Doctrine and Doxology

A good reminder from Carl Trueman (emphasis mine):

[pk_box width=”600″]As Paul reflects in 1 Tim. 1 upon how God has dealt with him, his language becomes exuberant and he speaks of God’s grace ‘overflowing’ towards him.  Then, able to contain himself no more, he bursts into a doxology.  This is hardly surprising.  The description of God’s actions should naturally call forth worship; and here Paul offers a paradigm of a worshipful response in which he ascribes to God glory and honour, i.e., that to which God’s person and actions entitle him.  Paul’s praise is doctrinal in origin and doctrinal in content.  To state what should be obvious, praise and worship that is neither is simply not praise and worship as the Bible would understand it.

Yet there is surely more here: the relationship between doctrine and worship in the structure of Paul’s letters allows us to infer that doctrine which does not lead to praise is not really true in the richest sense of the word. Teaching of doctrine and appropriate response to the same are inextricably tied together such that the former should really terminate in the latter.

… The other aspect of this doctrine-worship connection is that, if doctrine which does not culminate in praise is not true doctrine, then praise which is not a response to true doctrine is not true praise.   Praise and worship – the ascription to God of the honour and glory which is his – is a response to knowing who he is and what he has done. It is provoked and shaped by the description of God which the teacher gives. Anything else which calls itself worship, whether traditional or contemporary, whether exhilarating or soothing, is not worship.  It is merely an aesthetic experience which helps to achieve a certain psychological or emotional state.[/pk_box]

Read the whole post here.

Can the Bible Be Completely Inspired by God and Yet Still Contain Errors?

G. K. Beale has an interesting article in the latest edition of The Westminster Theological Journal on the truthfulness of Scripture. Examining the book of Revelation, he argues that inerrancy is not just a deduction from the doctrine of inspiration, but a doctrine itself clearly taught in Scripture. In his introduction, Beale writes:

[pk_box]I will contend the following: (1) that John is more explicit about the doctrine of inerrancy than many think; (2) that John, in particular, explicitly refers to Christ’s character as “true” and then applies the attribute of “truth” from Christ’s character to the written word of Revelation as being “true.” Thus, I will argue that John repeatedly sees a clear connection between the flawlessness of Christ to that of Scripture in Revelation. In the conclusion, I will reflect on whether this is a unique feature of John’s Apocalypse and other apocalyptic books like Daniel and Ezekiel or whether there are some pointers in Revelation itself that apply John’s notion of the full truth of his book to that of other books of the OT. There will also be comment on the “word/concept” confusion concerning whether or not the actual word “inerrancy” has to be used in Scripture for the concept to be a biblical concept. I will argue that while the precise word “inerrancy” does not appear in Scripture, the concept explicitly does. This does not make the doctrine an implication unless one violates the “word/concept” distinction.[/pk_box]

You can freely download the full article here.

[HT: Joe Fleener]

Thinking Matters Youth

Thinking Matters Youth Logo

Thinking Matters Tauranga and Holy Trinity Tauranga have partnered together to produce a new fortnightly apologetics series for young people called “Thinking Matters in a Whatever World”. The series runs from August to December and is hosted at Holy Trinity, Cnr 3rd Ave and Cameron Rd, Tauranga (New Zealand).

For more info see here.

To be kept up to date with events, speakers and special announcements – like us on Facebook here:

Did God Change at the Incarnation?

James Anderson:

[pk_box width=”690″]
[pk_image image=”” title=”” w=”60″ image_style=”square” h=”0″ align=”left” icon=”” action=”” link=”” link_target=”_self” lightbox_gallery_id=””]The puzzle can be stated as follows:

  1. Classical theism holds that God does not change; indeed, God cannot change, because he transcends time altogether.
  2. Scripture likewise teaches that God does not change (Mal. 3:6; James 1:17).
  3. Scripture also teaches that God the Son “became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14); but becoming involves a change from one state (not being human) to another (being human).
  4. Scripture further teaches that God the Son died and rose again (Rom. 1:4); this also entails a change from one state (being dead) to another (being alive).
  5. So the doctrines of the Incarnation and the Resurrection seem to contradict the doctrines of divine immutability and timelessness. [/pk_box]

Read his answer here.

Tim McGrew on Undesigned Coincidences in the Gospels

The argument from undesigned concidences is a little known argument for the historicity of the New Testament. Once popular in the nineteenth century, the argument has more recently been brought to light by Professor Tim McGrew of Western Michigan University. Very simply, the argument shows how incidental details that are left out by one gospel writer are often filled in by another writer to answer questions raised by the first. This provides good evidence to conclude that at numerous points the authors of the gospels were accurately and independently reporting actual events rather than merely copying one another or engaging in creative myth-making.

Read more

The Gospel Paradox

[pk_box width=”690″]
[pk_image image=”” title=”” w=”60″ image_style=”square” h=”0″ align=”left” icon=”” action=”” link=”” link_target=”_self” lightbox_gallery_id=””]”We do not need to bear our guilt, nor do we even have to merit the merit of Christ. He does it all. So in one way it is the easiest religion in the world. But now we can turn that over because it is the hardest religion in the world for the same reason. The heart of the rebellion of Satan and man was the desire to be autonomous; and accepting the Christian faith robs us not of our existence, not of our worth (it give us our worth), but it robs us completely of being autonomous. We did not make ourselves, we are not a product of chance, we are none of these things; we stand there before a Creator plus nothing, we stand before the Savior plus nothing — it is a complete denial of being autonomous. Whether it is conscious or unconscious (and in them most brilliant people it is occasionally conscious), when they see the sufficiency of the answers on their own level, they suddenly are up against their innermost humanness — not humanness as they were created to be human but human in the bad sense since the Fall. That is the reason that people do not accept the sufficient answers and why they are counted by God as disobedient and guilty when they do not bow.”

Francis Schaeffer, The God Who Is There (InterVarsity Press, 1968).

Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind by Mark Noll

Few sentences have had as great an impact on evangelicalism in the late twentieth century than the opening of Mark Noll’s 1994 book, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. “The scandal of the evangelical mind,” he wrote, “is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.” For many, the book was a wake-up call to the anti-intellectualism of the church and the state of evangelical scholarship.

Seventeen years later, the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at Notre Dame returns to the topic in a new book released this month: Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind.

Read more

The History of Hell

The Christian History Institute, publisher of Christian History magazine, has produced a brief survey and resource guide on the history of Christian thought about hell. Given the current debate about hell, it is a helpful resource.

You can view or download the pdf here.