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Showing posts from May, 2012

Trinitarian life

As important as it is to understand trinitarian theology (orthodoxy), it is even more important to live the trinitarian life (orthopraxis).

Note the words of Catherine Mower LaCugna in God for Us: The Trinity and Christian Life:
The doctrine of the Trinity is orthodoxy, right perception of God, and it calls for orthopraxis, right response to the glory of God. Jesus Christ and the Spirit are the standard for both orthodoxy and orthopraxis. Jesus Christ’s life and death, words and deeds, knowledge and love of God are normative for Christians. The power of God’s Spirit to convert the hardened heart and make the blind see is essential both for right worship, right knowledge, and right love....  The doctrine [of the Trinity] succeeds when it illuminates God’s nearness to us in Christ and the Spirit. But it fails if the divine persons are imprisoned in an intradivine realm, or if the doctrine of the Trinity is relegated to a purely formal place in speculative theology. In the end God can o…

Did God forsake Jesus at the cross?

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This post continues the series exploring the book Forsaken (The Trinity and the Cross, and Why it Matters) by Tom McCall. For other posts in the series, click a number: 1345678.

Last time we saw how McCall shows that Jesus' cry of dereliction on the cross ("my God, my God, why have you forsaken me"), cannot be taken as indicating that the Father separated himself from his Son. McCall uses several arguments to debunk this wrong-headed (though popular) notion. In this post we'll look at two. First, McCall argues on the basis of God's own essential (and inseparable) triune nature. He quotes Bruce D. Marshall:
God the Son can be truly Fatherless only if God the Father has genuinely given up whatever is necessary for his paternal relationship with his Son... The person of the Father is inseparable from the act of generation by which he eternally brings forth the Son. Without this act of generation, there would be no person of the Father... Were God the Fath…

Understanding God in the Old Testament

This blog often receives questions about Old Testament (OT) passages that seem to portray God in a way quite different than he is portrayed in the New Testament. In exegeting such passages, it is important to remember that OT references to God are not the full revelation of his being. That revelation comes only in the person and work of Jesus Christ. However, God did reveal something of his essential nature to Israel - a revelation recorded in the OT. Notable is God's self-disclosure in Ex 34:1-35. Let's note some key points.

Having broken the stone tablets containing the Decalogue, Moses is directed by the LORD to make replacement tablets, so that God might restore his people to their covenant commitments, and thus to fellowship with him. Notice Ex 34:1-9:
1 The LORD said to Moses, "Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. 2 Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sin…