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God with Us: Divine Condescension and the Attributes of God Paperback – November 2, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

K. Scott Oliphint (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is professor of apologetics and systematic theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and has written numerous scholarly articles and books, including God With Us. He is also the co-editor of the two-volume Christian Apologetics Past and Present: A Primary Source Reader and Revelation and Reason: New Essays in Reformed Apologetics.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Crossway (November 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433509024
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433509025
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,372,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mike Robinson on November 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
When Cornelius Van Til retired as an apologetics professor over 30 years ago, he and his apologetic method took a lot of criticism. While he was often touted by an erudite guard of academic supporters, effusing about his supreme and most biblical apologetic method, the feeling for many was: where's the argument?

But with Greg Bahnsen's potent entry as Van Til's finest advocate--this innovative method was no longer so quickly and mistakenly dismissed. You may or may not choose to be a presuppositionalist, but Van Til's contemporary admirers have shown that it's an effective way to defend the truth, a way to win debates, and, at times, an intellectual dynamism that produces outstanding books. Many of these books advocate an apologetic built and centered on Christian theology.

To these recognized distinctions, it is time to add one more: K. Scott Oliphint's "God with Us: Divine Condescension and the Attributes of God."

Herein the reader discovers a powerful theological and apologetic resource built upon Christian philosophy in service to biblical doctrine. Professor Oliphint winsomely discusses God's ontology as the One who is wholly independent (His aseity) as the infinite omnipotent being. Oliphint offers outstanding explication concerning God's essential attributes and how the mysteries therein are answered in the person of Jesus Christ: the incarnation of the God who spoke to Moses at the Burning Bush (Exodus 3).

The author discusses essentialism in relation to God's non-essential attributes: "Is it possible that God not create anything? The orthodox answer to this question is, of course, yes.
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I must say that there were times that I felt like I had "bitten off more than I could chew" as I worked my way through Oliphints book. The depth to which Oliphint takes the reader into examining who God is in His essential being (independent and eternal), and how He condescended in the person of Jesus Christ incarnate, made me have to stop and re-read a number of sections to ensure that I was following along with Oliphint's train of thought. I must say, after having "survived" this book, my mindset about the nature of God and His condescension were most definitely altered for the better and I will be eternally thankful to Oliphint for that. On a side-note, I followed up this book with Bruce Ware's "The Man Christ Jesus: Theological Reflections on the Humanity of Christ" and I was easily able to follow along with Ware's book as the groundwork for the condescension and incarnation from a biblical point of view had been laid by Oliphint's book (if you haven't read Ware's book please do as you will be immensely blessed by it).
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The concepts contained in this book are essential for anyone trying to interpret Scripture in such a way as to rightly bring together aspects of God's essential character as the independent, self-sufficient, 'a se' I AM and His voluntary relationship to the world He created in His image (especially human beings). Open theists, Molinists, and Classical Arminians, on the one hand, end up slaughtering explicit statements in Scripture about God's independent, unchanging, and absolute being and knowledge for the sake of extrabiblical philosophical precommitments to things like libertarian free will. On the other hand however, not many Reformed theologians have done justice to passages of Scripture which speak more of God's intimate relationality, or passages that seem to say that God in some sense "regrets," "relents," discovers things, is passionately inflamed or propitiated, etc. The usual strategy for the orthodox Reformed is to either relegate such passages to the vague category of anthropomorphism (while the rest of Scripture is "not" anthropomorphic?), or to say that such passages speak not of actual changes in God but rather changes in creation and ITS relationship to God. One can feel the weight of non-Reformed criticisms of such strategies when one takes the very words of each of those passages seriously and remembers that the formal principle of the Reformation was 'sola scriptura.' But if God is truly the 'I AM', just how is it that He can relate with creation in give-and-take relationship?

Dr. K. Scott Oliphint, professor of systematic theology and apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA, and successor of Cornelius Van Til, approaches these issues scripturally, historically, and systematic-theologically.
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I am not a seminary grad. I have been trained as a physicist. I think this is the first time (and maybe only time?) I have written an Amazon review. I arrived at this book by way of Cov Apologetics and then reading a few other of Oliphint's books and then landed at this one. I would recommend anyone wanting to understand Cov Apologetics to read this book first. This book was incredibly convicting and incredibly helpful for me. I found it very hard. Not because it was big theological words that I did not understand (although there were a few of those but the author defined most or all of them along the way). No, I found it hard because I think I was a closet rationalist and did not know it. I think that before I read the book I had mystery in the wrong place. Often after reading a chapter I would have to put it down for a couple of days or so to just think about what I just read. As I have studied the Bible and Christianity I keep running into question marks. Things I simply don't understand and don't make sense. Systems of doctrine which seem to explain some parts of Scripture but then appear to fall apart at interpreting other passages. And then all the variegated versions of Christian worldviews invented to explain why that is so. All very frustrating. I think this is what Christians have often called mystery. Dr Oliphint explains where the church has historically placed and confessed this mystery and then subsequently built her theology from that foundation. I presume there is so much more to this that smarty pants theologians need to discuss and study but for the average folk in the pew who is defending his confession of faith to a co-worker or to his child or to his own restless soul, this book was an immense help.Read more ›
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