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Showing posts from October, 2007

Gospel invitation

As I travel the USA in service to WCG [now GCI] Next (through Generations Ministries and the CAD ministry development team), many express enthusiasm about the WCG's emerging Trinitarian theology. With these expressions often comes requests for a summary of this theology--a summary of the sort that could be used in a brief presentation to others--particularly to non-believers.

In GenMin, we're working on a 'tract' that can be given to interested people. The idea is to have an 'invitation' that briefly, but accurately and meaningfully summarizes the basics. Following is a brief sketch--in this I'm indebted to the writings of Baxter Kruger and other contemporary authors who are informed by Scripture and by the writings of early church theologians who wrestled with these issues and were major contributors to the church's early understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity, which is the very heart of this theology.

I encourage your feedback, additions, corr…

Kenosis

From Invitation to Theology by Michael Jinkins, page 132:

"In 2 Corinthians 8:9 we read 'For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.' This is the good news of kenosis."

Above, on the same page, Jinkins wrote this: "Paul says in quoting this hymn [Phil 2:5-11], what Calvin also says centuries later, that the whole life of Christ was a sort of perpetual cross, a perpetual suffering, a perpetual humiliation from beginning to end. Or to use the biblical phrase, 'heauton ekenosen,' (from which we get the theological term kenosis) that is, Christ 'emptied himself' (Phil 2:7). This teaching is at the heart of the entire New Testament witness to Jesus Christ."

And now, skipping down and up onto page 133: "It is not too much to say that the fullness of God consists in God's self-emptying, God's power to give up God's…

Reconciliation in Jesus, the vicarious human

A key concept in understanding our emerging Trinitarian theological vision is the vicarious (representative) role that Jesus fills in the reconciliation of God and humankind.

In The Mediation of Christ Tom Torrance writes of Jesus' incarnation as the means "in which God has drawn so near to man and drawn man so near to himself...that they are perfectly at one" (p. 29a). Jesus is "Emmanuel, 'God with Us"...the mediator between God and man...both God and man in one incarnate Person, in whom and through whom and in the form of whom divine reconciliation is finally accomplished" (p. 29b). In Jesus, who is fully God and fully human, we find "a bond of union and communion between man and God...which can never be undone" (p. 30b).

As vicarious (representative) human, Jesus stands in the place of all humanity. This is a key concept of which Torrance writes: "The incarnation is to be understood as the coming of God to take upon himself our fallen n…

Salvation is by Grace Alone, Through Faith Alone in Christ Alone

Most false doctrines are based on one verse or passage of scripture. The foundational scripture of the Adoption Theology is Ac. 17:28. Jesus, as well as the Father and Holy Spirit, are omnipresent and are therefore in all of the creation, yet separate from the creation also. This would be Pantheism if God were in his creation and not separate from it. Christ can be said to be in mankind in the same way God is omnipresent in his creation, but he is not indwelling or abiding in all mankind. He does not have a personal, ongoing relationship with all mankind like he has with Christian believers (Eph. 2:19-22). Jesus is said to fill everything in every way (Eph. 1:23), but he is not resident in everything, including mankind. God the Father indwells Christians (Jn. 14:23); the Son indwells Christians (Jn. 14:20); and the Holy Spirit indwells Christians (Ro. 8:9).

Ac. 17:24-27 says that every nation of mankind was made from one man so that man would seek God and perhaps reach out for hi…

Faith

WHY ARE SOME ADVOCATING NOT TO USE "FAITH" AND "BELIEVE" IN PRESENTING THE GOSPEL?

In some of the comments that have been offered, “believing” is said to be a work that one does to save himself. Believing in Christ and his accomplished work of salvation is not described as a work on our part in the scriptures.

I believe that Christ lived, died, rose, and ascended for the salvation of all humanity and has become the savior of the world in doing so (1 Tim. 2:6; 4:10; 1 Jn 2:2)and all of this was by grace. The scriptures say that we have access by faith into the grace in which we now stand (Ro. 5:2). It is provided freely by God’s grace and is received or becomes effective through the medium of faith (Eph. 2:8-9). We are not saved because of or on account of our faith. Faith is a gift to us (Ro. 12:3) and the object of our faith is Christ.

Faith is the medium through which we receive salvation and all of its detailed elements including adoption. The Greek word “dia…