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Theological, Doctrinal, and Spiritual Musing - and whatever other else is on my mind when I notice that I haven't posted in a while.
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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
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His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
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There are some people who are smart, deep, or funny. There are not very many people that are all 3. Daniel is one of those people. His opinion, insight and humor have kept me coming back to his blog since I first visited earlier this year.
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Soli Deo Gloria.
I am not a student of Latin (though I should like to pick it up in the next decade or two?). Notwithstanding, I do like this particular Latin phrase, "Soli Deo Gloria" which literally translates into something like "By itself God's Glory". I like it because the more I mature in the Lord the more poignant and real this phrase becomes - the more abundant my spiritual life becomes the clearer my vision of what these words capture: a truth so profound and nourishing that we rightly tremble before what they reveal.

We would probably translate the phrase (so that it flowed nicely in English) as "God's glory alone" and typically we would use the phrase to describe that theological opinion that only God and God alone is worthy of glory, and bound up in that same thought would be that God is not only the only one worthy of glory, but that He is -all- worthy of it.

No one can seriously meditate upon their own sinful state and the magnificent deliverance that God has wrought for the sinner without touching upon how this glorifies God - I stagger beneath the magnitude of it, my little words can't cast themselves out far enough to paint it. God is so entirely worthy of glory that it is the darkest sin to rob Him, however minutely, of glory.

I am convinced that it is utterly impossible to love God and stand aloof from a profound and jealous love of God's glory. One may well have affection for God if they paint God out to be some kind cosmic grandfather, but as one begins to fellowship with God Almighty in the Spirit through study of scripture, through living obedience, and all the drawing near that that entails - one is struck not only by God's glory, but by the "rightness" and beauty of that glory.

Christ said, if you love me you will keep my commandments. I think no truer words have ever been spoken. I find that as I draw near to the Lord by setting my mind, heart, and soul fully upon Him; by surrendering myself in every circumstance, and being "judgment-day honest" about all my sin - and perhaps especially as I genuinely trust Him with my whole life and each moment in it - I find that I am drawn into a profound (though veiled) awareness of His matchless, infinite worth.

It is one thing to be intellectually persuaded that God not only deserves all glory, but that the greatest crime in creation would be to fail to give God that glory - I mean sure, what conservative Christian wouldn't assent to that? But it is altogether a different thing when this is not some truth that we defend from our head, but rather something deep in our soul that resonates with a sense of utter "rightness" when anything reflects God's glory so that it is magnified, as it rightly ought to be.

When zeal for God becomes more than our persuasion, more than our present argument, more than the methodology we follow, more than the opinion of those whom we admire, more than an idea we understand - and instead becomes zeal for God Himself - such that we see our insignificance, and his infinite worth in the same glance, and we explode in joy at the rightness of that, wishing we might could be less than nothing in order to magnify God's glory. The greatest crime against creation is that on account of sin it no longer reflects (clearly) the glory of God.

If creation could speak it would weep over this loss.

Loving God is not merely some "action" we do - it is the inevitable result of drawing near to God. There are a whole lotta young reformers out their who like to sign their email SDG, or Soli Deo Gloria, who have a "head full" and that's good, but who have yet to get a "heart full" because their religion is still more of a pursuit of knowledge than a pursuit of God.

When a person begins to draw near, they begin to burn for God's glory. If you burn for God's glory, you will do a far better job of obeying Him, than if you simply assent to God's glory.

Soli Deo Gloria.


posted by Daniel @ 6:45 AM  
  • At 9:03 AM, October 17, 2007, Blogger Even So... said…

    Glorious indeed...

  • At 9:26 AM, October 17, 2007, Blogger Jim said…

    Thanks Daniel, an excellent explanation of this phrase that has been so flippantly used.

    I would like to meet someone who has a passion for God's glory and is actively and effectively evangelizing the lost.

  • At 9:39 AM, October 17, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This post reminds me of something I read recently:

    "...without a pure heart and a surrendered mind, no man can preach worthily about God and no man can hear worthily. No man can hear these things unless God touches him and illuminates him. ...
    "Who can speak about the attributes of God - His self-existence, His omniscience, His omnipotence, His transcendence, and so on - who can do that and do it worthily? Who is capable of anything like that? I'm not. So I only have this one hope: As the poor little donkey rebuked the madness of the prophet and as the rooster crowed one night to arouse the apostle and bring him to repentance, so God may take me and use me. ...
    "It is absolutely, utterly and critically necessary that we know this One, for you see, man fell when he lost his right concept of God."

    - The Attributes of God, AW Tozer

  • At 10:14 AM, October 17, 2007, Blogger mark pierson said…

    Powerful! I am convicted of sin in my own life through this post. Thanks for that. By comparison I am all head-knowledge. Time for me to reflect, confess and repent.

    Please feel free to repost this at BC blog after Cristina's post has been up 24 hours. Please and thank you.


  • At 6:50 PM, October 17, 2007, Blogger donsands said…

    "and instead becomes zeal for God Himself"

    Made me think of Jesus' holy zeal for the house of His Father. What a portion of Scripture to meditate upon, and study.
    Jesus whipped those people out of there. He tore the place up with His zeal. And the peaceful nice day at church was disrupted, and even crushed. It was for His Father's glory our Lord wrought havoc in the temple that day.

    What a Lord that this world has no idea of.

    Very good thoughts to take to heart, and I pray that they stick.

  • At 3:16 AM, October 19, 2007, Blogger MaLady said…

    I like that phrase "judgment day honest"

    As a child I wasn't comfortable with the idea of magnifying God's glory at all (what is he prideful or something?) - not until the refrain of that song "Glory of Love" came to mind while I was meditating about it. Since God is love, God's glory is the "glory of love" - and I can get energized over that! (the Corinthians "love passage" was my favorite verse from the time of my first Bible - no confusion about what real love is here)

    It is easier on me as I let God be the inspiration - he is in the role of both Author and Finisher of my practical faith that way.

    nice post

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