Getting a grasp… and some “praise on” about two theological words – “Transcendent” and “Immanent”

You have to be careful when you use big, technical theological words… You lose people!

Sorry though; I’ve got to use them this morning! So here’s to broadening (and hopefully deepening) your theological vocabulary… and in the process giving you one more wonderful reason to praise the Lord!

The two words? “Transcendent” and “Immanent.”

Webster defines “transcendent” as “extending or lying beyond the limits of ordinary experience.” Millard Erickson says this of a “transcendent God” – “A God who is separate and even somewhat remote from nature, history, and humanity.” In other words He is “other” – He is above and beyond His creation.

The other word? “Immanent” – which Webster defines as “being within the limits of possible experience or knowledge.” Millard Erickson defines it as “God’s presence and activity within creation and human history.”

My point? God exhibits both characteristics as the same time! There is something about Him that is “other” – that is beyond our comprehension and grasp. Yet at the same time He reveals Himself to us and manifests Himself among us!

I am still rejoicing and praising Him because of a wonderful passage I read this morning that proclaims both truths… introduced by the words, “Praise the Lord!” So here goes… (and by the time you’ve read what I’ve posted I hope you’ll be praising the Lord as well!!)

“Praise the LORD! Praise Him, O servants of the LORD! Praise the name of the LORD! Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised!

[His “transcendence”] “The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens! Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?

[His “immanence”] “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes… He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!” (from Psalm 113)

What a wonderful, awesome God!!! Praise the Lord!!!

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