Thursday, November 11, 2010

1st Halo-halo Huwebes

Karl Barth's Trinity: Suborthodox?
Have read about Karl Barth's replacement of the traditional formula "One God in three persons" with "one divine subject in three different modes of being". Bruce Demarest concludes that Barth's position is a form of "idealistic modalism". In one of the end notes, Demarest further labels Barth's understanding of the Trinity as "suborthodox" 
(chapter 7, Integrative Theology Vol.1-- co-authored with Gordon Lewis)

Salvation in Dim Light 
"We learn how little of God's truth may serve for conversion, if the hearer makes good use of it and it is savingly applied by the Spirit. The penitent on the cross was saved by means of mere fragments of truth, presented to him in the blasphemies of Christ's accusers and the inscription on His cross. This is a delightful thought when it is viewed in connection with the poor and ignorant, and others who live under a defective dispensation of truth. But it is unutterably solemn when viewed in connection with ourselves. How shall we escape if we die unconverted, after the light we have received and the many sermons we have heard?"
-James Buchanan 
The Dying Thief (2)
The Free Presbyterian Magazine, January 2009.
This is an edited version of what was originally published in "The Office and Work of the Holy Spirit" 

True Charity Says Hard Things
"They think it unkind to say anything that appears to condemn others. For my part I cannot understand such charity. It seems to me the kind of charity which would see a neighbor drinking slow poison but never interfere to stop him, or which would allow passengers to embark in a leaky vessel and not try to prevent them, or which would see a blind man walking near a precipice and think it wrong to cry out and tell him he was in danger" 
-J.C. Ryle
Knots Untied

Karl Barth Again
In Karl Barth's reading of Rom.5:18-19, the relation of Christ to men is as inclusive as Adam's relation to men. Followers of Barth to this day insist that "all men" are universally reconciled to God, yet they deny that they are universalists.

John Murray included an entire appendix in response to Barth in his Romans commentary. But for my ordinary brain, this is what I found to be most useful:

"unless exegesis of Paul is evacuated completely at the most vital point, this means that all men without exception must be ultimately  the beneficiaries of that grace which reigns through righteousness unto eternal life (5:21). Barth cannot hold to universalism at one point in the relationship to Christ without carrying out the implications for the ultimate salvation of all men. For if there is distributive universalism in the apodoses of verses 18 and 19, as Barth's interpretation demands, there must also be in the apodosis of verse 21, and the reign of grace through righteousness unto eternal life must embrace all men without exception. This is not Paul's teaching (cf. II Thess. 1:9; 2:10-14)..." 
-John Murray
The Epistle to the Romans

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