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Dan Phillips of Pyromaniacs: “…neither were thankful…”

November 30, 2006

For a really hard-hitting look at our need to be thankful to God, read Dan Phillips’ blog entry …neither were thankful… at the always insightful, usually entertaining Pyromaniacs blog. Rev. Phillips really gives us a lot to think about:

Not very “seeker sensitive” of him, but when Paul wants to talk about the Good News, he starts out with lots and lots of bad news (Romans 1:18ff.).

The apostle’s opening salvo against humanity begins with the global cause in “all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” (v. 18), and ends with a damning list of effects (vv. 28-31), and the summary statement: “Though they know God’s decree that those who practice [JUST scratching the surface] such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” (v. 32).

Towards the beginning, Paul memorably styles mankind as anapologetous, “incapable of defense,” “without defense, “without excuse” (v. 20). He presents this as the result of God’s self-revelation in creation; and then Paul further explains their indefensibility in v. 21 — “because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor did they give thanks.” The “as God” is put forward syntactically; you could woodenly render it, “they did not as God glorify nor thank.”

God is owed glory and thanks. It is His due, it is fitting, it simply follows from the majesty of His being. Paul does not here give further reasons; J. B. Phillips’ paraphrase says “to thank him for what he is or does,” but the apostle does not. Simply because He is God, before He says or does one thing, He is inherently worthy of glory, and worthy of thanks.

Read the rest of his post for a truly Scriptural look at how much there is for which we have to be thankful.

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