Theological Primer: Theology Proper
Paul TautgesPaul Tautges serves as senior pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, having previously pastored for 22 years in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Paul has authored eight books including Counseling One Another, Brass Heavens, and Comfort the Grieving, and contributed chapters to two volumes produced by the Biblical Counseling Coalition. He is also the consulting editor of the LifeLine Mini-Book series from Shepherd Press. Paul is a Fellow with ACBC (Association of Certified Biblical Counselors). He and his wife, Karen, are the parents of ten children (three married), and have two grandchildren. Paul enjoys writing as a means of cultivating discipleship among believers and, therefore, blogs regularly at Counseling One Another.
- 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.