Showing posts from June, 2013

Colyer on Torrance: the error of dualism

Elmer Colyer In How to Read T.F. Torrance, Elmer Colyer addresses what theologian Tom Torrance says about two forms of dualism that, unfortunately, shape the theology of many Christians: Torrance believes that the church has had to struggle repeatedly with the problem of dualism.... Dualism connotes the division of reality into two incompatible or independent domains. Torrance's repudiation of cosmological and epistemological dualism is decisive for grasping his understanding of the mediation of Christ...(pp57-8). Cosmological dualism This form of dualism asserts a disconnection between God and the world (cosmos) - an idea that arose in the early church out of Greco-Roman philosophy. It then emerged in the middle ages based on a Newtonian cosmology, yielding a deistic view of God. Sadly, this dualism remains common in our time (think of Bette Midler singing about the God who is "watching us from a distance"). Those holding this viewpoint tend to dismiss as merely

On journey with Jesus

Jesus' disciplemaking pathway [Updated on 1/20/2018] When viewed through the lens of an incarnational Trinitarian theology, Scripture shows us that, by God's grace, all humanity is  on  journey with Jesus . Those who follow the Spirit as disciples of Jesus journey from non-believer, to believer, to worker (and some to leader) who actively participate with Jesus in what he is doing to fulfill the Father's mission to the world. This journey with Jesus, which originated in the Father's heart before creation, was acted out in Israel's experience under the Old Covenant. It then came to fullness under the New Covenant in the union  forged between God and humanity through Jesus' life, death, resurrection and ascension, and the sending of the Holy Spirit. As a result of who Jesus is (the union of God and humanity), and what he accomplished as our representative, all humanity has been included in God's love and life---God, in Christ, has reconciled himsel

The need for spiritual discernment

A core conviction of our Trinitarian, incarnational faith is that the Father, through his Son, by the power of the Spirit is present and at work in our world. This work is God's mission, which embraces and includes all people everywhere. Scripture then tells us that the Spirit forms, gifts and sends the church to participate with Jesus in God's mission to the world and refers to this participation as "ministry" (meaning "service"). And as noted by Andrew Purves in  The Crucifixion of Ministry , we must put to death any wrong-headed ideas that this service is our own (as in "what we do for Christ"). The truth (which sets us free) is that it is Jesus' ministry--his service to the world, in the power of the Spirit. And how wonderful that the Holy Spirit calls and equips us to take part! Speaking of taking part, Dietrich Bonhoeffer often referred to the ministry of Jesus as "place sharing." He understood that Jesus, through th

C.S. Lewis on Theosis

The video below contains a fascinating 42-minute-long lecture from Myk Habets (pictured at right). Myk teaches in the Carey Graduate School at Carey Baptist College in New Zealand. His lecture is titled, "You Have Never Met a Mere Mortal (what evangelicals can learn from C.S. Lewis's vision of salvation)." Its focus is Lewis' emphasis, following Athanasius and other church fathers, on the sometimes misunderstood (and often overlooked) doctrine of  Theosis,  which views salvation as human participation in the divine life of the Trinity. Enjoy (and rejoice!).