“Human beings may know some things truly, if nothing exhaustively. They may approach greater and more accurate knowledge, even though they can never gain absolute knowledge (omniscience is not a communicable attribute of God!).” (D.A. Carson, “Systematic Theology and Biblical Theology,” in New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, 100).
From time to time I will be using my blog basically as a place to take note of helpful passages I come across in my reading. If you are anything like me, you probably have had the experience of reading something somewhere and then later wanting to find it again but totally forgetting where it was! I think that this passage is helpful because of Augustine’s insight into the nature of grace. the Pelagians in his day were claiming that God’s grace consisted in giving us commands and instructions so that we could then “be good people” (I am simplifying this a little bit). Augustine denied this, saying that rather, God’s grace consisted in His internal work by which he changes us from the inside: Continue reading
I have recently been reading Anthony C. Thiselton’s book Hermeneutics: An Introduction (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009). Chapter 14 discusses Feminist and Womanist Hermeneutics (pp. 279-305). This raised some questions for me that I had never thought through before, specifically regarding God and gender. It seems fairly obvious that the Bible refers to God in the masculine, but what does that mean? This is a difficult topic, especially in light of our cultural climate in which the concepts of gender and sexuality are controversial. After a little reflection and reading, I have come up with the following “pegs” from which to hang a discussion of God and gender from a biblical perspective: Continue reading
This past Saturday, December 27th, 2014, my family and I were traveling to PA on VA I-85 northbound, and while we were stopped at Alberta Safety Rest Area North, I got my guitar out and played it for my children. During the chaos of trying to load everyone back up I accidentally left my guitar on a picnic table at the rest stop. We left around 11 AM. By the time we remembered it and returned for it (around 1PM), someone had taken it. If anyone has any information about its whereabouts, I would really appreciate any help I can get recovering it. Continue reading
I hope you are having a great Christmas season. It is such good news that God, who is holy and pure, sent His Son to earth to take on a human nature so that he could bring us back to God through His sacrificial death and His resurrection. Have you trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation? He has truly changed my life. Continue reading
There has been a passage from Bonhoeffer’s “Life Together” that I have been thinking about a lot lately:
…from the moment when a man meets another person he is looking for a strategic position he can assume and hold over against that person. There are strong persons and weak ones. If a man is not strong, he immediately claims the right of the weak as his own and uses it against the strong….It is the struggle of the natural man for self-justification. He finds it only in comparing himself with others, in condemning and judging others. Self-justification and judging go together, as justification by grace and serving go together. (90-91).
I was working on a paper this week on theological method, and one of the issue that came up was “critical realism.” Grant Osborne, in his book The Hermeneutical Spiral, says (on p. 310) that “the basic premise of this approach (which has been borrowed from a philosophy of science perspective) is that assertions, scientific or theological, are valid representations of ‘the way things are'” (thus, ‘realism’). He continues:
This approach is also ‘critical’ because it never assumes that theological constructions are exact descriptions of revealed truth (unlike ‘naive realism’). Instead, dogma is an analogical model that approximates or re-presents truth. Thus critical realists never assume that they have achieved the ‘final’ statement of theological truth; the process of validation and improvement never ceases, for there can be no facile assumption that they have ‘arrived,’ though of course one can verify that a particular statement is an accurate depiction of the biblical norm.