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Showing posts from April, 2012

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

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This post begins a series exploring the book Forsaken (The Trinity and the Cross, and Why it Matters) by Thomas McCall. For other posts in the series, click a number: 2345678.

Several years ago, I took Dr. McCall's class on the doctrine of God at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. The primary focus was the doctrine of the Trinity, and a primary text wasThe Christian Doctrine of God (One Being, Three Persons)by Thomas F. Torrance. The class included thought-provoking discussions concerning various (and sometimes competing) theological perspectives on the Trinity. These discussions reinforced in my mind the importance of understanding the historic (Nicaean) roots of the Trinity doctrine - roots reflected in the aforementioned book and unpacked by Torrance in The Trinitarian Faith(for an article summarizing Torrance's view of the Creed, click here).

In Forsaken, Professor McCall brings these historic Trinitarian insights into his analysis of Jesus' famous (but of…

Why study theology?

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Some see theology as an unnecessary, "high brow" distraction. They ask, Why do I need to study theology?

The video embedded below (titled Theology Matters) offers a helpful answer (you can also view the video at http://youtu.be/A2DUKPUKgAI).

knowing Jesus, and knowing who we are

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son that the Son may glorify thee, since thou has given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all who thou has given him. And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus who thou has sent.” (John 17:1-3)
Glorified how? What came next was betrayal, arrest, suffering, crucifixion and death. There would be no resurrection, ascension or Pentecost without the cross. But we see in confidence that what Jesus began he completed, and He is the Author of our Salvation, and the Captain and Perfecter of faith.
Wise teachers remind us that Jesus is the reason humanity exists—not the other way around—and that we only find out who we ourselves are after first discovering who Jesus is, and how he glorified (and continues to glorify) the Father. His suffering and death is tied to ours, and his joy and new life becomes ours, as we too learn to glor…

The message of Holy Week: In Christ we are healed

Holy Week, which includes Good Friday and Easter Sunday, is a powerful reminder that our humanity is healed in the person of Christ who, through the Incarnation, is fully God and fully human. Note James B. (J.B.) Torrance's comment in Worship, Community and the Triune God of Grace: 
We are not just healed through Christ, because of the work of Christ, but in and through Christ. Person and work must not be separated. That is why [the church] Fathers did not hesitate to say, as Edward Irving, the Scottish theologian in the early nineteenth century and Karl Barth in our own times have said, that Christ assumed "fallen humanity" (i.e., our humanity) that it might be turned back to God, in him by his sinless life in the Spirit, and through him in us (p53). What is at work in all of Jesus' life (including his death and resurrection) is a two-fold movement (relationship): God-humanword and human-Godword, which constitutes the atonement (the "at-one-ment"), or rec…