Monday, February 04, 2013


Why I Love and Worship God
February 3, 2013 By rogereolson

Often I’m tempted to think one of the most basic differences between me and some fellow Christians is why we love and worship God.

I love and worship God because of Jesus.

Pietist leader Nicholas Ludwig Count von Zinzendorf once said that if it weren’t for Jesus he wouldn’t believe in God. I wouldn’t go quite that far. I think there is enough evidence for a supreme being, an intelligent designer and creator of the universe, that I would believe in God even if I did not know Jesus.

However, if I did not know Jesus, I would not love or worship God.

Even very conservative evangelical theologians have said that saints of God before Jesus loved and worshiped Yahweh because of the promise of a Savior—the Suffering Servant God would sent to redeem them. Even then, through the prophets, they had an intimation of Jesus. God’s “steadfast love” was their rock for loving and worshiping him.

If you ask me whether I would love and worship God if I had never heard of Jesus I can’t answer you. Can you answer such a question?

So, I embrace my Calvinist brothers and sisters while grieving for their profound confusion and distorted images of God and Jesus. Of course, they (at best) do the same with me.

A glaring problem with Olson’s position is that revelation is progressive. He alludes to Isaiah, but what about an ordinary Jew living in the time of Abraham, Moses, or David? They had far less Messianic prophecy to go on.

Does Olson think God is unworthy of our love and worship unless we had the Gospels or the NT? If we were Jews living in the time of Moses, if all we had was the Pentateuch, would Olson regard Yahweh as unworthy of worship? Clearly you don’t know nearly as much about Jesus from the Pentateuch (or even the Psalter) as you do from the Gospels.

You can also learn a lot about Christ from Philippians, Colossians, Hebrews, &c. However, that’s somewhat abstract compared to the biographical immediacy of the Gospels.

Olson keeps dictating to God the terms under which Olson is prepared to accept God. What about the terms under which God is prepared to accept Olson?

In Scripture, the question isn’t whether God is worthy of us, but whether we are worthy of God. That problematic is resolved that the cross. We are unworthy, but Christ is worthy, and his worthiness supersedes our unworthiness.

But Olson’s Arminian theology has it upside down. He constantly acts as if he’s interviewing God for a job. God is the applicant. Olson defines grace, not as God’s unmerited favor to sinners, but whether God merits our favor.

In Christian theology, God is the judge, while we are the accused. But in Olson’s theology, Olson is the judge, while God is the accused. God must acquit himself in the eyes of Olson. Olson will be in for rude shock if he finds out the hard way that God can get along just fine without Olson’s approval.

1 comment:

  1. Roger Olson: "However, if I did not know Jesus, I would not love or worship God."

    I don't think I feel the same way as Roger.