Monday, 25 April 2011

Being vs Doing

There's always a problem between being and doing

we know ultimately we need to be both being and doing

yet how does one 'be'?

some have said - allow the doing to filter into becoming
here's Luther's response to that taken from here:

Now, our Scholastics and papists have taught an external piety; they would command the eyes not to see, and the ears not to hear, and would put piety into our hearts from the outside. Ah, how far this is from the truth! But it comes in this way: When the heart and conscience cling to the Word in faith, they overflow in works, so that when the heart is holy, all the members become holy, and good works follow naturally.

yet Luther was not opposed to doing either
and Glen too comments on the value of 'doing':

But there’s another danger.  We can react the other way and disdain anything ‘external’.  We say to the  world: “I reject ‘works’, I’m all about the inward life.”  And so we’re constantly taking our spiritual temperatures.  We neglect ritual (as though it always leads to ritualism).  And we start to think of faith as a thing – the one really meritorious work!

I think the primary difference is that the 'doing' that comes before being is that the 'doing' is 'done' by someone else - i.e. someone administers sacraments to us, or preaches a sermon to us - i am invited to join in someone else's doing that arises from his supposed being

so it is therefore the church (body of Christ) that does, and invites others to join them in doing, so that eventually others may be and therefore do for others

it is basically parenting.... =)

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Help needed on historical biblical interpretation

Ok what I really need now...

other than a new body..

is someone who can summarize for me all the different 'categories' of interpretation throughout the age?

e.g. Allegorical, Moral, Literal, etc..

and give short definitions, and perhaps an example from 1 passage in both NT and OT

any takers???

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Meeting Jesus in Leviticus

Here are the sermons on Leviticus that I preached on recently. Sorry I don't know know how to do a direct link thingy. Must say that there is nothing new under the sun here and that I have plagiarised heavily from other wiser folk, not least Paul Blackham, Mike Reeves, etc...

Building Blocks

Our Sufficient Sacrifice

Our Great High Priest

Our Man in Heaven

Easter in Advance

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Love before the dawn of time

How are we loved before we are created?

God foreknew person X would come to be and loved him?

or is a more appropriate answer is corporate and relational
i.e. God loves Christ
and loves anyone in Christ and through Christ
- which works for both those in the image of the image (humanity), and in the image (Christians)

why does my father love my son? because my son is his grandson
where does his love for his grandson lie before my son is born?
in me

this is true 'corporate' thinking.... and does not take anything away from persons

Saturday, 16 April 2011

End Game

Time for some major heresy by myself:

Some people put that atonement is the be-all and end-all of theology - i.e. penal substitution
therefore in the later reformed ideas - the debate is that if the eternal decree of God is to atone,
then surely we cannot have a limit to His decreed atonement - and instead we have a decreed limited atonement

The early church put 'deification' as the end point
the goal of everything - especially via the incarnation - is to become 'sons of God'
i think that's a bit better  - since it's more relational and familial rather than legal
yet - not everyone is 'deified' - so how does that fit with the eternal plan / will / decree of God?

What about this:
The end game - is Revelation
i.e. the display of God's glory
more specifically put - the Trinitarian display of God's glory

Therefore the eternal decree (which indeed is eternal)
js that God the Father will glorify (perfect) God the Son
And God the Son will reveal the perfect glory of His Father
and this is most primarily achieved through the cross (to agree with Luther's focus)
yet of course also achieved in every other work of Christ (from eternity, to pre-incarnate, incarnate, resurrected, eternity)

Therefore God achieves His end game - for at the end - everyone knows the Son - one way or another
and at the end, everyone sees the glory of God - one way or another

First Covenant

In the Westminster Confession there is reference to the covenant of works

I don't know if they meant it
but could we say that the Sinai covenant (i.e. the covenant NOT like the Abrahamic covenant)

is also a covenant of works - not so much to keep a moral law
but to bind 'god's people' into sin that they may see Christ and the true covenant

so then that covenant of works is the first covenant - cf Heb - and the old (meant to pass away) covenant

the always renewed covenant is then in Christ - is called the 2nd covenant
why? because He is the 2nd Adam - in which is covenant is based

the first covenant was only the 'scaffolding' to get us to the 2nd
the 2nd was eternal - based not so much on the works of the Son fulfilling a 'moral law'
but based on the Son Himself, who always is loved by the Father, and loves in return by laying down His life

Bobby puts it nicely here:

I think that the problem that the CoW introduces is one that finds its source in what it must presuppose about God, and his relation to nature by grace. The Covenant of Works presupposes that God is by nature (metaphysically, ontologically) a God who inter-relates amongst Himself through Law-keeping. I say this based upon an inference made by taking the imago Dei,and the imago Christi with upmost seriousness! If in fact man’s relation to God is based upon how the Son relates to the Father (and thus our union with Christ by the Spirit), based upon our creation and recreation in the imago Dei/Christi; then according to this premise, the way that the Son relates to the Father is not based on a mutual coinhering love amongst the God-head (Monarchia), but instead it would be based upon a Covenant of Works wherein the Son (as our vicarious mediator/Priest) only is able to find favor with the Father by His obedience to a morality that flows from the Father as thearche or ingenerate source of the “God-head.” In other words, if God is a God of “Law” prior to being shaped by “Love,” then there is introduced, necessarily, a subordinationist stream within the God-head that bases the identities of the persons within the God-head upon an impersonal Law-keeping and not of mutual love for the other that flows from the One Being of God that is consubtantial and coinhering by the inter-relations of the Three Persons. If this is the case, what this would explain, is how it is that the works of God (energies) are broken away from the being of God; so that how God works in creation can somehow be separated from who He is in His being as God. So that Jesus can be seen as the ‘instrument’ and ‘work’ of God in the incarnation who relates humanity to God by meeting the demands of the “Law.” In this scenario, Jesus becomes a non-necessary aspect of God’s One Being, and collapsed into the creation as the “Law-keeper” who meets the demands of a “Law-giving-demanding-god.”

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Who is responsible?

In the case of evil (i.e. some form of bad happening)

who is the ultimate responsible cause?

The reformers and puritans say it has to be God (as of course Augustine)

God is the first cause, yet not the author or the agent (second cause) of the evil

let's put this relationally:

Let's say my son loves to touch things he shouldn't
So first I tell him not to
Then after a while, I stop telling him, since I've told him 100x before
then I see him going to pull at a chair
I know completely what is going to happen
He will pull the chair, it will fall on him, he will get slightly hurt and cry

Now, who pulls the chair? - my son
who causes the evil - me of course - because in this scenario 'i am sovereign'

in legal cases - it's the one who is 'in-charge' of a situation
who is equally at fault if he knows what his subordinates have done, and has not stopped them
they are both tried and found guilty of the same crime

Yet of course in causing evil (which God admits several times),
His ultimate purpose is good - just like any parent
why must there be evil?
because we are naive children

what is the mystery of the entrance of evil into the world?
i like this one:

Wednesday, 13 April 2011


Vaughan Roberts just came to Singapore to do a small 2-day conference on preaching biblical theology..

i.e. the big picture

found out that many of the young pastors in Singapore now study in Moore College, Sydney, Australia

conversation with one of them after a talk:

me: "Oh you studied in London, me too, were you at All Souls"
guy: "Yes, at All Souls - then I went to study at Moore... learned from a guy called Goldsworthy"
guy: "Good thing I found out that Blackham guy was a bit dodgy in his OT stuff"
me: "...."

Glen - i consider this your country's fault!!

on a side note..
is it just me...
or is all this 'big picture' stuff more about 'God's plan' rather than the Person of Christ?
or am I just being pedantic?