Theocentricity?

“Lord, You Are” by Crossmovement  

Theocentricity Defined

Theos – Greek word for “God”

Centric – pertaining to or situated at the center

Joining these two words, we understand this to be “God-centeredness”. The opposite would be to be man-centered or anthropocentric. I felt it necessary to define this term because many may be unfamiliar with it, but also to strengthen the foundation and the understanding of the aim of this blog.

Theocentricity Justified

Now that you know what theocentricity means, you may be wondering if it is supported Biblically. You will not see the words theocentricity, theocentricism or theocentric in the Bible, but the Bible is saturated with this idea. It is fundamental to the purpose of all things in existence. Ultimately, it is the chief virtue of God Himself. The Apostle Paul tells us…

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things, To Him be the glory forever. Amen.

(Romans 11:36)

What is this verse saying? It’s saying all things that exist do so primarily for His glory. God is the most theocentric Person existing. In other words, all of creation and its dealings ultimately serve to highlight the excellent excellencies of His essence. Creation’s purpose and utility are perfectly fulfilled when it is rightly centered on the Creator. He arranges and orders the universe to the end that we might catch glimpses of His divine perfections and enjoy Him.

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.

(Psalm 19:1)

The excellent excellencies of His essence that I mentioned earlier is the justification for God being God-centered. God is altogether wonderful and perfect and to find joy and purpose in the lesser would make Him guilty of idolatrous treason. However, that is impossible. God cannot deny Himself. God is eternally bound, satisfied and joyous in Himself because of who He is, and this is not egocentrism.

His theocentricism orginates from His characteristics. This is commonly known as the attributes of God. From Scripture, God has revealed Himself and theologians have grouped these attributes into two categories. These categories are God’s incommunicable attributes and God’s communicable attributes.

Incommunicable simply means attributes God has not communicated or given to us nor can we share in them. These attributes are : Self-Existence, Eternality / Infinity, Perfection, Immutability, Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence.

Communicable simply means attributes God has communicated to us and those in which we can share in.  These attributes are : Holiness, Love , Grace, Mercy, Patience, Humility, Goodness, Righteousness, Truthfulness, Forgiveness, and Faithfulness.

If you have never done so, take some time to study these attributes. Meditate on the excellencies of God. This will greatly nourish your soul!

Theocentricity Modeled & Commanded

I feel safe to say that I think it’s obvious why God is theocentric. For believers, it should be easy to deduce that we are to be theocentric as well. Through Christ’s atonement, we have been reconciled to Him and exist to glorify Him by godly living, propagating the gospel and building the Kingdom. The greatest example of theocentricity modeled is Jesus Christ! His humility paved the way to demonstrate this. Despite being the fullness of Deity in bodily form, in his humanity, Christ exemplified an unparalleled theocentric life. The glory of God was the substance of his earthly life. John records,

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”

(John 4:34)

The very sustenance of Jesus’ life was to obey the will of God the Father. In saving us to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29), we are commanded by Jesus to:

‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment.”

(Matthew 22:37)

That’s a theocentric command!! The Greek word for heart in this verse means the center and seat of all spiritual life including passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes and endeavors. The core of who we are and what we do is to be radically centered on God and this is a display of love toward Him.

What we know and believe about God affects how we respond to Him. The church will rise no higher than what it thinks of God. While He is inexhaustible, we do have a reliable record shedding light on who He is. Meditating on Him and His purposes is the greatest and most beneficial exercise we can give our minds to.

With confidence, I can say that a great portion of professing American Christendom is severely negligent concerning this. How can I make a statement with such conviction? I’ve observed the best sellers at my local Christian bookstore and have listened to several of today’s most popular “preachers”, who happen to be the authors of the best sellers. The message that sells is God exists to make much of man. It sells because it glorifies man, not God. This is heresy!

The Creator does not glorify creation, rather He is glorified by it!!

In 1961, A.W. Tozer said,

The Church has surrendered her once lofty thought of God and has substituted for it one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of thinking, worshiping man…The low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred other lesser evils everywhere among us. A whole new philosophy of the Christian life has resulted from this one basic error in our religious thinking.”  (The Knowledge of the Holy, A.W.Tozer, Preface vii.)

It is my sincere prayer the Lord would continue to pour out His grace to awaken minds from theological negligence and slumber through the careful study and preaching of the Word that clearly communicates the truth and beauty of God that we may be a theocentric people.

Grace & Peace,

d.

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