Rebecca Stark is the author of The Good Portion: God, the second title in The Good Portion series, a series written to encourage women to immerse themselves in the depths of Christian doctrine.

The Good Portion — God explores what Scripture teaches about God in hopes that readers will see his perfection, worth, magnificence, and beauty as they study his triune nature, infinite attributes, and wondrous works. 

Rebecca also blogs at Out of the Ordinary.



Sunday's Hymn: My Hope is Built



My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest upon unchanging grace;
In ev’ry rough and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, his covenant, his blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When I shall launch in worlds unseen,
O may I then be found in him;
Dressed in his righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

—Ed­ward Mote


 Other hymns, worship songs, or quotes for this Sunday:


Selected Reading

I read these recently and recommend them to you.

Christian History

Cotton Mather - A Life of Suffering
Cotton Mather is widely “considered [to be] one of the most bigoted and stubborn men of his time, the epitome of the narrow-minded Puritan,” but “his writings tell us of a man deeply concerned with the wellbeing of others, committed to the cessation of persecution of other Christians and humbled by a lifetime of impediments and afflictions.”


Faithfulness Is Not Theologically Complicated
Greg Koukl: “[O]n a host of culturally charged moral and spiritual issues, faithfulness is not theologically complicated. Why, then, are many who claim to be Christians foundering on fundamentals with such regularity?”

What Does the Bible Say About Transgenderism?
This goes well with the piece linked directly above. “[W]e cannot assume that Christians—even those in good churches—know what to think about gender or why to think it.”—Kevin DeYoung


I’d Probably Still Cancel Your Short-Term Mission Trip
Some golden calves are difficult to destroy. 


Verbing Nouns and Nouning Verbs
Apparently, “forming verbs from nouns and nouns from verbs is a normal part of English and has been for at least a thousand years.” But I still don’t like it. 


Theological Term of the Week: Archetype

“The original. In theology, God is the archetype; the creature made in his image is the ectype (the imitation or copy or image).”1 God’s knowledge, for instance, is archetypal. His knowledge of himself and everything that exists is perfect and infinite. His knowledge is the original, and all human knowledge is derived from his revelation.

  • From scripture:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV)
So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2:11 ESV)
  • From Systematic Theology by Louis Berkhof, on God’s archetypal knowledge: 

The knowledge of God differs in some important points from that of men. It is archetypal, which means that He knows the universe as it exists in His own eternal idea previous to its existence as a finite reality in time and space; and that His knowledge is not, like ours, obtained from without. It is a knowledge that is characterized by absolute perfection. As such it is intuitive rather than demonstrative or discursive. It is innate and immediate, and does not result from observation or from a process of reasoning. Being perfect, it is also simultaneous and not successive, so that He sees things at once in their totality, and not piecemeal one after another. Furthermore, it is complete and fully conscious, while man’s knowledge is always partial, frequently indistinct, and often fails to rise into the clear light of consciousness.

  • From Systematic Theology by Louis Berkhof on God’s archetypal personality: 

Since man is created in the image of God, we learn to understand something of the personal life of God from the contemplation of personality as we know it in man. We should be careful, however, not to set up man’s personality as a standard by which the personality of God must be measured. The original form of personality is not in man but in God; His is archetypal, while man’s is ectypal. The latter is not identical with the former, but does contain faint traces of similarity with it. We should not say that man is personal, while God is super- personal (a very unfortunate term), for what is super-personal is not personal; but rather, that what appears as imperfect in man exists in infinite perfection in God.


Learn more:

  1. Amy Mantravadi: What Kind of Knowledge Can We Have About God?


Related terms:

1 From None Greater by Matthew Barrett.

Filed under God’s Nature and His Work 


Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured as a Theological Term of the Week? Email your suggestion using the contact button in the navigation bar above. 

Clicking on the Theological Terms button will take you to an alphabetical list of all the theological terms.