The Trinitarian Problem

One of the lesser known arguments for the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is that it is the solution to a theological problem found in the New Testament. The problem is there is one God yet Jesus and the Spirit, who are distinct from God and one another, are also considered to be divine. The most influential proponent of this argument is theologian Arthur Wainwright in his 1952 book The Trinity in the New Testament. In it he called it the “problem of the Trinity” which he argues was later clearly articulated and fully resolved as “the doctrine of the Trinity”, that is, in the formal creeds. As such it is a version of the developmental argument for the Trinity and the most popular version of it. The Trinitarian problem approach is the most popular argument for the Trinity among the theologically educated. Even though I think it is the best argument for the Trinity there is a serious problem with the Trinitarian problem thesis. Continue reading “The Trinitarian Problem”

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Covenant Making God

Covenant keeping God, there is no one like you.

The above line from Willie and Mike’s song Covenant Keeping God captures a profound revelation of who God is. It is hard to understate how important covenant is. However, he is not just a covenant keeping God, he is a covenant making God. On this the late renowned Hebrew Bible scholar Moshe Weinfeld writes: Continue reading “Covenant Making God”

Covenant Relationship

The Problem with a “Personal Relationship with God” Part III

A covenant is basically an ancient contract. It brought two parties into a formal relationship with one another. They were very common in the ancient Near East (ANE) so unsurprisingly there are many examples of covenants in the Bible as well. Most importantly, covenants defined the terms of the relationship between God and his people and how that relationship unfolded through the course of the biblical narrative. They are therefore sometimes described as the backbone of the Bible since the narrative framework of the Bible depends on them. So instead of talking about something as ambiguous as a “personal relationship with God” we should use the definite biblical language of covenant. Continue reading “Covenant Relationship”

Rethinking Torah with John Walton

A few months ago I posted about the wonderful work of Old Testament Professors John Walton and Joshua Berman on Torah. In the following interview for The Holy Post podcast Walton explains why Torah is not really law but is a different genre of ancient literature. Continue reading “Rethinking Torah with John Walton”

Is the Bible really a story?

Andrew Bunt over at Think Theology considers an interesting challenge made by Dr. Brent Strawn to the popular slogan that the Bible is a story. Continue reading “Is the Bible really a story?”

Biblical Covenants in the Ancient Near East

Covenants are considered to be the backbone of the Bible but what exactly are covenants? In the following papers Dr. René A. Lopez gives a detailed overview of what biblical covenants are within their original ancient Near Eastern context.

Israelite Covenants in the Light of Ancient Near Eastern Covenants Part I.

Israelite Covenants in the Light of Ancient Near Eastern Covenants Part II.

 

 

Raising Ascension Day

When it comes to the idea of a liturgical calendar I am not against it but I do have some reservations about it. However, if you are going to observe one in some form or another and one of those days is to commemorate the ascension, it is just remarkable how criminally underrated Ascension Day actually is. In the Pentecostal/Charismatic world to which I belong it is even worse. Even though it is one of the few liturgical days that is recognized on paper, in practice it is completely ignored. Even if you do not confess the creeds, Jesus’ ascension to heaven is clearly a fundamental belief that is either mentioned, implied or alluded to through out the New Testament. This is why it is so surprising Ascension Day is not as important as it should be. Continue reading “Raising Ascension Day”