Immanence and Transcendence in action

This week I had a small refreshment break from MT work, and I spend some time in Bangor (North Wales). This was the first time since I had completed my theology degree to have the freedom to look around the city and it seemed so different to 6 months ago. The main reason for visiting Bangor is to see my girlfriend; who is in her final year at the university. We had such an exciting time, from going to the pier, to the cinema, and even went shopping!

When she went to her lectures, I thought I would crack on with the book I’m doing as part of my training as an MT and that is Frame’s book (see previous blog https://theurbancurate.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/mt-getting-his-hands-dirty/). The chapter that I’ve looked at was about the transcendence and Immanence of God. It’s in the last chapter of the first section of the book. It is about the understanding of the two words and how they describe God’s lordship.

This diagram is from the book itself, and it shows the conflicting views between biblical, and non biblical understanding of God’ transcendence and immanence.

While I was on the train, and reading the book, it came to me that my train ticket hadn’t been inspected and I was nearly at the end of the journey. I looked up and down the carriage and couldn’t see the conductor, and I went back to the book. While I was listening to my iPod and reading, (I was miles away by then) I heard some knocking on the pizza box that I had next to me. It was a very solemn conductor looking back at me. I presented my ticket and that was it. It was the shock and concern that my ticket hadn’t been inspected, which drove this practical idea.

God’s transcendence is the feeling that God is there to rule, control and have authority over us. This is like a conductor of a train; you know he is on the train and he has the authority, control and he decides if you continue your journey or get thrown off. God’s immanence is to say that he is present with us. He is also hidden away from us. That is what happened on the train; I couldn’t see the conductor anywhere! but I knew that his presence is there, and he appeared out of no where like he was hidden.

The Bible really makes a difference to how we see God’s presence, authority and control. The diagram is saying that: If you believe that God is revealed in the scriptures, then he is present, and he is has control and authority. If you are an academic, or even an gnostic, you would see that God’s Transcendence is that he is a being somewhere in the clouds, with no idea where he is. God’s Immanence is saying that he is in the presence of the creatures on the earth.

This was a thought that I had years ago when I was contemplating the theory that humanity will grow to learn the existence of God, but they forget one thing: If God is the controller of all things, and he is this mysterious being that is hidden, then surely he would have control over the thoughts, and knowledge of humanity. Its like the diagram below: God will not allow Humanity to get the better of him, the reason why? He is God!!!! You have to accept it!!! This is what makes scientists look like fools!! Trying to work out something that they will never understand!! You don’t need a PhD to accept it as truth! This has fulfilled one of my childhood thoughts at last!! Thanks Frame!!!!

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Author: Urban Curate

Following from the Ministry Trainee, I am a urban Curate who is at a church in the West Midlands with a passion to serve the Lord. I'm 28 years old, married with two children.

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