“Now, however, that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits?1 How can you want to be enslaved to them again?” (Gal 4:9 NRSV)
I’m sure many of you have read J.I. Packer’s classic volume Knowing God, well now, Brian Rosner has written his own book on Christian identity entitled Known by God: A Biblical Theology of Personal Identity (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2017).
Known by God is built on the observation that humans are inherently social beings; we know who we are in relation to others and by being known by them. If one of the universal desires of the self is to be known by others, being known by God as his children meets our deepest and lifelong need for recognition and gives us a secure identity. Rosner argues that rather than knowing ourselves, being known by God is the key to personal identity. He explores three biblical angles on the question of personal identity: being made in the image of God, being known by God and being in Christ. The notion of sonship is at the center – God gives us our identity as a parent who knows his child. Being known by him as his child gives our fleeting lives significance, provokes in us needed humility, supplies cheering comfort when things go wrong, and offers clear moral direction for living.
There are three great interviews with Rosner at CPX, see below:
Worth reading and watching if you’re interested in the interface between Christianity and notions of identity.