Monday, December 27, 2010

Around the Web and Blogosphere (12/27/10)

A new blog that looks at the war between the states 150 years later: Civil War 150th Anniversary

Via Doug Philips Blog:

Into the Amazon: The Most Feared Beverage in the Amazon from Douglas Phillips on Vimeo.

From Theonomy Resources: The Codes of Moses and Hammurabi Compared (Free Download). There is also a good article entitled: Refuting anti-Theonomy Straw Men: Part 1: Separation of Church and State.

Tuesday Evening Family Discipleship in Sound Doctrine – Early Registration discount ends January 1st. “This webinar series, running from February 1st through March 22nd and October 4th through November 22nd, will cover every section of the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689”

Vision Forum Year-End Sale

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thoughts on the Love the Church Conference

Well it has been a week since the conference ended and we have been home for 3 days and I thought it was time to jot down some thoughts on the conference.

In many ways this has been a long two weeks since we drove 2400+ miles to the conference and the same distance home. Combined with the three days of the conference it has a been a very busy 2 weeks. It may be this busyness that has us all sick now. But it has in all been a good two weeks.

The conference started Thursday with a Leaders Luncheon in which many of the speakers shared a little and we also had time to fellowship with others we had not seen for some time. After last year this has a been a good way to start the conference and to get a feel for the direction that many of the speakers were thinking. The conference officially started with Scott Brown Speaking on Christ’s Love for the Church. He spoke of many of the ways Christ loves the church and that we are not to take the church lightly. Doug Philips then spoke on The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail. In this talk he went through history to show God’s preservation oh His church. He also listed what he termed “5 Hell Gate Battles”:

1) Battle for Fundamental Orthodoxy
2) Battle over Syncretism
3) Battle Over Lawful Jurisdictions
4) Battle for the Preservation of the Word
5) Battle for Who is the Lord of this World

The first night ended with a talk by Joel Beeke entitled Cherishing the Church. I had not heard Mr. Beeke speak before and he was very good. You could tell from his talk that he truly did cherish the church.

On Friday the day started with a talk by Andy Davis called The Church Described, Portrayed and Illustrated. He spoke of the many Metaphors of the church listed in scripture. From National Metaphors to Religious Metaphors and then Family Metaphors. He finished up in one of the breakout sessions by looking at four other metaphors: Biological, Architectural, Possession and finally Display Metaphors. The second speaker in the morning session was Paul Washer who spoke on the Nature of Conversion. He was as convicting as ever and it is always good to hear him speaks as he makes no assumptions about peoples spiritual state and thus makes sure that everyone hears the gospel.

After the morning session there were three breakout sessions times where one could chose a number of speakers and topics. I went and heard Dan Horn speak on The Lord’s Table for the first session. After lunch and during the second breakout seasons was when I gave my first talk at a conference and it was on Church Planting and its Purpose. This was to be the first part of a three part series that I did with two other men on Church Planting. For the last breakout session of the day I sat in on Jason Dohm speaking on Church Planting and its Practice as this was Part 2 of our series. I need to go back through the MP3s of the conference to listen to the other talks as it is the only way one can hear them all, and they are all worthy of listening to.

After dinner on Friday the evening began with a talk by Jeff Pollard on the Union with Christ.   Mr. Pollard spoke of how in the past this was a popular topic but was now spoken of far to little of late. His talk spoke of the Definition of Union W/Christ, the Nature of the Union W/Christ and lastly the Importance of Union W/ Christ. The next speaker was Scott Brown who spoke on Paganism in the Church. In this Mr. Brown dealt with pagan influences that have entered the church most often through, as Doug Phillips had spoken of, syncretism. He also mentioned that one of the protective principles we have to combat these pagan influences is the principle of “Sola Scriptura.” Within the talk were also given a number of historical and contemporary examples of pagan influences. The last speaker of the night was Paul Washer who spoke on The Tests of Conversion and was as good as ever. He did a great job of speaking on 1st John and how it is the content of ones life n looks at and not just some isolated instances. In this was the call to self examination that we all need to partake in. Thus ended a great day of teaching.

The last day of the conference, Saturday, began with a final set of breakout sessions. I sat in on Steve Breagy’s talk on the Pitfalls of Church Planting as part 3 of the Church Planting series. Once again I will have to listen to the other talks later. The breakout session was followed by Joel Beeke speaking on The Family at Church. Due to a long conversation after the breakout session I was not able to hear this talk but only heard the last few minutes but have been assured it was very good. The next talk was by Doug Phillips and it was concerning Answering Critics of the Family Integrated Movement. He dealt with many of the arguments that have come forth with regards to the FIC. In this he did agree that at times the arguments may have been valid and were taken note of. However, far too often the criticisms have been more hearsay and anecdotal. Thus Mr. Phillips offered a challenge for an academic and well researched and footnoted critique of the FIC.

The last session of the conference was a Question and Answer period and then Scott Brown closed with a talk: Love the Church. Mr. Brown of among other things that the Love of the Church is not simply a love for some nebulous thing but is love of something tangible. Also he spoke of be devoted to praying for the church practicing hospitality and applying what is taught. This was a good wrap up of al that had come before in the previous three days. Thus ended a great conference.

I highly recommend the audio recordings of this conference as they would be greatly beneficial to all. You can buy the audio here: Love the Church Audio.

Here are links to other reviews of the conference:


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Doctrine of the Trinity-Part 10

After looking at the following:

I) That there are 3 persons (Part 5 & 6)
II) They are all called God (Part 7 & 8)
III) There is One God (Part 9)

We now come to the Fourth proposition:

IV) They must all be God

The natural conclusion, regardless of its difficulty to understand/comprehend, is that the doctrine of the Trinity must be true. There are also verses when seen together that show the Trinity such as:

o Acts 3:26 & 1 Thes 1:9-10 - Father Raised the Son
o Jn 2:19-21 Jesus says He raised Himself
o Rom 8:11 - HS raised Jesus
o Acts 17:31 - God raised Christ

It is not the obviousness of the Trinity that sends people off in search of a different answer it is, in my opinion, our arrogance as finite beings in thinking we must all be able to comprehend all that God does and says. We must understand that God has communicated His attributes in a manner that can be clearly seen in scripture and as His people we need to recognize that and believe the word of God. Not because we have it all figured out but because it is just that, the word of God.

Of course for the unbelieving world who are blinded by sin and dead they will not see this but that is not an excuse for professing believers. The doctrine of the Trinity is a litmus test for fellowship between believers. Mind you I said between those that profess Christ, not to become a believer. As was stated early on the issue is with those that simply and forthrightly deny the doctrine of the Trinity. One who denies the Trinity is not a child of God since the “g”od they would claim to worship is not the same one true believers worship, as defined by His word. Again, I would differentiate between one who is struggling to learn and see the truth of the Trinity and one that denies it and especially one that teaches against it

The following is a chart that lists some of the verse already given and what they speak to:

Once we see that the Trinity is true we need to understand how it functions as this seems to be where we may claim the truth of the doctrine of the Trinity but then misrepresent it’s working.

There are distinctions between the three persons of the Trinity. There is an ordering of activities of the Trinity that is sometimes referred to as the “economy of the Trinity”. Whcih refers to the differing ways, or activities , of the three persons of the Trinity

Such as:
o It was God the Father who spoke the creative words to bring the universe into being

o It was God the Son who carried out the creative decrees (John 1:3)

“All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

o The Holy Spirit was active in a different way as He was seen as “hovering” or “moving” over the face of the waters in Gen 1:2

“The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”
It needs to be remembered that because the three persons have differing activities this does not take away from their equality. An issue mankind has a penchant for as we so often equate ones job or activity with worth or equality.

In the act of redemption there were differing acts as well:

o God the Father planned the redemption and sent the Son (John 3:16; Gal 4:4; Eph 1:9-10)

“"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” ~ John 3:16

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,” ~ Gal 4:4

“ making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” ~ Eph 1:9-10

o The Son obeyed and accomplished the redemption for us (John 6:38; Heb 10:5-7)

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.” ~ John 6:38

“Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, "Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, 'Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.'” ~ Heb 10:5-7
o The Holy Spirit was sent by the Father and the Son to guide and to bring about regeneration or new spiritual life (John 14:26; John 3:5-8)

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” ~ John 14:26

“Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." ~  Jn 3:5-8

These differing roles last for eternity (1 Cor 15:28) but the three are still coequal for eternity in being

“When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.”
Thus they are equal in being but subordinate in role. Again, existing in eternity past (Eph 1:3-4) as an example of the relationship between the Father and Son in the past.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love”

So why does this all matter

1) It affects or worship

Keep in mind that worship is not simply what we do one day a week but what we are to do with all our being, in all that we do (1 Cor 10:31)

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Also, we are called to worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24)

“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."”

To worship other than the true God is to worship a false God and thus not to truly worship at all. Thus, ones view of the Trinity will affect not only how we worship but who we worship and who we worship with. How we view God also affects our worship since it affects how we decide to interpret scripture, by our understanding/comprehension or by God’s revelation. When truth is lost so is true worship

2) It affects our understanding and proclamation of the Gospel

The Gospel is how God saves men through Christ unto Himself. Change your view of God and you do not have the same Gospel, you do not have the Gospel at all. You will not have a biblical Christ that can save. The God that provides a savior is the triune God of scripture. To define God any other way is to have no God.

3) It affects the rest of our doctrine

To deny the Trinity leads to denying other core beliefs because if one is willing to deny what is clearly taught because it does not make sense it will make it that much easier to change any other doctrine that seems difficult.

We need to be sure that we understand the importance of the Trinity, the cults do. That is why they see it as so important to combat it. Even to the point that the Mormons’ have co-opted the terms. You can speak to Mormon today and they will say they hold to the Trinity, at least those I have talked to have spoken this way. However words have meaning and theirs are unbiblical. One does not need to know how they define God as much as we need to know how we do so.

One proof that the Doctrine of the Trinity is taken lightly today is that people would even have a serious conversation as to whether the Mormon’s are our bother in Christ or not. If you were to ask most professing believers on the street they would not deny them being called Christians.  Thus showing not only their lack of understanding of Mormonism but also of the Trinity.

What we believe about God goes farther than Him being the ultimate being but goes into all that He has revealed through His word. To simply seek for unity around “Christ” without defining Christ is folly. Understanding/apprehending the Trinity from a biblical perspective is part of knowing God and thus Christ. One does not need to understand the Trinity to be redeemed but one that is redeemed will not deny the God that saves and thus will not deny the Trinity.

Let us worship God in all we do and that includes in our understanding of Him.

Doctrine of the Trinity Series:

Sermon Series on The Doctrine of the Trinity:  Part 1   and   Part 2

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9

(all verses used are from the ESV unless stated otherwise)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Vision Forum Sale - Buy 2 Get 1 Free

Until midnight on Saturday, November 27 (CST), mix and match any two items* at Vision Foum and receive a third item of your choice absolutely free!* Your free product can be any item* that is equal to, or less than, the lowest price of your two purchased products.

There is no limit to the number of free items you can receive during this mix-and-match sale — every third item is free!*

This offer is good only for orders placed online and cannot be applied retroactively to previous orders. Free items must be in-stock items. This special buying opportunity expires at midnight on November 27, 2010 (CST), is redeemable only online, and my not be applied to previous orders.

*“Buy 2, Get 1 Free” special offer does not apply to iPods or the 70-Volume Henty Library. The free product will be equal to, or less than, the lowest price of the two purchased products. If a customer qualifies for multiple free products because his order includes at least six items (i.e. “Buy 2, Get 1 Free” x 2), the shopping cart will be reorganized so that the items are listed from highest price to lowest price. Every third item in the shopping cart, from top to bottom, will be marked “free.” This offer will be applied to each increment of 3 products: 3, 6, 9, 12 products, etc. There is no limit!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Around the Web and Blogosphere (11/19/10)

Some links relating to a much maligned and very misunderstood topic: Theonomy.

"There is no alternative but that of theonomy and autonomy" – Dr. Van Til

The Great Theonomic Reformation from Theonomy Resources:

Article by Greg Bahnsen: What is "Theonomy"?
Jay Rogers article: What is Theonomy?

Good DVD that speaks on God’s Law:  God's law and Society

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Doctrine of the Trinity-Part 9

After seeing that there are three person spoken of in scripture that area all called God we now look at the core of a monotheistic belief, that there is only one God.

Even among most groups that deny the Trinity there is little disagreement that there is but only one God. The concept of Monotheism is what drives many who do not understand the Trinity to try and devise their own schemes to reconcile the concept of Monotheism by reasoning away the Trinitarian view of God. Often it is a basic misunderstanding of what the Trinity truly is that leads people to deny it and once it is denied they, due to human pride often, do not want to accept the truth.

The following are examples of verses that speak to the scriptures proclaiming there is only on God:

1) Probably the most used and relevant passage with regards to the concept of one God is the Hebrew Shema ~ Deut 6:4-5

“"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

2) Solomon in 1 Kings 8:60 reiterates the idea:

“that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.”

3) Isaiah speaks to this so that there is no confusion as to there being only one God in Is 45:5-6

"I am the Lord, and there is no other,
besides me there is no God;
I equip you, though you do not know me,
that people may know, from the rising of the sun
and from the west, that there is none besides me;
I am the Lord, and there is no other."

4) Paul speaking on Mars Hill in Acts 17:22-31 speaks to the statue of the unknown God as being the one and only true God. Not that the statue itself was God but that the unknown God, the God they admit they did not know. was the only true God. So Paul was making sure they understood that all they worshipped were indeed not god’s as there was only one God and it was the God they did not know.

5) Paul in 1 Cor 8:4-6 speaks to there only being one God even when all around them much is spoken of there being other gods.

“Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that "an idol has no real existence," and that "there is no God but one." For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"— yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.”

6) Other places in the NT that refer to there being only one God are: 1 Tim 2:5; Rom 3:30; James 2:19.

“ there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” ~ 1 Tim 2:5

“since God is one--who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.” ~ Rom 3:30

“You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe--and shudder!” ~ James 2:19

We should see that there should be little argument that scripture speaks to there being only one God which when seen with all we have already looked speaks loudly that all three persons: The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit must all be God.

We will look at this last part in the next installment.

Doctrine of the Trinity Series:

Sermon Series on The Doctrine of the Trinity:  Part 1   and   Part 2

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

(all verses used are from the ESV unless stated otherwise)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bill Einwechter’s Response to Andreas Kostenberger’s – Part 2

Here is part 2 of Bill Einwechter’s response to Andreas Kostenbereger: A Review of and a Response to Andreas Kostenberger’s Critique of the Family –Integrated Approach to Church Ministry: Part 2.  If you missed it here is Part 1.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Response to Andreas Kostenberger’s Critique of the FIC

For those that followed Justin Taylors blog and a post dealing with Andreas Kostenberger’s updated book God, Marriage and Family including his critique of the Family-Integrated Approach to Church Ministry Scott Brown has posted a response on the NCFIC blog: Blogger Responses to Dr. Andreas Kostenberger's Chapter on FIC.   Also, here is a link to another response to the critique done by Bill Einwechter:  A Review of and a Response to Andrea Kostenberger’s Critique of the Family -Integrated Approach to Church Ministry: Part 1

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Doctrine of the Trinity-Part 8

After looking at The Father as God and The Holy Spirit as God we now look at what may be the most controversial of the three and that is The Son, Jesus Christ, as God. As you will see the biblical evidence for the divinity of Christ is abundant.

There are a number of things to look at with regards to Christ’s divinity. We will see in the verses to follow Jesus as God both by His proclamation and that of others and we will see attributes that are God’s being attributed to Jesus

1) Jn 8:58-59 - The “I Am” verse from LXX of Exodus where Jesus uses a statement that refers to Himself as God did in Exodus 3:11-16. Can see the furor it caused in those that heard

Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am." So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

2) Jn10:30-33 - Shows people believed Jesus believed what he said

I and the Father are one." The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?" The Jews answered him, "It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God."

  -  Jesus was either: Hallucinating, was deceived, was deluded, was insane, or He was God

3) Matt 9:2-3 – Jesus forgives sins, of which only God can and in V3 the scribes claim he is blaspheming showing how they viewed His claim.

And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven." And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This man is blaspheming."

- Mark 2:5-7 is a parallel passage and in V7 we see the reference to God alone forgiving sin

“And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"”

4) Luke 7:48-49 - We see Jesus again forgiving sin and the response of the people.

“And he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, "Who is this, who even forgives sins?"

5) Matt 23:34 – Jesus refers to his sending of “prophets and wise men and scribes.” The sending of prophets is not an act of man but of God.

“Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,”

6) Mark 10:18 – Jesus in saying no one is good but God is not saying He is not good but is claiming to be God.

“And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”

7) Revelation 1:7-8 and 22:11-13 speak of one coming who is the first and last, Alpha and Omega.

“Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."” ~ Rev 1:7-8

“Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy." "Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."” ~ Rev 22:11-13

a. In V7 it speaks of one who was pierced, Jesus, and refers to Him as Lord God as well as being the First and Last.

b. In Rev 22:11-13 it speaks of coming quickly and being the first and last but if we look down to V20 we see the reference to this person being Jesus

“He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” ~ Rev 22:20

c. All of this needs to be seen in light of verses such as: Isaiah 44:6 which speak of God as “the first and last as well as in Isaiah 48:12

“Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: "I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.” ~ Is 44:6

“"Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel, whom I called! I am he; I am the first, and I am the last” ~ Is 48:12

d. If that is not enough, Jesus refers to Himself as the first and last in Rev 1:12-18

“Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”

8) Another section of scripture where Jesus is shown as God is in Heb 1:1-10 and the corresponding verses from Psalms 102:25 which show that the reference is to Jesus being God.
  - In Heb 1:6 it says that all angels are to worship Jesus

  - However in Luke 4:8 Jesus tells the devil that one is only to worship God

  - And in Heb 1:5-8 the Father calls the Son God

9) On Jesus’ appearance to Thomas in John 20:28 Thomas referred to Jesus as follows and was not rebuked by Jesus for it:

“Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"”

10) In Matt 21:14-16 the people speak of Christ as the “Son of David” and Jesus does not question it when asked about it by the Chief priests and scribes in V16

“And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" they were indignant, and they said to him, "Do you hear what these are saying?" And Jesus said to them, "Yes; have you never read, "'Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise'?"”

11) All of this does not even touch on the most obvious verses which are John 1:1-5

“ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

 - While Jehovah’s Witnesses will say the verse reads “a” God the correct translation is “G”od, with a capital “G”

 - The Jehovah Witness translation of the bible (New World translation) is a mistranslation and not consistent even with other translations of verses within its own bible that have the same grammatical configurations such as: Matt 5:9; John 1:6; John 1:18

 - The rule that allows for the “G” in God to be capital without the definite article being directly attached is called the “Colwell Rule.” This is a standard rule of translation that allows for translating a word as if the definite article was present as in John 1:1.

 - Thus there does not have to be a definite article to be able to use one, context and structure decide the translation.

12) We can also see from other passages Christ’s deity

- Paul in Titus 2:13 refers to Jesus as “our great God and Savior Jesus Christ”

“waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,”

- John uses an OT reference in Matt 3:3 referring to his preparing the way for Jesus but is quoting Is 40:3 which is referring to the Lord Yahweh

“For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.'"” ~ Matt 3:3

“A voice cries: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” ~ Is 40:3

- Jesus in Matt 22:44 speaks in a way about Psalms 110:1 that leads the Pharisees to understand Jesus claming to be the Lord God.

"'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet'?” ~ Matt 22:44

“A Psalm of David. The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool."” ~ Psalm 110:1

- Jesus’ claims to being the “son of man” as a reference to deity is seen as such by the council in Matt 26:64-66

“Jesus said to him, "You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven." Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your judgment?" They answered, "He deserves death."”

Other evidence that Jesus possessed attributes of Deity

Jesus showed His omnipotence in calming the seas in Matt 8:26-27
o As well as multiplying the loaves and fish in Matt 14:19
o Also in making water into wine in John 2:1-11

Jesus’ omniscience is shown in such passages as MK 2:8; Jn 1:48 & 6:64 & 16:30

“And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you question these things in your hearts?” ~ Mk 2:8

“Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."” ~ Jn 1:48

“But there are some of you who do not believe." (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)” ~ Jn 6:64

“Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God."” ~ Jn 16:30

Paul in Phil 2:9-11 speaks to the worship of Christ as only God deserves

"Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every toungue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

From all of the above we can see clearly from scripture that Jesus Christ is God.

In the next part of this study on the Trinity we will look a there being only one God.

Doctrine of the Trinity Series:

Sermon Series on The Doctrine of the Trinity:  Part 1   and   Part 2

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

(all verses used are from the ESV unless stated otherwise)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Soldiering Through History DVD Set

"In Soldiering Through History: World War II, Sgt. Sam and Cpl. Joe lead their squad of brothers on an action-packed mission to learn about what it was like to be an American soldier in World War II! The brothers take to the field again in Soldiering Through History: War Between the States to explore the experiences of confederate and federal soldiers in the central event of American history!"

You can order the set for $30 from Vision Forum

See Trailers Below:

War Between the States

World War II

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Vision Forum Clearance Sale - Thru Oct 13th

Vision Forum Clearance Sale - Thru Oct 13th.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Doctrine of the Trinity-Part 7

A further reminder of where we are going:
I) That there are 3 persons – Part5 and Part 6
II) They are all called God
III) There is One God (Monotheism)
IV) Thus they must all be God (Trinity)

So next we look at all the persons of the Trinity persons being called God. In this part of the series we will look at the Father and the Holy Spirit and in the next the Son, Jesus Christ.

First, The Father as God
The entire panoply of scripture speaks to the Father being God and this is not really disputed

1) Ps 89:26
“He shall cry to me, 'You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.'”

2) Is 64:8
“But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

3) Rom 15:5-6
“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”

4) 1 Cor 8:6
“yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.”

5) Gal 1:3-4
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,”

6) Eph 4:5-6
“one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

7) Phil 4:20
“To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

8) 2 Peter 1:17
“For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,"”

Since the use of Lord and God are used of the Father and there is little argument that the Father is God then there is not much to be done here. However we do need to ourselves realize there is a distinction between the Person of the Father and the Nature we refer to as God. This is why we refer to the Father as “Father God”. This is where often we as Trinitarians cause our own problems in that when speaking of the nature of God we refer to the person of the Father and thus confuse the issue. The Father is distinct from the Son and Spirit but all contain the essence of God

While normally I would provide the texts that deal with Jesus Christ as God next due the large number of verses dealing with the deity of Christ I will give them in their own post in Part 8.

Next is the Holy Spirit as God

1) Verses such as Matt 28:19 speaks of the Holy Spirit on the same terms as the Father and Son so that when we see that the Father and Son are God then that would imply the same for the Holy Spirit

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”

2) Remember that we are talking about equality of being which does not stop the three from having different roles and being subordinate to each other but only in responsibility not being. This is important as all too often people conflate equality & position which leads to error

3) Acts 5:3-4 equates the Holy Spirit to God

“But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."

4) In Psalms 139:7-8 the divine attribute of omnipresence is attributed to the Holy Spirit

“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!”

5) In 1 Cor 2:10-11 Paul attributes the characteristic of omniscience to the Holy Spirit

“these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”

6) Romans 15:19 speaks to the omnipotence (all powerfulness) of the Spirit

“by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God--so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ;”

7) Hebrews 9:14 speaks to the eternality of the Spirit

“ how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God”.

While there may be other passages that equally show the deity of the Father and the Holy Spirit these should suffice to make the point clear that the Father and the Sprit in scripture are God.

Next we will look at The Son Jesus Christ as God in Part 8.

Doctrine of the Trinity Series:

Sermon Series on The Doctrine of the Trinity:  Part 1   and   Part 2

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

(all verses used are from the ESV unless stated otherwise)

Friday, October 01, 2010

Gianna Jessen: Abortion Survivor

If you have not seen this video you should watch it. This video shows the testimony of a Christian women whose birth mother attempted a saline abortion that failed. This video was taken in Australia before members of Parliament the night before the debate over decriminalizing abortion in Victoria. Also make sure to listen for her great call to men to men at about 12:15 in the video.

Gianna Jessen, Abortion Survivor from ѓакон Тони on Vimeo.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Poll: From Where Should Laws be Derived?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Kit and Kaboodle CD Library Sale at Vision Forum

A great sale on the Kit and Kaboodle CD Library.
Covering topics such as :

• Marriage preparation
• Godly manhood and womanhood
• Biblical child-training
• Preventing bitterness
• Family discipleship
• Giving hope to your sons and daughters
• Successful homeschooling
• Fulfilling marriages
• Much, much more!

Sale ends Septemebr 25th 2010.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Doctrine of the Trinity-Part 6

When it comes to the Holy Spirit often one issue is in seeing the Holy Spirit as a person.   The issue I think is that our definition of “person” is such that to be a person one needs a corporeal body, a body that one can touch and feel.  However this is not necessarily true since it is certain aspects, or attributes, that make someone a person.  For example a corpse is a body that you could touch and feel, if you wanted to, but one does not usually see a corpse as a person.  

The primary attributes that make up a person are: mind, emotion and will.  With regards to emotions some hold that God is “impassible”, has no emotions.  Personally I find it hard to simply take the vast number of passages that speak of God and emotions and set them aside as anthropomorphisms.  I think the desire to call God “impassible” in part comes from seeing where our emotions come from and lead to as humans. Our emotions are driven by our nature but it is not pure so our emotions are an issue.  But, I find no issue in saying God has perfect emotions since His emotions are driven by His perfect nature. 

So what makes the Holy Spirit a person?

Again, the primary attributes that make up a person are: mind, emotion and will so we will look at some verses that speak to these in relation to the Holy Spirit along with others that show the personhood of the Spirit.

1)    1 Cor 2:10 shows intellect  (mind)

“these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.”

2)    Romans 8:27 speaks of the mind of the spirit

“And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

3)    Eph 4:30 speaks to the emotions of the Holy Spirit

 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

4)    1 Cor 12:11 speaks to the will of the Spirit

“All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

5)    As mentioned in the above the Holy Spirit has a relationship with others

6)    John 15:26 speaks to the Spirit bearing witness of Christ and the word used is also used to describe the disciples’ testifying about Christ in John 15:27

"But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.  And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.”

7)    This concept of bearing witness is also seen in Rom 8:16

“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,”

8)    In John 14:26; 15:26 (see above) & 16:13-14 the masculine pronoun He (ekeinos) is used as it would be for a person.  Usually in Greek the word spirit (pneuma) is neuter and not masculine.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you”  ~  John 14:26

“ When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.  He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”  ~  John 16:13-14

9)    In Acts 5 we have the story of Ananias and Sapphira that shows how they lied to the Holy Spirit and you usually do not lie to an impersonal force.

But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?” ~  Acts 5:3

“But Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out."” ~ Acts 5:9

10)    Rom 8:26 – Shows the Holy Spirit interceding on a personal basis

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”

11)   As already seen; personal activities and actions are attributed to the Holy Spirit as in 1 Cor 2:10-11; Acts 16:6-7; and even as speaking as in Acts 8:29; 13:1-2

“these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.  For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”  ~  1 Cor 2:10-11

And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.   And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.  ~  Acts 16:6-7

“And the Spirit said to Philip, "Go over and join this chariot." ~ Acts 8:29

 “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." “ ~ Acts 13:2

We can see in the verses above that not only is the Holy Spirit evident in scripture the Holy Spirit is also spoken of as a person.  Obviously a person that acts and is decidedly different than you or I but still possess the attributes of personhood.

In the next part we will look at whether scripture refers to all three persons as God.

Doctrine of the Trinity Series:

Sermon Series on The Doctrine of the Trinity:  Part 1   and   Part 2

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

(all verses used are from the ESV unless stated otherwise)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New Site

New VF Website ad

Around the Web and Blogosphere (9/15/10)

Gary Demar writes a good article on the economy at the American Vision site: How to Kill an Economy. In speaking to both government spending and individual spending he ends with this: “Resisting government spending is good and necessary. But more important is resisting our own temptation to spend uncontrollably. Only by effectively exercising self-control we will be able to resist Larry Summers, Obama, and the rest of the socialist crowd in high places.”

Devvy Kidd wrote an article posted at the American Covenanter entitled Beck: Restore America's Honor at the memorial of a white supremacist?. If you have been brought up on a constant dose of Abraham Lincoln as a saint, as I was, and as Glenn Beck puts forth be prepared to be shocked but the challenge is not to ignore what is put forth here but to investigate and seek the truth yourself.

The American View has some good comments by Pastor Joe Morecraft III: Godless Conservatism Has Failed; Time For Christians To Act Like Christians, Proclaim Christ’s Lordship Over Politics, Too:

“Godless, “conservative humanism” is “just as devastating to this country as liberal humanism.” He added that “the time is over” for this kind of secular conservatism saying: “It has stopped nothing!”

Emphasizing the importance of “Christianizing Christians,” he said Christians must start acting like Christians first. This, he said would anger liberals and conservatives.

Civil government is created by God. “Government’s power does not come from the people, he said. “It comes from God! And God is the source of political power, too!””

Check out the latest trailer for IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christian in America

Lastly, contemplate donating to the NCFIC as they work on an important documentary film called Segregation “investigating the problems with modern youth ministry and the solution of biblical youth ministry found in the Word of God.”

Sunday, September 12, 2010

And the Winner is………

The winner of the Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism DVD is….. Jenna Bramlett

Now for more good news. Since there were fewer than expected entries and I got these DVDs to giveaway, becasue I think it is that good, I have decided to give everyone that entered a DVD.  So you can contact me by clicking on the “Contact Me” button at the top of the page or (as the contact button has been a little finicky) by using this link, Contact Me , to leave me your address to send the DVD to.


Grace and Peace,

Tony Konvalin

Monday, September 06, 2010

Doctrine of the Trinity-Part 5

A reminder of where we are going:
I) That there are 3 persons
II) They are all called God
III) There is One God (Monotheism)
IV) Thus they must all be God (Trinity)

I) Proof of Three Persons Existing

The Father
The fact there is a person called the Father in scripture is little disputed. But never the less seeing that there is a person called the Father in scripture is important. Also I might add this is where we as believers often may create our own problems as we often conflate the person of The Father and The Godhead he is part of. By this I mean we often speak of the Father and God such as to in effect create 4 persons. This is why it is important to attempt to when speaking of the Person of the Father refer to Him as God the Father, Father or some such was so as to differentiate the person from the essence that all three persons are part of

Here are just a few versus to look at:

1) Matt 3:16-17 - The baptism of Jesus shows us the Father and even the Father-Son relationship
“And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."”

2) Matt 28:19-20 - Mentions all three but here we want to see the Father
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”

3) John 17:1-3 - Shows the distinctness of the Father and Son as well as the Father being referred to as God
“When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

4) In John 17:24 - Jesus speaks to the father thus showing the person of the Father and also the distinctness of the two
“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”

5) 2 Peter 1:17 - Shows a person called the Father and the Father as God
“For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,"”

6) 1 John 2:1 - Speaks of Christ being the advocate before the Father
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”

The Son (Jesus)
It is also little disputed that Jesus existed as most groups denying the Trinity will agree to this as they will agree to the Father existing. By the way there are still a few that will deny Christ existed. Many that deny Christ existence speak to his name not being in extra-biblical literature. First that is not true as in the writings of Josephus, Tacitus and Suetonius we see the existence of Jesus. Second this denial of Jesus being mentioned in historical writings shows that the person speaking does not view the bible as evidence, which it is.

Here are verses speaking of Christ:

1) Mat 1:1 - Speaks of His genealogy
“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

2) Luke 3:23 - Speaks of the beginning of His ministry
“Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,”

3) Acts 1:1 – Luke speaks of his first book (Luke) dealing with all Christ had done and taught
“In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach,”

4) Gal 3:1 – Paul speaks of the Galatians being eye witnesses to Christ
“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified”

5) Rev 22:20 – Speaks to Christ and His return
“He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”

6) A search of the Name Jesus in the NT in the ESV returns 927 verses

The Holy Spirit
When it comes to the Holy Spirit it is not whether all agree to His existence but more to the nature of the Holy Spirit. It is often hard to conceive of the Holy Spirit as a person thus, even unknowingly we often refer to the Holy Spirit as “It” rather than “He.” Most will agree that the Bible speaks of the existence of the Holy Spirit, again His nature is what is the sticking point for many.
We see the Holy Spirit in:

1) Psalm 51:11
“Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.”

2) Isa 63:10-11 – Speaks of grieving the Holy Spirit and relates it to God
“But they rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit; therefore he turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them. Then he remembered the days of old, of Moses and his people. Where is he who brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of his flock? Where is he who put in the midst of them his Holy Spirit,”

3) Matt 1:18-20 – Relates the Holy Spirit to the birth of Christ thus separating them as 2 distinct persons
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”

4) Matt 28:19 – As we saw before the HS is mentioned in the Great Commission
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”

5) John 14:26 - Speaks of the Holy Spirit in a relationship position
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

6) Romans 8:27 - the Holy Spirit is pictured praying for us
“And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

So we see the Holy Spirit does exist but again what is most often the issue is not the Holy Spirits existence but what is the nature of the Holy Spirit and we will look at this in Part 6

Doctrine of the Trinity Series:

Sermon Series on The Doctrine of the Trinity:  Part 1   and   Part 2

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

(all verses used are from the ESV unless stated otherwise)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

DVD Giveaway - Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism

To enter for a free copy of Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism just enter a comment below that you would like to be entered.  Entries will close on September 11th at 5PM (PST) and I will choose a winner by Monday September 13th and then arrange getting a mailing address.

This is a great DVD if you have not already seen it.  Even if you have a copy enter so you can give one away.

Here is a description of the DVD:

What is Calvinism? Does this teaching make man a robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism won't evangelism be stifled, perhaps extinguished? How can we balance God's sovereignty and man's responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edward's and a host of evangelists deny the Arminian definition of free will and label it heresy? Why did the Roman Catholic Church condemn the Reformed teaching of predestination and election and embrace free will theology? And why do so many Protestants, perhaps unwittingly, agree with Rome on this issue?

Amazing Grace: The History and Theology of Calvinism
is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg ( Hell's Bells 1 & 2; The Massacre of Innocence) this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten "Sunday-school-sized" sections so as to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.

Part One explores the history of the debate. It begins with the pivotal dispute between Augustine and Pelagius and continues through the semi-pelagian controversy; focusing particularly on the debate between Martin Luther and Desiderius Erasmus. Many viewers will be shocked to discover that free-will theology was NOT the doctrine of the Reformation but instead the teaching of an increasingly apostate Roman Catholic Church. The history section ends with a definitive historical explanation of the issues that arose during the Calvinist/Arminian controversy. By examining the five points of Arminianism and the Synod of Dort's response, the viewer will clearly see that the Protestant Church understood how the Gospel would be compromised if Arminianism prevailed.

Part Two opens the Word of God, our ultimate authority for life and faith. The five points of Arminianism are put on trial as what would later come to be known as the "five points of Calvinism" are clearly and forcefully presented.

Part Three asks and answers the provocative question: If Calvinism is true, if God is absolutely sovereign; then why should we evangelize? It also explores the vital issue of how to and to whom the gospel should be presented so as to be faithful to the great doctrines of God's sovereignty, man's depravity, and the miracle of amazing grace.

Rich in graphics, dramatic vignettes, and biblical analogies, Amazing Grace - The History and Theology of Calvinism also features many of the finest reformed thinkers and pastors of our time: Dr. R.C. Sproul, Dr. D. James Kennedy, Dr. George Grant, Dr. Stephen Mansfield, Dr. Thomas Ascol, Dr. Thomas Nettles, Dr. Roger Schultz, Pastor Walt Chantry, Dr. Joe Morecraft, Dr. Ken Talbot, Pastor Walter Bowie and Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr..

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Doctrine of the Trinity-Part 4

One of the issues raised as an objection to the Trinity is that the word Trinity does not exist in scripture. Well, neither do we find commonly agreed upon words such as: Divinity, Atheism, or even Rapture. Simply because a term is not found explicitly in scripture does not make the word or the concept it defines unbiblical.

Another common objection is that since God is a God of order (1 Cor 14:33) why would He devise something so confusing. Simply by asking if one thinks that we will necessarily understand all of God and how He works should answer this question (Isaiah 55:8-9; 1 Cor 13:12).

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” ~ Is 55:8-9

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” ~ 1 Cor 13:12

Still others will claim that “Jesus never said He was God” and while those exact words are not found we will see as we go through the scriptures that look at the Trinity that Jesus indeed did claim to be God. When we look at these verses in an upcoming part it will be clear that Christ claimed to be God and those hearing Him speak understood His claims as such.

What I find in most arguments I have heard is that they revolve around the issue of apprehension and comprehension. When the two are conflated, or made equal, then often people try and reformulate doctrines to match what they see as making sense and comprehensible to them. Simply because we do not “get” a doctrine does not make it unscriptural. Because I think that many issues revolve around misunderstanding the difference between apprehending a subject, or in this case doctrine, and comprehending it I would like to touch on the difference. To apprehend something is to see it as so. Thus it is about grasping and seeing the subject in the text. Apprehending a subject is to see that it is there, that it exists in the text. However to comprehend a subject is to understand how it is so, such as how it takes place. As it relates to the Trinity apprehending its truth is to see it is so in the text of scripture while comprehending it is to understand how it takes place. We can apprehend doctrine by carful study but we will not always be able to comprehend a doctrine as God’s ways are not ours (Is 55:8-9).

In this series we will look at the doctrine of the Trinity as it is seen in scripture. This study does not however explain the “How” and that is the issue with most that question the Trinity and or deny it. Again, as we look at the Trinity we are going to look at its existence in scripture and not the manner of God’s accomplishing what the doctrine of the Trinity states. By keeping the foundational pillars (3 divine persons, Equality, Monotheism) in mind and looking at the scriptures methodically we will be able to see, apprehend, the Trinity revealed in them. To do this we will look at 4 areas in the upcoming posts:

I) That there are 3 persons
II) They are all called God
III) There is One God (Monotheism)
IV) Thus they must all be God (Trinity)

Doctrine of the Trinity Series:

Sermon Series on The Doctrine of the Trinity:  Part 1   and   Part 2

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

(all verses used are from the ESV unless stated otherwise)