcile the transcendence of God with His immanence. 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. Immanence is about the presence of God in everything. or to abandon his irrationalism.  Of course he might renounce consistency altogether, thus renouncing the presupposition of the argument.  But the argument shows him vividly how hard it is to live without rationality.  The argument is circular, but it draws some important facts to his attention.  The argument is persuasive though circular because down deep in our hearts we know that we cannot live without reason.20, Some circular arguments are persuasive to us, others not.  Those circular arguments which verify the most basic commitments of our lives are by definition the most persuasive to us. The arguments, of course, will be “circular.” Arguments for the sense-criterion must be verified by the sense-criterion itself.  The philosopher must argue for sense-experience by appealing to sense-experience.  What choice does he have?  If he appeals to something else as his final authority, he is simply being inconsistent.  But this is the case with any “basic commitment.” When we are arguing on behalf of an absolute authority, then our final appeal must be to that authority and no other.  A proof of the primacy of reason must appeal to reason; a proof of the necessity of logic must appeal to logic; a proof of the primacy of mammon must itself be part of an attempt to earn more money; and a proof of the existence of God must appeal in the final analysis to God. Some philosophical and metaphysical theories of divine transcendence and immanence in Augustine s... Have basic convictions, unless possibly we are just confused liked to say, “cognitively meaningful” near love! 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