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Showing posts from August, 2016

Was Jesus' human nature like ours?

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[Revised 9/5/2016]
This post is the first in a series of five posts that look at what Thomas F. Torrance (TFT) has to say in The Christian Frame of Mind concerning the integration of science and theology in light of the Incarnation of the Word of God. For other posts in the series, click a number: 2345

In keeping with the biblical Nicene faith, TFT affirms that while remaining fully divine, the eternal Son of God, via the Incarnation, added our humanity to his divinity. But what sort of humanity? Drawing on Scripture as understood by the patristic fathers, TFT asserts that the Son of God assumed a "full and complete human mind"---the same one we have, which in The Trinitarian FaithTFT refers to as, "the defiled nature of man" (p. 153).

This truth is vital to understand, because it is in assuming our humanity in its corrupt state and then uniting it with his perfect and perfecting divinity, that the Son of God brings us the healing we so desperately need, bu…

The ministry of the reign of God

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This post concludes a series examining key points of Andrew Purves' book Reconstructing Pastoral Theology: A Christological Foundation. For the other posts in this series, click a number: 1, 2, 3, 4. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

We have looked at Andrew Purves' view of pastoral work as the ministry of the spoken Word of God, the heard Word of God, the grace of God, and the presence of God. Now we'll look at his understanding of pastoral work as the ministry of the reign of God, which is about helping people embrace the hope that is theirs in union with the Lord Jesus who reigns over all, both now and forever.

Rather than wishful thinking, this hope is grounded in the reality of the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, who, already, has included us in his life through his vicarious (representative-substitutionary) humanity. This hope gives Christians power for living in the present, despite their weakness and suffering. Purves shares three points concerning this hope: 1) the ground o…

The ministry of the presence of God

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This post continues a series that examines key points in Andrew Purves' book Reconstructing Pastoral Theology: A Christological Foundation. For other posts in the series, click a number: 1, 2, 3, 4. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11.

In earlier posts we looked at Andrew Purves' view of pastoral work as the ministry of the spoken Word of God, the heard Word of God, and the grace of God. In this post we'll see what he says about pastoral work as the ministry of the presence of God.

As Purves notes, "through union with Christ we are bearers of the presence of God" (p. 193,  italics added). This is so because Jesus, by the Spirit, continues to come to us as Emmanuel (God with us). The Holy Spirit, called the Paraclete (Advocate, Comforter), then gifts believers, as members of the body of Christ, to be present with Jesus as he ministers to suffering people.

Bringing comfort and strength  The ministry of God's presence, in Christ, by the Spirit, is fundamentally one of giving comf…

The ministry of the grace of God

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This post continues a series that examines key points in Andrew Purves' book Reconstructing Pastoral Theology: A Christological Foundation. For other posts in the series, click a number: 1, 2, 3, 4. 5, 6, 7, 81011.

So far we've explored Purves' view of pastoral work as ministry of the spoken Word of God and the heard Word of God. Now we'll see what he says about pastoral work (including the work of disciplemaking) being ministry of the grace of God.

It's all about grace As Purves emphasizes, through union with Christ, by the Spirit, we are both recipients and bearers of the grace of God. We bear God's grace through "a life of holiness lived graciously as Christian vocation." This vocation is the particular way we go about "sharing in [Christ's] ministry to the glory of God, for the sake of the world" (p. 176). It is vitally important to note that this ministry, which includes making disciples with Jesus, is all about grace.


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