On Fatherhood

“Even in the absence of earthly fathers, the gospel’s impact and the Spirit’s presence is sufficient to guide us through the pool of daddy deprivation.  The fatherless man can find strength in the fatherhood of God.  Through a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, God becomes our Father.  He is proud of His children because He is pleased with His Son who lives in them.”  (Eric Mason, Manhood Restored, p. 33)

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8 Responses to On Fatherhood

  1. Jon Hughes says:

    This is a wonderful truth.

    But does God only love us because He’s pleased with Jesus who lives in us? This sounds very Calvinistic to me. Doesn’t the entire human race have intrinsic worth, despite our brokenness, as people created in the image of God.

    Is God not Father to all, at least in some sense? He’s certainly the Saviour of all people (1 Timothy 4:10) and we are all His offspring (Acts 17:28).

    This broader scope is surely a better starting point for the fatherless, and broken people outside of the fold of the Christian faith. Otherwise we’re reiterating their exclusion.

    • TC says:

      Jon, God loves everyone, but even you have to concede on a degree of difference toward those who are in Christ, per Eph 1:4-5, “In love he predestined us…”

  2. Simon says:

    Furthermore Jon, it is the Church who are to manifest God’s love into the world. We are to actually do something for the fatherless. This is a big part of how people know that there is a God who cares for them and loves them. The Father’s love isn’t simply an intellectual exercise or an abstract concept. It is real and is manifest by through us – the believing community. But because we are all made in the image of God, wonderful, caring and loving human beings who aren’t Christians also do wonderful things for the orphans and the poor. So I’m not being parochial here, even tho I do believe that Christianity really does take the lead when it comes to compassionate care for the unfortunate.

  3. Jon Hughes says:

    Agreed. The point I was trying to make is that the universal fatherhood of God, rather than the finer points of election, is a better starting point for broken people outside the fold.

    • TC says:

      But the universal fatherhood of God means little or nothing at all to the person who is in active rebellion against God the Father.

      • Jon Hughes says:

        I disagree. It’s a very important starting point. Consider the apostle Paul’s address to the Athenians in Acts 17: God gives everyone life and breath and everything else (vs. 25); in Him we live and move and have our being (vs. 28); and we are His offspring (vs. 28).

        Paul didn’t begin with ‘Calvinism’, but with the universal fatherhood of God.

  4. TC says:

    Yes, there is a place for the “universal fatherhood of God.” I quite agree. And there are times, as in Acts 17, when we must appeal to what thinkers call “common grace,” indiscriminately to all, but there’s a special grace or love, if you will, as attested in Ephesians 1.

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