Monday, August 15, 2016

Doxology Names the Glory

Sleeping Bears Dunes on Lake Michigan (Michigan)

This summer at Redeemer I taught a course on "What is God Like?" Following Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology, I talked about God's incommunicable attributes (those belonging only to God, such as his aseity and eternality) and God's communicable attributes (e.g., God power-shares with us; his love; and so on). I also did a session on the triunity of God (God's complex unity, in his being).

While teaching and explaining God's essential attributes I had moments where I was inwardly moved. I felt emotions of awe that led me to worship God. This thought came to me: I want to know more about God and teach others about his transcendent glory. I've decided to do this at a conference I have in California in two weeks.

Marva Dawn writes:

"The word doxology comes from two Greek words meaning "glory" (doxa) and "word" (logos). Thus, defined simply, doxology is words about the Glory, words that express praise, true praise. It is important to define praise carefully at the beginning of the twenty-first century because there exists in worshiping groups massive confusion between praise and happy songs. Praise is not merely something uplifting or upbeat. beat. Rather, it is the naming of attributes, character, and/or actions of the one being praised." (Marva Dawn and Eugene Peterson, The Unnecessary Pastor: Rediscovering the Call, Kindle Locations 409-411)

"Doxology is praise that names the Glory and helps those who hear to see it." (Ib.)

Simply naming and defining the attributes of God leads God-believers to doxologize.

***
For more see chapter 2 of my book Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God, "Praying and the Nature of God."