"The Lord Your God Is in Your Midst": The Presence of God and the Means and End of Redemptive History

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"The Lord Your God Is in Your Midst": The Presence of God and the Means and End of Redemptive History

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Title: "The Lord Your God Is in Your Midst": The Presence of God and the Means and End of Redemptive History
Author: Lister, John Ryan
Advisor: Ware, Bruce A.
Abstract: This dissertation proposes that, very simply, the presence of God is a central

theme of biblical revelation. More specifically, it argues that God's presence is significant

to the theological message of Scripture because it is both a central end of redemptive history

and a means to that end. In other words, the divine presence is a teleological objective for

God's work of redemption and reconciliation, while it is also the agency by which this

eschatological goal is initiated, inaugurated, and will one day finally be consummated.

As such, this dissertation will argue that there are two ways to understand the

presence of God as it is detailed biblically. First, the divine presence is eschatological and

relational, unmediated and fully manifest. This aspect is evidenced at the "bookends" of

redemptive history. For a short time, the unmediated presence of God is experienced in

Eden and, after Fall, it is cast as a central eschatological promise to be fulfilled in the

coming of the new Jerusalem. The second aspect of God's presence is its redemptive and

reconciliatory agency. It is the instrument by which the teleological goal of the Lord's

presence will ultimately be realized. Throughout redemptive history, God comes to be with

his people to bring salvation and usher in salvation's eschatological purposes. To

consummate this purpose, God, in a mediated way, draws near to his people to redeem and

reconcile them. Thus, when assessed properly, the presence of God truly is a vital motif for

understanding redemptive history, God's eschatological purposes, and the theological

message of Scripture as a whole.

URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10392/3804
Date: 2010-05

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