Showing posts from June, 2009

Mourning the loss of Ray Anderson

We are saddened to learn that Professor Ray Anderson died on Father's Day (June 21). As a trinitarian-incarnational minister, theologian and professor, Anderson made many important contributions to our understanding of the life and love of our triune God into which we are adopted in Jesus. To read an obituary on the Faith and Theology blog, click here . To view a tribute video, click here . To listen to two "You're Included" interviews with Anderson click here for interview #1 and here for interview #2.

Can you be "included," in Christ, yet not "have the Spirit"?

In Rom. 8:9, Paul writes: "If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." How does this statement square with many biblical statements that testify to the present inclusion of ALL humanity in God's love and life through the representative - substitutionary (vicarious) humanity of Jesus? Also, what does Paul mean by "have" the Spirit? And, can a person be included in Jesus, yet not "have the Spirit"? The reality presented in Scripture (and I am indebted here to helpful comments from Dr. Joseph Tkach and Dr. Gary Deddo), is that the Spirit is always working with everyone (believers and non-believers alike). However, it is believers who are both aware of and receptive to the Spirit's work. While all people have been reconciled to the Father through Jesus' vicarious humanity, not all believe - and thus not all actively participate in God's new creation of humanity in Jesus. Thus there is a difference be

Irenaeus on the Trinity

In about A.D. 180, Irenaeus (pictured at right) wrote the statement below concerning the triune nature of God. Here we find the basic elements of the doctrine of the Trinity. Note, in particular, the distinct role of each member of the Godhead and its relationship to all of humanity. This is the rule of our faith, the foundation of the building, and what gives support to our behavior. God the Father uncreated, who is uncontained , invisible, one God, creator of the universe; this is the first article of our faith. And the second is: The Word of God , the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, who appeared to the prophets according to their way of prophesying and according to the dispensation of the Father. Through h im all things were created. Furthermore, in the fullness of time, in order to gather all things to himself , he became a human being amongst human beings, capable of being seen and touched, to destroy death, bring life, and restore fellowship between God and hu

Are Jesus and his Father of one mind?

Sadly, some theologies present a Godhead that is divided in mind and heart. On the one hand, Jesus is presented as the "friend of sinners." But on the other, God the Father is presented as angry with sinners - so "holy" in fact, that he refuses to be in their presence. But trinitarian, Christ-centered theology declares the gospel to be the truly  good news that it is  for both believers and non-believers. This good news is  grounded in the truth that the Father, Son and Spirit are of one mind and heart in their unconditional love for all humanity.  I think it was TF Torrance who wrote, "There is no other God behind the back of Jesus."  The point is that there is not another God who is unlike Jesus. God the Father, just like Jesus, loves and embraces all humanity, having acted in love (in and through Jesus' incarnation, life, death, resurrection and ascension), to include us all in his life. Sadly, many people (non-Christians and Christia