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.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The One Divine Will, Eternal Roles, and the Covenant of Redemption: Some Questions

To affirm dyotheletism regarding the Person of Christ [that is, the classic Christological view that Jesus, as the God-Man, had both a divine and human will] is to locate the will in "nature," not "person." This means that, though there are three co-eternal persons in the one being who is God, since He only has one undivided nature, He only has one will in His divine essence (though He added a human will through the incarnation). This observation leads to a serious questioning of the idea that ‘there are eternal roles of authority and submission within the Trinity’ [an idea currently popular in some evangelical circles]. If there is a single divine will, then what within the Son could eternally submit to the Father?

Does an understanding that the single divine will precludes ‘eternal roles of authority and submission’ also argue against the Reformed understanding of an eternal Covenant of Redemption? Does the revelation of the Son as “the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world” (Rev 13:8) indicate an eternal arrangement by which the Son submits to the Father?

A series of questions I’m struggling with, in hoping to grow in my understanding of our glorious God, involves whether–in affirming the single divine will (an affirmation that I believe is necessary in order to properly affirm that “YHWH is One,” Deut 6:4)–we might also need to somehow affirm (in order to make since of other biblical texts) that the single divine will is eternally expressed through the three subsistences [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit].

ALSO: does the current notion of ‘eternal roles of authority and submission’ dovetail with the Covenant of Redemption, or are these doctrines entirely distinct? Does an affirmation of the Covenant of Redemption undermine any proper basis for questioning the idea of ‘eternal roles of authority and submission’? If I believe that the Covenant of Redemption is a valid biblical category, am I–in fact–either affirming ‘eternal roles of authority and submission’ or at least admitting that there is nothing in principle barring such an arrangement?


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

God's Love and Impassibility

God is love. Since God is love, God can neither decrease nor increase in love. God’s love–as an
attribute of One who is eternal, who is ever active (always empowering, never empowered by His creatures; always providing, never passively receiving from His creatures), and who is pure being (never becoming)–is perfection rather than passion. This love is immutable, from within the Trinity, and had elect sinners especially in view from before the foundation of the world through the Covenant of Redemption. God’s love is presented as the basis for the incarnation: the means by which the second Person of the Trinity experiences suffering for the salvation of sinners. This passion is experienced according to His human nature, as it is impossible for the ever-blessed divine nature to suffer. The unchangeable love of God, expressed through the passion of the God-Man Jesus Christ, is the basis for our initial salvation and our perseverance in Him.

[My thinking on this matter has been tremendously helped by Samuel Renihan, in his teaching series,
his interview at Confessing Baptist, and the reader he produced: God Without Passions.]