Posts Tagged ‘ quotations ’

Christ’s Life of Faith

Mark Jones:

Jesus of Nazareth was no ordinary man. He was the God-man, without spot, stain, or wrinkle in his human nature. But he still had a human nature, and because the finite cannot comprehend the infinite (finitum non capax infiniti), there was room for real advancement in his human nature. He knew no sin in his own experience, and the unity of his person—he is one person with two distinct natures—meant that he was unable to sin. Nevertheless, while he lived on earth during his stare of humiliation, he lived by faith, not by sight. Because Christ is the holiest man ever to have lived, he is the greatest believer ever to have lived (Heb. 12:2). There has never been, nor will there ever be, a more perfect example of living by faith than Jesus. Reformed theologians have historically agreed—though, I fear, we have lost this precious truth today—that Christ had faith for justification (i.e., vindication, Isa. 50:8). Of course, unlike us, he did not need to go through a mediator to be justified by his Father, for he was not ungodly like us (cf. Rom. 4:5). But he still needed justification, which culminated at his resurrection (1 Tim. 3:16), because of his accursed death (Gal. 3:13). By faith, he believed the word and promises of God. Furthermore, Christ did not exercise faith merely for himself; he also exercised faith for all those for whom he died, so that they may receive from him that particular grace. For there is no grace we receive that was not first present in Christ himself, particularly the grace of faith. As Richard Sibbes notes, “We must know that all things are first in Christ, and then in us.”

Antinomianism: Reformed Theology’s Unwelcome Guest? (P&R, 2013), p. 22-23.

Certainly worth pondering.

The Dreadful New Testament

The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world? Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.

— Søren Kierkegaard [ ← Free e-book here!]

HT: Joe Carter

Grudem: Old Earth vs. Young Earth

I think this is a healthy approach to the issue of the age of the earth:

How old is the earth then? Where does this discussion leave us? [Davis] Young’s arguments for an old earth based on many kinds of scientific data from different disciplines seem (to the present writer at least) to be very strong.

Although our conclusions are tentative, at this point in our understanding, Scripture seems to be more easily understood to suggest (but not to require) a young earth view, while the observable facts of creation seem increasingly to favor an old earth view. Both views are possible, but neither one is certain.

Given this situation, it would seem best (1) to admit that God may not allow us to find a clear solution to this question before Christ returns, and (2) to encourage evangelical scientists and theologians who fall in both the young earth and old earth camps to begin to work together with much less arrogance, much more humility, and a much greater sense of cooperation in a common purpose.

Progress will certainly be made if old earth and young earth scientists who are Christians will be more willing to talk to each other without hostility, ad hominem attacks, or highly emotional accusations, on the one hand, and without a spirit of condescension or academic pride on the other, for these attitudes are not becoming to the body of Christ, nor are the characteristic of the way of wisdom, which is ‘first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity,’ and full of the recognition that ‘the harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace’ (James 3:17-18).

— Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 307-8.

(HT: Take Your Vitamin Z)