Tag Archives | Hebrews

Did the Incarnation Improve God?

Earlier this week, the Gospel Coalition blog featured a post on the Incarnation and God’s immutability, which caught my attention. An individual asked,

How do we hold together the idea that God doesn’t change with what happened at the incarnation and resurrection—where Jesus was united to a human nature and took on an earthly body and ultimately a resurrection body? It’s hard to understand that God[’s] taking on a human nature and all that he experienced in the flesh is not [a] fundamental change for him.

James Anderson, Assistant Professor of Theology and Philosophy at RTS in Charlotte, blogger, and Van Tillian, responded with a several considerations that help to lessen, though not remove, the tension.

  1. “[T]he biblical statements about God[’s] not changing needn’t be taken in a way that rules out change in any sense.”
  2. One possibility is that, as William Lane Craig argues, “God is timeless apart from a creation but temporal with a creation.”
  3. “An alternative solution is to deny that God can experience intrinsic change while recognizing that God appears to change from the temporal standpoint of his creatures.”
  4. “[W]e can make a distinction between divine causes and divine effects. God’s actions take effect in time (and space) but God acts from timeless eternity.”
  5. “God the Son is timeless and unchangeable with respect to his divine nature but temporal and changeable with respect to his human nature.”
  6. “Perhaps the best solution here is to say that talk of ‘becoming’ human is really a loose way of speaking, one conditioned by our temporal perspective, and isn’t to be taken in the most literal sense.”
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Driscoll and Piper on Love and God’s Commands

I follow Mark Driscoll on Twitter and just watched a little 4:27 video that he tweeted about: “Song of Solomon Q&A 3.” I’ve embedded it below.

http://www.youtube.com/v/z8j9WrKBA7M

It contains some solid practical advice for troubled marriages. On the whole, it’s good stuff.

Two items caught my attention—particularly because of how they seem to be at odds with things John Piper teaches:

  1. “If [love is] commanded, that means it’s not a feeling.”
  2. “God couldn’t command you to do something that was impossible for you to do.”

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Book Deals at CBD

Matthew by Robert MounceCBD has some decent books on academic closeout right now. Here are a few examples:

All of the New International Biblical Commentaries are on sale for $7.99 $19.99 (hardbacks)—$5.99 if you buy 5 or more! The NT set (18 vols. covering the whole NT) includes volumes by some solid scholars:

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When Was Abraham Justified? | Part 1

AbrahamWhen was Abraham justified? This might seem like a rather elementary question with an obvious answer: Abraham was justified when he believed the Lord and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness, which is recorded in Genesis 15:6. Certainly Paul’s use of this text in defense of justification by faith apart from works in Romans 4 and Galatians 3 confirms that Genesis 15:6 was the precise point of Abraham’s justification, doesn’t it? This is probably what most people assume. This is what I thought—prior to giving it some careful consideration.

I’m now convinced that Abraham was already justified prior to the events recorded at the beginning of Genesis 15. In this post I’d like to give some arguments in favor of this position, and in the next post I will answer objections and respond to potential problems.

As I see it, the main issue hinges on one central point:

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Responding Rightly to Guilt

Something I was reading today triggered my memory of a sin from the past. Fresh feelings of guilt swept across me, even though it was something for which I asked the Lord’s forgiveness many years ago. Sadly, my default plan of attack for dealing with that unwarranted subjective guilt was to try to minimize my sin. “It wasn’t that big of a deal,” I found myself thinking. Other forms of rationalizing came to mind like, “I didn’t really fully understand at the time that it was sinful.” Then I noticed the feelings of guilt were starting to lessen. But by God’s grace I quickly caught myself: this was an utterly unbiblical way to handle my guilt because it amounted to a rejection of the sufficiency of the cross and a belittling of the the glory of God.

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