Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Theology Proper

William F. Buckley would rather be governed by the first 20 people of the phonebook rather than the faculty of Harvard

John Hick all roads lead to God

God is necessary / Not contingent

What God is Not: Moralistic Therapeutic Deism

Christian Smith in "Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers" (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005) defines it as

1. A God exists who created and orders the world and watches over human life on earth

2. God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.

3. The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.

4. God does not need to be particularly involved in one's life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.

5. Good people go to heaven when they die.

Barth's "wholly other" - 20th century struggle with transcendence and immanence

Ontological Argument

Modal argument and GCB argument

Cosmological argument

From contingent events to necessary existence of God

Basic Beliefs:

Agrippa's Trilemma

Foundationalism is justified by its proponents on the grounds that some set of epistemologically basic propositions must exist, or else the process of justification will always lead to  Agrippa's Trilemma, which ends in either an: 

1) infinite regress

2 )dogmatic stopping point

3) a circular argument

None of which are logically valid


Isaiah 59:2 on sin and separation
But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God,
And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.

From Logical Problem of Evil http://www.iep.utm.edu/evil-log/

"Some philosophers feel that Plantinga's apparent victory over the logical problem of evil was somehow too easy.  His solution to     the logical problem of evil leaves them feeling unsatisfied and suspicious that they have been taken in by some kind of sleight of     hand.  For example, J. L. Mackie one of the most prominent atheist philosophers of the mid-twentieth-century and a key exponent of     the logical problem of evil has this to say about Plantinga's Free Will Defense:

Since this defense is formally [that is, logically] possible, and its principle involves no real abandonment of our ordinary view of the     opposition between good and evil, we can concede that the problem of evil does not, after all, show that the central doctrines of     theism are logically inconsistent with one another.  But whether this offers a real solution of the problem is another question.      (Mackie 1982, [The Miracle of Theism.  Oxford: Oxford University Press] p. 154)"
Sin effects the east thorns and thistles of Genesis 3:18,  Leviticus's laws of purification, Isaiah 24:5, all leads to Romans and the earth groaning

Alvin Plantinga's "O Felix Culpa"
Numbers 5:29 marriage 


3 Types of Union (from Openness Unhindered - Butterfield): 

1) Immanent  –From God in eternity (Eph 1:4)

2) Transient – From Christ's death and resurrection (Rom 6:3-11)

3) Applicatory  – The Spirit's present  and ongoing application including indwelling (Eph. 2:5-7)

from Strimple (Christ our Savior / Doctrine of the Holy Spirit) this union has implications on our salvation. We are not just individually saved and glorified, but have a union into Christ that is a "guarantee"
Resurrection verses Jonah and Hosea 6:2
Bultmann/Ritzchel cross and is preached (i.e. not in history)
John Knox resurrected in the church not bodily
kenotic/kenosis  theory  Luther's version is that Christ gave up some attributes of divinity ; Kenotic/Kenosis of liberal 19th century theology is that Christ gave up deity
Communicatio idiomatum
Lutheran view - His body is ubiquitous
Reformed view - Anything that can be said of the 2 natures can be attributed to the person
Theologically, we may say that just as Jesus did not exercise his omnipotence except to further the kingdom (cf. his refusal to make stones into bread), so he did not exercise his omniscience except to further the kingdom. To have known and made known the exact time of his coming would have damaged the work of the kingdom by encouraging carelessness during the interim. What Jesus could have done because he was divine did not predetermine what he did do as also a man. The incarnation did not destroy divine potencies, but it did limit actualities (Robert Horton Gundry, Matthew: A Commentary on His Handbook for a Mixed Church Under Persecution, [Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1994], p. 492). http://www.reformedapologeticsministries.com/2013/11/christs-deity-in-light-of-not-knowing.html
See Stark's article
From Strimple quoting Murray - God's love is the source of the Atonement
The quest for the historical Jesus - Jesus that is "behind the Scripture" Van Harnack?
Barth's Christology ie that Christ is the ultimate revelation of God
Many liberals make much of the incarnation not as truth, but some kind of analogy of the divine and human in one. Hegel as the Geist coming into the world, also see Rahner in Strimple's chapter.  
In the resurrection, see Karl Rahner's view of resurrection in our faith in Him, not a bodily resurrection cf Strimple in Roman Catholicism today last page of that chapter. 

Lutherans believe you don't choose God, rather you must not resist His grace
Is it the nature of the atonement to actually purchase individuals or only to make possible the potential for salvation?
Common grace - reformed view is that the cross of Christ gives common grace. Covenant of grace "spills over." Is there common grace in hell because we have His image? (Something to ponder)

About the genuine free offer of the Gospel John Murray et al:
"Still further, it is necessary to point out that such "desire" on the part of God for the salvation of all must never be conceived of as desire to such an end apart from the means to that end. It is not desire of their salvation irrespective of repentance and faith. Such would be inconceivable. For it would mean, as Calvin says, "to renounce the difference between good and evil." If it is proper to say that God desires the salvation of the reprobate, then he desires such by their repentance. And so it amounts to the same thing to say "God desires their salvation" as to say "He desires their repentance." This is the same as saying that he desires them to comply with the indispensable conditions of salvation. It would be impossible to say the one without implying the other."  From the  Report of the Committee on the Free Offer of the Gospel Presented to the Fifteenth (1948) General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Arthur W. Kuschke, Jr.; John Murray; Ned B. Stonehouse.

Verse on the noetic effects of sin from Isaiah 44:18 They do not know, nor do they understand, for He has smeared over their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot comprehend.

Roman Catholic view of assurance of salvation - Only 2 people had assurance, namely, Paul and Mary and that was via special revelation. It is not even desired to know so that we do not live carnal lives. Even the pope doesn't know!

Lutheran and Arminian view of assurance of salvation - We can know now, but not be sure about our salvation in the future.
Sacrmental language used for sacraments i.e. Animal sacrifices did not atone and baptism didn't forgive sins it is the sign of what is it signifying 
The transfiguration was a preview of the (Millennial) Kingdom. It was the first time the Glorified Christ, immortal saints (Moses and Elijah), as well as mortal saints (Peter, John, and James) were together. This should blunt the criticism of mortals and immortals living together in the millennium. 
Motyer notes in his Isaiah commentary that the since Israel is a nation within a nation, the motif Isaiah uses is of Gentile nations incoming via national surrender. He says not to "confuse the motif with reality."

Eschatology precedes soteriology

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose... 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

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