Union with Christ, Christ’s vicarious humanity and the Holy Spirit's ministry

This post reproduces part 2 of  "Refining our Theological Vision," an essay by Dr. Gary Deddo published originally in "GCI Equipper." To read the full essay, click here.

 "Take My Hand" by Greg Olsen (used with permission)
In GCI, our understanding is that the New Testament uses union with Christ to refer exclusively to the relationship the Triune God has with believers. Wanting to stick with that biblical usage, it is our goal to avoid making statements that imply that union with Christ pertains to non-believers. At times, we made that mistake, referring, for example, to the journey from non-believer, to new believer, to mature believer as progressing from union to communion with God. We also mistakenly said that all are in union but not all are in communion. Both statements are problematic for several reasons:
The New Testament correlates union and communion so closely that they can be used interchangeably to refer to the same relationship. Although they c…

The ministry of the Spirit and the Christian Life

In recent months, GCI has been refining and thus clarifying its theological statements related to the post-ascension ministry of the Holy Spirit and what that means for the Christian life (including distinctions between believers and non-belivers). Below is part 3 of an essay by GCI author and editor Dr. Gary Deddo. It helpfully addresses these topics. To read the full essay, click here.

The Holy Spirit's ministry, the Christian Life, Believers & Non-believers By Dr. Gary Deddo

Throughout our journey of theological renewal GCI has, appropriately, emphasized the objective aspects of our Lord's Incarnation, vicarious humanity and ministry. Though always acknowledged, less emphasis has been placed on the subjective aspects of Christ's ministry and the related ministry of the Holy Spirit. As we've looked further at the relationship of our incarnational Trinitarian faith to the ministry of the church, we've seen the need for greater clarity and some adjustment concer…

Barth's Theology of Relations, part 5

This post continues looking at Gary Deddo's two-volume book, "Karl Barth's Theology of Relations (Trinitarian, Christological, and Human: Towards an Ethic of the Family)." For other posts in this series, click a number: 123, 4.

Last time we looked at key points in Barth's Christological anthropology, noting that the humanity of Jesus reveals the essence of what it means to be human as "beings-in-relationship." In this post we'll learn more about Barth's perspective on this essential truth and our response to it.

In the relationship between Jesus and God, his Father, we learn that to be truly and fully human means to be a being-in-relationship in three ways: from God, to God, and with GodThese three dynamic, active ways of being for God constitute the content of the relationship between Jesus and God, and thus the relationship between humanity (born again in Jesus) and God. As Gary notes, Barth teaches that "God is a relational being-in…