Showing posts from November, 2017

We are free yet bound to God

Dr. John McKenna [Updated 7/8/2019] Dr. John McKenna (deceased), former Grace Communion International doctrinal advisor and Grace Communion Seminary faculty member had a keen interest in the meaning and nature of the freedom that is ours in Christ. Here is  an  excerpt from a book he was writing prior to his death: From time to time there has arisen in the course of human culture ways of thinking in which aspects of reality that are naturally integrated have been torn apart from each other, with damaging effect in different areas of knowledge. (T. F. Torrance, " The Mediation of Christ ," p. 1) We are free yet bound to God! The concept of freedom is both complex and simple. With our thought and experience in this world, it possesses a certain simplicity and complexity. We explore the full range of the complex of freedom’s simplicity and complexity aware, perhaps profoundly, of the great diversity in our considerations of this concept. Freedom may mean something d

What does the term "adoption" tell us about the gospel?

What is being conveyed in the New Testament concerning the gospel in its use of the term adoption? This post will look at the biblical and cultural evidence in seeking to answer that question. In the Old Testament In the Old Testament, we find only limited, and then only indirect, references to adoption. This is probably because in Israelite law, there was no provision for adoption per se. Orphans were provided for, not through adoption, but through levirate marriage. There are, however, a few references to adoption-like circumstances in the Old Testament. These tend to be in circumstances where slaves became heirs of the “adopting” owner. We also note in the Old Testament that God chose the nation of Israel to be his “son”--a concept taken up by Paul when he notes that “theirs [Israel’s] is the adoption as sons” (Rom. 9:4). God the Father  by Conegliano (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) In the New Testament Though the New Testament's use of the term  adoption  ( h

Relations between the Persons of the Trinity

Unfortunately, much teaching on the doctrine of the Trinity focuses on how the one is three and the three are one, with little attention given to the actual relations among the divine Persons. In his introduction to the book  Retrieving Eternal Generation , Trinitarian theologian Fred Sanders (co-editor of the book), notes that we must not lose sight of the important truth that.... ...the Son is eternally begotten (or generated) from the Father. It is not enough to say that the Son is God; we must see that he is God the Son, not just God-in-general. Sonship, or eternal generation, is what gives both form and content to the relation between the Father and the Son: the relation has the form of fromness, and the content of filiality. Whenever the nature of that relation is left unspecified, any articulation of Trinitarian theology becomes brittle and disconnected. Picture from the cover of "Retrieving Eternal Generation" Without eternal generation, the constellation o