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Showing posts from January, 2014

There Are No Barnacles On God: The Incarnation, The Person of the Son, and Diagrams

There’s a well-known and widely read book of theology among us evangelicals that tries to present the Incarnation of Christ in the form of a diagram to help us understand. Yet, I’m rather uneasy with the diagram it presents. (Well, actually more than rather uneasy – but I’m British and that’s how we express these things.) It’s attempting to show that ‘Christ’s divine and human natures remain distinct and retain their own properties, yet they are eternally and inseparably united together in one person.’ (That’s from p.557 of the book in question, where the diagram can also be found – by the way, the same diagram lives on p.244 of the shorter version of the book.) That’s all very well, but the diagram actually does something else over and above that. It seems to create a new Person. Have a look at the diagram:

Do you see what I mean? In an attempt to highlight the hypostatic union of the human and divine natures in Christ, the diagram does the following:

Divine Nature (God the Son) + Hu…

Where's the Lamb? And where are we?

I've just read something quite remarkable in the Bible that I'd never noticed before. I'm reading Revelation and have just read chapter 5. And I was reading it in the ESV (which will be relevant later on). I love Revelation 4 and 5 with their description of the worship of heaven, and particularly chapter 5 where all the focus is on the Lamb who was slain and lives. But when the Lamb first appears on the scene here, where is He?
And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain (Revelation 5:6 ESV). Do you see where the Lamb is? Of course He's in the middle, but where in the middle? Among the elders. Among the people of God. With us.

Chapter 4 has just described this throne room. There is the Father seated on His throne (Rev. 4:2) with the Holy Spirit proceeding from Him (Rev. 4:5). And around the throne we're told about two things: the 24 elders clothed in white (righteousness) and crowned wi…

D.P. Williams on Salvation

Here's a wee extract from D.P. Williams (the first leader of the Apostolic Church) on soteriology: The work on behalf of the sinner was committed to the Son. But the work of salvation in the heart has been left to the Holy Spirit with His gracious influence to end [sic.] of the sinner’s justification. The operations of salvation through the Son are external on behalf of the sinner, but the operation of the work of the Spirit is internal. Divine righteousness was the object of the operations of the Son, but the mind and the heart of man was the operation of the Spirit. The work of the former has been successfully accomplished without the consent of Mankind. It was covenanted between the first Person and the second; a covenant made in eternity. But the Holy Spirit, on the ground of the shed blood has been sent forth to make the Eternal Covenant and the atonement of Calvary effectual upon the heart of the sinner, and primarily, by the instrumentality of the Holy Spirit to…

Review of Trinity After Pentecost (and some thoughts on Pentecostal theology)

William P. Atkinson, Trinity After Pentecost (Pickwick Publications: Eugene, Oregon, 2013)

Derek Tidball writes that this book ‘is further evidence, if proof was needed, that pentecostal theology has come of age.’ And that’s not just hype for the back of the book, for William Atkinson ventures boldly and confidently out of the safe waters of ‘Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies’ into the wider currents of systematic theology (and sails them with ease).

Until more recently most Pentecostal scholarship has been confined to the areas of New Testament studies (with a particular focus on Luke-Acts), historical studies of Pentecostalism and its precursors, or perhaps sociological studies, and together these tend to be subsumed under the wider classification of Pentecostal and Charismatic studies (which is odd, to say the least as there is no comparable discipline of Reformed Studies, Lutheran Studies or Anglican Studies!). That’s not to say that every Pentecostal scholar ends up in the worl…