Theological Primer: Theology Proper
Paul Tautges has served Immanuel Bible Church in Sheboygan, Wisconsin as pastor since 1992. He is also an adjunct professor of biblical counseling and conference speaker. Paul has authored eight books including Counsel One Another, Comfort Those Who Grieve, The Discipline of Mercy, and Brass Heavens. He is also the editor of the popular Help! discipleship counseling booklet series (24 titles). Paul is a NANC Fellow and a Council Board member of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. He and his wife Karen are the parents of ten children. Paul blogs regularly at counselingoneanother.com.
- 2014 Mar 17
Today, I begin a brief series covering the 10 basic categories of theology and relate them to our walk with the Lord and to our personal, one-another ministry that we call ‘counseling.’
Theology Proper: The Doctrine of God
One’s view of God shapes his thinking in every area of life. Of course, this is true for every subsection of Theology Proper. However, for the sake of brevity, a few specific areas that often come to the forefront in counseling include God’s sovereignty, love, goodness, and the “three omnis.”
Counselees who are suffering especially need the biblical understanding of God’s sovereignty over every affair of life including when bad things happen to God’s people (Psalm 139:16; Romans 8:28-30; Eg. Life of Joseph in Genesis 39-50). Whatever the secondary cause of suffering, we must teach counselees that God is truly in control and, therefore, is the principal cause and is trustworthy. Though He is not responsible for evil, God is sovereign over it—whether it comes through sin, Satan, or the natural consequences of the curse, which God placed upon the created world in the Garden of Eden after the fall.
Coupled with His sovereignty, the goodness of God must be communicated along with His love, mercy, and pity toward sinners, which was ultimately made manifest in Christ on the cross (Romans 5:8). The holiness of God compels us to trust Him (for He cannot lie, or do us wrong) and calls believers to a life of holiness (1 Peter 1:15ff). Whatever sin-related struggle we battle, or suffering-related problem we face, God knows it (omniscience), is with us and will never forsake us (omnipresence), and has infinite power to intercede on our behalf according to His desires (omnipotence)
What does all of this mean? The bottom line is: God is worthy of our trust and obedience.