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Showing posts from August, 2008

How does Trinitarian Theology speak about evil?

An objection sometimes lodged against the idea of the present inclusion of all humanity in Christ, has to do with the presence of evil in the world. This objection tends to run along one of two lines:

1. Because God will not coexist with evil, and because there are so many evil people in the world, it follows that God has NOT already adopted all humans.

2. If God has actually adopted all humans already, we should see in the world a corresponding and significant abating of evil since the time God when God first accomplished this adoption. But we don't see that this has happened - evil is still present with us.

First let me say that Trinitarian Theology does not bury its head in the sand concerning evil. One need only note the courageous response from Karl Barth to the evil of Hitler and the Nazis. It's clear that there remains in our world a great deal of evil. In fact, one might argue that the ravage of evil upon our world has increased since Jesus' Advent (an increase du…

A growing reformation?

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In a recent post on the Out of Ur blog (click here to read it in full) Scott McKnight makes the following interesting observation about Trinitarian Theology:
Recently I was asked where theology was headed. I assured my reader that I wasn’t “in the know” but that I would hazard a guess or two. First I thought we were likely to see a more robust Trinitarian theology, one deeply anchored in the great Cappadocian theologians like Gregory of Nyssa. But in some ways all the main lines of Trinitarian thought have already been sketched by great theologians like Karl Barth, James B. Torrance and others.He goes on to discuss the fine work of theologians Tom (N. T.) Wright and Chris Wright. But the point I want to make here - a point McKnight mentions only in passing - is that there appears to be an ongoing theological reformation occurring across the board in the Christian church. The emergence of a Trinitarian, Christ-centered theology within the WCG is, therefore, part of a much larger refor…

Christ-centered living

What is the place of personal repentance and obedience in a Trinitarian, Christ-centered Theology? If all are included already in God's love and life, why repent or behave?

In his epistles we see Paul address this through a very carefully crafted Christ-centered logic that has to do with our union with Jesus. His "Christ-o-logic" as it pertains to the individual, unfolds in three progressive steps: First Paul declares that in Jesus, we belong. This is the gospel declaration: we are included, through Jesus, in God’s love and life. God has done this for us (and, indeed for all humanity), quite apart from any work or merit of our own. It’s a gift of God’s grace.Second Paul invites us to believe. This is thegospel invitation to repentance and belief (trust). This too is God’s gifts to us.We believe in Jesus, because we belong to Jesus (and notice that belonging precedes belief).
Third Paul exhorts us to become. This is thegospel response of Christ-centered living—our now active…

The Theology of Karl Barth

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I just finished reading "Evangelical Theology, an Introduction" by Karl Barth (Eerdmans 1963, reprinted 1996).

Barth appropriately refers to his Trinitarian, Christ-centered Theology as "a theology of freedom" - for this theology speaks of the God of the Gospel - and this Gospel declares God's freedom to grant to us our true freedom in union with Jesus Christ.

This Gospel is the declaration of the history of God's deeds, in Christ, to secure our freedom. In this history, God makes himself known to us. We learn through the deeds of Jesus just who God truly is. There is no God who is not like Jesus Christ. Barth writes:
The God of the Gospel is no lonely God, self-sufficient and self-contained...He is [not] detached from everything that is not himself...he is not imprisoned by his own majesty...He is free..to be the God of man. He exists neither next to man nor merely above him, but rather with him, by him and, most important of all, for him. He is man'…