I see this area of research being divided into two subsets. The first is anthropological essencology. This is the study into the essence of man. This area of study is already being conducted by Dr. Derrick Reeves, Th. D., D. D., Ph. D. His blog for further review is available at http://drmministries.blogspot.com/.
I am proposing an additional subset of essencology. I propose an area of research be theological essencology, the study into the essence of God. This is not so much a different area than I have been proposing but rather a refinement of the area. My original area of research as indicated in a previous posting was asking the question whether God’s essence was love or holiness. In fact, a further or more refined question is, “What is God’s essence and how should that effect twenty-first century apologetics?”
The current scenario available proposes three positions. The first school of thought is God’s essence is love. It is through the lenses of love that we should consider everything God does, is doing, and will do. This is a common point of apologetics where one seeks to use the argument, “God would never do that because he is a loving God.” Another argument would be, “A loving God would never…” LGBT activists as well as liberals who try to argue away a place called hell, teachings against homosexuality, and the cancellation of the final judgment use this method. The sad note is, of all the people I have polled, both conservative and liberal, as agreed with the statement that God’s essence is love.
A second school of thought is, God’s attributes are so varied and so transcendent that they should be viewed all on the same level. This idea proposes one cannot really state God’s essence is one thing or another. Whether one speaks of love, holiness, grace, mercy, or even immutability, God’s is all these things and they should be all viewed equally. This view is held by many in the world of conservative evangelicalism. God has many attributes; they are all complete and fully mature. Yet I propose a third view.
I propose, my primary area of research, God’s essence is his holiness. I believe we need and must view God through the lens of holiness when considering everything God has done, everything he is doing, and everything he will do. As I have stated before, “We do not serve a loving God, but rather we serve a holy God that has chosen to love us.” This will be the area of research I call, “Theological Essencology.”