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Showing posts from July, 2012

Trinitarian ethics: How then shall we live?

Our exploration of Trinitarian theology brings us to the important subject of Trinitarian ethics, asking, How then shall we live? In answering, we begin not by asking What? or Why? or How? but Who? Specifically, Who is Jesus?

What does this question have to do with ethics? The answer is, everything!

Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, is true humanity - the person who, alone, fully and perfectly expresses what it means to be human. And thus we look to him for our identity and for the definitive word concerning how we are to live (our ethics). As we do, we don't ask merely, What would Jesus do? but, What is Jesus now doing? - recognizing that Jesus, who is still human (now glorified), is alive and ministering actively through the Holy Spirit in our world.

So what is Jesus now doing? The answer is this: He does what he is, namely love. This is not just any kind of love, but Love of the God-kind as it is being expressed through the glorified humanity of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spi…

We were made for communion with God

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This post concludes 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: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

McCall notes that God created humanity "to know and experience the holy love of the triune life" (p143). He emphasizes this vital truth by quoting C.S. Lewis who addresses this issue in a comment on the importance of the doctrine of the Trinity:
It matters more than anything else in the world. The whole dance, or drama, or three-Personal life is to be played out in each one of us: or (putting it the other way round) each one of us has got to enter that pattern, take his place in that dance. There is no other way to the happiness for which we were made.... If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them. They are not the sort of prizes which God could, if he chose, just hand out to anyone. They are a great fountain of energy and bea…

God is for us!

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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: 1234568.

In the last two posts we looked at divine impassibility and divine simplicity. This time we look at McCall's conclusions related to these attributes, noting views to be avoided and to be affirmed. The bottom line is this: God is for us! 


Views to be avoided McCall first cautions us not to downplay or deny the reality of God's wrath:
The temptation to downplay the wrath of God is understandable. The societal and cultural pressures to quietly ignore the biblical teaching are strong. The understanding that "God is love"--combined with the conviction that love and wrath are incompatible--is prevalent. But we should resist such temptations and avoid such conclusions. Too much is too clear from Scripture, and too much is at stake (pp86-87). McCall then cautions against either depersonal…

Does God have two minds toward us? (divine simplicity)

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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: 1234578.

Last time we looked at the doctrine of divine impassibility. This time we look at the doctrine of divine simplicity. Regarding this doctrine, McCall notes this:
While it is appropriate to refer to the various divine attributes, and while it is fine to predicate different perfections of God, the doctrine of divine simplicity reminds us that such talk should not mislead us into thinking that God is literally made up of or composed out of various attributes or divine parts.... God, as ultimate Spirit is not a compounded or composite being (p75). Why does this matter? For many reasons, but chiefly because this doctrine reassures us that God's being is never divided and thus his divine attributes are never in conflict one against another. These attributes are distinct, but not separable. And thus th…