Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thankful for knowing the King (and, even more, that He knows me).

[I didn't get the chance to blog yesterday, but I didn't want to let the opportunity to express thankfulness completely pass me by.]

As my wife and I don't have TV for anything except movies (that is, we don't have cable and we keep our antenna unplugged most of the time), I find myself listening to a lot of broadcasts, podcasts, and webcasts over the Internet. One of my very favorite things to listen to is The Way of the Master Radio. Now, listening to a talk radio show like this on a consistent basis gives a person a certain sense that they know the host personally. And I know that this phenomenon can occur with other encounters through mass media as well. That is, sports fans who see their favorite player every day on ESPN can get to feel that they know him, or people who read US or People magazine can begin to talk as if they know some of the Hollywood stars that they see on TV. But it is sad to realize that knowledge of such personalities is merely an illusion. That is, I may feel that I know Todd Friel (the host of The Way of the Master Radio) I may even get the chance to briefly shake his hand or something at the Way of the Master Transformed conference I'm going to on December 2, but I don't really know him, and he certainly doesn't know me. In other words, the feeling of friendship sometimes given through mass media is nothing more than an illusion.

As I was thinking about this the other day, I was suddenly made aware of a great privilege we have as Christians. Every day Christians all over the world read their Bibles and (if we are reading with the right attitude) by this experience we come to feel as if we know God. But in this case, by faith, we know that this feeling is not an illusion, but a reality. And the more impressive reality is that as much as we feel we know God, He knows us infinitely better. Realization that God knows us completely should bring about a certain feeling of fear as we realize His holy hatred for sin and the fact that we so often go against His will for us, but when we come to know that Christ has paid for our sins through His death on the Cross and that He has risen from the dead to be our advocate before God, then God's loving knowledge of us becomes a great comfort.

So, in conclusion, I encourage anyone reading this to lay aside false feelings of knowing any celebrity or media personality and instead make sure that through faith in Christ You know the ultimate Personalty- the King of Kings- God Himself. Then, through knowing God, you may be truly thankful.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hebrews 1:5 as Fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant

Recently, the guys at Fide-O have posted a very helpful brief outline of the development of the Davidic Covenant throughout the Bible.

I would highly recommend that anyone reading this post who happened to read my recent thoughts concerning Hebrews 1:5a/Psalm 2:7 also study the Fide-O post linked above. As Scripture’s main purpose is soteriological- that is, through Scripture alone sinners have a right knowledge of God and our means of a right relationship with Him- and as God has established the covenants, which are all fulfilled in Christ, as the way for sinners to be restored to blessed fellowship with Him- it is absolutely crucial that verses such as Hebrews 1:5a/Psalm 2:7 be understood in their covenantal context. I would like to especially direct readers' attention to the place of Hebrews 1:5 in Fide-O's outline of the Davidic Covenant, which is under point 11, "The Davidic Covenant Fulfilled."

As an additional note: It has recently come to my attention that at least one blogger has grossly misunderstood my previously-posted thoughts concerning Hebrews 1:5a/Psalm 2:7. This may very well be due to a lack of clarity on my part, and if so I apologize. The blogger just mentioned wrote the following in response to my post:

[N]either the incarnation nor the resurrection constitutes the Sonship of Christ, but are simply manifestations of His Eternal Sonship.

A. H. Strong more appropriately expresses the essence of Psalms 2:7, which is the view most frequently found in orthodox theologians and commentators. Strong's work on systematic theology has an impressive presentation of the doctrine of the Trinity (Vol. I, part iv, chapter 2). On pages 340-343, he expounds the doctrine of the eternal Sonship of Christ. In this section, Strong says --

That the Sonship of Christ is eternal, is intimated in Psalm 2:7. "This day have I begotten thee" is most naturally interpreted as the declaration of an eternal fact in the divine nature. Neither the incarnation, the baptism, the transfiguration, nor the resurrection marks the beginning of Christ's Sonship, or constitutes him Son of God. These are but recognitions or manifestations of a pre-existing Sonship, inseparable from his Godhood.

Therefore, Psalms 2:7 can be said to be "related" to both the incarnation and the resurrection only in the sense of their being "declarations," "recognitions," or "manifestations" of the "pre-existing Sonship."

I would like to say that, on the whole, I agree with everything in the quote just given. It was never my intention to say that Lord became the Son of God with His resurrection or when He "sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high." My only point was to say that in its context the "manifestation" of Christ's "pre-existing Sonship" foretold in Psalm 2:7 and seen as fulfilled in Christ by passages such as Acts 13:33 and Hebrews 1:5 is, in these verses, specifically related to Christ's resurrection and enthronement at the right hand of God, rather than (again, within these specific contexts) His incarnation.

Just for the record, my views on the Trinity can be summarized by the following statement from Reformed Baptist apologist James White, author of The Forgotten Trinity, who once said, "Within the one being that is God, there exists eternally three co-equal and co-eternal Persons, namely, the Father the Son, and the Holy Spirit." A fuller statement of what I believe concerning the Trinity can be found in chapter 2 of the 1689 London Baptist Confession.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Reflections on Psalm 2 from the Clay-Pot blog

In my last post I mentioned I few reasons why I disagree with Pastor John MacArthur's understanding of Psalm 2:7, "I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.'" (NASB)

For a fuller treatment of how Psalm 2 should be understood, I would like to suggest anyone reading this check out the recent blogpost on this subject at Clay-Pot, the blog of Tim Brown, elder at Heritage Community Church in Gastonia, NC.