The Cutting Edge of Reality in God’s Discriminating Love

  • Doedens, J. (PI)

Project Details


God’s discriminating love displayed in the Old and New Testaments appears to have a cutting edge, as God is dealing with people who tend to be stubborn and rebellious. One meets this cutting edge of reality when reaching the boundaries of human knowledge and capability. This is made clear by the narratives in the Old Testament pertaining to the origin of evil described as idolatry: humans are mostly responsible as transgressors of a divine commandment (Gen 3). However, the Old Testament also knows about evil heavenly forces usurping their power to lure humans into evil and not to go the way of God’s discriminating love. The Old Testament part of the research will concentrate on the narrative of the so called “sons of God” in Genesis 6:1–4 and their “afterlife” in intertestamental narrative, as well as on the cutting edge of prophecy in its attempt to steer Israel society into the direction of God’s love. This most clearly becomes visible in the Old Testament narratives in which “self-fulfilling prophecy” appears to be applied as a leverage in dead-end social situations.

In Intertestamental Literature, the research tries to fathom the source and origin of human tenacity / resilience. This will be researched in the Book of 4 Ezra, as compared to the origin of resilience according to New Testament writings.

For New Testament and Biblical Theology research, the cutting edge of discriminating love will be studied on several subjects. Firstly, it will be researched how the resurrection of Israel’s Messiah should influence the agenda of the people of God in a way far more influential than it appears to be at present. Secondly, the cutting edge of discriminating love will be displayed in how the New Testament depicts miracles wrought by the apostles. The view of the apostle Paul’s miracles in the Book of Acts and in Paul’s letters will be compared. Thirdly, discriminating love encourages and empowers followers of the Messiah to display that love in everyday life. Within this context, this displaying of God-given love will be researched with respect to the New Testament, especially as it appears in the Book of Acts. Fourthly, a part of discriminating love is that humans are created in the image of God. This part of the research will focus on how biblical theology can contribute in a solution to the analysis of Iain McGilgrist about humanity creating a society in its own image, as McGilgrist describes this in his seminal work The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. Within the context of humans as the image of God, research is planned on the function of heavenly / spiritual beings in ancient near eastern literature and the Old and New Testaments, resulting in a habilitation about this subject.
Effective start/end date1/01/18 → …


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