I don’t understand – say what?

I was reading a post over at Adrian Warnock, and he reposted this statement.  I am unclear as to what is being said.  Is a charge being made that Arminians deny that there is “none righteous no not one”?  Is good ole’ Dr. Packer saying that Arminians don’t beleive in total depravity?  Can someone help me  understand what charge is being made by this statement if any?

adrianwarnock.com: One Point Calvinism: “This is the one point of Calvinistic soteriology which the “five points” are concerned to establish and Arminianism in all its forms to deny: namely, that sinners do not save themselves in any sense at all,”  – J. I. Packer

That is not Classical Arminian teaching as I understand it.  It sounds more like the myth’s that are propagated by the uninformed.  It is sad to see a brillent mind like Packer not be able to properly understand what Jacob Ariminus wrote.

Theological Word of the Week

imago dei

Lat. “image of God”

The theological concept that man uniquely represents the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26-27). It is debated exactly what characteristics are unique to man. The options are many: personality, eternality, relationality, volitionality, rationality, spirituality, morality, dominionality. The best option seems to be that man possesses all these qualities to a greater degree than does the rest of creation. According to the Christian worldview, the imago dei was marred at the fall, but not destroyed. Therefore, all people still represent God’s image and have dignity as his image bearers (Gen. 9:6; Jam. 3:8-9).

“Tongues” or “Unknown languages” in 1 Cor 12-14?

I was pleased to read this post at the NLT blog.  I was pleased because of their consideration of how the Greek word glossa may be translated into English.  It appears that the NLT translators spent a great deal of time working on this.  I love reading the CSB translation, but being a Pentecostal I always felt that it was misleading, or trying to force a particular position in it’s translation.  I am not a Greek scholar by any means, but it is clear from the research that I have done that glossa can be translated as “Tongues” or “Unknown languages”.  In the CSB there are no footnotes to indicate this.

NLT has chosen to allow the context to dictate how it was translated.  I really appreciate what Mark Taylor said in regards to this:

So in the end we decided to use both terms. This allows the reader to get the sense that Paul might have been referring to either or both of these meanings. We were apprehensive about using the word “tongues,” because it is a technical term understood only by readers well versed in biblical teaching. On the other hand, it is the term used in Pentecostal churches to refer to the contemporary phenomenon of “speaking in tongues.” So we used both “tongues” and “unknown languages” in order to provide the broadest sense of the meaning of the passage. – Mark Taylor NLT Blog

Theological Word of the Week

Monarchianism

Greek mono “one” + arche “ruler”

Monarchianism represents a type of teaching in the early Church which sought to preserve the uniqueness of the rulership of God through the preservation of an extreme monotheism and the essential denial of a plurality within the Godhead (i.e. the Trinity). There were two main types of monarchianism: 1) The Adoptionists or Dynamic Monarchians believed that Christ was not truly God in essence, but became God sometime during his life or at the resurrection. 2) The Patripassionists or Modalistic Monarchians (modalists) believed that God was one who who revealed himself in different ways or modes. Sometimes he would be the Father, sometimes the Son, and sometimes the Holy Spirit. To the modalist, God is not three persons, but one person who wears three different masks. Both types of Monarchianism was condemned in the early church since it did not recognize the plurality within the Godhead and therefore denied the Trinity. Modern day modalists are represented by those of the Oneness traditions.

Theological Word of the Week

Textus Receptus

[teks’-tus ree-sep’-tus]

(Latin, “received text”)

The name given to the edition of the Greek New Testament first published by Erasmus in the early sixteenth-century. The Textus Receptus, at the time of Erasmus, represented a small collection of Byzantine texts and, despite its name, is considered by most scholars today, conservative and liberal, to be representative of an inferior Greek text. This is the text that the translators of the 1611 King James Bible used. Most modern translations use an eclectic text such as the UBS4 or NA27.

Understanding the humanity of Christ

This is one of those topics I had struggled with really comprehending for years. I blogged a bit about this before in a partial review of Gordon Fee’s book Pauline Christology. I just wanted to chat a bit more about this topic.

In Philippians 2:5-7

TNIV: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
HCSB: 6 who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. 7 Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form

Here is my summary of what I think these verses mean:

Jesus had existed in the form of God, and did not take advantage of his divinity to assist in his humanity.

This summary and the specific translations cited above helps me to relate to Christ’s humanity in way that I never really could.  I think that Jesus could have used his divinity to help him when he fasted and was tempted, but he did not.  He could have used his divinity to help him when he was suffering before and during his crucifixion but he did not.

This understanding allows me to better understand verses like Heb. 2:18 “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” TNIV I always struggled with this because elsewhere it says that God cannot be tempted James 1:13  I would wonder well how can Jesus really be tempted if he is God?  Well now this makes sense, at least it does to me.  Also it gives me some sort of renewed hope that I can or will someday be fully transformed.

What are your thoughts regarding this? I really would like to hear from some you on how you understand his humanity.

Theological Word of the Week

Trinity, the Doctrine of

Polemics

Gk. polemos “war”

Polemics is to engage in conversation, debate, or argumentation with a very aggressive approach. Sometimes this will involve an attack on (or refutation of) the opinions or principles of another. In the church, this often takes place when one argues for a particular theological position about which he or she is passionate. This is to be contrasted with the peaceful approach of “irenics.”

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I get these emailed to me on a daily basis and thought I would post one a week.  One that I found interesting or new to me.

Systematic Theology by Thomas Oden 3 Vol.

I just got my copy of:

Systematic Theology, 3 Volumes
By: Thomas C. Oden
Hendrickson Publishers / Hardcover

From Christianbook.com
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 1561
Vendor: Hendrickson Publishers
Dimensions: 9 X 6 (inches)
ISBN: 1598560360
ISBN-13: 9781598560367
Preferred Customer Price: $41.99

I have been waiting for these volumes for a few months now, and finally it was in stock and has shipped to my home.  Christianbook.com has these volumes priced much better than amazon.com  You can purchase each volume separately.

Product Description

Emphasizing the beliefs common to all branches of Christendom rather than the issues that divide, Thomas Oden brings the full weight of two millennia of discussion to bear on the ever-contemporary questions of Christian faith. His magisterial study not only treats the traditional elements of systematic theology, referencing hundreds of theologians—Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, charismatic—but also highlights the foundational exegetes of history. Broadly ecumenical in the truest sense of the word, and written from the perspective of a theological liberal-turned-evangelical, Oden’s direct, frank, and provocative approach articulates the concerns of a broad spectrum of Christians—pastors, teachers, seminarians, and thoughtful laity.

Though comprehensive in scope, the set is arranged in a Trinitarian fashion with each volume focusing on one person of the godhead. The first volume explores the Christian understanding of God, creation and providence. The second volume discusses Christ and the Incarnation. The third volume considers the presence of the Holy Spirit in history, and his power in the lives and communities of present day believers.

Tolerance – Respecting other faiths

Last week Nick had posted “Why I Respect Jehovah’s Witnesses” and one his readers just could not seem to understand why Nick would say this, and felt that there was some contradictions in what he is stating.  Last night I was reading “Love your God with all your mind” by J.P. Moreland and I came across this statement.  He is talking about being tolerant of other faiths.

I think those viewpoints are dead wrong and will argue against them fervently, nevertheless, I will defend your right to argue your own case.  Just as importantly, I will treat you with respect as an image bearer of God, even though your views are abhorrent to me.  Finally, while individual rights are important, they do not exhaust the moral life because virtue and duty are more central than rights to the moral life properly conceived.

I agree with what Nick said, and what JP has stated as well.  I think that we can and should be able to respect others, and defend their right to be able to present their case.

Nick and JP appear to be saying the same thing.  Should I stop reading JP, and just read Nick’s blog?  😉  Hey Nick you are in good company.

Wayne Grudem Systematic Theology

Well for those of you that like or enjoy Wayne Grudem‘s book on Systematic Theology, there is a massive series of MP3s by him as he works through his Systematic Theology.  I don’t agree with every position that he takes, however I have found great value in his book and even use it at our school.  I have never heard him speak so for all I know he may put you to sleep.  But hey they are free.

This by no means endorses the site as they are a strict Calvinist site, as you all know I am not 😉  I don’t have any personal gripes against them, well maybe except the hyper-ones, but I have many friends that take a moderate Calvinist position.  I am sure you will find value in most of the lectures.