Wednesday, 28 July 2010

What's the Difference?

Ultimately, as we get more Trinitarian and 'eternal' in our theology..

we should be mapping every aspect of Christian life and mechanics to the unchanging dynamics and character of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as they have always interacted with each Other

But yet not everything is the same....

there is one other element to add in that is different from what has been happening in eternity

The Cross (meaning from incarnation to ascension)

The Cross is necessary because when God created - creation was outside Himself, as in creation is separate from Him
And so He goes into creation to bring it back to Him

We can summarise all of creation into 1 being - Adam

Adam (the fullness of created things) is apart from the Other Being - Christ (in which is the fullness of Deity)

Adam first must break, then Christ comes into Adam, then Christ must break, then Adam comes into Christ

now then we are back to eternal Trinitarian dynamics - church incorporated

what ever is 'left over' is thrown away... a strange new dynamic of eternal sinfulness

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


These are fantastic quotes from Bonhoeffer - taken from here

'In confession there takes place a breakthrough to community. Sin wants to be alone with people. It takes them away from the community. The more lonely people become, the more destructive the power of sin over them. The more deeply they become entangled in it, the more unholy is their loneliness. Sin wants to remain unknown. It shuns the light. In the darkness of what is left unsaid sin poisons the whole being of a person. This can happen in the midst of a pious community. In confession the light of the gospel breaks into the darkness and closed isolation of the heart. Sin must be brought into the light. What is unspoken is said openly and confessed. All that is secret and hidden comes to light. It is a hard struggle until the sin crosses one’s lips in confession. But God breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron (Ps. 107:16) Since the confession of sin is made in the presence of another Christian, the last stronghold of self-justification is abandoned. The sinner surrenders, giving up all evil, giving the sinner’s heart to God and finding the forgiveness of all one’s sin in the community of Jesus Christ and other Christians. Sin that has been spoken and confessed has lost all of its power. It has been revealed and judged as sin. It can no longer tear apart the community.’

‘In this connection, we are talking exclusively about confession between two Christians. A confession of sin in the presence of all the members of the congregation is not required to restore one to community with the entire congregation. In the one other Christian to whom I confess my sins and by whom my sins are declared forgiven, I meet the whole congregation.’

‘In confession there occurs a breakthrough to the cross. The root of all my sin is pride.’

‘Confession in the presence of another believer is the most profound kind of humiliation. It hurts, makes one feel small; it deals a terrible blow to one’s pride.’

‘It is none other than Jesus Christ who openly suffered the shameful death of a sinner in our place, who was not ashamed to be crucified for us as an evildoer. And it is nothing else but our community with Jesus Christ that leads us to the disgraceful dying that comes in confession, so that we may truly share in this cross. The cross of Jesus Christ shatters all pride.’

Confession is to be broken before one another
Christ shows us that the only way we can be part of Him - is if He is broken that we may enter - and we have to be broken as well (blessed are the broken in spirit)

To create true community - we must break before each other - otherwise sin holds us intact, and apart....

Sabbath Rest because of Death?

In the Sabbath year the ground is allowed to lie fallow...
or rather, left to rest

in this rest it replenishes (or renews) the nutrients it needs to grow the crops again for the next 6 years

the nutrients however - i guess - would mainly come from the death of the last crops which are no longer maintained and allowed to decompose - similar to how a forest fire would severely enrich the soil

if that's a correct understanding of agriculture...

then our Sabbath is only possible because of the death of Jesus
because He dies, we can have rest in Him..
as His body is the manner in how we are renewed...
as we take Him in and now grow in Him


Wednesday, 14 July 2010

More Triniarian Hierachy

Even when it comes to understanding 'space'

The Trinity makes sense only in a hierarchical structure

Think Biblically - the Son is always where He is in reference to the Father
so where is the Son now?
on the right hand side of God

is the Father on the Son's left hand side? No! Never!

so is the Son facing the opposite direction so that the Father is on His right hand too.. of course not

The Son is always at the Father's right hand
the Father is where the Father is... that's it

the whole world is where it is in relation to the Father's throne

more specifically
the world is where it is in relation to the Father, and where the Son is in relation to the Father, and where we are in relation to the Son
in that specific order

now have a think how this works with relation to 'time' =)

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

More scaffolding...

Previous post here:

With Glen's post here:

And Irenaeus's theology here:

Everything about this age is a shadow, the creation, 1st Adam, the law, etc...
it is scaffolding

not that it should be done away with

but it is the precursor of what is to come - the City of God, the 2nd Adam, the gospel, etc..

therefore it is important we have scaffolding, or we cannot build the house

but then the real house is build within the scaffolding, filling it up, bursting through it, destroying the scaffolding, which is burned

Mortal is Swallowed up (from the inside) by immortality...

Monday, 12 July 2010


A simple talk for Youth Sunday

based on 2 Tim 1

Upward Spiral

Leithart on his post here:

So it seems that harmony in God must include some moment from dissonance to closure. Or, to put it in the paradoxical form that is probably inevitable: The Triune God is always moving toward the resolution that He has always already reached. As Robert Jenson has put it, there does seem to be room for the notion that the Spirit resolves and reconciles Father and Son, so that the Speaker and His Word are harmonized in His breadth.

i'm assuming this is about 'God's being is in His becoming' kinda stuff

but i'm wondering if this is still a 'static' view of God

why not the dynamic relationship between the Father and the Son be an 'upward spiral'
since according to Scripture sin is a 'downward spiral' - towards singularity - true lonely selfishness

then the eternal Triune God must be a constant outward expanding relationship
that overlaps itself in greater and greater proportion

this is why creation was almost 'inevitable'

and the endless ages to come - a great un-expressable joy!

so in musical terms... there is always a melody resulting in closure, yet that closure becomes the starting point for a new and greater harmony
so God is never unresolved, yet also never 'closed'

again.. i have very little idea of what i'm talking about

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Understanding Corporate Identity

people complain that we can't be responsible for Adam's sin...etc..

the breakdown of family units and societies
leads to the rise (or re-rise) of individualism
that we are all apart from each other

yet take one look at World Cup Soccer..
and you know this is rubbish

everytime someone you don't know loses or does poorly
you are so physically affected that people kill themselves

we have corporate identity -
we just have a new corporation - football or sport
instead of the kingdom of heaven and the King...

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Differential Perichoresis (2)

Continuing with the previous thought...

i'm going to suggest equality is a concept only necessary amongst individuals
i.e. when there are persons desiring to be recognised 'apart' from the other, they must claim their 'rights'
or rather - their 'individual right' that is to keep them apart from others

when there is one-ness or true unity, equality is a meaningless term
there is only the oneness,
in that one-ness, there are persons, distinct and other, but in their distinct-ness and other-ness coming together to form true one-ness

in the life of the Triune God - the greater the diversity, the richer and fuller the one-ness
and this is amplified in the church

the one-ness is also a dynamic (non-static) one-ness with the Son going away from the Father and coming to the Father in continuous motion, each time increasing the fullness of the One

the church is again an expansion of the expanding one-ness
with more 'space' and allowing for more growth - and continuous growth in the ages to come

coming up with ideas like the economic trinity (seen in the salvation plan) that is different from the immanent (or eternal) trinity, simply is derived from human thoughts of the necessity of equality

The Son is eternally 'lesser' than the Father, in the sense that He always relies on Him and derives His very being (even His own life from Him), and the Father gives off Himself to the Son, allowing the Son to have everything He is in Himself

Can i then derive a meaning of weakness..

Weakness then is not the lack of strength within oneself
but in the context of the Trinity, the refusal to look within oneself for strength - the insistence to rely on the other

The Son can not do anything without the Father
The Father will not do anything without the Son

So then Phil 2 - is a lesson that true strength comes from reliance on the other, emptying self to hold the other
as opposed to filling self - which is a releasing of the hand of the other
(cf prodigal son)

We are then purposely made weak physically that we may learn these eternal familial dynamics
in eternity our strength is characterised by our reliance on the other(s)
and our refusal to do anything except what is in the best interest of the other

i think these principles are rooted into the very physics of the universe - thinking of magnetic forces, resonance, fluid dynamics etc.. the unity of the many creates strength exponentially greater than the sum of their parts

it is the logarithmic curve of God-dynamics

Yet back to point one - the rhythm of this is not random, not reversible
there is always a directionality about things - it flows from the Father

We match our spirit with His Spirit, and not each others' spirits

Christ - the God Man

Glen's doing a great series on creation and new creation here:

Here's a practical application for this kind of theology:

How do you do ministry ?

1. You become exactly like them in every way (except sin)
2. You lose nothing of yourself
3. You make them become exactly like you were and now are in every way (by bearing their sin - which is the reason you'll suffer)
4. You live in one-ness with them for eternity - in the 'new' way (which is the same as the old way, but different) - the third way


Monday, 5 July 2010

Differential Perichoresis

When we get very 'Eastern' in our theology
we tend to have a lot of uses of 'perichoresis' and 'koinonia' and things like that

but a loss of hierachical structure

the Father is in the Son and the Son in the Father
but isn't this not differently so?

the Father is completely in the Son, that the Son becomes His image,
but the Father is not the Son's image

put it this way...
everything about the being of a tree is within the branch
but the branch is also within the tree, yet differently so

So the Spirit comes from the Father to the Son
from the Son to the church
yet He does not 'flow' back in the same manner,
it is quite different

The Word does not return to Him void...
i.e. The Spirit fills up the Word, and the Word returns with the ful-filled Spirit

it is a different dynamic
how does it work in reverse? i.e. what is the dynamic of the Spirit from the Son (or church) to the Father - don't know

all through the Spirit.. but differently

Jonathan Edwards in His Trinity essay basically explains that the ontology of the Son is begottenness, and of the Spirit is procession

the Son is only God because He is God from God
The Spirit is only God because He proceeds from God to the begotten God
Yet the Father is only Father because He begets and out of Him the Spirit proceeds

their ontology is Trinitarian.. there is no separate 'being' without each other

ok enough rambling.. i'm confusing myself

there is application to this..
how do we relate to each other, and to Jesus, and to the Father...
How do we find intimacy in Him and each other...
we need to understand what the Spirit is doing

Saturday, 3 July 2010

What is Truth (3) ?

Jesus says He is the True __________ (basically everything that has been made)

if truth = faithfulness = unchangingness

then He is the True Door/Vine/Food, etc...

because all the rest change...
He does not change and all those things are from Him and tell us about Him

but they change, because of sin
therefore He is the only True, only Yes, only Amen

all the rest are because of sin are not true... they change...