Wednesday, November 21, 2007

BW3: is God a Narcissist?

I thought this post by Dr. Witherington was very interesting. He's countering the idea that God does things soley for His own glorification, and suggesting rather that God's character is fundamentally self-giving.
It's not a very long post, especially for expounding such a concept--he doesn't even really acknowledge the scriptures that stand in support of the other argument--but it was certainly worth reading and is worth considering.

"For God so loved Himself?" Is God a Narcissist?

1 comment:

Daniel McLain Hixon said...

I believe Dr. Witherington was countering a central thesis in all John Piper's work - that God does all for his own glory and our desire is his glory, etc.

I think however, that this topic is more subtle than his post suggests, because it doesn't get into the innner-trinitarian relations of the Godhead. When we look at the Trinity, at the "perichoresis" of eternal and self-giving love between Father, Son, and Spirit it becomes clear that God's character as self-giving love AND God' giving glory to God are perfectly (even sublimely) compatible. It is because God the Father is self-giving that he always seeks to glorify God the Son, and vice versa, etc.

God's orientation of self-giving love is first and foremost directed toward God - that is, from one "persona" of the Trinity to the others. This is who/what God is. This is the nature of his existence as "love" (agape - 1 John 4) and as Trinity.

In this regard I would like to at least qualify, what Dr. Witherington says. I would also like John Piper to be a bit more precise in his language as well, so that perhaps we can see if what he means is what I have said above, or something more banal.