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Showing posts from October, 2019

Trinitarian pastoral care

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This post from Grace Communion Seminary faculty member Ted Johnston explores the Trinitarian approach to pastoral care advocated by the Torrance brothers. All three view pastoral care as Spirit-led participation in Jesus' ongoing ministry to and through his Body, the church. This post is excerpted from one of Ted's lectures in his GCS Practice of Ministry course.


Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Andrew Root after him, emphasize that Jesus Christ, the ascended incarnate Son of God, through the Holy Spirit, ministers personally---sharing the place of every person. As pastoral ministers, we are called to be place-sharers with Jesus. We do so by helping people encounter Jesus Christ who is present already with them in healing ways. We offer this assistance by proclaiming to people the Word of God (the apostolic gospel)---a proclamation made in multiple ways, both verbal and non-verbal. We find helpful instruction about doing so in the writings of the three Torrance brothers. We begin with…

Trinitarian evangelism

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This post excerpts a lecture from Grace Communion Seminary faculty member Randy Bloom, given in his Church Planting and Development course. It addresses an approach to evangelism grounded in and shaped by incarnational Trinitarian theology. 

To evangelize is to proclaim the gospel In the New Testament, to evangelize (euaggeliz├│ in Greek) means to announce the gospel (euangelion in Greek). Evangelism is about proclaiming the good news that in and through Jesus Christ, the Father has reconciled all people to himself, thus including all people in his love and life. The gospel tells us that no one is predetermined to eternal alienation from God because Jesus, through his representative-substitutionary human life, has offered to the Father every perfect, obedient human response, thus restoring right relationship between God and all humanity. The message of the gospel then invites people to respond to this good news (Acts 2:38) with repentance (change of mind) and faith (trust in Jesus). The…

Does GCI teach universalism?

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Grace Communion International (GCI) teaches that God, in and through Jesus Christ, has reconciled all people to himself---forgiving them and including them in his love and life. Is this a doctrine of universalism? Dr. Gary Deddo, President of Grace Communion Seminary, answers below.

It's about a personal relationship! To understand how and why GCI's doctrine of salvation is not universalism, it's important to note that GCI views salvation as involving a personal relationship between two subjects--God and humans. Though both subjects must be accounted for, the primary one (and the source of the saving relationship) is the triune God who acts toward humans on the basis of grace. This understanding aligns with many passages of Scripture, including these: “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16, ESV); “In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself” (2 Cor. 5:19, ESV); "[Jesus Christ is] the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John…