Divinitatis Sensum

Good morning. It is Monday, July 13, 2015. Monday the 13th?

Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is mimesis. Mimesis is a noun, meaning, “imitation or reproduction of the supposed words of another, as in order to represent his or her character.” The origin of the word is Greek.

Today is Embrace Your Geekness Day. Well, shucks. I’m all out of pocket protectors. However, in the spirit of the day, I give you this teaser for Con Man, starring Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion, which will be available on Vimeo in Septebmer.

Our shower is fixed!! And it only cost us $75! The plumber was very nice, and even brought his daughter along to help him. He wound up not having to replace anything. All that was needed was for the cartridge behind the valve to be cleaned out, along with a screen of some sort behind that. He recommended draining the hot water heater, which I did immediately after he left. Had the best shower I’ve had in months, last night!

And it’s Monday, again. So off to work we go, for another week. It’s also time for the All-Star break in baseball. I don’t like the All-Star break, myself. But it is what it is. I rarely watch the game, but usually watch at least the first couple of rounds of the Home Run Derby, which happens tonight. I find myself in the camp that does not like that the All-Star game decides home field advantage for the World Series. That’s just ludicrous! The Wild Card team should NEVER have home field advantage! Never! 😛 Yet another thing we have to thank Bud “Lite” Selig for.

Enough soap-boxing. On to important things.


They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you;
nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.”
Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations!

Psalm 82:5-8

(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)

Today, I’m going back to Tim Keller’s book on prayer. In pages 44-46, he gets into a sort of definition of prayer, based on something that John Calvin called the divinitatis sensum. We must recall that all of mankind bears the image of God, fallen though we are. Therefore, Calvin writes of this divinitatis sensum, “the sense of deity that all humans have.” This is, Calvin says, a natural instinct. This can be seen as the reason that prayer, whatever form it takes, is “so pervasive across the human race.” Paul, in Romans 1:19-20, insisted that it was evident from creation that “some great power created and sustains it.” For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

This view is also held by English theologian John Owen, believed that the impulse to pray is “original in the law of nature.” Owen stated that “many non-Christian religions and cultures put Christians to shame in the diligence of their prayers.” Jonathan Edwards says that “God is sometimes pleased to answer the prayers of unbelievers,” out of pity and sovereign mercy. We need only to look at the Ninevites in Jonah and the wicked king Ahab to see that this is true.

Taking all of this in view, Keller then defines prayer as “a personal, communicative response to the knowledge of God.” It is “seeking to respond and connect to that being and reality, even if it is no more than calling out into the air for help.”

This is the common denominator of all prayer. However, this prayer is “profoundly altered by the amount and accuracy of” our knowledge of God. Everyone may possess this divinitatis sensum, but “we all refashion that sense of deity to fit our own interests and desires unless through the Spirit and the Scripture our view of God is corrected and clarified.” (Emphasis mine.)

As we learn more about God through Scripture and the Holy Spirit, our prayers become more than just talking to, or calling out to, God. “Through the Word and Spirit, prayer becomes answering God–a full conversation.” (Emphasis author’s.)

Father, heighten this conversation! Keep teaching me more about you through Word and Spirit! My heart desires this conversation to be complete. I thank you for taking this divinitatis sensum and expanding it by revealing yourself to me further. May my prayers become more and more like conversations with you, and less and less like me just asking you for stuff. As I drive to work, this morning, I pray for enlightenment by your Spirit. Teach me as I pray.

I pray for this day, that our travel will be safe and smooth, as we go to work and back. I pray for Christi’s day, that it will be free of drama and stress, and that it may be truly productive. I pray for Stephanie, that your light will shine on her, today, showing her more about you. I lift up Rachel to you, praying that she can get done with this thesis and move on with her life. And I pray for Mama, that you will shine your loving light on her today, simply allowing her to bask in your presence.

Your grace is sufficient. Make my prayers faithful, fervent, and effective, Father.

As we hone our prayer “techniques,” may our Father reveal himself more fully to us, engaging us in conversation with him.

Grace and peace, friends.


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