Jean’s Gospel: The Backside of God

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10 Responses

  1. Owen says:

    Jean, thank you for this lesson. This reminder of the perspective we have , the perspective we need to remember.

    “We are not given direct access to God. Instead, Jesus reveals God for us masked behind humiliation, suffering and death”.

    I find it very telling that this is how God showed himself – it flies in the very face of our human pride.

    “ii) others attempt to perceive God’s ways through an inner voice. In either case the enthusiast seeks God outside of his external Word….”

    Question: Could you clarify what you mean by ‘perceive God through an inner voice”? Do you think God not speak to anyone in their mind, or audibly, or…. ?

  2. Mr. Potato Head says:

    Great stuff, Jean…fantastic explanation of a very difficult concept to grasp. I’ve read and studied this subject quite a bit but I found your treatment extremely helpful and provoking.

  3. Paul A. Lytton says:


    Thank you for this food of thought of what we should be thankful for on this day of thanksgiving.

    Thankful for getting what we need, more than what we want. If we only got what we want it would kill us, instead we get eternal life.

    God bless you.

  4. Jean says:


    You asked: “Question: Could you clarify what you mean by ‘perceive God’s ways through an inner voice’? Do you think God not speak to anyone in their mind, or audibly, or…. ?

    My specific concern here are folks who claim private revelation of God’s ways. For example: God told me to vote for so and so; God has raised up so and so to lead us; God told me to marry so and so; God told me to plant that church or raise funds for this program or buy that building; or God caused or allowed that terrorist attack or natural disaster to punish so and so (or as a warning); etc.

    “If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing.” (doctrine = teaching) (“sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ” = the Scriptures). (1 Tim 6:3-4a)

    In light of (1) what Scripture teaches of itself, and (2) the corruption of the human heart, I believe we should place our trust only in the external Word of God when assessing God’s ways (i.e., the manner in which He works in the world and in individuals and what His disposition towards us is).

    Happy Thanksgiving from Iowa!

  5. Jean says:

    Thank you Mr. Potato Head and Paul.

  6. Owen says:

    Thanks, Jean, for clarifying your thoughts. Happy Thanksgiving from B.C.!

    (We have a blended Canadian/American household, therefore we actually have two thanksgivings! 😉 )

  7. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    or you can have the Pop American Jesus on the cross

  8. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    A little something from our favorite Augustinian monk – Martin Luther

    From his Heidelberg Disputation #20
    “He deserves to be called a theologian, however, who comprehends the visible and manifest things of God seen through suffering and the cross.

    The manifest and visible things of God are placed in opposition to the invisible, namely, his human nature, weakness, foolishness. The Apostle in 1 Cor. 1:25 calls them the weakness and folly of God. Because men misused the knowledge of God through works, God wished again to be recognized in suffering, and to condemn »wisdom concerning invisible things« by means of »wisdom concerning visible things«, so that those who did not honor God as manifested in his works should honor him as he is hidden in his suffering (absconditum in passionibus). As the Apostle says in 1 Cor. 1:21, »For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.« Now it is not sufficient for anyone, and it does him no good to recognize God in his glory and majesty, unless he recognizes him in the humility and shame of the cross. Thus God destroys the wisdom of the wise, as Isa. 45:15 says, »Truly, thou art a God who hidest thyself.«

    So, also, in John 14:8, where Philip spoke according to the theology of glory: »Show us the Father.« Christ forthwith set aside his flighty thought about seeing God elsewhere and led him to himself, saying, »Philip, he who has seen me has seen the Father« (John 14:9). For this reason true theology and recognition of God are in the crucified Christ, as it is also stated in John 10 (John 14:6) »No one comes to the Father, but by me.« »I am the door« (John 10:9), and so forth.

  9. Owen says:

    Good word, MLD….

  10. Potatoe head one says:

    Gosh Jean that was a real interesting thought provoking perspective.

    I didn’t quite understand what you were getting across.

    The “external Word” tripped me out too.

    Never heard the term before, so I couldn’t grasp its meaning.

    Could be the “happy Monk” of just having eaten Thanksgiving dinner causing my brain to fog out a bit.

    Gonna have to reread it slowly a few times to fully understand.

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