Disciple Up # 237
Thinking God’s Thoughts After Him
By Louie Marsh, 11-17-2021
Intro. Sunday’s sermon, etc.
German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer Johannes Kepler used the phrase “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.” Referring to his work in astronomy, Kepler said: “I was merely thinking God’s thoughts after Him. Since we astronomers are priests of the highest God in regard to the book of nature, it benefits us to be thoughtful, not of the glory of our minds, but rather, above all else, of the glory of God.”
God calls disciples to think Biblically not culturally and not to simply follow my feelings or to go by my instincts. No, God calls all disciples to think clearly, critically (I mean analytically not to be critical of others).
18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. Isaiah 1:18 (ESV)
We need to think like God thinks, to see the world as he does and then follow that truth.
People sometimes say, “The god I believe in …” Perhaps the god you believe in isn’t the real, true and living God. And the only way to know for sure what he thinks is to consult, understand and depend upon the Bible.
C. S. Lewis: “If you do not listen to theology, that will not mean that you have no ideas about God. It will mean that you have a lot of wrong ones!”
Jesus shows us his authority in many places including the Sermon on the Mount when he repeatedly says, “You have heard it said but I say…”
To think like Jesus, to think Biblically means that you’ll really be different. Not different in a way that is considered cool, but different fundamental way that won’t be appreciated by many if not most people.
Article I’m reading:
Written by Charles Sigler
This idea can become rather Stoic at times. It has that sense in Twenty-Four Hours a Day, a book of recovery meditations for members of Alcoholics Anonymous. The December 18th meditation said that the nearer astronomers get to the ultimate composition of all things, the nearer the universe approaches a mathematical formula, which is thought. The universe itself may be the thought of the Great Thinker. Therefore, “We must try to think God’s thoughts after Him.” We must try to get guidance from the Divine Mind as to what His intention is for the world “and what part we can have in carrying out that intention.”
Since my time in seminary, I have been deeply influenced by the writings of Cornelius Van Til and his very different sense of thinking God’s thoughts after Him. Van Til said that as creatures of God, we are analogues of God. “God is the original while man is the derivative. Man’s thoughts must therefore be patterned after God’s thoughts. Man must, as we often express it, think God’s thoughts after Him.” (Essays on Christian Education)
Christianity presupposes the self-sufficient God of Scripture. God created the universe for and unto himself. “By his providence, God sustains the universe in order to realize his ultimate purpose with it.” There is purpose in the universe because God has made it so. And every purpose in the universe must be referred to God. “Without this reference to God, no purpose within the universe has meaning.” (Christian-Theistic Evidences)
If man is not autonomous, if he is in fact what Scripture says he is—a creature of God and a sinner—then he should “subordinate his reason to the Scriptures” and seek its light to interpret his experience. God’s revelation in nature as well as Scripture is always authoritarian. “The truly scientific method, the method which alone can expect to make true progress in learning, is therefore such a method as seeks simply to think God’s thoughts after him.” (The Defense of the Faith)
If theism is true, only that thought and interpretation on the part of man is true which recognizes God as the source of man and man’s interpretation. Hence we hold that in the nature of the case there is not only one true religion, but only one true interpretation of all science as well. We hold that all science that does not recognize God as the maker of the facts with which it deals and the mind with which it thinks as created by God and as properly thinking God’s thoughts after him, is false science. (Psychology of Religion)
The modern, understanding of science asks us to grant the theoretical relevancy of any hypothesis. It also asks that we test the truth of any hypothesis by experience. Lastly, the modern scientific method assumes the reality of neutral, brute, facts. But if God exists, there are no brute facts. Our study of facts must seek to know them as God wants them to be known by us. “We must then seek to think God’s thoughts after Him. To assume that there are brute facts is therefore to assume that God does not exist.” The autonomous human mind thinks of itself as acting completely independent of God. (Unpublished Manuscripts of Cornelius Van Til, Electronic edition)
Verses on God’s Thoughts:
“8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8–9, ESV)
“5How great are your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep!” (Psalm 92:5, ESV)
“17How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:17, ESV)
“12But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord; they do not understand his plan, that he has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing floor.” (Micah 4:12, ESV)
“34“For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”” (Romans 11:34, ESV)
“16“For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16, ESV)
“5Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 7Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. 8It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:5–8, ESV)
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