Saturday, September 8, 2007

What's New

Hey all,

Thank you faithful readers for continuing to check-in. I am sorry for not updating the blog for a while. Since classes have started, I have been very, very busy. Here's what's new. I am taking Hebrew; and not just any Hebrew class, the one with the most notoriously difficult professor. I chose this class (call me a sucker for punishment) because I was told, "If you want to get a good grade, take someone else. If you want to learn it, take him." So I 'm "learning" Hebrew! I wish I had a Hebrew font so I could give some examples.

I am also taking a Spiritual Disciplines class that has proved to be very inspiring. In that class, the professor has stressed that the reason that so many Christians struggle with their spirituality is because they are not disciplined and they read Scripture without really interacting with it. His solution is that we meditate on Scripture. What that means is that we carefully read Scripture and use different techniques to get the most out of it, and taking a portion of what we are reading (generally the main idea) and memorizing it. Then review it all day long. Next, what does that section of Scripture tell you to do? Does it ask you to change? This is not necessarily a direct request from the text, but an application of what you are reading.

I have been involved in a couple of interesting debates, as well. The first, a blog debate, is about the impeccability (sinlessness) of Christ, how that is reckoned, and what the implications are. I have not been able to respond back on that one recently, but plan to write in again. The second debate, at Sem, was with a fellow student over single vs. double predestination and infra- vs. supra-lapsarianism.

The first topic (single vs. double predestination) deals with whether God elected only the elect to salvation and passed over others, leading to their destruction, or he also elected the reprobate (the hell-bound) to their fate. He argued that Scripture only blatantly says that God elected some to righteousness (he is right). I said that the implications are that these others are going to be hell-bound and therefore it works out to election to reprobation. I would not advocate, however, that God elects to damnation in the same way he elects some to eternal life.

The second topic (infralapsarianism vs. supralapsarianism) has to do with at which point, logically not temporally, did God create, and plan the fall and the redemption. The fellow I debated took the infra view, that God viewed his creation as good and that he viewed the fall and redemption after (again logically, not temporally). I took a version of the supra view, that God viewed the fall and the redemption when he thought to create man. I argue this because man was created with a nature that could fall, and the second person of the trinity has always existed. Jesus was always the Son of God, even before he was incarnate. He always held that inherent role. What would be the point if men never fell? I suggest the fallenness of man was designed, and designed to finally reconcile all things to God through Christ's work.

Lastly, I am reminded that we also spoke of this reconciliation. He suggested that that reconciliation includes those in hell. He did not mean to say that those in hell would be saved from it (which is what I first thought he meant), but that these people would be brought into perfect submission to God and agreement with their fate. He used a judicial analogy to illustrate his point. If you cannot agree with a fellow person over some incident and the matter is brought to court, and if the judge rules against you and fines you for the amount owed, and you pay it, you are now in right standing with the court and your fellow person again. Likewise, if you are reprobate and willfully transgress against God, and you face hell, when you willingly pay for your transgressions, viewing God as God, you are reconciled to right standing with him, even though you have not received salvation. A scary but interesting thought.

These arguments can get to an almost absurd place, and we must be careful when we speak on things that are not detailed in Scripture. There is always the risk of not only offending many, but also being wrong. If we are wrong and we have made some sort of doctrine out of it, we could be endangering souls. That is the most scary thought of all. We who are in seminary should hold James 3:1 very close to our hearts at all times: "Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly."

If you have questions or comments on the debates I have had, please feel free to write in. My requests are only that you sign at least your first post and that you keep it clean and respectful. Thanks.

1 comment:

j-money said...

hey.... man. i didn't actually read your blog because i have to finish a paper tonight, but i just wanted to say hey.