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Showing posts from January, 2013

What about predestination?

Reproduced below (with slight modification) is a post appearing on the Questions: Epistles of Paul page of this blog. It was originally written by J. Michael Feazell. Refer to that and the other "questions" pages on this blog for answers to frequently asked biblical questions related to Trinitarian, incarnational theology.

In Romans 8:29, Paul writes this: "For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers."

What does Paul mean by predestined

First, remember Paul teaching that we are saved by grace, through Christ; a salvation that is received (experienced) by faith, which, itself, is God's gift of grace (a sharing in Christ's own faith, through the Spirit--see the KJV translation of Gal. 2:20).

Thus we understand that our salvation does not rest on what we, of ourselves, do. Rather, it rests on what Christ has done, and is doing, on our behalf.

Through the Incarnation …

A Trinitarian anthropology

Trinitarian, incarnational theology addresses both the nature of God (theology) and the nature of humanity created in the image of God (anthropology). In Karl Barth's Theology of Relations (Trinitarian, Christological and Human: Towards an Ethic of the Family)Gary Deddo explores a Trinitarian anthropology, showing that human being is "being-in-relationship" -- both with God and for God.

Humanity with God Our being is with God. We exist from God and do not exist without God, yet we are not to be confused with God. We are united with Jesus but not identical with him. We are differentiated from, yet in communion with God. Our participation, through the incarnation, in the trinitarian communion is the essence of human being, which is being-in-relationship.  This being-in-relationship is the ordered correspondence of humanity with God and so we are an image of and witness to God. Jesus corresponds in his being to God in that he is God’s presence and thus relationship with hu…

Evangelistic small groups

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Jim Valekis, lead pastor of the Grace Communion International (GCI) church in Tipp City, Ohio has written a thoroughly Trinitarian curriculum for use with seekers and new believers. It's titled The Hope of Jesus. To download a copy, click here.

This curriculum is ideal for what GCI refers to as FaithTalk groups. GCI resources these evangelistic small groups at FaithTalk equipper.

FaithTalk groups are safe places where people discuss their spiritual interest. Over time, the opportunity typically arises to share with group members the exceedingly good news that, in Jesus, all people are loved, forgiven and accepted by God. As interest is shown, group members are invited to personally receive this good news through repentance and faith, and to commit their lives to following Jesus.

I hope readers of The Surprising God will find these FaithTalk resources helpful in their ministries.

Click on the image below to watch a video in which Jim Valekis and his wife Becky discuss their use of…