Theological Thoughts

Glory

We have glory. We are image bearers, which means we share the glory of the Triune God. We are made partakers of the divine image. We are glory, and becoming glorified. Glory is given, not earned. Jesus takes this glory at Transfiguration revealing that he is the new Adam. The old Adam lost his glory and ours. Jesus is the glory of the Father, and so gives us this glory as his children.

Wilderness comes to Synagogue

The modern situation of the church can be summarized by the theme: “The Wilderness comes to the Synagogue.” This what we see in the inception of the kingdom ministry of Jesus (Mk.1). Jesus overcomes the devil in the desert. The desert is symbolic for its lifelessness, but now death comes into the holiness of the worship place, as Jesus battles the unclean spirit in the synagogue. Similarly, the disgrace of modern worship is the assumption that the arid and lifeless environment of the wilderness can be brought into the church without compromising the holiness of the church.

To Die

Our God is not a slave master seeking to work us to death, but rather to die in our working as we humble ourselves and learn to forsake our sins, and follow after Jesus.

Epiphany Re-Gathering

The Epiphany season is a babelic reversal. It does not contain the fullness of the Pentecost reversal, but it is the beginning of this undoing. Babel was meant to be a flood-proof structure and empire. Jesus opens the flood gates, so the Gentiles may enter in.

The Fullness of Advent

Advent means Christ dressed himself in human flesh and became man for us that we might become true humans for him. But Advent also entails a fuller picture. The Advent signifies past, present, and future comings. Christ came under the law, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin Mary, but He also promises to come triumphantly for us each Lord’s Day gathering, and to come again at the end of history. Advent needs to keep all these comings in mind.

The Christ and Adam Teams

Robert Letham writes that we are addressed not merely as “discrete individuals; instead, we are placed by God in solidaristic groups or teams.” Adam was our head and so plunged us into sin, death, and condemnation. What Christ did for us was also as captain and head of a team of which we are part. Our justification is grounded in our union with our captain.

Theology of Patience

I have argued before–as have others–that the Church needs to develop a theology of patience. After all, the Edenic sin of impatience– that of taking something without being prepared–has plunged us into innumerable other sins. We are a future-oriented people, which means we can afford to be patient.

Robert Jenson observes that Church must regard “waiting as the most creative of activities…theology is itself a form of the waiting we must practice (viii).” The Church needs to carefully work through a host of issues in this phase of history. Thus, an incremental approach may suit us at this stage. Not that we compromise on non-essentials, but that we take the Augustinian principle of theologizing first and foremost on creedal/essential matters. The lack of didactic creedal theology is the source of much division in this day. Trinitarian thinking has become a mere footnote in the minds of many when in reality it should shape our very being and life.

Patience is a theological dogma. May we learn it and practice it.

The Messianic Bible

In preparation for this Sunday’s sermon on Genesis 3 I am reading James Hamilton excellent and lengthy essay The Skull Crushing Seed of the Woman. In it he observes that a proper biblical hermeneutic would mean that” from start to finish the OT is a messianic document, written from a messianic perspective, to sustain a messianic hope.” Hamilton later observes that we need to do careful textual work before looking for Jesus under every rock. Fair enough. However, if Jesus is temple, sacrifice, priest, prophet, and king, what else is there in the Old Creation that is not messianic in nature? For the record, Jesus may not be under the rock, but he is the true Rock.

Baptism Random Notes

A theology of Bridal maturation would not dichotomize, but rather strengthen the spiritual and fleshly nature of the covenant under a new creation.

Also, covenant theology is also expansion theology. By making limitations to the New Creation one is decreasing the glory of the new. Hebrews makes the point that the New Creation is more glorious and greater than the Old Creation by making it more inclusive.

Basis of our Eschatological Certainty

The authority and power Jesus receives at the Right Hand of the Father is the certainty we have that all the nations of the earth will conquered by the power of the gospel; that our evangelism is not in vain. –Sermon Excerpt for Ascension