Showing posts from April, 2008

A realized personal union with Christ

In his presentation at the 2008 WCG -USA Regional Conferences, Dan Rogers addresses an important question: How and when does one realize that he/she is united with Christ? This is a vital question related to a Christ-centered/ Trinitarian theology. Indeed, all humanity is united with ("in") Christ through his incarnation, life, death, resurrection and ascension. All people experience this union, but not all know of it. How and when do they come to know? And what difference does this knowledge make? Dan notes that the answer to this how and when question is this: They come to know by the Holy Spirit according to his sovereign working. Through faith, Jesus Christ (through the Holy Spirit), lays claim to our lives. The objective union which we have with Christ through the incarnational assumption of our humanity into himself is subjectively actualized (realized) in us through his indwelling Spirit. Indeed, the ministry of the Spirit in our world today is to work in human mi

The Victory Procession of the Ascension

Karl Barth writes concerning the Descent and Ascension of Jesus: The earth rejoices at the Son of God having descended from heaven, but heaven is glad no less at the Son of Man having ascended from the earth. "He sits," it says, "at the right hand of the Father." This was necessary, beloved, in order that the flesh of man, which, when sin was in authority, had been captivated for a long time, might receive the freedom of living there whither sin could not penetrate ( Church Dogmatics IV, ii, 143). Gerrit Dawson, continues in the stream of Barth's thought: As he [Jesus] ascends, creation is healed. The gulf between heaven and earth caused by human sin is bridged; the rift of our ancient wound is closed. The 'flesh of man' is able to go where it was always intended but had ever been prevented since the Fall - into the courts of heaven and the immediate presence of God. This is the foretaste of 'the glorious freedom of the children of God' in

Jesus: still fully human

C. S. Lewis wrote concerning the ascension of Jesus: We...tend to slur over the risen manhood of Jesus, to conceive Him, after death, simply returning into Deity, so that the Resurrection would be no more than the reversal or undoing of the Incarnation" ( Miracles , p. 151, quoted on p. 5 in Jesus Ascended by Gerrit Scott Dawson, T&T Clark, 2004). Following on Lewis' thought, Gerrit Scott Dawson warns of... ...enormous theological problems raised by disembodying Christ's ascension. For instance, if Jesus slipped out of his human body, who is sitting at God's right hand? Is it Jesus, whose voice the disciples heard, whose touch they felt...or is it the eternal Son of God, who once knew what it was like to be a man but is no longer bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh? If the latter, what effect would a bodiless Christ have on the future work affirmed in the [Nicene] Creed, his coming again and his judgement of the living and dead? To put it bluntly, i