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"All are included"---what it does and doesn't mean

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In the last few posts here on The Surprising God I've been publishing the various parts of an essay by Dr. Gary Deddo being published serially in GCI Equipper (to read the full essay, click here). The goal of Gary's essay (as its title, Clarifying Our Theological Vision, implies) is to clarify some of the key terms and phrases used by GCI in communicating the wonderful truths of the incarnational Trinitarian faith. One of those phrases is all are included---a phrase GCI has used for several years to speak of the glorious truth concerning the nature of humankind on this side of the Christ event (Jesus' incarnation, life, death, resurrection, ascension and sending of the Holy Spirit).

In saying that all are included, the word all refers to believers and non-believers, and the word included means being counted among those who God, in and through Jesus, has reconciled to himself. With that background in mind, I'll now share the text of Part 1 of Gary's essay.

The theo…

Addressing the Christian life

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Here is part 4 of "Clarifying Our Theological Vision," an essay by Dr. Gary Deddo being published serially in GCI Equipper. To read the full essay click here.
How does incarnational Trinitarian theology inform our understanding of the Christian life? In this part of the essay, we'll seek to answer that question in a biblically faithful way that aligns with and clarifies our incarnational Trinitarian vision. In doing so, we'll address a related question: Why do believers often struggle with temptation and sometimes fall into sin?It's about relationship and becoming We begin with the reminder that all humanity was created for a relationship of union and communion with God, through Christ, by the Spirit. Rather than fixed, determined beings, we humans are becoming beings, created to become primarily in and through relationship with the Triune God. We thus understand that the Christian life is a becoming life—becoming, in Christ and by the Spirit, who we truly are in …