Form and Feeling

In arguments about worship, both sides often cast the issues in terms of “formal styles” vs. “emotional styles.” That has always seemed a false dichotomy. To me, our formal, liturgical Lutheran services are very emotionally moving. Besides, the opposite of “formal” is “informal,” and the opposite of “emotional” is “unemotional.” And “informal” worship styles happen to leave me cold; that is, it leaves me “unemotional.” I realize that other people react differently.

The point is, form and feeling can actually support each other. That is practically a literary principle. A sonnet is among the most emotional of poems, and yet its form is among the strictest. This is even evident in the Bible.
Justin Taylor pointed me to these observations about the Book of Lamentations from John Piper:

First, Lamentations is a deeply emotional book. Jeremiah writes about what means most to him, and he writes in agony. He feels all the upheaval of Jerusalem in ruins. There is weeping (1:2), desolation (1:4), mockery (1:7), groaning (1:8), hunger (1:11), grief (2:11), and the horrid loss of compassion as mothers boil their own children to eat them (2:20; 4:10). If there ever was intensity and fervor in the expression of passion from the heart, this is it.

The second observation, then, comes as a surprise: This seems to be the most formally crafted book in the Old Testament. Of the five chapters, chapters 1, 2, and 4 are each divided into twenty-two stanzas (the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet), and each stanza begins with a different letter of the alphabet. They are three acrostics.

Chapter 3 is even more tightly structured. Again there are twenty-two stanzas, but now each stanza has exactly three lines. The three lines in each stanza begin with the same letter, and each of the twenty-two stanzas begins with a different letter in alphabetical order.

This is the only chapter that is not an acrostic. But it still has twenty-two lines in conformity with the acrostic pattern of chapters 1-4. Now what do these two observations imply? First, they imply that genuine, heartfelt expression of our deepest emotions does not require spontaneity. Just think of all the mental work involved in finding all the right words to construct four alphabetical acrostics!

What constraint, what limitation, what submission to form! Yet what passion and power and heart! There is no necessary contradiction between form and fire.

via Let the River Run Deep, Desiring God by John Piper – Desiring God, John Piper.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Porcell

    Yes, feeling without form becomes gush. Conversely, form without feeling becomes empty. Religious feeling is particularly powerful and when not contained within good form can become destructive; witness the radical Muslims and some Christian cults.

    Interesting that Shakespeare, a man of profound feeling never stooped to sentimentality, as he was a master of the sonnet form and iambic pentameter in his plays.

    Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is a masterpiece of prose form containing profound feeling.

  • Porcell

    Yes, feeling without form becomes gush. Conversely, form without feeling becomes empty. Religious feeling is particularly powerful and when not contained within good form can become destructive; witness the radical Muslims and some Christian cults.

    Interesting that Shakespeare, a man of profound feeling never stooped to sentimentality, as he was a master of the sonnet form and iambic pentameter in his plays.

    Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is a masterpiece of prose form containing profound feeling.

  • SKPeterson

    I wonder if the move away from traditional, liturgical worship towards looser, informal worship reflects the weakening appreciation we moderns have for complex poetry and the emotions it expresses. As we fail to recognize the innate, designed poetic beauty of the liturgy it becomes “empty” formalism and trite ritual. Yet, the emotional hunger remains and it is sought in informal worship styles that provide an “empty” emotionalism at the expense of content and poetry.

  • SKPeterson

    I wonder if the move away from traditional, liturgical worship towards looser, informal worship reflects the weakening appreciation we moderns have for complex poetry and the emotions it expresses. As we fail to recognize the innate, designed poetic beauty of the liturgy it becomes “empty” formalism and trite ritual. Yet, the emotional hunger remains and it is sought in informal worship styles that provide an “empty” emotionalism at the expense of content and poetry.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Thanks for putting in words what I have long felt. It is the majesty of truth and beauty that moves me in more formal church worship settings. The gushing mediocrity of contemporary “emotional” worship services has always horrified me, and left me feeling a bit empty. I think there is also a connection here with how we view God. Frankly, I am a bit terrified to jump up and down while crooning “Jesus I am so in love with you.” I get this picture in my mind’s eye of Jesus in Revelation smacking me across the head.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Thanks for putting in words what I have long felt. It is the majesty of truth and beauty that moves me in more formal church worship settings. The gushing mediocrity of contemporary “emotional” worship services has always horrified me, and left me feeling a bit empty. I think there is also a connection here with how we view God. Frankly, I am a bit terrified to jump up and down while crooning “Jesus I am so in love with you.” I get this picture in my mind’s eye of Jesus in Revelation smacking me across the head.

  • Stephen

    What astonishes me most about those who advocate for looser forms of worship is that they do not seem to realize that the liturgy is straight our of scripture. I actually had a Baptist once exclaim to me that he just couldn’t “read” a prayer. That seem so inauthentic. (Not intending to pick on Baptists in particular, but I have a few in my family). In which case, the argument is that it must have an emotionally expressive content to be valid. But on the other hand, we Lutherans are so shy about this, and I think a lot of that is an ingrained culture that we have associated with right doctrine. It isn’t. Christ alone is right doctrine.

    We’ve recently begun worshipping in a new church that has a traditional early service and a “blended” one. In discussions with the pastor he sees the pendulum beginning to swing back to the older styles, especially among the young. But as an evangelism tool, contemporary music styles still seem to be a draw. And let’s not forget that it was our own Martin Luther who took drinking songs and turned them into hymns. So there’s something to be said for giving the people what they want. I can see it as a way to love the neighbor. The church is there to serve and call the lost. What we really want them to hear, after all, is the sermon, the scriptures, and the be brought into fellowship with others.

    At the risk of hijacking this post, a note on John Piper: He is a pastor of a mega church in Minneapolis for one thing, with huge video screens and the like, so I’m not sure he’s all for liturgical forms of worship anyway, and he’s certainly not an authority I look to at all. He’s a nut and a heretic for another thing who adheres to a form of subordinationist trinitarianism that is rampant in the conservative evangelical colleges through Systematic Theology text written by his buddy Grudem and that NO ONE except, ironically, feminists and egalitarians call him out on. No one listens to them, well, because they are feminists and egalitarians actaully speaking for orthodox trinitarianism. He and Grudem employ it to keep women in their place. Now there’s some insidious “formalism” used to great effect.

  • Stephen

    What astonishes me most about those who advocate for looser forms of worship is that they do not seem to realize that the liturgy is straight our of scripture. I actually had a Baptist once exclaim to me that he just couldn’t “read” a prayer. That seem so inauthentic. (Not intending to pick on Baptists in particular, but I have a few in my family). In which case, the argument is that it must have an emotionally expressive content to be valid. But on the other hand, we Lutherans are so shy about this, and I think a lot of that is an ingrained culture that we have associated with right doctrine. It isn’t. Christ alone is right doctrine.

    We’ve recently begun worshipping in a new church that has a traditional early service and a “blended” one. In discussions with the pastor he sees the pendulum beginning to swing back to the older styles, especially among the young. But as an evangelism tool, contemporary music styles still seem to be a draw. And let’s not forget that it was our own Martin Luther who took drinking songs and turned them into hymns. So there’s something to be said for giving the people what they want. I can see it as a way to love the neighbor. The church is there to serve and call the lost. What we really want them to hear, after all, is the sermon, the scriptures, and the be brought into fellowship with others.

    At the risk of hijacking this post, a note on John Piper: He is a pastor of a mega church in Minneapolis for one thing, with huge video screens and the like, so I’m not sure he’s all for liturgical forms of worship anyway, and he’s certainly not an authority I look to at all. He’s a nut and a heretic for another thing who adheres to a form of subordinationist trinitarianism that is rampant in the conservative evangelical colleges through Systematic Theology text written by his buddy Grudem and that NO ONE except, ironically, feminists and egalitarians call him out on. No one listens to them, well, because they are feminists and egalitarians actaully speaking for orthodox trinitarianism. He and Grudem employ it to keep women in their place. Now there’s some insidious “formalism” used to great effect.

  • Tom Hering

    “The jibe is heard, for example, that Luther used tavern songs and dance tunes for his hymns. His music, it is said, was heavily influenced by the secular entertainment of the time, and new-style worship is no worse. Did Luther borrow from the secular world around him? The charge is not true. Throughout church history great care has been taken with the use of music. Luther loved music and wanted the people to sing. He introduced congregational hymn singing in his day and he wanted hymns to have fine tunes. Before the Reformation, the Church of Rome had no congregational singing at all. The people just listened. They listened to such things as Gregorian chants, along with other items performed by monks and special choirs.”

    “Luther was a composer himself, and also an adapter of other works. We read in Robert Harrell’s work, Martin Luther: His Music, His Message, that Luther wrote thirty-seven chorales, fifteen of which he composed himself, and thirteen being derived from existing Catholic church music. Four were taken from German religious folk songs. Only one out of the thirty-seven came from a secular folk song. This hardly justifies the idea that Luther helped himself to secular sources. In the case of the one item drawn from a secular folk song, it is argued that the secular world had stolen that melody from the church, and Luther merely reclaimed it (having adapted and sanitised it).”

    “Promoters of new worship love to quote Luther as saying, ‘Why should the devil have all the good tunes?’ What they do not tell their hearers is that Luther was talking about Catholic church music, not tavern songs. He was not interested in stealing from the world around him. If, rarely, a secular melody was used, it was very greatly changed …” – Peter Masters, Metropolitan Tabernacle, London.

  • Tom Hering

    “The jibe is heard, for example, that Luther used tavern songs and dance tunes for his hymns. His music, it is said, was heavily influenced by the secular entertainment of the time, and new-style worship is no worse. Did Luther borrow from the secular world around him? The charge is not true. Throughout church history great care has been taken with the use of music. Luther loved music and wanted the people to sing. He introduced congregational hymn singing in his day and he wanted hymns to have fine tunes. Before the Reformation, the Church of Rome had no congregational singing at all. The people just listened. They listened to such things as Gregorian chants, along with other items performed by monks and special choirs.”

    “Luther was a composer himself, and also an adapter of other works. We read in Robert Harrell’s work, Martin Luther: His Music, His Message, that Luther wrote thirty-seven chorales, fifteen of which he composed himself, and thirteen being derived from existing Catholic church music. Four were taken from German religious folk songs. Only one out of the thirty-seven came from a secular folk song. This hardly justifies the idea that Luther helped himself to secular sources. In the case of the one item drawn from a secular folk song, it is argued that the secular world had stolen that melody from the church, and Luther merely reclaimed it (having adapted and sanitised it).”

    “Promoters of new worship love to quote Luther as saying, ‘Why should the devil have all the good tunes?’ What they do not tell their hearers is that Luther was talking about Catholic church music, not tavern songs. He was not interested in stealing from the world around him. If, rarely, a secular melody was used, it was very greatly changed …” – Peter Masters, Metropolitan Tabernacle, London.

  • David

    This reminds me of the analogy that if you pound on a hunk of metal, all you will get is a clank. However, if you shape the metal in the right way, suddenly you get the clear ring of a bell.

  • David

    This reminds me of the analogy that if you pound on a hunk of metal, all you will get is a clank. However, if you shape the metal in the right way, suddenly you get the clear ring of a bell.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Um, Steve, no; Piper is not a subordinationist, nor is he a typical megachurch pastor interested only in making his own church bigger. You really need to either prove it or apologize; reality is that Piper is one of the big guys bringing awareness of Jonathan Edwards and other Puritan divines back to the forefront.

    To the original point, I’m coming to this awareness as well, and I’d submit that the typical presentation of most hymns–three or four stanzas played loud and a little bit fast–probably does violence to the poem underlying. I realized recently, for example, that Issac Watts’ “When I survey the wondrous cross” could well be played in the style of a heavy metal ballad–with better presentation of what Watts is doing in the lyrics than is typical in most churches.

    I reckon that if you really took a look at hymn texts, you would come to similar conclusions.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Um, Steve, no; Piper is not a subordinationist, nor is he a typical megachurch pastor interested only in making his own church bigger. You really need to either prove it or apologize; reality is that Piper is one of the big guys bringing awareness of Jonathan Edwards and other Puritan divines back to the forefront.

    To the original point, I’m coming to this awareness as well, and I’d submit that the typical presentation of most hymns–three or four stanzas played loud and a little bit fast–probably does violence to the poem underlying. I realized recently, for example, that Issac Watts’ “When I survey the wondrous cross” could well be played in the style of a heavy metal ballad–with better presentation of what Watts is doing in the lyrics than is typical in most churches.

    I reckon that if you really took a look at hymn texts, you would come to similar conclusions.

  • saddler

    “Creativity does not thrive in chaos.”

  • saddler

    “Creativity does not thrive in chaos.”

  • Booklover

    It has often come to my attention that a young man will criticize the form of worship of a young woman as being “formal, dead.” Then he marries the young woman. He likes what she has become.

    I’ve also noticed this with the sexes reversed. The admiration and respect seems to be aimed toward the one reared in the “formal, dead” church.

  • Booklover

    It has often come to my attention that a young man will criticize the form of worship of a young woman as being “formal, dead.” Then he marries the young woman. He likes what she has become.

    I’ve also noticed this with the sexes reversed. The admiration and respect seems to be aimed toward the one reared in the “formal, dead” church.

  • Booklover

    My favorite hymn of all time, “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted,” is both emotion-evoking and theologically rich. It even sounds great in the heavy metal version.

    In my opinion, Stuart Townend does a good job of combining “contemporary” sound with theologically-rich lyrics. Although I hate to use the word “contemporary,” because it brings forth various connotations; and his hymn, “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us,” sounds like it has been around for centuries.

  • Booklover

    My favorite hymn of all time, “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted,” is both emotion-evoking and theologically rich. It even sounds great in the heavy metal version.

    In my opinion, Stuart Townend does a good job of combining “contemporary” sound with theologically-rich lyrics. Although I hate to use the word “contemporary,” because it brings forth various connotations; and his hymn, “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us,” sounds like it has been around for centuries.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Stephen @4, thanks for your comments. A couple of points: The notion that Luther used drinking songs comes from a complete misunderstanding about what “bar tunes” means. Yes, he used those, but “bar” does not mean OUR kind of bar, but a particular musical structure. (Think “bar” as in a musical notation.) I actually blogged about this back in September: http://www.geneveith.com/2010/09/16/luthers-bar-tunes/.

    Also, I never heard this about John Piper or Wayne Grudem, that they were off about the Trinity, but I’ll look into it. But the quotation simply points out facts about the Book of Lamentations. You don’t have to believe in the personal views of a person when he is recounting objective facts that are confirmable by anyone. The Book of Lamentations is obviously highly emotional (which is why it’s called “Lamentations”), and yet, in its use of acrostics (beginning each line with a sequential letter of the Hebrew alphabet–try to write a poem that way using our ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ) and other highly-structured forms, it is probably the most formally-written books of the Bible.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Stephen @4, thanks for your comments. A couple of points: The notion that Luther used drinking songs comes from a complete misunderstanding about what “bar tunes” means. Yes, he used those, but “bar” does not mean OUR kind of bar, but a particular musical structure. (Think “bar” as in a musical notation.) I actually blogged about this back in September: http://www.geneveith.com/2010/09/16/luthers-bar-tunes/.

    Also, I never heard this about John Piper or Wayne Grudem, that they were off about the Trinity, but I’ll look into it. But the quotation simply points out facts about the Book of Lamentations. You don’t have to believe in the personal views of a person when he is recounting objective facts that are confirmable by anyone. The Book of Lamentations is obviously highly emotional (which is why it’s called “Lamentations”), and yet, in its use of acrostics (beginning each line with a sequential letter of the Hebrew alphabet–try to write a poem that way using our ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ) and other highly-structured forms, it is probably the most formally-written books of the Bible.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    I googled a bit, and it seems that Stephen is on to something, basically that Piper & co., in an attempt to defend complimentarianism (despite the name, in their book it essentialy means that men lord it over women, not complimet each other), they ditch the Athanasian Creed in favour of a Model of the Trinty that places a permanent hierarchy of Father, then Son, then Spirit etc. (ie, Subordinationism)

    This seems to be, protestations to the contrary, the beginning of a slippery slope to Arianism.

    What I find particularly strange is that it seems that core doctrine can be jettisoned for “culture war” issues – note that it seems that the issue is not necessarily (only) a Male priesthood, but in essence, patriarchy. This does say something about priorities, doesn’t it?

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    I googled a bit, and it seems that Stephen is on to something, basically that Piper & co., in an attempt to defend complimentarianism (despite the name, in their book it essentialy means that men lord it over women, not complimet each other), they ditch the Athanasian Creed in favour of a Model of the Trinty that places a permanent hierarchy of Father, then Son, then Spirit etc. (ie, Subordinationism)

    This seems to be, protestations to the contrary, the beginning of a slippery slope to Arianism.

    What I find particularly strange is that it seems that core doctrine can be jettisoned for “culture war” issues – note that it seems that the issue is not necessarily (only) a Male priesthood, but in essence, patriarchy. This does say something about priorities, doesn’t it?

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Of course, I’ll be glad to be proven wrong.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Of course, I’ll be glad to be proven wrong.

  • forty-two

    Louis @12:

    I didn’t know about Piper, but I knew about Grudem, and I’ve seen that exact same (wretched) reasoning by other serious Calvinists. And it is quite a core doctrine for Calvinists/others who are part of the patriarchy movement, in which the application to daily life is quite damaging. Sadly, I’ve even seen Australian Lutherans (who have been influenced by Reformed writers more so than American Lutherans, or so says my dh) take the same position – a thing which quite frankly shocked me.

  • forty-two

    Louis @12:

    I didn’t know about Piper, but I knew about Grudem, and I’ve seen that exact same (wretched) reasoning by other serious Calvinists. And it is quite a core doctrine for Calvinists/others who are part of the patriarchy movement, in which the application to daily life is quite damaging. Sadly, I’ve even seen Australian Lutherans (who have been influenced by Reformed writers more so than American Lutherans, or so says my dh) take the same position – a thing which quite frankly shocked me.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    OK, for starters, slippery slope is a basic fallacy of informal logic, and to continue, “complementarianism” is NOT shorthand for “lording it over your wife.”

    It is rather simply shorthand for the Biblical fact that God appears to have required that men exercise the offices of deacon and elder (1 Timothy, Titus), and that men are described as the head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the Church (Ephesians 5).

    Regarding the allegation of Piper’s subordination, I submit to you Deming’s Law; “In God We Trust, all others must bring data.” Evidence, please.

    Sorry, but where we engage in basic logical fallacies like this, there is a spirit involved, and suffice it to say it isn’t the holy one.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    OK, for starters, slippery slope is a basic fallacy of informal logic, and to continue, “complementarianism” is NOT shorthand for “lording it over your wife.”

    It is rather simply shorthand for the Biblical fact that God appears to have required that men exercise the offices of deacon and elder (1 Timothy, Titus), and that men are described as the head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the Church (Ephesians 5).

    Regarding the allegation of Piper’s subordination, I submit to you Deming’s Law; “In God We Trust, all others must bring data.” Evidence, please.

    Sorry, but where we engage in basic logical fallacies like this, there is a spirit involved, and suffice it to say it isn’t the holy one.

  • Mary Jack

    Regarding the Trinity, I find it best to carefully distinguish whether the Father, Son, and Spirit are interacting between themselves or towards us. Towards us they are united, towards each other is Their business. For example, Jesus revealed He submits to the Father (“I do nothing on my own authority” John 8:28), but this says nothing to whether or not we submit to Jesus in the exact same manner as the Father. They are one God we should submit to.

    I clarify this because one very fine Australian Lutheran theologian has been criticized for subordination when I believe He was speaking within the distinction I mentioned above.

  • Mary Jack

    Regarding the Trinity, I find it best to carefully distinguish whether the Father, Son, and Spirit are interacting between themselves or towards us. Towards us they are united, towards each other is Their business. For example, Jesus revealed He submits to the Father (“I do nothing on my own authority” John 8:28), but this says nothing to whether or not we submit to Jesus in the exact same manner as the Father. They are one God we should submit to.

    I clarify this because one very fine Australian Lutheran theologian has been criticized for subordination when I believe He was speaking within the distinction I mentioned above.

  • forty-two

    This journal article on the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood affirms that Grudem, at least, believes that the Son is eternally submissive to the Father, while also defending said belief from charges of Arianism. And it is my understanding that Lutherans reject the belief that the Bible says that the Son is eternally submissive to the Father, whether or not it qualifies as Arianism.

    And this view of the Trinity – that the Son is eternally submissive, yet also completely equal – is core to the argument that women being always submissive to men does not mean they are somehow inferior – that it is possible to be always submissive while being genuinely equal, at least in theory (something that, in this sinful world, at least, seems to be functionally impossible, so it’s extra essential that they can establish Biblical support, because it is illogical on its face).

    This is the exact same position taken by the patriarchy types, who carry it to its logical conclusion, which pretty much *does* involve men having the power to lord it over women. While men aren’t *supposed* to use this power badly, women under this system have no theoretical or Biblical recourse if their husbands/fathers *do* abuse their power. All they are allowed to do is submit and pray that changes their husbands/fathers heart. In fact, women/girls are promised that all marital/parental problems can be solved if only they submit “properly”. So if your husband/father is improperly lording it over you, maybe his bad behavior is partly because you just haven’t submitted completely enough. But the nature of the power distribution – with the husband/father having all authority and power over his family, including his wife – is a recipe for disaster. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Now, not *all* complementarians take things to this extreme – but justifying their position by claiming eternal submission by the Son to the Father, as the CBMW does, at least, there is nothing *stopping* them, logically, from going down the patriarchy route. And they are still messing with the Trinity to justify it.

  • forty-two

    This journal article on the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood affirms that Grudem, at least, believes that the Son is eternally submissive to the Father, while also defending said belief from charges of Arianism. And it is my understanding that Lutherans reject the belief that the Bible says that the Son is eternally submissive to the Father, whether or not it qualifies as Arianism.

    And this view of the Trinity – that the Son is eternally submissive, yet also completely equal – is core to the argument that women being always submissive to men does not mean they are somehow inferior – that it is possible to be always submissive while being genuinely equal, at least in theory (something that, in this sinful world, at least, seems to be functionally impossible, so it’s extra essential that they can establish Biblical support, because it is illogical on its face).

    This is the exact same position taken by the patriarchy types, who carry it to its logical conclusion, which pretty much *does* involve men having the power to lord it over women. While men aren’t *supposed* to use this power badly, women under this system have no theoretical or Biblical recourse if their husbands/fathers *do* abuse their power. All they are allowed to do is submit and pray that changes their husbands/fathers heart. In fact, women/girls are promised that all marital/parental problems can be solved if only they submit “properly”. So if your husband/father is improperly lording it over you, maybe his bad behavior is partly because you just haven’t submitted completely enough. But the nature of the power distribution – with the husband/father having all authority and power over his family, including his wife – is a recipe for disaster. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Now, not *all* complementarians take things to this extreme – but justifying their position by claiming eternal submission by the Son to the Father, as the CBMW does, at least, there is nothing *stopping* them, logically, from going down the patriarchy route. And they are still messing with the Trinity to justify it.

  • helen

    Stephen @4
    And let’s not forget that it was our own Martin Luther who took drinking songs and turned them into hymns.

    I wish we could! Like that poor boiled frog [also inaccurate] this just keeps popping back up no matter how patiently people explain that it isn’t true!

  • helen

    Stephen @4
    And let’s not forget that it was our own Martin Luther who took drinking songs and turned them into hymns.

    I wish we could! Like that poor boiled frog [also inaccurate] this just keeps popping back up no matter how patiently people explain that it isn’t true!

  • forty-two

    Mark @ 16:

    How the Trinity interacts among itself *is* its business – and so we shouldn’t be getting into trouble speculating how it works.

    Also, I’ve never seen the argument about the eternal submission of the Son applied in how *we* should interact with the Trinity, but to justify the position that women can be eternally subordinate while still equal to men, because, see, *Christ* is eternally subordinate to the Father yet still equal. And I’m pretty sure I know which theologian you are referring to – but he *does* say that the Son is eternally subordinate to the Father (as referenced in this paper (pdf)):

    Even though he is in all ways equal to the Father and in no way inferior to the Father, he is nevertheless utterly subordinate to the Father. Thus as St Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 11:3, God the Father is the head of Christ the Son, even as Christ is the head of every human husband and every human husband is the head of his wife. In 1 Corinthians 15:25-28, Paul goes so far as to say that the Son is not just subordinate to the Father until the resurrection of the dead on the last day but will be forever subordinate to the Father, so that God the Father may be all in all. Christ’s relation as Son to his Father is therefore characterised by his subordination to the headship of the Father.

    Agree or disagree with the sentiment, he *does* say it.

  • forty-two

    Mark @ 16:

    How the Trinity interacts among itself *is* its business – and so we shouldn’t be getting into trouble speculating how it works.

    Also, I’ve never seen the argument about the eternal submission of the Son applied in how *we* should interact with the Trinity, but to justify the position that women can be eternally subordinate while still equal to men, because, see, *Christ* is eternally subordinate to the Father yet still equal. And I’m pretty sure I know which theologian you are referring to – but he *does* say that the Son is eternally subordinate to the Father (as referenced in this paper (pdf)):

    Even though he is in all ways equal to the Father and in no way inferior to the Father, he is nevertheless utterly subordinate to the Father. Thus as St Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 11:3, God the Father is the head of Christ the Son, even as Christ is the head of every human husband and every human husband is the head of his wife. In 1 Corinthians 15:25-28, Paul goes so far as to say that the Son is not just subordinate to the Father until the resurrection of the dead on the last day but will be forever subordinate to the Father, so that God the Father may be all in all. Christ’s relation as Son to his Father is therefore characterised by his subordination to the headship of the Father.

    Agree or disagree with the sentiment, he *does* say it.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Bike @ 15, in Chapter 5 of Recovering Biblical Manhooh and Womanhood (editors Piper & Grudhem, chapter author Schreiner) the charge of subordinationism is discussed. The explanation that is given is that they pattern the reltionship between man and woman after the relationship between Father and Son within the Trinity, and that therefore the woman is to subject herself to the man’s authority, as Christ subjected Himself to the Father, and that such a subjection is not ontological, but merely in terms of will.

    Problems:
    a. What is their basis for that pattering?
    b. Christ submitted Himself insofar as His humanity.
    c. That submission is therefore not Eternal.
    d. Their use of their complimentarian rhetoric would have to imply an eternal relationship.
    e. Thus the relationship, so used, has to be ontological, and their protestations to the contrary is uninformed/disingenous.
    f. Therefore, as it has to be an ontological relationship, they are unwittingly submitting to a subordinationist theology.

    Insofar as coded language – I’ve been around ‘complimentarians’ 95% of my life, of different kinds. Praxis trumps rhetoric – most of the time.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Bike @ 15, in Chapter 5 of Recovering Biblical Manhooh and Womanhood (editors Piper & Grudhem, chapter author Schreiner) the charge of subordinationism is discussed. The explanation that is given is that they pattern the reltionship between man and woman after the relationship between Father and Son within the Trinity, and that therefore the woman is to subject herself to the man’s authority, as Christ subjected Himself to the Father, and that such a subjection is not ontological, but merely in terms of will.

    Problems:
    a. What is their basis for that pattering?
    b. Christ submitted Himself insofar as His humanity.
    c. That submission is therefore not Eternal.
    d. Their use of their complimentarian rhetoric would have to imply an eternal relationship.
    e. Thus the relationship, so used, has to be ontological, and their protestations to the contrary is uninformed/disingenous.
    f. Therefore, as it has to be an ontological relationship, they are unwittingly submitting to a subordinationist theology.

    Insofar as coded language – I’ve been around ‘complimentarians’ 95% of my life, of different kinds. Praxis trumps rhetoric – most of the time.

  • forty-two

    As for Piper, here is his Trinity 101 post, in which he references Grudem and Ware, both of which were mentioned approvingly as believing in eternal submission by the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (I posted the link in an earlier post that either didn’t go through or just hasn’t shown up, so here it is again). Plus, he links to conference presentations by Ware on the Trinity, one of which has the “encouraging” title: “Jesus and the Father: Love and Obedience, Authority and Submission.”

  • forty-two

    As for Piper, here is his Trinity 101 post, in which he references Grudem and Ware, both of which were mentioned approvingly as believing in eternal submission by the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (I posted the link in an earlier post that either didn’t go through or just hasn’t shown up, so here it is again). Plus, he links to conference presentations by Ware on the Trinity, one of which has the “encouraging” title: “Jesus and the Father: Love and Obedience, Authority and Submission.”

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    Good post Dr. Veith, I too have long felt we had a false dichotomy in the discussion over worship styles. It is important for us to do the Lutheran thing and live in the tension, to not stray to far to either side. Otherwise we have people completely divorced from the purpose of the liturgy blindly reciting from memory while on the other hand you get empty emotional manipulation. It is good to have emotional response to the music and liturgy and it is equally good to have solid substance to feed on.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    Good post Dr. Veith, I too have long felt we had a false dichotomy in the discussion over worship styles. It is important for us to do the Lutheran thing and live in the tension, to not stray to far to either side. Otherwise we have people completely divorced from the purpose of the liturgy blindly reciting from memory while on the other hand you get empty emotional manipulation. It is good to have emotional response to the music and liturgy and it is equally good to have solid substance to feed on.

  • Shane Ayers

    There seems to be a common sentiment in the comments here that form and feeling are not exclusive, and need each other. Form needs feeling; feeling needs form, etc. I would suggest, however, this is a bit misleading. I think there are two problems with it.

    Human expression–emotion, passion, energy, what have you–is not something that is needed in order to “create” meaningful worship. To give contemporary services the benefit of the doubt, let’s just say that this “emotion” stems from “desire,” and let’s assume that desire is intended towards the Divine.

    Worship, however, is an act of the will. It is order. The point isn’t just that good worship needs both feeling and form. Desire is the eternal reality of the universe and of the human soul. We exist, and therefore, we love. So here’s my first problem: “Worship” isn’t a question of having form with emotion (desire). The question is: what will we love? To what will we direct our desire?

    We must order our souls to love the Good, namely, the Incarnate God. Liturgy is this ordering of the soul, in time and place. A “formless” but energetic worship service may be sincere, but what is it ordering that desire towards? Every service is a liturgy, whether the participants recognize it or not. It’s just a question of what that liturgy represents; what that desire is ordered towards. The very purpose of liturgy is to order our desire, our emotions; it’s a bit artificial to bifurcate the two into “form” and “feeling”.

    Second problem–it assumes that worship is something man-created. In historic Christian liturgy, Christ in word, bread, and wine, is imparted to us. We order ourselves around that reality. In contemporary services, we offer up worship to God. The sacraments are, in this sense, are reversed.

    In any case, thanks for this post, Dr. Veith.

  • Shane Ayers

    There seems to be a common sentiment in the comments here that form and feeling are not exclusive, and need each other. Form needs feeling; feeling needs form, etc. I would suggest, however, this is a bit misleading. I think there are two problems with it.

    Human expression–emotion, passion, energy, what have you–is not something that is needed in order to “create” meaningful worship. To give contemporary services the benefit of the doubt, let’s just say that this “emotion” stems from “desire,” and let’s assume that desire is intended towards the Divine.

    Worship, however, is an act of the will. It is order. The point isn’t just that good worship needs both feeling and form. Desire is the eternal reality of the universe and of the human soul. We exist, and therefore, we love. So here’s my first problem: “Worship” isn’t a question of having form with emotion (desire). The question is: what will we love? To what will we direct our desire?

    We must order our souls to love the Good, namely, the Incarnate God. Liturgy is this ordering of the soul, in time and place. A “formless” but energetic worship service may be sincere, but what is it ordering that desire towards? Every service is a liturgy, whether the participants recognize it or not. It’s just a question of what that liturgy represents; what that desire is ordered towards. The very purpose of liturgy is to order our desire, our emotions; it’s a bit artificial to bifurcate the two into “form” and “feeling”.

    Second problem–it assumes that worship is something man-created. In historic Christian liturgy, Christ in word, bread, and wine, is imparted to us. We order ourselves around that reality. In contemporary services, we offer up worship to God. The sacraments are, in this sense, are reversed.

    In any case, thanks for this post, Dr. Veith.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Good points, Shane. The free-form service is essentialy a capitulation to a culture of consumerism, informality and ease. It is exchanging the Heavenly Food for the earthly feel-good drug, manna for crack-cocaine.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Good points, Shane. The free-form service is essentialy a capitulation to a culture of consumerism, informality and ease. It is exchanging the Heavenly Food for the earthly feel-good drug, manna for crack-cocaine.

  • DonS

    As to the worship issue, let’s start with the premise that Scripture does not specify a particular form of worship, i.e. liturgical worship is not more scriptural, as to form, than other types of worship. So, to some degree, it is a matter of taste and personal style as to which you prefer. However, it IS important that worship be scripturally sound and accurate, and that the focus be on God rather than man. Traditional liturgy usually hews closely to scripture, and that is a good thing. Many more modern liturgies, in mainline churches, however, have been polluted with cultural relativism, just as have been many modern contemporary worship songs. Bottom line — It’s not the style, which is a matter of taste, but rather the focus, and the hearts of those in the congregation.

    I have noticed, also, that worship style seems to be a matter of trend. The 70′s brought a big swing to contemporary style, away from liturgy, because of the Jesus People movement and the fact that many traditional churches were spiritually dead. But there is a definite trend now back to traditionalism, with more liturgy and a return to at least a mixing in of ancient hymns into worship. Younger people seem to want this more formal style. The other trend I see is toward reformed theology, even outside of the traditional reformed denominations.

    As to John Piper, he is reformed, no question. But to call him a “nut and a heretic” because of an alleged “subordinationist trinitarianism”, and to further accuse him of doing so to “keep women in their place” is out of line. “Subordinate” is not synonymous with “inferior”. I Cor. 11:3 speaks for itself, and since it was written after Christ’s ascension, it’s hard to argue that it only applies to Christ’s time on earth, though it also does not necessarily apply eternally. It speaks to responsibility and leadership. Good leadership does not keep anyone “in their place”. Rather, quite the opposite.

  • DonS

    As to the worship issue, let’s start with the premise that Scripture does not specify a particular form of worship, i.e. liturgical worship is not more scriptural, as to form, than other types of worship. So, to some degree, it is a matter of taste and personal style as to which you prefer. However, it IS important that worship be scripturally sound and accurate, and that the focus be on God rather than man. Traditional liturgy usually hews closely to scripture, and that is a good thing. Many more modern liturgies, in mainline churches, however, have been polluted with cultural relativism, just as have been many modern contemporary worship songs. Bottom line — It’s not the style, which is a matter of taste, but rather the focus, and the hearts of those in the congregation.

    I have noticed, also, that worship style seems to be a matter of trend. The 70′s brought a big swing to contemporary style, away from liturgy, because of the Jesus People movement and the fact that many traditional churches were spiritually dead. But there is a definite trend now back to traditionalism, with more liturgy and a return to at least a mixing in of ancient hymns into worship. Younger people seem to want this more formal style. The other trend I see is toward reformed theology, even outside of the traditional reformed denominations.

    As to John Piper, he is reformed, no question. But to call him a “nut and a heretic” because of an alleged “subordinationist trinitarianism”, and to further accuse him of doing so to “keep women in their place” is out of line. “Subordinate” is not synonymous with “inferior”. I Cor. 11:3 speaks for itself, and since it was written after Christ’s ascension, it’s hard to argue that it only applies to Christ’s time on earth, though it also does not necessarily apply eternally. It speaks to responsibility and leadership. Good leadership does not keep anyone “in their place”. Rather, quite the opposite.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    DonS – you say – alleged “subordinationist trinitarianism” – would care to reflect on my argument at #19 ? Also, as I indicated in #12, my observation regarding “complimentarianism” comes from experience, and I take the very term itself as a PC-euphemism.

    While there might be differences in style, you do make an important point as to the “focus” of worship. Agreed. But it might be argued that “differences in taste” could indicate a consumerist mentality after all, and treat the Worship Service as a commodity with different brands. Any comments?

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    DonS – you say – alleged “subordinationist trinitarianism” – would care to reflect on my argument at #19 ? Also, as I indicated in #12, my observation regarding “complimentarianism” comes from experience, and I take the very term itself as a PC-euphemism.

    While there might be differences in style, you do make an important point as to the “focus” of worship. Agreed. But it might be argued that “differences in taste” could indicate a consumerist mentality after all, and treat the Worship Service as a commodity with different brands. Any comments?

  • Tom Hering

    “When He helps His people, He retains His glorious deity but (amazingly!) steps into the servant role, under us, to lift us up. He is the God who emptied Himself and came down to our level – below us, to the level of slavery – to help us supremely at the Cross. Therefore, the fact that the Old Testament portrays God as our Helper proves only that the helper role is a glorious one, worthy even of the Almighty. This Biblical fact does not prove that the concept of helper excludes subordination. Subordination is entailed in the very nature of a helping role.” – John Piper, Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, pg. 104, Good News Publishers, 2006.

    Okay, so subordination is (supposedly) entailed in the very nature of the helping role itself. Piper doesn’t seem to be saying anything more than this. But his use of the word “subordination” in a statement about God is bound to raise questions. And rightly so.

    The Wikipedia article on Subordinationism is helpful.

  • Tom Hering

    “When He helps His people, He retains His glorious deity but (amazingly!) steps into the servant role, under us, to lift us up. He is the God who emptied Himself and came down to our level – below us, to the level of slavery – to help us supremely at the Cross. Therefore, the fact that the Old Testament portrays God as our Helper proves only that the helper role is a glorious one, worthy even of the Almighty. This Biblical fact does not prove that the concept of helper excludes subordination. Subordination is entailed in the very nature of a helping role.” – John Piper, Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood, pg. 104, Good News Publishers, 2006.

    Okay, so subordination is (supposedly) entailed in the very nature of the helping role itself. Piper doesn’t seem to be saying anything more than this. But his use of the word “subordination” in a statement about God is bound to raise questions. And rightly so.

    The Wikipedia article on Subordinationism is helpful.

  • Stephen

    On the Luther thing, while I am not a music historian, it is a well known fact that he was lute player and the life of the party, that he could make up tunes at the drop of the hat. As the article cited by Tom @ 5 says that he did have familiarity with folk music (of course he did! duh), and he would have to to do what I just described. for that claim, I speak as musician myself, one who possesses a similar ability. Even the greatest classical composers used the folk music of their day as themes to inspire their work. We tend to make hard lines between music styles in our day, and I am not so sure that it holds so well for the 16th century.

    Be that as it may, none of it goes to the argument of form. There is not “better way” to present the Gospel. simply because something is more complex or more studied does not then make it more apt to get a message across. That would indeed be mixing law with Gospel if we were to think that way. All of it, after all, is created in sin.

    However, there is something that is the Gospel and many things that are not. St. Paul warned of this. For my issues with Piper, look into the work of Kevin N. Giles and Millard Erickson. Whether you agree or disagree or are somewhere in the middle with those who think women ought to be in positions of leadership in the church, it does not rise to the level of recasting the Trinity, even if it is slyly masked, for the sake of helping one maintain a position of political and/or institutional dominance withing the church. THAT is unconscionable in my book, and ought to be called out. I don’t care how popular or published or whatever these people are. And they are also distributing this idea to young people in the many Christian colleges out there like Wheaton.

    Luther says in the Large catechism that the Apostle’s Creed is the Gospel and cannot be understood by our reason. The Trinity, my brothers and sisters, IS the Christian faith. All else is commentary. Furthermore, Lutheranism is built on the Christology that is inseparable from our Trinitarian doctrine of God. Christ ALONE. That is the only formal statement that matters, not worship styles, and we can’t have that if the trinity is destroyed by meddlers who are more concerned with their positions.

    How’s that?

  • Stephen

    On the Luther thing, while I am not a music historian, it is a well known fact that he was lute player and the life of the party, that he could make up tunes at the drop of the hat. As the article cited by Tom @ 5 says that he did have familiarity with folk music (of course he did! duh), and he would have to to do what I just described. for that claim, I speak as musician myself, one who possesses a similar ability. Even the greatest classical composers used the folk music of their day as themes to inspire their work. We tend to make hard lines between music styles in our day, and I am not so sure that it holds so well for the 16th century.

    Be that as it may, none of it goes to the argument of form. There is not “better way” to present the Gospel. simply because something is more complex or more studied does not then make it more apt to get a message across. That would indeed be mixing law with Gospel if we were to think that way. All of it, after all, is created in sin.

    However, there is something that is the Gospel and many things that are not. St. Paul warned of this. For my issues with Piper, look into the work of Kevin N. Giles and Millard Erickson. Whether you agree or disagree or are somewhere in the middle with those who think women ought to be in positions of leadership in the church, it does not rise to the level of recasting the Trinity, even if it is slyly masked, for the sake of helping one maintain a position of political and/or institutional dominance withing the church. THAT is unconscionable in my book, and ought to be called out. I don’t care how popular or published or whatever these people are. And they are also distributing this idea to young people in the many Christian colleges out there like Wheaton.

    Luther says in the Large catechism that the Apostle’s Creed is the Gospel and cannot be understood by our reason. The Trinity, my brothers and sisters, IS the Christian faith. All else is commentary. Furthermore, Lutheranism is built on the Christology that is inseparable from our Trinitarian doctrine of God. Christ ALONE. That is the only formal statement that matters, not worship styles, and we can’t have that if the trinity is destroyed by meddlers who are more concerned with their positions.

    How’s that?

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Tom , my point is that Piper, by this analogous reasoning, makes eternal that which was temporal. This can be construed as a heresy by implication, if not by active teaching. He doesn’t distinguish between the human and divine natures of Christ (Augsburg, III), or, he confuses, by implication, Nature and Person. If he states/agrees with the statement that Woman is to be subordiante to Man as Christ is to the Father, the implication is that the Person of Christ is subordinate to the Father. The language in your quote above seeks to mitigate subordination as not implying inferiority. But the lanuage of the NT states that he became a servant, which according to the culture of the time means that He humiliated Himself. Thus I maintain that the argument plays loose with interpretation so that it fits the thesis, and that it glosses over Athanasian Orthodoxy to score points in the Culture Wars. Because, lets be honest, the enourmous emphasis placed on matters like these is primarily because of the Culture Wars.

    It also occurs to me to quote the portion whence this analgy arises from – It is from the same book Tom’quotes, pages 119 – 122.

    Included in this section are quotes from Calvin and Hodge (not Hobbes :) ). It is interesting, but I find no mention of the dual nature of our Lord in them. Kind of makes me understand why some (especially the Orthodox), attribute crypto-Nestorianism to the Calvinists.

    Can of Worms. Opened.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Tom , my point is that Piper, by this analogous reasoning, makes eternal that which was temporal. This can be construed as a heresy by implication, if not by active teaching. He doesn’t distinguish between the human and divine natures of Christ (Augsburg, III), or, he confuses, by implication, Nature and Person. If he states/agrees with the statement that Woman is to be subordiante to Man as Christ is to the Father, the implication is that the Person of Christ is subordinate to the Father. The language in your quote above seeks to mitigate subordination as not implying inferiority. But the lanuage of the NT states that he became a servant, which according to the culture of the time means that He humiliated Himself. Thus I maintain that the argument plays loose with interpretation so that it fits the thesis, and that it glosses over Athanasian Orthodoxy to score points in the Culture Wars. Because, lets be honest, the enourmous emphasis placed on matters like these is primarily because of the Culture Wars.

    It also occurs to me to quote the portion whence this analgy arises from – It is from the same book Tom’quotes, pages 119 – 122.

    Included in this section are quotes from Calvin and Hodge (not Hobbes :) ). It is interesting, but I find no mention of the dual nature of our Lord in them. Kind of makes me understand why some (especially the Orthodox), attribute crypto-Nestorianism to the Calvinists.

    Can of Worms. Opened.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    @#21 We must do nothing, because we can do nothing. We do not order ourselves to God. He brings us into order with Himself. At least try to be consistent in your argument. The whole theology of the Divine Service is that God is at work restoring us sinners, who cannot by their own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ or come to Him. This is the central premise of the Divine Service, God comes to us in Word and Sacrament. The form, the words, the music, everything is formed by His work. It is NOT our work of will.

    The biggest problem is that both side of the argument have reduced humanity to either reason or emotion and never shall they meet. In doing so they have lost sight of the truth that Jesus redeemed us in our entirety and our entirety includes both reason and emotion. We do well to remember that in our theology and practice of the Divine Service.

    As to Piper, what I have read here has led me to believe he is flat out wrong. The relationship of Man and Woman is not based around the economy of the Trinity but rather around His relationship with the Church. Piper really needs to read Paul a little closer when He speaks of husbands and wives in Ephesians, where Paul makes it abundantly clear that our relationship with our spouses is all about the restoration in the Gospel. And if, as it appears he has delved into Subordination, he should be marked as a heretic and called out for it.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    @#21 We must do nothing, because we can do nothing. We do not order ourselves to God. He brings us into order with Himself. At least try to be consistent in your argument. The whole theology of the Divine Service is that God is at work restoring us sinners, who cannot by their own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ or come to Him. This is the central premise of the Divine Service, God comes to us in Word and Sacrament. The form, the words, the music, everything is formed by His work. It is NOT our work of will.

    The biggest problem is that both side of the argument have reduced humanity to either reason or emotion and never shall they meet. In doing so they have lost sight of the truth that Jesus redeemed us in our entirety and our entirety includes both reason and emotion. We do well to remember that in our theology and practice of the Divine Service.

    As to Piper, what I have read here has led me to believe he is flat out wrong. The relationship of Man and Woman is not based around the economy of the Trinity but rather around His relationship with the Church. Piper really needs to read Paul a little closer when He speaks of husbands and wives in Ephesians, where Paul makes it abundantly clear that our relationship with our spouses is all about the restoration in the Gospel. And if, as it appears he has delved into Subordination, he should be marked as a heretic and called out for it.

  • Stephen

    You’ve got it Louis. they are reading back into the Trinity what they want to see. This has been settled, and they are doing it for the purposes I have stated, because they make a further calculation that this means that women by analogy ought to be subordinate to men.

    I hear preaching like this all the time where preachers take an idea that they have and read it back into the the scritpture. I read the first few lines of Piper’s “Desiring God ” nonsense and realized that was exactly what he was doing. Same thing. he is in love with his ideas about God. There’s a name for that.

  • Stephen

    You’ve got it Louis. they are reading back into the Trinity what they want to see. This has been settled, and they are doing it for the purposes I have stated, because they make a further calculation that this means that women by analogy ought to be subordinate to men.

    I hear preaching like this all the time where preachers take an idea that they have and read it back into the the scritpture. I read the first few lines of Piper’s “Desiring God ” nonsense and realized that was exactly what he was doing. Same thing. he is in love with his ideas about God. There’s a name for that.

  • SKPeterson

    Luther has an interesting analogy of the Trinity in his commentary on the Gospel of John. He readily admits that it is not completely apt, but it does approach the nature of the Trinity in terms we mortals can understand. As I recall, Luther describes the Trinity as being like a man who sets about to do a task and talks to himself as he does it. Who is he talking to? Are his thoughts separate from himself? Are his actions separate from himself? Thought, word and deed (interesting in how we sin, eh?) are united in God in a way that is beyond human thoughts, words and deeds, though each is separate. Is the word submissive to the thought, or the deed? When they are essentially in conversation? One could argue that the deed proceeds from the thought and the word as in the creeds, yet it is inextricably linked with thought and word. Again, the analogy is not complete, but it puts an interesting perspective on Trinitarian subordination and reading that onto male-female relationships.

  • SKPeterson

    Luther has an interesting analogy of the Trinity in his commentary on the Gospel of John. He readily admits that it is not completely apt, but it does approach the nature of the Trinity in terms we mortals can understand. As I recall, Luther describes the Trinity as being like a man who sets about to do a task and talks to himself as he does it. Who is he talking to? Are his thoughts separate from himself? Are his actions separate from himself? Thought, word and deed (interesting in how we sin, eh?) are united in God in a way that is beyond human thoughts, words and deeds, though each is separate. Is the word submissive to the thought, or the deed? When they are essentially in conversation? One could argue that the deed proceeds from the thought and the word as in the creeds, yet it is inextricably linked with thought and word. Again, the analogy is not complete, but it puts an interesting perspective on Trinitarian subordination and reading that onto male-female relationships.

  • Mary Jack

    fourty-two @18

    I agree with Kleinig (with the caveat he should have added the creedal formulation for the sake of quotability) and I disagree with Pieper. And I’m not sure which point bothers you, the Trinity part or the woman part. Can we really argue that there cannot be a sense in which Christ is subordinate? Is 1 Corinthians 15:28 NOT a statement about a lower position of sorts? “When all things are subjected to [God], 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.” (1 Cor 15:28).

    I mean, maybe I’m not watching my words carefully, but is your disagreement with Kleinig with his writing or his proof texts? Is Kleinig just too close to Pieper’s argument for you?

    I consider myself neither a “complimentarian” nor an “egalitarian.” I suppose I don’t consider women eternally subordinate to men, per se, but if God orders the new creation such am I really going to complain about it? No. Subordination is neither a dirty word nor a dishonorable position. And I get to my stanse through study of Genesis and the Epistles, not a reworking of the Trinity, though I do see how revelations about–and from–the Trinity can be relevant and useful.

  • Mary Jack

    fourty-two @18

    I agree with Kleinig (with the caveat he should have added the creedal formulation for the sake of quotability) and I disagree with Pieper. And I’m not sure which point bothers you, the Trinity part or the woman part. Can we really argue that there cannot be a sense in which Christ is subordinate? Is 1 Corinthians 15:28 NOT a statement about a lower position of sorts? “When all things are subjected to [God], 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.” (1 Cor 15:28).

    I mean, maybe I’m not watching my words carefully, but is your disagreement with Kleinig with his writing or his proof texts? Is Kleinig just too close to Pieper’s argument for you?

    I consider myself neither a “complimentarian” nor an “egalitarian.” I suppose I don’t consider women eternally subordinate to men, per se, but if God orders the new creation such am I really going to complain about it? No. Subordination is neither a dirty word nor a dishonorable position. And I get to my stanse through study of Genesis and the Epistles, not a reworking of the Trinity, though I do see how revelations about–and from–the Trinity can be relevant and useful.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Shane, I wasn’t trying to bifurcate form and feeling. I was trying to bring them together. They have been bifurcated both both sides of the worship debates. To use T. S. Eliot’s term, I was trying to overcome the “dissociation of sensibility” that sets feeling and form going in different directions. And of course it makes a difference what our desires are and in what direction they are formed. Historical liturgy, I agree, does that. It re-associates our sensibility!

    As for the discussion of the Trinity and subordinationism, I appreciate it very much. I can’t believe that John Kleinig, the Australian Lutheran who was quoted, is a subordinationist, though he has been accused of that, ironically, by liberals who themselves deny all kinds of orthodox teachings. In the passage, he is quoting specific Scriptural passages. Those, of course, don’t violate the Athanasian Creed, which itself says that the Son is inferior to the Father as touching His manhood, but equal to Him in His Godhood. Is the difference that the quoted Scriptures talk about His temporal condition, rather than His eternal state in the Godhead? Then again, orthodox Trinitarian theology affirms that the Son retains His manhood, even now (so that He can give us His body and blood, which He still has, glorified). It seems that Kleinig was just using those passages to show that submission does not mean inequality. He wants to show that women are equal to men, while still upholding the Biblical teachings of submission. But what do you, Louis and 42, make of those Scriptures, especially the one about what the Son will do in the last days?

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Shane, I wasn’t trying to bifurcate form and feeling. I was trying to bring them together. They have been bifurcated both both sides of the worship debates. To use T. S. Eliot’s term, I was trying to overcome the “dissociation of sensibility” that sets feeling and form going in different directions. And of course it makes a difference what our desires are and in what direction they are formed. Historical liturgy, I agree, does that. It re-associates our sensibility!

    As for the discussion of the Trinity and subordinationism, I appreciate it very much. I can’t believe that John Kleinig, the Australian Lutheran who was quoted, is a subordinationist, though he has been accused of that, ironically, by liberals who themselves deny all kinds of orthodox teachings. In the passage, he is quoting specific Scriptural passages. Those, of course, don’t violate the Athanasian Creed, which itself says that the Son is inferior to the Father as touching His manhood, but equal to Him in His Godhood. Is the difference that the quoted Scriptures talk about His temporal condition, rather than His eternal state in the Godhead? Then again, orthodox Trinitarian theology affirms that the Son retains His manhood, even now (so that He can give us His body and blood, which He still has, glorified). It seems that Kleinig was just using those passages to show that submission does not mean inequality. He wants to show that women are equal to men, while still upholding the Biblical teachings of submission. But what do you, Louis and 42, make of those Scriptures, especially the one about what the Son will do in the last days?

  • Grace

    This is John Piper’s take on Mark Driscoll -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i38tv1AVnRY

    Who is Mark Driscoll ? -

  • Grace

    This is John Piper’s take on Mark Driscoll -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i38tv1AVnRY

    Who is Mark Driscoll ? -

  • Grace

    Mark Driscoll

    Mark Driscoll says that Jesus lusted after women and wanted to sleep with his female disciples.

    “If you’re tempted to these sorts of things — including sexual sin — some of you say, “Now Mark, Jesus wasn’t sexually tempted.” Well, of course he was — 30 something year old single man who had women who adored him. You don’t think he ever wanted the comfort of a woman? You don’t think he ever got tired of going to bed by himself? You don’t think that he didn’t once want to have intimate relations with a woman? He was tempted.”
    Mark Driscoll - “How Human was Jesus?”, October 15th 2006.)

    This might answer some of your questions regarding Piper – There is more !!

  • Grace

    Mark Driscoll

    Mark Driscoll says that Jesus lusted after women and wanted to sleep with his female disciples.

    “If you’re tempted to these sorts of things — including sexual sin — some of you say, “Now Mark, Jesus wasn’t sexually tempted.” Well, of course he was — 30 something year old single man who had women who adored him. You don’t think he ever wanted the comfort of a woman? You don’t think he ever got tired of going to bed by himself? You don’t think that he didn’t once want to have intimate relations with a woman? He was tempted.”
    Mark Driscoll - “How Human was Jesus?”, October 15th 2006.)

    This might answer some of your questions regarding Piper – There is more !!

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Grace – the short answer is that he is a chest-thumpin, mega-church Calvinist, who loves shock-value (ie, you won’t like him at all :) ). Neither do I, for that matter.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Grace – the short answer is that he is a chest-thumpin, mega-church Calvinist, who loves shock-value (ie, you won’t like him at all :) ). Neither do I, for that matter.

  • Tom Hering

    Louis, I agree with the whole of your argument @ 29. I’m just loathe to label Piper a Subordinationist without seeing something definite from him along that line. My conclusion? Read Piper with extreme caution.

  • Tom Hering

    Louis, I agree with the whole of your argument @ 29. I’m just loathe to label Piper a Subordinationist without seeing something definite from him along that line. My conclusion? Read Piper with extreme caution.

  • Grace

    Louise – 37

    I have done a lot of research on these men, and others just like them – including the Emergent Church. It all ties in together.

    “loves shock-value” – you are spot on :) – what troubles me, are the young people who haven’t a clue.

  • Grace

    Louise – 37

    I have done a lot of research on these men, and others just like them – including the Emergent Church. It all ties in together.

    “loves shock-value” – you are spot on :) – what troubles me, are the young people who haven’t a clue.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Grace @ 39 – I think he attracts the young because he acts (and speaks) like a teenage boy – same neanderthal aesthetics (poor neanderthals, maybe I’m unfair), same “mine is bigger than yours” mentality.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Grace @ 39 – I think he attracts the young because he acts (and speaks) like a teenage boy – same neanderthal aesthetics (poor neanderthals, maybe I’m unfair), same “mine is bigger than yours” mentality.

  • Abby

    Grace @36

    Hebrews 4: 14-16: “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

    Jesus was tempted sexually, and all other ways as we are. That is why we know He understands our weaknesses and we can dare to “draw near to the throne of grace.” He fulfilled the perfect life for us.

  • Abby

    Grace @36

    Hebrews 4: 14-16: “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

    Jesus was tempted sexually, and all other ways as we are. That is why we know He understands our weaknesses and we can dare to “draw near to the throne of grace.” He fulfilled the perfect life for us.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Veith -

    I cannot find fault with what Kleinig wants to do. But using our understanding of the “internal workings” of the Trinity to do that opens one up to all kinds of accusations, some of which might not be all that untoward.

    Not having read Kleinig, I cannot say much more.

    As to the text:

    Paul writes first about the resurrection of Christ, which gives meaning to the Gospel (hope not only for this life…). Now the question we have before us is the subjection of Christ to the Father, but the context here, being that of resurrection, clearly concerns the Human nature of Christ. It speaks about Him defeating death. Nowthe text doesn’t say that directly, but I think we can safely assume that from the context.

    We know that Christ now has 2 natures, Human and Divine. It would seem therefore (but I know neither Greek, nor am I a theologian) that the context of this text, when it refers to subjection, only refers the Human nature of Christ. Christ took this nature at the incarnation, and this nature has thus been raised imperishable, if we look later in the chapter.

    Also, since the overall conrtext of the chapter refers to the Hope given to us, (that of resurrection), it also makes sense to view the references here as pertaining to the Son’s Human nature., including those referring to the Last Days.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Veith -

    I cannot find fault with what Kleinig wants to do. But using our understanding of the “internal workings” of the Trinity to do that opens one up to all kinds of accusations, some of which might not be all that untoward.

    Not having read Kleinig, I cannot say much more.

    As to the text:

    Paul writes first about the resurrection of Christ, which gives meaning to the Gospel (hope not only for this life…). Now the question we have before us is the subjection of Christ to the Father, but the context here, being that of resurrection, clearly concerns the Human nature of Christ. It speaks about Him defeating death. Nowthe text doesn’t say that directly, but I think we can safely assume that from the context.

    We know that Christ now has 2 natures, Human and Divine. It would seem therefore (but I know neither Greek, nor am I a theologian) that the context of this text, when it refers to subjection, only refers the Human nature of Christ. Christ took this nature at the incarnation, and this nature has thus been raised imperishable, if we look later in the chapter.

    Also, since the overall conrtext of the chapter refers to the Hope given to us, (that of resurrection), it also makes sense to view the references here as pertaining to the Son’s Human nature., including those referring to the Last Days.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Abby @ 41 – yes, Jesus was tempted. Mark Driscoll, however, is coarse, crude and disrespectful. Also, his use or understanding of the terms “want” and “tempted” is suspect.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Abby @ 41 – yes, Jesus was tempted. Mark Driscoll, however, is coarse, crude and disrespectful. Also, his use or understanding of the terms “want” and “tempted” is suspect.

  • Grace

    Abby – 41

    But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matthew 5:28

    21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

    22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 1 Peter 2:2

    Christ was tempted, however He didn’t lust after women. To do so would have meant He sinned, which He didn’t.

    For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15

    LUST and TEMPTED are two different things.

  • Grace

    Abby – 41

    But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matthew 5:28

    21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

    22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 1 Peter 2:2

    Christ was tempted, however He didn’t lust after women. To do so would have meant He sinned, which He didn’t.

    For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15

    LUST and TEMPTED are two different things.

  • Stephen

    So, if we go with the Athanasian Creed as some kind of analogy for the role of women, then they are “essentially” equal, but as people or “persons” they are to be submissive. Where else shall this analogy apply? What other uses shall we make of the Trinity in this way?

    I see Paul saying something else. He uses the analogy of Christ and his Church. Paul says Christ is the head. What does that imply? The big boss? How is it that this heavenly manager calls the shots? He fully is a servant, emptying himself out unto death on a cross for his beloved. As he nears this death he washes his pupils feet and calls them friends. What could that mean? Maybe this rigid hierarchy of men over women in the church is being imposed upon the scripture rather than developed out of it. The entire Ephesians text that is used to make the argument for women being submissive to men begins with v. 21

    “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

    There is no getting around the fact that it is a man’s world. We are the killers for one thing, and lust for power over things and others. I don’t think Paul tries to argue with that for some other kind of world that does not exist for the Old Adam as he is. But he does stress the love that God desires us to show each other, and it is a picture of something quite different, quite new in context of that time and even in ours. I don’t see this in the attempt to reshape Trinitarian language which the church has confessed for centuries to suit ideas of hierarchy that may, or may not be, threatened.

    ” . . . And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal.” Athanasian Creed

    The Trinity is our faith!

  • Stephen

    So, if we go with the Athanasian Creed as some kind of analogy for the role of women, then they are “essentially” equal, but as people or “persons” they are to be submissive. Where else shall this analogy apply? What other uses shall we make of the Trinity in this way?

    I see Paul saying something else. He uses the analogy of Christ and his Church. Paul says Christ is the head. What does that imply? The big boss? How is it that this heavenly manager calls the shots? He fully is a servant, emptying himself out unto death on a cross for his beloved. As he nears this death he washes his pupils feet and calls them friends. What could that mean? Maybe this rigid hierarchy of men over women in the church is being imposed upon the scripture rather than developed out of it. The entire Ephesians text that is used to make the argument for women being submissive to men begins with v. 21

    “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

    There is no getting around the fact that it is a man’s world. We are the killers for one thing, and lust for power over things and others. I don’t think Paul tries to argue with that for some other kind of world that does not exist for the Old Adam as he is. But he does stress the love that God desires us to show each other, and it is a picture of something quite different, quite new in context of that time and even in ours. I don’t see this in the attempt to reshape Trinitarian language which the church has confessed for centuries to suit ideas of hierarchy that may, or may not be, threatened.

    ” . . . And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal.” Athanasian Creed

    The Trinity is our faith!

  • Grace

    Louis – 43

    Driscoll goes even further below:

    “Could Jesus have Sinned? While systematic theologians have spilled much ink on this point, the precise biblical answer is that we do not know. The Bible never addresses, much less answers, the question. Some will find this disturbing, but the Bible is clear that humility is the first requirement for a good theologian, so that we can be satisfied with what the God of the universe thinks we need to know.”
    Mark Driscoll – “Vintage Jesus” – Could Jesus have sinned? – Page 52)

    How can a so called pastor not understand the passages of Scripture which point clearly to Jesus being sinless? – John Piper has great admiration for this man?

    For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

    For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
    Hebrews 4:15

  • Grace

    Louis – 43

    Driscoll goes even further below:

    “Could Jesus have Sinned? While systematic theologians have spilled much ink on this point, the precise biblical answer is that we do not know. The Bible never addresses, much less answers, the question. Some will find this disturbing, but the Bible is clear that humility is the first requirement for a good theologian, so that we can be satisfied with what the God of the universe thinks we need to know.”
    Mark Driscoll – “Vintage Jesus” – Could Jesus have sinned? – Page 52)

    How can a so called pastor not understand the passages of Scripture which point clearly to Jesus being sinless? – John Piper has great admiration for this man?

    For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

    For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
    Hebrews 4:15

  • DonS

    Louis @ 26: Regarding the worship issue, when I used the word “tastes” (probably a poor one), I really meant something akin to a “learning style” in the educational world. We know that God has gifted people in different ways, and created differing modes of learning which are predominant in different people. For example, some people learn best kinesthetically, some by audio, and some visually. I think the same applies to worship, and to put everyone in a box, whether it be liturgical, contemporary, or otherwise, is to ignore this fact. Scripture doesn’t require a particular mode of worship, that I am aware of, though proper worship does require a focus on God’s Word and prayer — a focus on God rather than ourselves. Choosing a church having a style that suits your strengths is not necessarily consumerism.

    As for the other raging issue, I think I’ll leave things where Dr. Veith ably left them @ 34. I don’t know that much about Piper, so I don’t feel comfortable either affirming or condemning him. I do sense that much of the objection to his teachings has as much to do with a rejection of the concept of man’s headship over women than anything else. And to that, I say your beef is with Paul, not Piper.

  • DonS

    Louis @ 26: Regarding the worship issue, when I used the word “tastes” (probably a poor one), I really meant something akin to a “learning style” in the educational world. We know that God has gifted people in different ways, and created differing modes of learning which are predominant in different people. For example, some people learn best kinesthetically, some by audio, and some visually. I think the same applies to worship, and to put everyone in a box, whether it be liturgical, contemporary, or otherwise, is to ignore this fact. Scripture doesn’t require a particular mode of worship, that I am aware of, though proper worship does require a focus on God’s Word and prayer — a focus on God rather than ourselves. Choosing a church having a style that suits your strengths is not necessarily consumerism.

    As for the other raging issue, I think I’ll leave things where Dr. Veith ably left them @ 34. I don’t know that much about Piper, so I don’t feel comfortable either affirming or condemning him. I do sense that much of the objection to his teachings has as much to do with a rejection of the concept of man’s headship over women than anything else. And to that, I say your beef is with Paul, not Piper.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, is it possible for us to be tempted without sinning? No, because we’re sinful by nature. Was it possible for Christ to be tempted in all things – including women – without sinning? Yes, because He was sinless by nature.

    Matthew 5:28 addresses us and our nature. I don’t think it’s applicable to Christ in any way.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, is it possible for us to be tempted without sinning? No, because we’re sinful by nature. Was it possible for Christ to be tempted in all things – including women – without sinning? Yes, because He was sinless by nature.

    Matthew 5:28 addresses us and our nature. I don’t think it’s applicable to Christ in any way.

  • Stephen

    No DonS, the beef is with Piper.

    It doesn’t matter what one thinks of women and leadership or any other issue. If someone does not hold to an orthodox view of the Holy Trinity, then they are outside of the Christian faith. Mormons and Jehovah’s Witness can claim they are Christians all they want, but they simply are not, as well as a whole host of other Bible cults. We can make this stuff up if we want, but does that make us Christians?

    The fact that Piper and his comrades are employing this tactic in order to secure their own positions of leadership in the evangelical community is the motive. Subordinationism is the heresy.

  • Stephen

    No DonS, the beef is with Piper.

    It doesn’t matter what one thinks of women and leadership or any other issue. If someone does not hold to an orthodox view of the Holy Trinity, then they are outside of the Christian faith. Mormons and Jehovah’s Witness can claim they are Christians all they want, but they simply are not, as well as a whole host of other Bible cults. We can make this stuff up if we want, but does that make us Christians?

    The fact that Piper and his comrades are employing this tactic in order to secure their own positions of leadership in the evangelical community is the motive. Subordinationism is the heresy.

  • Stephen

    Grace @ 46

    So this Driscoll guy and Piper are pals, is that it?

  • Stephen

    Grace @ 46

    So this Driscoll guy and Piper are pals, is that it?

  • Grace

    Steve – 50 “So this Driscoll guy and Piper are pals, is that it?”

    I posted a LINK above #35 :

    It would appear they are, from what I have read and watched on video.

  • Grace

    Steve – 50 “So this Driscoll guy and Piper are pals, is that it?”

    I posted a LINK above #35 :

    It would appear they are, from what I have read and watched on video.

  • Stephen

    Grace @ 51

    EEEEWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stephen

    Grace @ 51

    EEEEWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @51

    I second steve here. way too much male bonding going on here. eeeeeeewwwwwwww!!!!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @51

    I second steve here. way too much male bonding going on here. eeeeeeewwwwwwww!!!!

  • Grace

    Tom Hering – 48

    “Was it possible for Christ to be tempted in all things – including women – without sinning? Yes, because He was sinless by nature.

    Matthew 5:28 addresses us and our nature. I don’t think it’s applicable to Christ in any way.”

    But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
    Matthew 5:28

    Tom, the problem people like Driscoll and others have, …. they don’t understand that Christ is Deity.

    Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? John 14:9

    And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 1 Timothy 3:16

    Both passages above point to Christ being God the Son

  • Grace

    Tom Hering – 48

    “Was it possible for Christ to be tempted in all things – including women – without sinning? Yes, because He was sinless by nature.

    Matthew 5:28 addresses us and our nature. I don’t think it’s applicable to Christ in any way.”

    But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
    Matthew 5:28

    Tom, the problem people like Driscoll and others have, …. they don’t understand that Christ is Deity.

    Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? John 14:9

    And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 1 Timothy 3:16

    Both passages above point to Christ being God the Son

  • Booklover

    Thank you for sharing this about Lamentations. I did not know that.

    “. . .genuine, heartfelt expression of our deepest emotions does not require spontaneity.”

    I have found this to be true with prayer. In times of my deepest sadness or hurt, I never find the words to talk to God. I use a prayer where the “form” is already set, such as the Lord’s Prayer or another one from a prayer book.

  • Booklover

    Thank you for sharing this about Lamentations. I did not know that.

    “. . .genuine, heartfelt expression of our deepest emotions does not require spontaneity.”

    I have found this to be true with prayer. In times of my deepest sadness or hurt, I never find the words to talk to God. I use a prayer where the “form” is already set, such as the Lord’s Prayer or another one from a prayer book.

  • Stephen

    Okay, now I remember Driscoll. He debated Depak Chopra on the tube. They both made no sense and seemed equally ridiculous.

    In the video that Grace posted John Piper gushes over the guy and says he “LOOOVES his theology” and that they stand on “GLOOORious TROOOTHS together” whatever those may be (um, let’s see, maybe HERESY!!!).

    It’s a lot of embarrassing silliness. I can’t believe people are interested in this for one thing. But it is even more disturbing if false doctrine is being spread to people who do not know any different. If this some people’s idea of a theologian, then the church is in grave danger of losing its grip on truth.

    Like I said, it’s one thing to forgo concerns over worship forms for the sake of spreading the Gospel, and another to make this stuff up to suit ourselves.

  • Stephen

    Okay, now I remember Driscoll. He debated Depak Chopra on the tube. They both made no sense and seemed equally ridiculous.

    In the video that Grace posted John Piper gushes over the guy and says he “LOOOVES his theology” and that they stand on “GLOOORious TROOOTHS together” whatever those may be (um, let’s see, maybe HERESY!!!).

    It’s a lot of embarrassing silliness. I can’t believe people are interested in this for one thing. But it is even more disturbing if false doctrine is being spread to people who do not know any different. If this some people’s idea of a theologian, then the church is in grave danger of losing its grip on truth.

    Like I said, it’s one thing to forgo concerns over worship forms for the sake of spreading the Gospel, and another to make this stuff up to suit ourselves.

  • Stephen

    Booklover @ 55

    Since I am the hijacker here, my apologies to you.

    I’d also like to say that I have had similar experiences with our liturgy from scriptures and the Lord’s Prayer many times. It is always there for me, resonating deep within. It is there when no prayers will come. I am grateful for that and trust it will remain with me until the day I leave the earth.

  • Stephen

    Booklover @ 55

    Since I am the hijacker here, my apologies to you.

    I’d also like to say that I have had similar experiences with our liturgy from scriptures and the Lord’s Prayer many times. It is always there for me, resonating deep within. It is there when no prayers will come. I am grateful for that and trust it will remain with me until the day I leave the earth.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, I’m not sure what your point is, insofar as your comment @ 54 is a response to mine @ 48.

  • Tom Hering

    Grace, I’m not sure what your point is, insofar as your comment @ 54 is a response to mine @ 48.

  • Grace

    Steve – some of Driscoll’s statements from the pulpit are shocking. His church is huge.

    Below an article.

    Who Would Jesus Smack Down?

    Lauren Greenfield for The New York Times
    Mark Driscoll whom conservatives call “the cussing pastor.”

    By MOLLY WORTHEN
    Published: January 6, 2009
    Mark Driscoll’s sermons are mostly too racy to post on GodTube, the evangelical Christian “family friendly” video-posting Web site. With titles like “Biblical Oral Sex” and “Pleasuring Your Spouse,” his clips do not stand a chance against the site’s content filters. No matter: YouTube is where Driscoll, the pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, would rather be. Unsuspecting sinners who type in popular keywords may suddenly find themselves face to face with a husky-voiced preacher in a black skateboarder’s jacket and skull T-shirt. An “Under 17 Requires Adult Permission” warning flashes before the video cuts to evening services at Mars Hill, where an anonymous audience member has just text-messaged a question to the screen onstage: “Pastor Mark, is masturbation a valid form of birth control?”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/11/magazine/11punk-t.html?_r=1

  • Grace

    Steve – some of Driscoll’s statements from the pulpit are shocking. His church is huge.

    Below an article.

    Who Would Jesus Smack Down?

    Lauren Greenfield for The New York Times
    Mark Driscoll whom conservatives call “the cussing pastor.”

    By MOLLY WORTHEN
    Published: January 6, 2009
    Mark Driscoll’s sermons are mostly too racy to post on GodTube, the evangelical Christian “family friendly” video-posting Web site. With titles like “Biblical Oral Sex” and “Pleasuring Your Spouse,” his clips do not stand a chance against the site’s content filters. No matter: YouTube is where Driscoll, the pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, would rather be. Unsuspecting sinners who type in popular keywords may suddenly find themselves face to face with a husky-voiced preacher in a black skateboarder’s jacket and skull T-shirt. An “Under 17 Requires Adult Permission” warning flashes before the video cuts to evening services at Mars Hill, where an anonymous audience member has just text-messaged a question to the screen onstage: “Pastor Mark, is masturbation a valid form of birth control?”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/11/magazine/11punk-t.html?_r=1

  • Abby

    Grace @44

    Jesus didn’t sin by “lusting.” But he must have resisted the temptation to lust. If He were “tempted in all things as we are.” He was true God, but He was also true man. . . “the Athanasian Creed, which itself says that the Son is inferior to the Father as touching His manhood, but equal to Him in His Godhood.”

  • Abby

    Grace @44

    Jesus didn’t sin by “lusting.” But he must have resisted the temptation to lust. If He were “tempted in all things as we are.” He was true God, but He was also true man. . . “the Athanasian Creed, which itself says that the Son is inferior to the Father as touching His manhood, but equal to Him in His Godhood.”

  • Grace

    Abby – 60

    What does the following passage mean to you?

    Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
    John 14:9

  • Grace

    Abby – 60

    What does the following passage mean to you?

    Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
    John 14:9

  • Stephen

    “Damon Conklin, who is 41 and runs a tattoo parlor, says he joined Mars Hill because Driscoll made his life make sense — and didn’t ask him to pretend to be someone he wasn’t. “I decided to stop smoking crack and drinking every day,” Conklin says. “I had to find some kind of God in order to do that.” – quoted from the Ny Times article

    Driscoll made his life make sense. That’s nice. I suppose he found “some kind of God” there. Maybe one with a subordinate Son in the trinity perhaps, maybe one that Driscoll personally designed in his own image.

    Check out the link Grace has provided to the NY Times article about the church in Seattle. Looks like a personality cult to me.

    In her defense, I think Grace did say that lust and temptation were two different things. I also think that it would be incorrect to say that simply because Jesus was a man (fully, this is certainly our Christology) that he needed to experience everything we do. This seems to be the foolishness that Driscoll is indulging in to make Jesus into some sort of personal reflection of himself – a macho cool dude beer drinking rock and roller who digs chicks but is nevertheless faithful to his hot wife. Yet another “theologian” of his own glory.

    The man is vulgar. He preaches that works will not save, and then turns right around and tells everyone of his followers to “glorify God” with their lifestyle choices and thinks that is the Gospel. It’s not. God doesn’t need our moral behavior to glorify him. His true glory is in Christ alone. Our neighbor needs our love and that is what God desires. If our “lifestyle” helps us love our neighbor, then it is useful in that regard. Otherwise, it is idolatry.

    The same is true for art and our earthly service in worship. God doesn’t need it, but he commands it because we need it and our neighbor does too, and he desires that we and our neighbor be loved, receive mercy, know justice, and hear the word of redemption in the Gospel of Christ.

    By the way, this Driscoll guy says Martin Luther is one of his heroes and yet he preaches pure double predestination Calvinism. It is clear he doesn’t understand Luther at all. Just another one of his fantasies I’d say.

  • Stephen

    “Damon Conklin, who is 41 and runs a tattoo parlor, says he joined Mars Hill because Driscoll made his life make sense — and didn’t ask him to pretend to be someone he wasn’t. “I decided to stop smoking crack and drinking every day,” Conklin says. “I had to find some kind of God in order to do that.” – quoted from the Ny Times article

    Driscoll made his life make sense. That’s nice. I suppose he found “some kind of God” there. Maybe one with a subordinate Son in the trinity perhaps, maybe one that Driscoll personally designed in his own image.

    Check out the link Grace has provided to the NY Times article about the church in Seattle. Looks like a personality cult to me.

    In her defense, I think Grace did say that lust and temptation were two different things. I also think that it would be incorrect to say that simply because Jesus was a man (fully, this is certainly our Christology) that he needed to experience everything we do. This seems to be the foolishness that Driscoll is indulging in to make Jesus into some sort of personal reflection of himself – a macho cool dude beer drinking rock and roller who digs chicks but is nevertheless faithful to his hot wife. Yet another “theologian” of his own glory.

    The man is vulgar. He preaches that works will not save, and then turns right around and tells everyone of his followers to “glorify God” with their lifestyle choices and thinks that is the Gospel. It’s not. God doesn’t need our moral behavior to glorify him. His true glory is in Christ alone. Our neighbor needs our love and that is what God desires. If our “lifestyle” helps us love our neighbor, then it is useful in that regard. Otherwise, it is idolatry.

    The same is true for art and our earthly service in worship. God doesn’t need it, but he commands it because we need it and our neighbor does too, and he desires that we and our neighbor be loved, receive mercy, know justice, and hear the word of redemption in the Gospel of Christ.

    By the way, this Driscoll guy says Martin Luther is one of his heroes and yet he preaches pure double predestination Calvinism. It is clear he doesn’t understand Luther at all. Just another one of his fantasies I’d say.

  • Tom Hering

    “I also think that it would be incorrect to say that simply because Jesus was a man … that he needed to experience everything we do.”

    Yet, when it comes to the matter of Christ’s temptations, Hebrews 4:15 confronts us with those two troublesome words, “all things.”

    Troublesome words for some, but a comfort to any and every sinner – none excluded.

  • Tom Hering

    “I also think that it would be incorrect to say that simply because Jesus was a man … that he needed to experience everything we do.”

    Yet, when it comes to the matter of Christ’s temptations, Hebrews 4:15 confronts us with those two troublesome words, “all things.”

    Troublesome words for some, but a comfort to any and every sinner – none excluded.

  • Abby

    Grace @61

    “I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the virgin Mary, is my Lord.” (Explanation, Second Article, Apostle’s Creed)

    “. . . we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the substance. . .

    So the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God; and yet there are not three Gods, but one God . . .

    Therefore, it is the right faith that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is at the same time both God and man.

    He is God, begotten from the substance of the Father before all ages; and He is man, born from the substance of His mother in this age: perfect God and perfect man, composed of a rational soul and human flesh; equal to the Father with respect to His divinity, less than the Father with respect to His humanity.

    Although He is God and man, He is not two, but one Christ; one, however, not by the conversion of the divinity into flesh, but by the assumption of the humanity into God; one altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.” (Athanasian Creed)

    I have been taught that temptation is not sin. Jesus is man. He was tempted. He did not sin.

  • Abby

    Grace @61

    “I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the virgin Mary, is my Lord.” (Explanation, Second Article, Apostle’s Creed)

    “. . . we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the substance. . .

    So the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God; and yet there are not three Gods, but one God . . .

    Therefore, it is the right faith that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is at the same time both God and man.

    He is God, begotten from the substance of the Father before all ages; and He is man, born from the substance of His mother in this age: perfect God and perfect man, composed of a rational soul and human flesh; equal to the Father with respect to His divinity, less than the Father with respect to His humanity.

    Although He is God and man, He is not two, but one Christ; one, however, not by the conversion of the divinity into flesh, but by the assumption of the humanity into God; one altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.” (Athanasian Creed)

    I have been taught that temptation is not sin. Jesus is man. He was tempted. He did not sin.

  • Grace

    Steve – 63 “Troublesome words for some, but a comfort to any and every sinner – none excluded.”

    For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
    Hebrews 4:15

    It would have been impossible for Jesus to sin, He was Deity, God the Son. If Jesus could have sinned or had He sinned He could not have died for our sins, – He too would have needed a Savior.

    Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is God with us. Matthew 1:23

  • Grace

    Steve – 63 “Troublesome words for some, but a comfort to any and every sinner – none excluded.”

    For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
    Hebrews 4:15

    It would have been impossible for Jesus to sin, He was Deity, God the Son. If Jesus could have sinned or had He sinned He could not have died for our sins, – He too would have needed a Savior.

    Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is God with us. Matthew 1:23

  • Shane Ayers

    Thanks for that, Dr. Veith. I wasn’t trying to say that you were bifurcating form from feelings, so much as suggesting the idea that a cut and dry distinction and balance of the two things (form and feeling) obscures more than aids. T.S. Eliot’s “dissociation of sensibility” is very helpful!

  • Shane Ayers

    Thanks for that, Dr. Veith. I wasn’t trying to say that you were bifurcating form from feelings, so much as suggesting the idea that a cut and dry distinction and balance of the two things (form and feeling) obscures more than aids. T.S. Eliot’s “dissociation of sensibility” is very helpful!

  • Stephen

    Tom @ 63

    That’s a good point Tom, and I would not want to take that away from anyone who finds comfort in the way your describe. Certainly the Incarnation, the Immanuel, the Advent of God in our midst which is soon coming our way is vital to our faith. Imagine that we will celebrate His birth among us and the implications of our God coming to us in such a way that he is actually nurtured by a family of other human beings and “he was obedient to them.” There is more miracle there than can be adequately grasped.

    However, what Driscoll seems to be doing is projecting some kind of contemporary sexuality onto Jesus of Nazareth. In so doing, he becomes guilty of the very thing he accuses others of doing, of making Jesus out to be something he isn’t. All he is really doing is painting a picture that agrees more with his sensibilities, then going the further step and saying that it is not only the truth, but it is authoritative and unquestionable.

    What I said was “experience” and this is where I think the difference is. I think we assume that Jesus’ experience was like ours in all its particularity, which really is to take the focus off of what the scriptures do tell us about him and begin to dream up all kinds of things we’d like him to be. Pretty soon it isn’t about the Gospel anymore, it is about us, our agenda, our ideas, and we begin to read them back into the scriptures and into Jesus. The fix is in.

    To Grace’s credit, I think she is trying to protect the integrity of the Christological claim (did you know you were doing that Grace?) by attempting to preserve the distinction. Jesus was not just anybody picked out of the crowd. Driscoll and Piper both do not seem to regard this with the care it deserves and/or requires to do careful and accurate proclamation. It seems to me they would rather accomplish agendas. That’s what you get when you mix law and gospel.

  • Stephen

    Tom @ 63

    That’s a good point Tom, and I would not want to take that away from anyone who finds comfort in the way your describe. Certainly the Incarnation, the Immanuel, the Advent of God in our midst which is soon coming our way is vital to our faith. Imagine that we will celebrate His birth among us and the implications of our God coming to us in such a way that he is actually nurtured by a family of other human beings and “he was obedient to them.” There is more miracle there than can be adequately grasped.

    However, what Driscoll seems to be doing is projecting some kind of contemporary sexuality onto Jesus of Nazareth. In so doing, he becomes guilty of the very thing he accuses others of doing, of making Jesus out to be something he isn’t. All he is really doing is painting a picture that agrees more with his sensibilities, then going the further step and saying that it is not only the truth, but it is authoritative and unquestionable.

    What I said was “experience” and this is where I think the difference is. I think we assume that Jesus’ experience was like ours in all its particularity, which really is to take the focus off of what the scriptures do tell us about him and begin to dream up all kinds of things we’d like him to be. Pretty soon it isn’t about the Gospel anymore, it is about us, our agenda, our ideas, and we begin to read them back into the scriptures and into Jesus. The fix is in.

    To Grace’s credit, I think she is trying to protect the integrity of the Christological claim (did you know you were doing that Grace?) by attempting to preserve the distinction. Jesus was not just anybody picked out of the crowd. Driscoll and Piper both do not seem to regard this with the care it deserves and/or requires to do careful and accurate proclamation. It seems to me they would rather accomplish agendas. That’s what you get when you mix law and gospel.

  • Grace

    Abby – 64

    You are copy pasting from the Athanasian Creed — Are you able to discuss the Word of God through Scripture?

  • Grace

    Abby – 64

    You are copy pasting from the Athanasian Creed — Are you able to discuss the Word of God through Scripture?

  • Grace

    Sorry post 65 should have been addressed to Tom Herring.

  • Grace

    Sorry post 65 should have been addressed to Tom Herring.

  • Stephen

    Oops Grace, I think Abby may have caught you.

    “Uncle, Uncle . . .”

    Tempted yes, sinned no.

    I think this is also the point of the story about his adventures in the desert with Satan in Luke. Every time I open my bible that I keep in my car I open it to that text. Basically, that is the whole tomato laid out for Jesus right there (like it is in Hebrews) and Jesus rejects it flat out.

    Jesus lived by every word that God spoke – the will of the Father. That is the difference. This is what we cannot fulfill.

  • Stephen

    Oops Grace, I think Abby may have caught you.

    “Uncle, Uncle . . .”

    Tempted yes, sinned no.

    I think this is also the point of the story about his adventures in the desert with Satan in Luke. Every time I open my bible that I keep in my car I open it to that text. Basically, that is the whole tomato laid out for Jesus right there (like it is in Hebrews) and Jesus rejects it flat out.

    Jesus lived by every word that God spoke – the will of the Father. That is the difference. This is what we cannot fulfill.

  • Stephen

    C’mon Grace. Give up. Just this once.

    You will show how “Grace-cious” you are.

    Uh oh, I think she’s going to throw her wine glass at me!

  • Stephen

    C’mon Grace. Give up. Just this once.

    You will show how “Grace-cious” you are.

    Uh oh, I think she’s going to throw her wine glass at me!

  • Grace

    Steve – 67

    “To Grace’s credit, I think she is trying to protect the integrity of the Christological claim (did you know you were doing that Grace?) by attempting to preserve the distinction.”

    Yes I did – Too many people are not aware of Christ Jesus Deity, nor do they know the passages of Scripture that clearly state who He is . I have researched the Bible for a long time.

    The Emergent Church and its followers are much like Driscoll.

  • Grace

    Steve – 67

    “To Grace’s credit, I think she is trying to protect the integrity of the Christological claim (did you know you were doing that Grace?) by attempting to preserve the distinction.”

    Yes I did – Too many people are not aware of Christ Jesus Deity, nor do they know the passages of Scripture that clearly state who He is . I have researched the Bible for a long time.

    The Emergent Church and its followers are much like Driscoll.

  • Grace

    What am I supposed to give up Steve ?

    Throwing wine glasses ? Bad Stephen,….. LOL

  • Grace

    What am I supposed to give up Steve ?

    Throwing wine glasses ? Bad Stephen,….. LOL

  • Grace

    Steve – 70

    5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

    6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

    7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

    8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

    9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

    10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

    11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. Matthew 4

    What is interesting is that the devil tried to tempt God the Son, even though he knew who He was.

  • Grace

    Steve – 70

    5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

    6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

    7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

    8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

    9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

    10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

    11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. Matthew 4

    What is interesting is that the devil tried to tempt God the Son, even though he knew who He was.

  • Grace

    Mathew 4:7 – Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God -

    At that point Jesus was making it clear to the devil who He was -

  • Grace

    Mathew 4:7 – Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God -

    At that point Jesus was making it clear to the devil who He was -

  • Stephen

    Grace @ 73

    At the risk of awakening the tiger within, I would say the story of Jesus’ temptation in the desert, as it is typically called, is a case in point that Jesus was tempted by basically the idea that he could rule the world rather than save it. And he obeyed his Father in Heaven. So, he was in fact tempted, but he did not sin. I think this is what Tom, with his reference to Hebrews, and Abby, with her reference to the Athanasian Creed, were trying to say. And they were making the further point that knowing this is comforting because it gives them a sense that Jesus empathizes with their situation when they are also tempted. That is my interpretation.

    Now, what I hear you saying is that essentially this clown Driscoll is making Jesus out to be some kind of lout who had all the same foibles as every other person around, and I agree that this is false for the reasons I have stated. It goes way too far and puts Jesus Christ on par with the average Joe Blow. Not good. Very bad. Stinks actually and this kind of thing needs to be called for the BS that it is. However, it does not negate the fact that Jesus underwent temptation himself as part of his trial on the way to the cross for our sakes. Nothing rosey or simple about that I’m sure we all agree.

    So, points all around. Driscoll is a goon. Piper is dubious at best and a heretic at worst. Worship that calls the lost and gets us loved is what the Lord desires. Any other final words? I need to sleep.

  • Stephen

    Grace @ 73

    At the risk of awakening the tiger within, I would say the story of Jesus’ temptation in the desert, as it is typically called, is a case in point that Jesus was tempted by basically the idea that he could rule the world rather than save it. And he obeyed his Father in Heaven. So, he was in fact tempted, but he did not sin. I think this is what Tom, with his reference to Hebrews, and Abby, with her reference to the Athanasian Creed, were trying to say. And they were making the further point that knowing this is comforting because it gives them a sense that Jesus empathizes with their situation when they are also tempted. That is my interpretation.

    Now, what I hear you saying is that essentially this clown Driscoll is making Jesus out to be some kind of lout who had all the same foibles as every other person around, and I agree that this is false for the reasons I have stated. It goes way too far and puts Jesus Christ on par with the average Joe Blow. Not good. Very bad. Stinks actually and this kind of thing needs to be called for the BS that it is. However, it does not negate the fact that Jesus underwent temptation himself as part of his trial on the way to the cross for our sakes. Nothing rosey or simple about that I’m sure we all agree.

    So, points all around. Driscoll is a goon. Piper is dubious at best and a heretic at worst. Worship that calls the lost and gets us loved is what the Lord desires. Any other final words? I need to sleep.

  • Stephen

    So you think that because it says “You shall not tempt the Lord you God” that it follows that Jesus was not tempted? Hmmm. Maybe we are confused about what activity is going on when one is tempted. That’s interesting. So the devil makes an attempt to tempt, but the attempt fails because Jesus is God. Very cool Grace.

    But then I always assumed he was talking about tempting the Father to save him should he throw himself down. Then again, that is an interesting way to see it. Not sure, but interesting.

    But now I feel like it is getting speculative. What we have to do is go back to scripture, and here the Hebrews text that Tom cited is helpful. In light of this, it would seem that “all things” were hurled at him but he deflected them somehow. We really are not privy to that information. How he did that is a mystery to us. What we do know is that he was fully human and fully God. So unlike Driscoll, we best not make up fantasies about what aspect of Jesus did the deflecting and resisted temptation, or exactly what those temptations consisted of other than this story perhaps. We just know and trust that he resisted, and thank God that he did. I think that is where we have to leave it.

  • Stephen

    So you think that because it says “You shall not tempt the Lord you God” that it follows that Jesus was not tempted? Hmmm. Maybe we are confused about what activity is going on when one is tempted. That’s interesting. So the devil makes an attempt to tempt, but the attempt fails because Jesus is God. Very cool Grace.

    But then I always assumed he was talking about tempting the Father to save him should he throw himself down. Then again, that is an interesting way to see it. Not sure, but interesting.

    But now I feel like it is getting speculative. What we have to do is go back to scripture, and here the Hebrews text that Tom cited is helpful. In light of this, it would seem that “all things” were hurled at him but he deflected them somehow. We really are not privy to that information. How he did that is a mystery to us. What we do know is that he was fully human and fully God. So unlike Driscoll, we best not make up fantasies about what aspect of Jesus did the deflecting and resisted temptation, or exactly what those temptations consisted of other than this story perhaps. We just know and trust that he resisted, and thank God that he did. I think that is where we have to leave it.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Ok here are the comments on worship that I personally found interesting as being either right Sadler @8! Or shane mostly right @ 23 or Stephen @28 RIGHT on the money!Ah the sweet smell of a truly LUTHERAN answer! And any truly Lutheran answer is all about…. Law and Gospel. But no one noticed. And Dr Luther who goes against what his own catechism says about the sacraments being Law.
    And then skpetersen with his God analogy from Luther. I don´t know the context, but I would be a zillion dollars has Luther trying to explain how fallen man has to separate being from doing, whereas in God, AND with the New Man, that separation simply does not exist. So then Luther´s point is not about the nature of God so much as fallen mankind vs being in God´s Image.
    Sadler @ 8
    SADLER “Creativity does not thrive in chaos.”
    FWS Fallen Man needs the Virtues (ie structure, discipline) to do “create “ love for others. Amen. This is especially true for organization with the common denominator being a consciousness of being sinful and unclean.
    Shane ayers @ 23
    SHANE Worship, however, is an act of the will. It is order….Desire is the eternal reality of the universe and of the human soul….The question is: what will we love? To what will we direct our desire?… Second problem–it assumes that worship is something man-created. In historic Christian liturgy, Christ in word, bread, and wine, is imparted to us. We order ourselves around that reality. In contemporary services, we offer up worship to God. The sacraments are, in this sense, are reversed.
    FWS Dang u had me up til the last. The Lutheran confessions would say the same thing a little differently but ok. Man DID create the liturgy. It is something we do. This is Law and not Gospel by the way. And that love has two meanings, one is Law and one is Gospel. So that is a great place to confuse law and gospel. And you are right. We ORDER (law word!) ourselves around the Holy Gospel. And we do offer up our worship to God. He commands us to pray and worship him. So we do. And under all that law stuff that we are making our old adam do and that he hates, in with and under, our new man is being fed nourished and kept alive by the words of forgiveness.
    Stephen @ 28
    STEPHEN Be that as it may, none of it goes to the argument of form. There is not “better way” to present the Gospel. simply because something is more complex or more studied does not then make it more apt to get a message across. That would indeed be mixing law with Gospel if we were to think that way. All of it, after all, is created in sin.
    FWS Amen
    Dr Luther @30
    We must do nothing, because we can do nothing….We do not order ourselves to God. He brings us into order with Himself….This is the central premise of the Divine Service, God comes to us in Word and Sacrament. The form, the words, the music, everything is formed by His work. It is NOT our work of will….
    FWS faith, alone, is alone, not of our own works, alone alone alone. EVERYTHING else, fully including administration of word and sacrament, liturgy, baptism supper is something we DO and are COMMANDED to do . Law. Law, Law. In with and under all that Old Adam doing, God waters the seed that is planted by us. MORE law doing….. and keeps that faith alive. Always through means.
    DR LUTHER Piper really needs to read Paul a little closer when He speaks of husbands and wives in Ephesians, where Paul makes it abundantly clear that our relationship with our spouses is all about the restoration in the Gospel.
    FWS Gospel is ALONE invisible faith in Christ. Alone. Alone. Relationship on earth is about ORDER. Law. Metaphor does not make both things compare the same. The metaphor of Christ as bridegroom does not make marriage any more sacred than any other vocation. And Jesus as the TRUE Vine is no metaphor at all (not something mentioned, just needed to throw it in….)
    SKPeterson @ 32
    SK As I recall, Luther describes the Trinity as being like a man who sets about to do a task and talks to himself as he does it. Who is he talking to? Are his thoughts separate from himself? Are his actions separate from himself? Thought, word and deed (interesting in how we sin, eh?) are united in God in a way that is beyond human thoughts, words and deeds, though each is separate.
    FWS This is you in your new man SK. You ARE holy as new man, so what you DO just happens as a consequence of that. This is the exact point that also our Formula of Concord makes in FC Art VI “ like light from the sun”. This looks, not uncoincidentally, exactly like Christ in the blessed incarnation.

    Stephen @76

    Jesus was tempted but did not sin because he COULD NOT sin. It was not even a possibility. That would be like the sun emitting darkest. Impossible. And the sun does not “emit light” the sun does not DO anything at all. if sun, THEN light. Light just happens as a result of the sun´s being. (you physicists out there, play along with my analogy ok???)

    Your new man is the same. You as new man CANNOT sin. that is what 1st John is about. a good tree can ONLY produce good fruit.

    And that is also why that same 1 john says that if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. Old Adam is bad tree. still is. even after baptism. 100%. a bad tree can ONLY bear rotten fruit. what ELSE would an old adam do. alcoholics drink. it is what they do. old adams sin. it is what they do. it is definitional. what the old adam does defines him. who the new man IS defines him. and new man does nothing at all that does not look like unlabored , un-self-conscious breathing. He just IS. As is God.

    Now tomorrow, after I have rested, I will share what the Lutheran Confessions tell us about the true form of worship. It is all right there. and I guarantee, none of you have seen it quoted.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Ok here are the comments on worship that I personally found interesting as being either right Sadler @8! Or shane mostly right @ 23 or Stephen @28 RIGHT on the money!Ah the sweet smell of a truly LUTHERAN answer! And any truly Lutheran answer is all about…. Law and Gospel. But no one noticed. And Dr Luther who goes against what his own catechism says about the sacraments being Law.
    And then skpetersen with his God analogy from Luther. I don´t know the context, but I would be a zillion dollars has Luther trying to explain how fallen man has to separate being from doing, whereas in God, AND with the New Man, that separation simply does not exist. So then Luther´s point is not about the nature of God so much as fallen mankind vs being in God´s Image.
    Sadler @ 8
    SADLER “Creativity does not thrive in chaos.”
    FWS Fallen Man needs the Virtues (ie structure, discipline) to do “create “ love for others. Amen. This is especially true for organization with the common denominator being a consciousness of being sinful and unclean.
    Shane ayers @ 23
    SHANE Worship, however, is an act of the will. It is order….Desire is the eternal reality of the universe and of the human soul….The question is: what will we love? To what will we direct our desire?… Second problem–it assumes that worship is something man-created. In historic Christian liturgy, Christ in word, bread, and wine, is imparted to us. We order ourselves around that reality. In contemporary services, we offer up worship to God. The sacraments are, in this sense, are reversed.
    FWS Dang u had me up til the last. The Lutheran confessions would say the same thing a little differently but ok. Man DID create the liturgy. It is something we do. This is Law and not Gospel by the way. And that love has two meanings, one is Law and one is Gospel. So that is a great place to confuse law and gospel. And you are right. We ORDER (law word!) ourselves around the Holy Gospel. And we do offer up our worship to God. He commands us to pray and worship him. So we do. And under all that law stuff that we are making our old adam do and that he hates, in with and under, our new man is being fed nourished and kept alive by the words of forgiveness.
    Stephen @ 28
    STEPHEN Be that as it may, none of it goes to the argument of form. There is not “better way” to present the Gospel. simply because something is more complex or more studied does not then make it more apt to get a message across. That would indeed be mixing law with Gospel if we were to think that way. All of it, after all, is created in sin.
    FWS Amen
    Dr Luther @30
    We must do nothing, because we can do nothing….We do not order ourselves to God. He brings us into order with Himself….This is the central premise of the Divine Service, God comes to us in Word and Sacrament. The form, the words, the music, everything is formed by His work. It is NOT our work of will….
    FWS faith, alone, is alone, not of our own works, alone alone alone. EVERYTHING else, fully including administration of word and sacrament, liturgy, baptism supper is something we DO and are COMMANDED to do . Law. Law, Law. In with and under all that Old Adam doing, God waters the seed that is planted by us. MORE law doing….. and keeps that faith alive. Always through means.
    DR LUTHER Piper really needs to read Paul a little closer when He speaks of husbands and wives in Ephesians, where Paul makes it abundantly clear that our relationship with our spouses is all about the restoration in the Gospel.
    FWS Gospel is ALONE invisible faith in Christ. Alone. Alone. Relationship on earth is about ORDER. Law. Metaphor does not make both things compare the same. The metaphor of Christ as bridegroom does not make marriage any more sacred than any other vocation. And Jesus as the TRUE Vine is no metaphor at all (not something mentioned, just needed to throw it in….)
    SKPeterson @ 32
    SK As I recall, Luther describes the Trinity as being like a man who sets about to do a task and talks to himself as he does it. Who is he talking to? Are his thoughts separate from himself? Are his actions separate from himself? Thought, word and deed (interesting in how we sin, eh?) are united in God in a way that is beyond human thoughts, words and deeds, though each is separate.
    FWS This is you in your new man SK. You ARE holy as new man, so what you DO just happens as a consequence of that. This is the exact point that also our Formula of Concord makes in FC Art VI “ like light from the sun”. This looks, not uncoincidentally, exactly like Christ in the blessed incarnation.

    Stephen @76

    Jesus was tempted but did not sin because he COULD NOT sin. It was not even a possibility. That would be like the sun emitting darkest. Impossible. And the sun does not “emit light” the sun does not DO anything at all. if sun, THEN light. Light just happens as a result of the sun´s being. (you physicists out there, play along with my analogy ok???)

    Your new man is the same. You as new man CANNOT sin. that is what 1st John is about. a good tree can ONLY produce good fruit.

    And that is also why that same 1 john says that if we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. Old Adam is bad tree. still is. even after baptism. 100%. a bad tree can ONLY bear rotten fruit. what ELSE would an old adam do. alcoholics drink. it is what they do. old adams sin. it is what they do. it is definitional. what the old adam does defines him. who the new man IS defines him. and new man does nothing at all that does not look like unlabored , un-self-conscious breathing. He just IS. As is God.

    Now tomorrow, after I have rested, I will share what the Lutheran Confessions tell us about the true form of worship. It is all right there. and I guarantee, none of you have seen it quoted.

  • Grace

    Steve, I am most likely the one who needs to go to bed. I am tired, but I would like to discuss this when we can -

    I probably will check in tomorrow between cooking.

    I hope you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving.

  • Grace

    Steve, I am most likely the one who needs to go to bed. I am tired, but I would like to discuss this when we can -

    I probably will check in tomorrow between cooking.

    I hope you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving.

  • Stephen

    Well Grace, Frank the gay guy to the rescue. I was almost there. And I think you were closer than I realized.

    Jesus did not sin because he could not. How we deal with the question of temptation that Tom and Abby brings up is answered in what I said about his submission to the will of the Father (mind you, this is not the same as saying the Son is subordinate to the Father in the Trinity, the distinction that Piper and Grudem blur). Take this all the way through to the cross and we have our answer.

    Frank, can I say proleptic now? Let’s all read Pannenberg’s “Jesus, God and Man” together in preparation for Frank’s next post. I’m sure it will all suddenly make sense.

    Bedtime.

  • Stephen

    Well Grace, Frank the gay guy to the rescue. I was almost there. And I think you were closer than I realized.

    Jesus did not sin because he could not. How we deal with the question of temptation that Tom and Abby brings up is answered in what I said about his submission to the will of the Father (mind you, this is not the same as saying the Son is subordinate to the Father in the Trinity, the distinction that Piper and Grudem blur). Take this all the way through to the cross and we have our answer.

    Frank, can I say proleptic now? Let’s all read Pannenberg’s “Jesus, God and Man” together in preparation for Frank’s next post. I’m sure it will all suddenly make sense.

    Bedtime.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Piper’s preaching is just dreadful. And I have heard more than a few of his talks. They really should not be counted as sermons because he does not use the law to convict, but rather to try and make one have a certain feeling, or feelings about God.

    He uses tons of flowery adjectives in describing God (big deal, the devil himself can do that) and then he makes the case as to why we should “desire God”. Slathering his talks with bald emotion, you are then goaded to ‘feel’ the same way. (If not, are you REALLY even a Christian?)

    He despises the Sacraments (just symbols for him), so he makes war on the grace of God.

    It’s nothing more than the same old, twice baked emotional flogging of the hearer to elicit a similar response and thereby one can prove that you are one of the elect.

    I’m so glad that as a Lutheran, I don’t have to ‘feel saved’, to know that I am saved. And this is the gift of the Sacraments.

    The pied Piper is leading a lot of people…I’m just afraid of where he’s leading them.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Piper’s preaching is just dreadful. And I have heard more than a few of his talks. They really should not be counted as sermons because he does not use the law to convict, but rather to try and make one have a certain feeling, or feelings about God.

    He uses tons of flowery adjectives in describing God (big deal, the devil himself can do that) and then he makes the case as to why we should “desire God”. Slathering his talks with bald emotion, you are then goaded to ‘feel’ the same way. (If not, are you REALLY even a Christian?)

    He despises the Sacraments (just symbols for him), so he makes war on the grace of God.

    It’s nothing more than the same old, twice baked emotional flogging of the hearer to elicit a similar response and thereby one can prove that you are one of the elect.

    I’m so glad that as a Lutheran, I don’t have to ‘feel saved’, to know that I am saved. And this is the gift of the Sacraments.

    The pied Piper is leading a lot of people…I’m just afraid of where he’s leading them.

  • Grace

    5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

    6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

    7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Matthew 4

    QUESTION: who was tempting?

    ANSWER: the devil

    QUESTION: Who was the devil tempting

    ANSWER: Jesus Christ

    QUESTION: the devil was tempting Jesus. there was no one else there – but what was Jesus answer?

    ANSWER: “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

    Jesus answered the devil, an His answer was “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” – - – that is the answer the devil couldn’t cope with – the devil knew who the “the Lord they God” was – and then what did the devil do?

    8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

    9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

    10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

    11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. Matthew 4

    Remember when Satan wanted to be equal with God?

    12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

    13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

    14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

    15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
    Isaiah 14

    The devil said: “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

    Do any of you think the devil changed his mind? – looking at the temptation of Christ,…….. the devil still believed he could supercede God, or God the Son and make a deal Isaiah 14:14 -

    The devil tried it once, what makes anyone think he wouldn’t try it again with God’s Son? – – - Christ knew who the devil was…. because he knew, (knowing everything) he answered the devil:

    Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Matthew 4:10

    After all, Christ was/is God the Son, Deity, and the Godhead.

    But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
    Hebrews 1:8

  • Grace

    5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

    6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

    7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Matthew 4

    QUESTION: who was tempting?

    ANSWER: the devil

    QUESTION: Who was the devil tempting

    ANSWER: Jesus Christ

    QUESTION: the devil was tempting Jesus. there was no one else there – but what was Jesus answer?

    ANSWER: “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

    Jesus answered the devil, an His answer was “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” – - – that is the answer the devil couldn’t cope with – the devil knew who the “the Lord they God” was – and then what did the devil do?

    8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

    9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

    10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

    11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. Matthew 4

    Remember when Satan wanted to be equal with God?

    12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

    13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

    14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

    15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
    Isaiah 14

    The devil said: “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

    Do any of you think the devil changed his mind? – looking at the temptation of Christ,…….. the devil still believed he could supercede God, or God the Son and make a deal Isaiah 14:14 -

    The devil tried it once, what makes anyone think he wouldn’t try it again with God’s Son? – – - Christ knew who the devil was…. because he knew, (knowing everything) he answered the devil:

    Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Matthew 4:10

    After all, Christ was/is God the Son, Deity, and the Godhead.

    But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
    Hebrews 1:8

  • Tom Hering

    When we read in Hebrews 4:15 that Jesus was tempted in all things as we are, our first thought is of feeling a desire to sin, because as James 1:14 makes clear, this is where sin begins for us – in our sinful nature. So, for us, “feeling a desire to sin” is a natural reading of “tempted.”

    But Christ’s nature was sinless (as Hebrews 4:15 confirms). How then could Jesus have felt a desire to sin? Answer: He couldn’t have.

    So what is Hebrews 4:15 talking about? The word translated as “tempted” is peirazó (Strong’s 3985), and it means “to make proof of, to attempt, test, tempt.” In other words, external tests, not internal desires. Jesus was faced with all the same opportunities to sin that we are, but didn’t sin. He didn’t even feel the desire to sin. (This reading fits with what the temptations in the desert tell us about Jesus.)

    How is this Good News for us, when we know we don’t pass every test we’re faced with? When the desire to sin – at least a fleeting thought of sinning – is present within us when we’re tested (clearly proving our sinful nature). Answer: Jesus faced every possible test we can be faced with, and passed it. His perfect score – His perfect righteousness – is credited to us, freely, by grace through faith in Him (faith also being a free gift).

    Today, let’s remember to thank Him for these greatest of all gifts to us. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    When we read in Hebrews 4:15 that Jesus was tempted in all things as we are, our first thought is of feeling a desire to sin, because as James 1:14 makes clear, this is where sin begins for us – in our sinful nature. So, for us, “feeling a desire to sin” is a natural reading of “tempted.”

    But Christ’s nature was sinless (as Hebrews 4:15 confirms). How then could Jesus have felt a desire to sin? Answer: He couldn’t have.

    So what is Hebrews 4:15 talking about? The word translated as “tempted” is peirazó (Strong’s 3985), and it means “to make proof of, to attempt, test, tempt.” In other words, external tests, not internal desires. Jesus was faced with all the same opportunities to sin that we are, but didn’t sin. He didn’t even feel the desire to sin. (This reading fits with what the temptations in the desert tell us about Jesus.)

    How is this Good News for us, when we know we don’t pass every test we’re faced with? When the desire to sin – at least a fleeting thought of sinning – is present within us when we’re tested (clearly proving our sinful nature). Answer: Jesus faced every possible test we can be faced with, and passed it. His perfect score – His perfect righteousness – is credited to us, freely, by grace through faith in Him (faith also being a free gift).

    Today, let’s remember to thank Him for these greatest of all gifts to us. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    P.S. You got me to think twice, Grace. So thank you, too. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    P.S. You got me to think twice, Grace. So thank you, too. :-)

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Stephen @ 80

    I am suggesting that Jesus could not sin according to his divine nature. (of course). But I am also suggesting that this is fully true also according to his sinless human nature as well. He could not sin because it was fully against his nature on both counts.

    And so Christ in the Blessed Incarnation then is the perfect picture too in the Blessed Incarnation, of the New Man in all believers. Pondering the Blessed Incarnation answers all questions of how we are in our New Man. Of course the miracles, not so much. We are not God-Man.

    But the following helps us see our new man alot. We get to see a glimpse of what “human” is suppose to look like:

    … Jesus grew in wisdom and stature. without sin. He wept, was tired, sad , etc, without sin. He could be angry and have all the emotions. without sin. He was ALL about love and service and humility and he did not have to work at that. It oozed from his pores so to speak. And… the most amazing thing of all! No one noticed. He had to be pointed out in a crowd. Just as we cannot see our New Man in all his goodness.

    But now as to the original thread about worship. I am almost done with that post.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Stephen @ 80

    I am suggesting that Jesus could not sin according to his divine nature. (of course). But I am also suggesting that this is fully true also according to his sinless human nature as well. He could not sin because it was fully against his nature on both counts.

    And so Christ in the Blessed Incarnation then is the perfect picture too in the Blessed Incarnation, of the New Man in all believers. Pondering the Blessed Incarnation answers all questions of how we are in our New Man. Of course the miracles, not so much. We are not God-Man.

    But the following helps us see our new man alot. We get to see a glimpse of what “human” is suppose to look like:

    … Jesus grew in wisdom and stature. without sin. He wept, was tired, sad , etc, without sin. He could be angry and have all the emotions. without sin. He was ALL about love and service and humility and he did not have to work at that. It oozed from his pores so to speak. And… the most amazing thing of all! No one noticed. He had to be pointed out in a crowd. Just as we cannot see our New Man in all his goodness.

    But now as to the original thread about worship. I am almost done with that post.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Grace @ 82 and tom @83

    Helpful. We has fallen humans separate our doing from who we are. The good we WOULD do… the evil that we WOULDN´T do… Jesus didnt have that thing going on in him. We cannot imagine existing like that.

    It is sort of like when a musician plays and the fingers just move over the piano sort of automatically…or someone who knows how to type fast.. the fingers just know where to go. there is not a difference between the will and the actions. It is like light from sun just like we read in the formula of concord article VI as how our new man now looks.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Grace @ 82 and tom @83

    Helpful. We has fallen humans separate our doing from who we are. The good we WOULD do… the evil that we WOULDN´T do… Jesus didnt have that thing going on in him. We cannot imagine existing like that.

    It is sort of like when a musician plays and the fingers just move over the piano sort of automatically…or someone who knows how to type fast.. the fingers just know where to go. there is not a difference between the will and the actions. It is like light from sun just like we read in the formula of concord article VI as how our new man now looks.

  • Tom Hering

    Good morning Frank, and Happy Thanksgiving. What’s on the menu for today? Turkey stuffed with bread and sausage? Or a doughnut stuffed with creme?

  • Tom Hering

    Good morning Frank, and Happy Thanksgiving. What’s on the menu for today? Turkey stuffed with bread and sausage? Or a doughnut stuffed with creme?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    I would ask all the readers here to read the section of our Lutheran Confessions that most have to do with the Holy Liturgy. This would be the Apology, Article III, On Love and the Fulfilling of the Law.

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php

    Think Liturgy=Good Work as you read. And get rid of that scholastic and roman notion that says flesh/body vs spirit/Spirit = Civil Estate vs Churchly estate = profane vs sacred.
    The Holy Liturgy and ALL that we can see and do in church in our bodies is all Earthly Kingdom righteousness. Law. It is not Heavenly Kingdom which is alone, invisible faith in Christ.
    And get rid of your scholastic ideas about what Law and Gospel distinction is therefore: that false calvinistic idea that we imagine we should make two lists, one headed “Law” and the other headed “Gospel” and then populate (system-atize) both lists with stuff. No. Law and gospel places EVERYthing we can see and do with our bodies in the the kingdom of the Law, earthly kingdom. Why? So that we can see clearly that there is only ONE thing in the Heavenly Kingdom: invisible faith alone in Christ alone!

    That , alone, is Law and Gospel as the Old Lutherans teach us.

    So then we must imagine, especially, that all the stuff we do in church is mortification, law , earthly kingdom, law law law. This fully includes the blessed sacrament, baptism, absolution, pastoral work and the Holy Liturgy. This is all about applying the Law to our Old Adam and killing him. This is ALL that we see. This is ALL that we do.

    And then , in, with and under this, ie INVISIBLY, is the work of God to nourish grow and keep the seed we plant, again as old adams. He keeps that invisible thing in us , called faith alone in Christ alone. There alone is where life and salvation is. Nothing formed by human hands. Not even baptism. |We baptize , as Christ commands, because he commands it. Law. But then … “faith which trusts that word of God in the water!”

    The word and sacraments are things we do. we administer them. And then God comes to us through the means of us sinners , sinfully and imperfectly wielding these Holy things because we are commanded to administer these things. The law drives even our Old Adam to do this. But the word and sacraments are God´s things. We call them “holy” precisely because they alone are what God uses to make us holy. Thus we call the sinful Holy Apostles “holy” by custom. This is synecdocy (sp?).

    So art III and the Holy Liturgy…[my notes are in brackets]

    26] But some one may ask: Since we also confess that love [including our doing the Holy Liturgy] is a work of the Holy Ghost, and since it is righteousness, because it is the fulfilling of the Law, why do we not teach that it justifies?

    To this we must reply: In the first place, it is certain that we receive remission of sins, neither through our love, nor for the sake of our love, but for Christ’s sake, by faith alone.

    [thus elsewhere the Confessions state : “True worship is faith in Jesus Christ.” Alone. Alone. Alone.]

    27] Faith alone, which looks upon the promise, and knows that for this reason it must be regarded as certain that God forgives, because Christ has not died in vain, etc., overcomes the terrors of sin and death. …And as we do not receive remission of sins through other virtues of the Law, or on account of these, namely, on account of patience, chastity, obedience towards magistrates, etc., and nevertheless these virtues ought to follow, so, too, we do not receive remission of sins because of love to God, although it is necessary that this should follow.

    [Ok so we KNOW all this right? “Saved by Grace through faith alone”. And we know we are not saved by the Holy Liturgy… so what? Read on…]

    31] Besides, the custom of speech is well known that by the same word we sometimes comprehend by synecdoche the cause and effects.

    Thus in Luke 7:47 Christ says: Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much.

    For Christ interprets Himself [this very passage] when He adds: Thy faith hath saved thee. Christ, therefore, did not mean that the woman, by that work of love, had merited the remission of sins. For that is the reason He says: Thy faith hath saved thee. 32] But faith is that which freely apprehends God’s mercy on account of God’s Word [which relies upon God's mercy and Word, and not upon one's own work]. If any one denies that this is faith [if any one imagines that he can rely at the same time upon God and his own works], he does not understand at all 33] what faith is. [For the terrified conscience is not satisfied with its own works, but must cry after mercy, and is comforted and encouraged alone by God's Word.]

    And the narrative itself shows in this passage what that is which He calls love [The Holy Liturgy in this case! Worship. True Worship! Read on!]

    The woman came with the opinion concerning Christ that with Him the remission of sins should be sought. This worship is the highest worship of Christ.

    [There it is!]

    Nothing greater could she ascribe to Christ. To seek from Him the remission of sins was truly to acknowledge the Messiah.
    Now, thus to think of Christ, thus to worship Him, thus to embrace Him, is truly to believe. Christ, moreover, employed the word “love” not towards the woman, but against the Pharisee, because He contrasted the entire worship of the Pharisee with the entire worship of the woman.

    He reproved the Pharisee because he did not acknowledge that He was the Messiah, although he rendered Him the outward offices due to a guest and a great and holy man. He points to the woman and praises her worship, ointment, tears, etc., all of which were signs of faith and a confession, namely, that with Christ she sought the remission of sins.

    It is indeed a great example, which, not without reason, moved Christ to reprove the Pharisee, who was a wise and honorable man, but not a believer. He charges him with impiety, and admonishes him by the example of the woman, showing thereby that it is disgraceful to him, that, while an unlearned woman believes God, he, a doctor of the Law, does not believe, does not acknowledge the Messiah, and does not seek from Him remission of sins and salvation.

    34] Thus, therefore, He praises the entire worship [faith with its fruits, but towards the Pharisee He names only the fruits which prove to men that there is faith in the heart], as it often occurs in the Scriptures that by one word we embrace many things; as below we shall speak at greater length in regard to similar passages, such as Luke 11:41: Give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. He requires not only alms, but also the righteousness of faith.

    Thus He here says: Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much, i.e., because she has truly worshiped Me with faith and the exercises and signs of faith. He comprehends the entire worship. Meanwhile He teaches this, that the remission of sins is properly received by faith, although love, confession, and other good fruits ought to follow.

    [Here comes my point: The Holy Liturgy IS a work WE DO! And if we do not affirm that, we will lose faith alone. We will mix law and gospel]

    But if the remission of sins and reconciliation do not occur freely for Christ’s sake, but for the sake of our love [read: only if WE get the Liturgy right will the church be ok, the existence of the church depend on keeping the Liturgy pure], no one will have remission of sins, unless when he has fulfilled the entire Law, because the Law does not justify as long as it can accuse us.

    37] Therefore it is manifest that, since justification is reconciliation for Christ’s sake, we are justified by faith, because it is very certain that by faith alone the remission of sins is received.

    68] For good works [including the Holy Liturgy!] are to be done on account of God’s command, likewise for the exercise of faith [as Paul says, Eph. 2:10: We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works], and on account of confession and giving of thanks.

    For these reasons good works [including the Holy Liturgy] ought necessarily to be done, which, although they are done in the flesh not as yet entirely renewed, that retards the movements of the Holy Ghost, and imparts some of its uncleanness, yet, on account of Christ, are holy, divine works, sacrifices, and acts pertaining to the government of Christ, who thus displays His kingdom before this world.

    For in these He sanctifies [“sanctifies” here in the sense of mortification, not the “Big-S sanctification” please note because ONLY the Gospel and no works can make us holy!] hearts and represses the devil, and, in order to retain the Gospel among men, openly opposes to the kingdom of the devil the confession of saints, and, in our weakness, declares His power. 69] The dangers, labors, and sermons of the Apostle Paul, of Athanasius, Augustine, and the like, who taught the churches, are holy works, are true sacrifices acceptable to God, are contests of Christ 70] through which He repressed the devil, and drove him from those who believed. David’s labors, in waging wars and in his home government, are holy works, are true sacrifices, are contests of God, defending the people who had the Word of God against 71] the devil, in order that the knowledge of God might not be entirely extinguished on earth.

    [Ok. Here is an important point. Holy Liturgy is no more divine than changing diapers or being a janitor is a very important sense. Erase that scholastic profane/sacred idea from your head as being the romans 8 flesh/spirit as being a movement from vice to virtue. It is a movement from Virtue to faith alone in Christ alone….]

    We think thus also concerning every good work in the humblest callings and in private affairs. [!!!!] Through these works Christ celebrates His victory over the devil, just as the distribution of alms by the Corinthians, 1 Cor. 16:1, was a holy work, and a sacrifice and contest of Christ against the devil, who labors that nothing may be done 72] for the praise of God.

    To disparage such works, the confession of doctrine, affliction, works of love, mortifications of the flesh, would be indeed to disparage the outward government of Christ’s kingdom among men.

    73] Here also we add something concerning rewards and merits. We teach that rewards have been offered and promised to the works of believers.

    We teach that good works are meritorious, not for the remission of sins, for grace or justification (for these we obtain only by faith), but for other rewards, bodily and spiritual, in this life and after this life, because Paul 74] says, 1 Cor. 3:8: Every man shall receive his own reward, according to his own labor.

    [ But this gets better! LOTS better, and we get to hear a beautiful explanation of the difference between outward worship and the inner worship that is alone the Worship God demands in the 1st commandment. TRUE worship is invisible faith in Jesus Christ . Period. Alone. Alone. Alone. .. read on…]

    85] Moreover, this godless opinion concerning works always has existed in the world [sticks to the world quite tightly]. The heathen had sacrifices, derived from the fathers. They imitated their works. Their faith they did not retain, but thought that the works were a propitiation and price on account of which God would be reconciled to them. 86] The people in the Law [the Israelites] imitated sacrifices with the opinion that by means of these works they would appease God, so to say, ex opere operato.

    We see here how earnestly the prophets rebuke the people: Ps. 50:8: I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices, and Jer. 7:22: I spake not unto your fathers concerning burnt offerings.

    Such passages condemn not works, which God certainly had commanded as outward exercises in this government [Read here: Holy Liturgy is the "government" of the church in it´s corporate worship and prayer life], but they condemn the godless opinion according to which they thought that by these works they appeased the wrath of God, and 87] thus cast away faith.

    And because no works pacify the conscience ["the Law always accuses!" even in the Holy Liturgy apart from faith!], new works, in addition to God’s commands, were from time to time devised [the hypocrites nevertheless used to invent one work after another, one sacrifice after another, by a blind guess and in reckless wantonness, and all this without the word and command of God, with wicked conscience as we have seen in the Papacy]. The people of Israel had seen the prophets sacrificing on high places [and in groves].

    Besides, the examples of the saints [ read Old Lutherans] very greatly move the minds of those, hoping by similar works to obtain grace just as these saints obtained it. [But the saints believed.] Wherefore the people began, with remarkable zeal, to imitate this work, in order that by such a work [they might appease the wrath of God] they might merit remission of sins, grace, and righteousness. [read: so that we might do something to preserve the church by keeping the Liturgy pure].

    But the prophets had been sacrificing on high places, not that by these works they might merit the remission of sins and grace, but because on these places they taught, and, accordingly, presented there a testimony of their faith. 88] The people had heard that Abraham had sacrificed his son. Wherefore they also, in order to appease God by a most cruel and difficult work, put to death their sons. But Abraham did not sacrifice his son with the opinion that this work was a price and propitiatory work for the sake of which he was accounted righteous.

    89] Thus in the Church the Lord’s Supper was instituted that by remembrance of the promises of Christ, of which we are admonished in this sign, faith might be strengthened in us, and we might publicly confess our faith, and proclaim the benefits of Christ, as Paul says, 1 Cor. 11:26: As often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death, etc.

    But our adversaries contend that the mass is a work that justifies us ex opere operato, and removes the guilt and liability to punishment in those for whom it is celebrated; for thus writes Gabriel.

    [Summary: We lose all this teaching if we do not recognize that everything we can see or do in our bodies is Law law law. Including and especially the Holy Liturgy and Churchly stuff. We will return to a form of that roman scholasticism that our Confessions teach us against if we don´t see this clearly. We must see that that it is faith alone in christ alone that is the Holy Gospel.

    Faith alone is the Heavenly kingdom. all that we can see and do, even and especially if we call those things , quite properly, “holy” are earthly flesh/body stuff that will perish with the earth. Even Law and even the Gospel are things that pertain to our earthly existence and will therefore perish with the earth.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    I would ask all the readers here to read the section of our Lutheran Confessions that most have to do with the Holy Liturgy. This would be the Apology, Article III, On Love and the Fulfilling of the Law.

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php

    Think Liturgy=Good Work as you read. And get rid of that scholastic and roman notion that says flesh/body vs spirit/Spirit = Civil Estate vs Churchly estate = profane vs sacred.
    The Holy Liturgy and ALL that we can see and do in church in our bodies is all Earthly Kingdom righteousness. Law. It is not Heavenly Kingdom which is alone, invisible faith in Christ.
    And get rid of your scholastic ideas about what Law and Gospel distinction is therefore: that false calvinistic idea that we imagine we should make two lists, one headed “Law” and the other headed “Gospel” and then populate (system-atize) both lists with stuff. No. Law and gospel places EVERYthing we can see and do with our bodies in the the kingdom of the Law, earthly kingdom. Why? So that we can see clearly that there is only ONE thing in the Heavenly Kingdom: invisible faith alone in Christ alone!

    That , alone, is Law and Gospel as the Old Lutherans teach us.

    So then we must imagine, especially, that all the stuff we do in church is mortification, law , earthly kingdom, law law law. This fully includes the blessed sacrament, baptism, absolution, pastoral work and the Holy Liturgy. This is all about applying the Law to our Old Adam and killing him. This is ALL that we see. This is ALL that we do.

    And then , in, with and under this, ie INVISIBLY, is the work of God to nourish grow and keep the seed we plant, again as old adams. He keeps that invisible thing in us , called faith alone in Christ alone. There alone is where life and salvation is. Nothing formed by human hands. Not even baptism. |We baptize , as Christ commands, because he commands it. Law. But then … “faith which trusts that word of God in the water!”

    The word and sacraments are things we do. we administer them. And then God comes to us through the means of us sinners , sinfully and imperfectly wielding these Holy things because we are commanded to administer these things. The law drives even our Old Adam to do this. But the word and sacraments are God´s things. We call them “holy” precisely because they alone are what God uses to make us holy. Thus we call the sinful Holy Apostles “holy” by custom. This is synecdocy (sp?).

    So art III and the Holy Liturgy…[my notes are in brackets]

    26] But some one may ask: Since we also confess that love [including our doing the Holy Liturgy] is a work of the Holy Ghost, and since it is righteousness, because it is the fulfilling of the Law, why do we not teach that it justifies?

    To this we must reply: In the first place, it is certain that we receive remission of sins, neither through our love, nor for the sake of our love, but for Christ’s sake, by faith alone.

    [thus elsewhere the Confessions state : “True worship is faith in Jesus Christ.” Alone. Alone. Alone.]

    27] Faith alone, which looks upon the promise, and knows that for this reason it must be regarded as certain that God forgives, because Christ has not died in vain, etc., overcomes the terrors of sin and death. …And as we do not receive remission of sins through other virtues of the Law, or on account of these, namely, on account of patience, chastity, obedience towards magistrates, etc., and nevertheless these virtues ought to follow, so, too, we do not receive remission of sins because of love to God, although it is necessary that this should follow.

    [Ok so we KNOW all this right? “Saved by Grace through faith alone”. And we know we are not saved by the Holy Liturgy… so what? Read on…]

    31] Besides, the custom of speech is well known that by the same word we sometimes comprehend by synecdoche the cause and effects.

    Thus in Luke 7:47 Christ says: Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much.

    For Christ interprets Himself [this very passage] when He adds: Thy faith hath saved thee. Christ, therefore, did not mean that the woman, by that work of love, had merited the remission of sins. For that is the reason He says: Thy faith hath saved thee. 32] But faith is that which freely apprehends God’s mercy on account of God’s Word [which relies upon God's mercy and Word, and not upon one's own work]. If any one denies that this is faith [if any one imagines that he can rely at the same time upon God and his own works], he does not understand at all 33] what faith is. [For the terrified conscience is not satisfied with its own works, but must cry after mercy, and is comforted and encouraged alone by God's Word.]

    And the narrative itself shows in this passage what that is which He calls love [The Holy Liturgy in this case! Worship. True Worship! Read on!]

    The woman came with the opinion concerning Christ that with Him the remission of sins should be sought. This worship is the highest worship of Christ.

    [There it is!]

    Nothing greater could she ascribe to Christ. To seek from Him the remission of sins was truly to acknowledge the Messiah.
    Now, thus to think of Christ, thus to worship Him, thus to embrace Him, is truly to believe. Christ, moreover, employed the word “love” not towards the woman, but against the Pharisee, because He contrasted the entire worship of the Pharisee with the entire worship of the woman.

    He reproved the Pharisee because he did not acknowledge that He was the Messiah, although he rendered Him the outward offices due to a guest and a great and holy man. He points to the woman and praises her worship, ointment, tears, etc., all of which were signs of faith and a confession, namely, that with Christ she sought the remission of sins.

    It is indeed a great example, which, not without reason, moved Christ to reprove the Pharisee, who was a wise and honorable man, but not a believer. He charges him with impiety, and admonishes him by the example of the woman, showing thereby that it is disgraceful to him, that, while an unlearned woman believes God, he, a doctor of the Law, does not believe, does not acknowledge the Messiah, and does not seek from Him remission of sins and salvation.

    34] Thus, therefore, He praises the entire worship [faith with its fruits, but towards the Pharisee He names only the fruits which prove to men that there is faith in the heart], as it often occurs in the Scriptures that by one word we embrace many things; as below we shall speak at greater length in regard to similar passages, such as Luke 11:41: Give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. He requires not only alms, but also the righteousness of faith.

    Thus He here says: Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much, i.e., because she has truly worshiped Me with faith and the exercises and signs of faith. He comprehends the entire worship. Meanwhile He teaches this, that the remission of sins is properly received by faith, although love, confession, and other good fruits ought to follow.

    [Here comes my point: The Holy Liturgy IS a work WE DO! And if we do not affirm that, we will lose faith alone. We will mix law and gospel]

    But if the remission of sins and reconciliation do not occur freely for Christ’s sake, but for the sake of our love [read: only if WE get the Liturgy right will the church be ok, the existence of the church depend on keeping the Liturgy pure], no one will have remission of sins, unless when he has fulfilled the entire Law, because the Law does not justify as long as it can accuse us.

    37] Therefore it is manifest that, since justification is reconciliation for Christ’s sake, we are justified by faith, because it is very certain that by faith alone the remission of sins is received.

    68] For good works [including the Holy Liturgy!] are to be done on account of God’s command, likewise for the exercise of faith [as Paul says, Eph. 2:10: We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works], and on account of confession and giving of thanks.

    For these reasons good works [including the Holy Liturgy] ought necessarily to be done, which, although they are done in the flesh not as yet entirely renewed, that retards the movements of the Holy Ghost, and imparts some of its uncleanness, yet, on account of Christ, are holy, divine works, sacrifices, and acts pertaining to the government of Christ, who thus displays His kingdom before this world.

    For in these He sanctifies [“sanctifies” here in the sense of mortification, not the “Big-S sanctification” please note because ONLY the Gospel and no works can make us holy!] hearts and represses the devil, and, in order to retain the Gospel among men, openly opposes to the kingdom of the devil the confession of saints, and, in our weakness, declares His power. 69] The dangers, labors, and sermons of the Apostle Paul, of Athanasius, Augustine, and the like, who taught the churches, are holy works, are true sacrifices acceptable to God, are contests of Christ 70] through which He repressed the devil, and drove him from those who believed. David’s labors, in waging wars and in his home government, are holy works, are true sacrifices, are contests of God, defending the people who had the Word of God against 71] the devil, in order that the knowledge of God might not be entirely extinguished on earth.

    [Ok. Here is an important point. Holy Liturgy is no more divine than changing diapers or being a janitor is a very important sense. Erase that scholastic profane/sacred idea from your head as being the romans 8 flesh/spirit as being a movement from vice to virtue. It is a movement from Virtue to faith alone in Christ alone….]

    We think thus also concerning every good work in the humblest callings and in private affairs. [!!!!] Through these works Christ celebrates His victory over the devil, just as the distribution of alms by the Corinthians, 1 Cor. 16:1, was a holy work, and a sacrifice and contest of Christ against the devil, who labors that nothing may be done 72] for the praise of God.

    To disparage such works, the confession of doctrine, affliction, works of love, mortifications of the flesh, would be indeed to disparage the outward government of Christ’s kingdom among men.

    73] Here also we add something concerning rewards and merits. We teach that rewards have been offered and promised to the works of believers.

    We teach that good works are meritorious, not for the remission of sins, for grace or justification (for these we obtain only by faith), but for other rewards, bodily and spiritual, in this life and after this life, because Paul 74] says, 1 Cor. 3:8: Every man shall receive his own reward, according to his own labor.

    [ But this gets better! LOTS better, and we get to hear a beautiful explanation of the difference between outward worship and the inner worship that is alone the Worship God demands in the 1st commandment. TRUE worship is invisible faith in Jesus Christ . Period. Alone. Alone. Alone. .. read on…]

    85] Moreover, this godless opinion concerning works always has existed in the world [sticks to the world quite tightly]. The heathen had sacrifices, derived from the fathers. They imitated their works. Their faith they did not retain, but thought that the works were a propitiation and price on account of which God would be reconciled to them. 86] The people in the Law [the Israelites] imitated sacrifices with the opinion that by means of these works they would appease God, so to say, ex opere operato.

    We see here how earnestly the prophets rebuke the people: Ps. 50:8: I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices, and Jer. 7:22: I spake not unto your fathers concerning burnt offerings.

    Such passages condemn not works, which God certainly had commanded as outward exercises in this government [Read here: Holy Liturgy is the "government" of the church in it´s corporate worship and prayer life], but they condemn the godless opinion according to which they thought that by these works they appeased the wrath of God, and 87] thus cast away faith.

    And because no works pacify the conscience ["the Law always accuses!" even in the Holy Liturgy apart from faith!], new works, in addition to God’s commands, were from time to time devised [the hypocrites nevertheless used to invent one work after another, one sacrifice after another, by a blind guess and in reckless wantonness, and all this without the word and command of God, with wicked conscience as we have seen in the Papacy]. The people of Israel had seen the prophets sacrificing on high places [and in groves].

    Besides, the examples of the saints [ read Old Lutherans] very greatly move the minds of those, hoping by similar works to obtain grace just as these saints obtained it. [But the saints believed.] Wherefore the people began, with remarkable zeal, to imitate this work, in order that by such a work [they might appease the wrath of God] they might merit remission of sins, grace, and righteousness. [read: so that we might do something to preserve the church by keeping the Liturgy pure].

    But the prophets had been sacrificing on high places, not that by these works they might merit the remission of sins and grace, but because on these places they taught, and, accordingly, presented there a testimony of their faith. 88] The people had heard that Abraham had sacrificed his son. Wherefore they also, in order to appease God by a most cruel and difficult work, put to death their sons. But Abraham did not sacrifice his son with the opinion that this work was a price and propitiatory work for the sake of which he was accounted righteous.

    89] Thus in the Church the Lord’s Supper was instituted that by remembrance of the promises of Christ, of which we are admonished in this sign, faith might be strengthened in us, and we might publicly confess our faith, and proclaim the benefits of Christ, as Paul says, 1 Cor. 11:26: As often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death, etc.

    But our adversaries contend that the mass is a work that justifies us ex opere operato, and removes the guilt and liability to punishment in those for whom it is celebrated; for thus writes Gabriel.

    [Summary: We lose all this teaching if we do not recognize that everything we can see or do in our bodies is Law law law. Including and especially the Holy Liturgy and Churchly stuff. We will return to a form of that roman scholasticism that our Confessions teach us against if we don´t see this clearly. We must see that that it is faith alone in christ alone that is the Holy Gospel.

    Faith alone is the Heavenly kingdom. all that we can see and do, even and especially if we call those things , quite properly, “holy” are earthly flesh/body stuff that will perish with the earth. Even Law and even the Gospel are things that pertain to our earthly existence and will therefore perish with the earth.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    followon comment:

    My pastor for years was a grump during lent, easter and christmas. Why? The law always accuses! He felt it was all on him to get those liturgies right since those were the times people showed up to church that normally never come. So it was an oppression for him. And does God demand that we do Liturgy and get it right? He does! We are not only commanded to worship and pray, we are also commanded to believe the Holy Gospel. And the part of all those things that are about what we can do, including that historical belief that the Holy Gospel is true and that the resurrection is true and getting all the doctrine right is STILL not Heavenly Kingdom. It is all earthly kingdom stuff of the Law. It is what we do. Old Adam can do all this.

    Alone in the heavenly kingdom is faith, alone in christ alone.

    And what is that then, hen to not only believe things are true (as judas did and the devils do!) but rather also to hear and trust those words “for YOU!” implanted in our hearts.

    This, alone, is something only alone the Holy Spirit can do, alone, so that we trust, alone, in Christ, alone. alone alone

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    followon comment:

    My pastor for years was a grump during lent, easter and christmas. Why? The law always accuses! He felt it was all on him to get those liturgies right since those were the times people showed up to church that normally never come. So it was an oppression for him. And does God demand that we do Liturgy and get it right? He does! We are not only commanded to worship and pray, we are also commanded to believe the Holy Gospel. And the part of all those things that are about what we can do, including that historical belief that the Holy Gospel is true and that the resurrection is true and getting all the doctrine right is STILL not Heavenly Kingdom. It is all earthly kingdom stuff of the Law. It is what we do. Old Adam can do all this.

    Alone in the heavenly kingdom is faith, alone in christ alone.

    And what is that then, hen to not only believe things are true (as judas did and the devils do!) but rather also to hear and trust those words “for YOU!” implanted in our hearts.

    This, alone, is something only alone the Holy Spirit can do, alone, so that we trust, alone, in Christ, alone. alone alone

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    tom @ 87

    No turkey. NO donuts. and… where is that dunkin donuts coffee….

    I am a tormented man today Tom. Thanks for reminding me of that. Have a blest Thanksgiving :)

    (but I do have the beaches , samba music, and the girls from ipanema here …. God is good. I am off to buy bacon for breakfast).

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    tom @ 87

    No turkey. NO donuts. and… where is that dunkin donuts coffee….

    I am a tormented man today Tom. Thanks for reminding me of that. Have a blest Thanksgiving :)

    (but I do have the beaches , samba music, and the girls from ipanema here …. God is good. I am off to buy bacon for breakfast).

  • Tom Hering

    I’ll trade you doughnuts – thousands of ten thousands of doughnuts – for one girl from Ipanema. We all lack something today. But can we see a blessing to be grateful for in that, too? Like, God has come down to be with us in our lack. To assure us He loves us. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    I’ll trade you doughnuts – thousands of ten thousands of doughnuts – for one girl from Ipanema. We all lack something today. But can we see a blessing to be grateful for in that, too? Like, God has come down to be with us in our lack. To assure us He loves us. :-)

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Tom @ 91

    Come down. I will introduce you to a few Tom!

    Amen. And we know, and trust and hope in all that in the very midst of our unfaithfulness. against the evidence and reason and even the faith in our conscience God places into and commands that we believe, that all says to us “condemned.”

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Tom @ 91

    Come down. I will introduce you to a few Tom!

    Amen. And we know, and trust and hope in all that in the very midst of our unfaithfulness. against the evidence and reason and even the faith in our conscience God places into and commands that we believe, that all says to us “condemned.”

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    We call holy baptism, holy supper, holy ordination, holy absolution, holy scriptures and holy church “holy” not because these things are holy in and of themselves.

    We call these things Holy by sinectoche. In with and under only these things only, our loving God and Savior Jesus tells us that in these things, alone, He will be found. And where Christ is, even under what we can only see as sin, there , is life and salvation. We only can hold this by faith alone, in Christ alone. Our part of this and what we can see and do, and MUST see and do. Our seeing them done, is, absolutely necessary. The Law will drive us to do it if we are not willing or the Law will drive others to make us do these things if we are not willing and rebel. And the one thing that is certain, besides death and taxes, is that the Old Adam will rebel. It is what he does. It is his profession.

    These things then are not “holy” as to our own part in doing them, as Christ our Lord has commanded us to do them till he returns in glory. And we should not fear or be troubled at our part that is, utterly, lacking in faith and purity and even a sense of orientation at times.

    “Holy ” matrimony then can only be called a ” holy” that is a different “holy” than changing a diaper (and it is not) as vocation can only be side as one of those who is in the party of those with whom the Lutheran Confessions would argue against. For even the administration of Word and Sacrament is no more holy or profane than changing a diaper. It is a vocation called the Office of the Holy Ministry. And as a vocation , that office is no more holy than that vocation of cleaning toilets or changing diapers.

    Nothing a pastor or flock does with these things is one tiny bit more holy than the vocations that give human dignity to the disposal of human waste.

    In the culture wars, Lutherans are reading lots about natural Law from the roman catholics on marriage. We will sell our birthright in the Confessions if we buy into their schema that romans 8 flesh vs spirit is about vice to virtue: gay marriage/pornography/shacking up VERSUS the “holy”-one-flesh-union. There is nothing more sacred about a one-flesh-union than there is in giving a loaf of bread to a starving man. “You did that unto Me” our Lord will tell us when we again see Him face to face.

    romans 8 flesh vs spirit is about moving from a trust in the true (!) righteousness of marital love, true love for neighbor, and the virtues that support love TO a trust in…. invisible faith, alone, in christ, alone, that is useless on earth except to God and a troubled conscience.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    We call holy baptism, holy supper, holy ordination, holy absolution, holy scriptures and holy church “holy” not because these things are holy in and of themselves.

    We call these things Holy by sinectoche. In with and under only these things only, our loving God and Savior Jesus tells us that in these things, alone, He will be found. And where Christ is, even under what we can only see as sin, there , is life and salvation. We only can hold this by faith alone, in Christ alone. Our part of this and what we can see and do, and MUST see and do. Our seeing them done, is, absolutely necessary. The Law will drive us to do it if we are not willing or the Law will drive others to make us do these things if we are not willing and rebel. And the one thing that is certain, besides death and taxes, is that the Old Adam will rebel. It is what he does. It is his profession.

    These things then are not “holy” as to our own part in doing them, as Christ our Lord has commanded us to do them till he returns in glory. And we should not fear or be troubled at our part that is, utterly, lacking in faith and purity and even a sense of orientation at times.

    “Holy ” matrimony then can only be called a ” holy” that is a different “holy” than changing a diaper (and it is not) as vocation can only be side as one of those who is in the party of those with whom the Lutheran Confessions would argue against. For even the administration of Word and Sacrament is no more holy or profane than changing a diaper. It is a vocation called the Office of the Holy Ministry. And as a vocation , that office is no more holy than that vocation of cleaning toilets or changing diapers.

    Nothing a pastor or flock does with these things is one tiny bit more holy than the vocations that give human dignity to the disposal of human waste.

    In the culture wars, Lutherans are reading lots about natural Law from the roman catholics on marriage. We will sell our birthright in the Confessions if we buy into their schema that romans 8 flesh vs spirit is about vice to virtue: gay marriage/pornography/shacking up VERSUS the “holy”-one-flesh-union. There is nothing more sacred about a one-flesh-union than there is in giving a loaf of bread to a starving man. “You did that unto Me” our Lord will tell us when we again see Him face to face.

    romans 8 flesh vs spirit is about moving from a trust in the true (!) righteousness of marital love, true love for neighbor, and the virtues that support love TO a trust in…. invisible faith, alone, in christ, alone, that is useless on earth except to God and a troubled conscience.

  • Grace

    Tom, Thank you for post 83, good one! :)

    Can’t help you with a girl from Ipanema! :roll:

    Blessings to you this Thanksgiving!

  • Grace

    Tom, Thank you for post 83, good one! :)

    Can’t help you with a girl from Ipanema! :roll:

    Blessings to you this Thanksgiving!

  • Grace

    fws – how was your breakfast?

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving :)

  • Grace

    fws – how was your breakfast?

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving :)

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 95

    I ended up reheating what was left of a huge omelette I made with a friend yesterday. it had mozerella cheese. portuguese sausage, grilled onion, crushed garlic, tomato, other brasilian cheese and freshly grated parmesan cheese. probably too many ingredients. I am learning that less is better to really enjoy each ingredient. but it was good! and I have a capuchino machine that grinds brews throws the grounds into a bin and froths the milk. mmmm. When I bought that machine, I requested the model that would inject the coffee directly into a vein, but they were out of that model… but it is still good! made in switzerland. a luxury, but one I indulge in every day…

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 95

    I ended up reheating what was left of a huge omelette I made with a friend yesterday. it had mozerella cheese. portuguese sausage, grilled onion, crushed garlic, tomato, other brasilian cheese and freshly grated parmesan cheese. probably too many ingredients. I am learning that less is better to really enjoy each ingredient. but it was good! and I have a capuchino machine that grinds brews throws the grounds into a bin and froths the milk. mmmm. When I bought that machine, I requested the model that would inject the coffee directly into a vein, but they were out of that model… but it is still good! made in switzerland. a luxury, but one I indulge in every day…

  • Grace

    Frank – your capuchino machine sounds good, who makes it? I have had several — the only part I hate is cleaning the lines for the milk.

    I love omelettes – used to make them all the time. I would add tomatoe, cheese, (or other veg’s) mushrooms and sour cream to top it off. I need a new omelette pan, that is going on my list for weekend shopping :lol:

  • Grace

    Frank – your capuchino machine sounds good, who makes it? I have had several — the only part I hate is cleaning the lines for the milk.

    I love omelettes – used to make them all the time. I would add tomatoe, cheese, (or other veg’s) mushrooms and sour cream to top it off. I need a new omelette pan, that is going on my list for weekend shopping :lol:

  • Tom Hering

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your husband, Grace.

  • Tom Hering

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your husband, Grace.

  • Grace

    Frank – do you ever put your eggs in a container and then whip them with the electric small beater, adding non fat milk? That is the way I make mine, they are the lightest concoction.

  • Grace

    Frank – do you ever put your eggs in a container and then whip them with the electric small beater, adding non fat milk? That is the way I make mine, they are the lightest concoction.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 97. my expresso machine is made in switzerland by Jura and is the model ena3 you can find that model for cheap on the net if you keep looking. You can get a thermos too for about 30$ that keeps the milk cold. but I don´t bother. I just stick the milk tube into the milk carton and leave it there . i just run hot water thru it after a use and then leave it in the fridge so I don´t need to sterilize it as often.

    The machine is gorgeous. black or white. and it throws the grounds automatically into a little bin. Those swiss. what will the think of next?! jura espresso machines, cheese, watches, chocolate… john calvin. ulrich zwingli. 4 outta 6 aint bad in a sinful world. ha!

    last time I was stateside i bought a lovely set of triple clad stainless pans and one is great for omelettes. they are too pretty to use. but I do. 10 pieces for $200 but nothing beats the stainless to brown and glaze. costco! they sell cefalon teflon too for the same price. got those too. It´s a guy thing I think. even in the kitchen a guy has to have the biggest and baddest kitchen aid stand mixer etc. women are alot more practical and about functionality. And hey, being gay, I am genetically compelled to accessorize in any thing I pursue. ha!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace @ 97. my expresso machine is made in switzerland by Jura and is the model ena3 you can find that model for cheap on the net if you keep looking. You can get a thermos too for about 30$ that keeps the milk cold. but I don´t bother. I just stick the milk tube into the milk carton and leave it there . i just run hot water thru it after a use and then leave it in the fridge so I don´t need to sterilize it as often.

    The machine is gorgeous. black or white. and it throws the grounds automatically into a little bin. Those swiss. what will the think of next?! jura espresso machines, cheese, watches, chocolate… john calvin. ulrich zwingli. 4 outta 6 aint bad in a sinful world. ha!

    last time I was stateside i bought a lovely set of triple clad stainless pans and one is great for omelettes. they are too pretty to use. but I do. 10 pieces for $200 but nothing beats the stainless to brown and glaze. costco! they sell cefalon teflon too for the same price. got those too. It´s a guy thing I think. even in the kitchen a guy has to have the biggest and baddest kitchen aid stand mixer etc. women are alot more practical and about functionality. And hey, being gay, I am genetically compelled to accessorize in any thing I pursue. ha!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace; tempt me not.! that small beater gismo is one that I have not yet acquired. but I suppose I could use my blender for the same effect. would regular milk work? I need to shoot for calories because of health issues. colesterol and fat are not yet a problem….

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    grace; tempt me not.! that small beater gismo is one that I have not yet acquired. but I suppose I could use my blender for the same effect. would regular milk work? I need to shoot for calories because of health issues. colesterol and fat are not yet a problem….

  • Tom Hering

    The first snow has fallen. Time to get the bread machine going. :-)

  • Tom Hering

    The first snow has fallen. Time to get the bread machine going. :-)

  • Grace

    Frank – the small beater is very inexpensive – it doesn’t have a regular beater – the one we have is a Braun, I think I paid about 20.00 for it. The action underneath the plastic covering does the beater job.

    You can use regular milk – I like non fat milk, that’s the only reason I use it – I’m slim so there is no reason to cut back.

  • Grace

    Frank – the small beater is very inexpensive – it doesn’t have a regular beater – the one we have is a Braun, I think I paid about 20.00 for it. The action underneath the plastic covering does the beater job.

    You can use regular milk – I like non fat milk, that’s the only reason I use it – I’m slim so there is no reason to cut back.

  • Grace

    Tom – what kind of bread do you make?

  • Grace

    Tom – what kind of bread do you make?

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Tom – we stopped using our bread machine. Nothing like feeling the dough with your hands – you can feelwhen it has been kneaded enough. Plus it is a nice little work out, and doesn’t take that long either. I enjoy baking bread – not just regular brown bread, but all kinds – rye, Russian potato, Knackerbrot, Finnish barley bread etc. We mill our own wheat – I buy Red Fife directly from an organic farmer. Good stuff.

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    Tom – we stopped using our bread machine. Nothing like feeling the dough with your hands – you can feelwhen it has been kneaded enough. Plus it is a nice little work out, and doesn’t take that long either. I enjoy baking bread – not just regular brown bread, but all kinds – rye, Russian potato, Knackerbrot, Finnish barley bread etc. We mill our own wheat – I buy Red Fife directly from an organic farmer. Good stuff.

  • Abby

    fws @88 & 89

    Your description of “holy worship” is very beautiful. It also made me recall these words of Jesus: John 4: 19-26 (Woman at the Well)
    “The woman said to him, ‘Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 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.’ The woman said to him, ‘I know that the Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.’”

    Does it strike you with amazement that Jesus gives these lessons of true holy and pleasing worship to two sinful women?

    I have been in many Lutheran churches around the country. I was raised in a “high” liturgical church. I have attended CWs. I went to a Chinese Lutheran church in Manhattan, New York, where they used the old red Lutheran hymnal. I attended two Lutheran churches in India where I could not understand the language (except that both pastors referenced Martin Luther in their sermons). In all of these worship “experiences” the Holy Spirit was present and moved in me with the assurance of His gifts of grace, mercy, and forgiveness of sins. Truly amazing and awesome.

    As for Mark Driscoll: I do not defend him for anything he does wrong. (I’ve heard wrong things by many pastors.) But I am also cautious to pass any judgement on him in his work to give Jesus Christ to the lowest of sinners off the street.

    Luke 9:38-41

    “John said to Him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, becasue he was not following us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in My name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. For the one who is not against us is for us. For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.’”

    So, anyone judging him, maybe should go to Dr. Rosenbladt’s sermon on “The Gospel for Those Broken by the Church.” I’ve listened to it several times. It is true. We are saved by faith in Christ’s shed blood for our sins–and nothing else. And we worship Him in spirit and truth no matter where in the world we are or the style of worship that is there. In all of my worship experiences, there were some annoying things present. But nothing else matters except the movement of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. This is only my opinion.

  • Abby

    fws @88 & 89

    Your description of “holy worship” is very beautiful. It also made me recall these words of Jesus: John 4: 19-26 (Woman at the Well)
    “The woman said to him, ‘Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 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.’ The woman said to him, ‘I know that the Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He.’”

    Does it strike you with amazement that Jesus gives these lessons of true holy and pleasing worship to two sinful women?

    I have been in many Lutheran churches around the country. I was raised in a “high” liturgical church. I have attended CWs. I went to a Chinese Lutheran church in Manhattan, New York, where they used the old red Lutheran hymnal. I attended two Lutheran churches in India where I could not understand the language (except that both pastors referenced Martin Luther in their sermons). In all of these worship “experiences” the Holy Spirit was present and moved in me with the assurance of His gifts of grace, mercy, and forgiveness of sins. Truly amazing and awesome.

    As for Mark Driscoll: I do not defend him for anything he does wrong. (I’ve heard wrong things by many pastors.) But I am also cautious to pass any judgement on him in his work to give Jesus Christ to the lowest of sinners off the street.

    Luke 9:38-41

    “John said to Him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, becasue he was not following us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in My name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. For the one who is not against us is for us. For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.’”

    So, anyone judging him, maybe should go to Dr. Rosenbladt’s sermon on “The Gospel for Those Broken by the Church.” I’ve listened to it several times. It is true. We are saved by faith in Christ’s shed blood for our sins–and nothing else. And we worship Him in spirit and truth no matter where in the world we are or the style of worship that is there. In all of my worship experiences, there were some annoying things present. But nothing else matters except the movement of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. This is only my opinion.

  • SKPeterson

    IF anyone is still reading this thread, I hope you and yours all had a great Thanksgiving. It was a gorgeous day here in east Tennessee.

    Anyhow, earlier I referenced Luther’s sermons on John and his explication of the Trinity. He also has some interesting things to say regarding the humanity of Jesus. So, here are a few quotes, now that I am home and can reference the work directly. From Luther’s Works, vol. 22, Sermons on the Gospel of St. John, Chapters 1-4, CPH, 1957 edition:

    Pg. 8 referring to John 1:1 – “Furthermore, we must realize that this Word in god is entirely different from my word or yours. For we, too, have a word, especially a ‘word of the heart,’ as the holy fathers call it. When, for example, we think about something and diligently investigate it, we have words; we carry on a conversation with ourselves. Its content is unknown to all but ourselves until such words of the heart are translated into oral words and speech… St. Paul touches on this in First Corinthians (2:11): ‘No person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him.’ …
    Thus God, too from all eternity has a Word, a speech, a thought, or a conversation with Himself in His divine heart, unknown to angels and men. This is called His Word. From eternity He was within God’s paternal heart, and through Him God resolved to create heaven and earth. But no man was aware of such a resolve until the Word became flesh and proclaimed this to us. …
    But just as God, the Lord and Creator of all creatures, is immeasurably superior to poor, miserable man, who is earth and dust, so there is no analogy between the word of the mortal man and the Word of the eternal and almighty God. … Therefore this analogy of our word is very inadequate and vague. But although our word cannot be compared to His Word, it affords us a faint idea. Indeed, it impels us to ponder the matter and obtain a better insight into its meaning, comparing the thoughts and speculations of the human heart with those of God and thus perceiving how God’s Son is a Word. For as I hold secret and inaudible converse with myself, decide on future actions, debate about this or that within myself as I walk about, these secret and silent words of my heart, if freely and frankly released would, I suppose, contain power sufficient for the ears of several thousand people. … Nor can all the thoughts and the plans of the heart and mind be fully uttered, especially if the heart burns with love or anger, with joy or sorrow. …
    This same picture may be applied to God. god, too, in His majesty and nature, is pregnant with a Word or a conversation in which He engages with Himself in His divine essence and which reflects the thoughts of His heart. This is as complete and excellent and perfect as God Himself.”

    I encourage people to read Luther’s sermons on John. They are quite good and provide an excellent commentary on the Gospel. Just be warned that Luther takes about 4 to 5 pages to elucidate a single verse!

  • SKPeterson

    IF anyone is still reading this thread, I hope you and yours all had a great Thanksgiving. It was a gorgeous day here in east Tennessee.

    Anyhow, earlier I referenced Luther’s sermons on John and his explication of the Trinity. He also has some interesting things to say regarding the humanity of Jesus. So, here are a few quotes, now that I am home and can reference the work directly. From Luther’s Works, vol. 22, Sermons on the Gospel of St. John, Chapters 1-4, CPH, 1957 edition:

    Pg. 8 referring to John 1:1 – “Furthermore, we must realize that this Word in god is entirely different from my word or yours. For we, too, have a word, especially a ‘word of the heart,’ as the holy fathers call it. When, for example, we think about something and diligently investigate it, we have words; we carry on a conversation with ourselves. Its content is unknown to all but ourselves until such words of the heart are translated into oral words and speech… St. Paul touches on this in First Corinthians (2:11): ‘No person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him.’ …
    Thus God, too from all eternity has a Word, a speech, a thought, or a conversation with Himself in His divine heart, unknown to angels and men. This is called His Word. From eternity He was within God’s paternal heart, and through Him God resolved to create heaven and earth. But no man was aware of such a resolve until the Word became flesh and proclaimed this to us. …
    But just as God, the Lord and Creator of all creatures, is immeasurably superior to poor, miserable man, who is earth and dust, so there is no analogy between the word of the mortal man and the Word of the eternal and almighty God. … Therefore this analogy of our word is very inadequate and vague. But although our word cannot be compared to His Word, it affords us a faint idea. Indeed, it impels us to ponder the matter and obtain a better insight into its meaning, comparing the thoughts and speculations of the human heart with those of God and thus perceiving how God’s Son is a Word. For as I hold secret and inaudible converse with myself, decide on future actions, debate about this or that within myself as I walk about, these secret and silent words of my heart, if freely and frankly released would, I suppose, contain power sufficient for the ears of several thousand people. … Nor can all the thoughts and the plans of the heart and mind be fully uttered, especially if the heart burns with love or anger, with joy or sorrow. …
    This same picture may be applied to God. god, too, in His majesty and nature, is pregnant with a Word or a conversation in which He engages with Himself in His divine essence and which reflects the thoughts of His heart. This is as complete and excellent and perfect as God Himself.”

    I encourage people to read Luther’s sermons on John. They are quite good and provide an excellent commentary on the Gospel. Just be warned that Luther takes about 4 to 5 pages to elucidate a single verse!

  • collie

    Luther does have a way with helping us think of new ways to ponder the mysteries of God. Interesting quote; thanks for posting it, SK.

  • collie

    Luther does have a way with helping us think of new ways to ponder the mysteries of God. Interesting quote; thanks for posting it, SK.

  • Grace

    Abbey – 106

    “And we worship Him in spirit and truth no matter where in the world we are or the style of worship that is there. In all of my worship experiences, there were some annoying things present. But nothing else matters except the movement of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. This is only my opinion.”

    Abby, below from my post #46

    <blockquote“Could Jesus have Sinned? While systematic theologians have spilled much ink on this point, the precise biblical answer is that we do not know. The Bible never addresses, much less answers, the question. Some will find this disturbing, but the Bible is clear that humility is the first requirement for a good theologian, so that we can be satisfied with what the God of the universe thinks we need to know.”
    Mark Driscoll – “Vintage Jesus” – Could Jesus have sinned? – Page 52)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    How can a so called pastor not understand the passages of Scripture which point clearly to Jesus being sinless? – John Piper has great admiration for this man?

    For he hath made him to be sin for us,who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

    For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15

    Abby YOU WROTE: – - “As for Mark Driscoll: I do not defend him for anything he does wrong. (I’ve heard wrong things by many pastors.) But I am also cautious to pass any judgement on him in his work to give Jesus Christ to the lowest of sinners off the street”

    Anyone who preaches or teaches that Jesus could have sinned, and then goes even further stating – - “The Bible never addresses, much less answers, the question.” – - has either never read the Scriptures, does not believe Jesus Christ to be Deity, and further more cannot understand, that IF Jesus could have sinned, He could not have died for anyone else’s sin, BECAUSE He too would have needed a Savior. Two verses above state clearly that Jesus was without sin, and that He knew no sin – YET, Mark Driscoll drones on that there are no such passages.

    A man cannot question the LORD Jesus Christ sinless nature, to question God the Son, and His Holy nature would contradict everything in the Word of God. If we cannot judge those within the church who preach a false doctrine, we are cowards, especially to QUESTION our LORD’s sinless life.

    Think about it Abby – there are too many weak kneed Christians today, who are not standing for truth, they would rather pal with apostasy.

  • Grace

    Abbey – 106

    “And we worship Him in spirit and truth no matter where in the world we are or the style of worship that is there. In all of my worship experiences, there were some annoying things present. But nothing else matters except the movement of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. This is only my opinion.”

    Abby, below from my post #46

    <blockquote“Could Jesus have Sinned? While systematic theologians have spilled much ink on this point, the precise biblical answer is that we do not know. The Bible never addresses, much less answers, the question. Some will find this disturbing, but the Bible is clear that humility is the first requirement for a good theologian, so that we can be satisfied with what the God of the universe thinks we need to know.”
    Mark Driscoll – “Vintage Jesus” – Could Jesus have sinned? – Page 52)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    How can a so called pastor not understand the passages of Scripture which point clearly to Jesus being sinless? – John Piper has great admiration for this man?

    For he hath made him to be sin for us,who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

    For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15

    Abby YOU WROTE: – - “As for Mark Driscoll: I do not defend him for anything he does wrong. (I’ve heard wrong things by many pastors.) But I am also cautious to pass any judgement on him in his work to give Jesus Christ to the lowest of sinners off the street”

    Anyone who preaches or teaches that Jesus could have sinned, and then goes even further stating – - “The Bible never addresses, much less answers, the question.” – - has either never read the Scriptures, does not believe Jesus Christ to be Deity, and further more cannot understand, that IF Jesus could have sinned, He could not have died for anyone else’s sin, BECAUSE He too would have needed a Savior. Two verses above state clearly that Jesus was without sin, and that He knew no sin – YET, Mark Driscoll drones on that there are no such passages.

    A man cannot question the LORD Jesus Christ sinless nature, to question God the Son, and His Holy nature would contradict everything in the Word of God. If we cannot judge those within the church who preach a false doctrine, we are cowards, especially to QUESTION our LORD’s sinless life.

    Think about it Abby – there are too many weak kneed Christians today, who are not standing for truth, they would rather pal with apostasy.

  • Abby

    Dear Grace, With all due respect, I think you are misrepresenting Driscoll’s belief about the deity of Christ.

    From: “Doctrine, What Christians Should Believe” by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears

    “Theologically, the term for the union of both natures in Jesus Christ is hypostatic union, which is taken from the Greek word hypostasis for “person.” Summarizing the hypostatic union, three facts are noted: 1) Christ has two distinct natures; humanity and deity; 2) there is no mixture or intermingling of the two natures; 3) although he has two natures, Christ is one person. Chalcedonian summary of the incarnation is the position held by all of Christendom, including Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant Christians.
    In keeping with the biblical position of Chalcedon, we must retain both the full divinity and full humanity of Jesus Christ. To accomplish this, we must conclude that when Jesus became a man, he did not change his identity as God but rather changed his role. According to the church father Augustine, “Christ added to himself which he was not, he did not lose what he was.” Pg. 230

    “We want to be clear: Jesus remained fully man and fully God during his incarnation, and he maintained all of his divine attributtes and did avail himself of them upon occasion, such as to forgive human sin, which God alone can do. Nonetheless, Jesus’ life was lived as fully human in that he lived it by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Pg.232

    Also, when his church reached around 5000 people, he became convinced that it was important what people believed doctrinally if they were to belong there. They totally eliminated their membership list and started over. In order to belong to his church the “Doctrine” class is required. He lost 2000 during this proceedure. But the requirement is still, to be a member, one must complete the doctrine class.

    Again, I do not defend him in any wrongdoing. But I believe that context is important in all things.

  • Abby

    Dear Grace, With all due respect, I think you are misrepresenting Driscoll’s belief about the deity of Christ.

    From: “Doctrine, What Christians Should Believe” by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears

    “Theologically, the term for the union of both natures in Jesus Christ is hypostatic union, which is taken from the Greek word hypostasis for “person.” Summarizing the hypostatic union, three facts are noted: 1) Christ has two distinct natures; humanity and deity; 2) there is no mixture or intermingling of the two natures; 3) although he has two natures, Christ is one person. Chalcedonian summary of the incarnation is the position held by all of Christendom, including Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant Christians.
    In keeping with the biblical position of Chalcedon, we must retain both the full divinity and full humanity of Jesus Christ. To accomplish this, we must conclude that when Jesus became a man, he did not change his identity as God but rather changed his role. According to the church father Augustine, “Christ added to himself which he was not, he did not lose what he was.” Pg. 230

    “We want to be clear: Jesus remained fully man and fully God during his incarnation, and he maintained all of his divine attributtes and did avail himself of them upon occasion, such as to forgive human sin, which God alone can do. Nonetheless, Jesus’ life was lived as fully human in that he lived it by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Pg.232

    Also, when his church reached around 5000 people, he became convinced that it was important what people believed doctrinally if they were to belong there. They totally eliminated their membership list and started over. In order to belong to his church the “Doctrine” class is required. He lost 2000 during this proceedure. But the requirement is still, to be a member, one must complete the doctrine class.

    Again, I do not defend him in any wrongdoing. But I believe that context is important in all things.

  • Grace

    Abby – 110 “Again, I do not defend him in any wrongdoing. But I believe that context is important in all things.”

    Abby – Driscoll contradicts himself, – he writes a book, outlining Deity, but questions whether or not Christ could have sinned, and then further states elsewhere:

    “Could Jesus have Sinned? While systematic theologians have spilled much ink on this point, the precise biblical answer is that we do not know. The Bible never addresses, much less answers, the question.”

    Abby we do know, the Word of God tells us, …. as I’ve posted to you in 109 it is obvious from Scripture.

    For he hath made him to be sin for us,who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

    For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15

    If you cannot see the CONTRADICTION, there is little to add. As for “context” – the man hasn’t a clue.

    “Could Jesus have Sinned? While systematic theologians have spilled much ink on this point, the precise biblical answer is that we do not know. The Bible never addresses, much less answers, the question. Some will find this disturbing, but the Bible is clear that humility is the first requirement for a good theologian, so that we can be satisfied with what the God of the universe thinks we need to know.”
    Mark Driscoll – “Vintage Jesus” – Could Jesus have sinned? – Page 52)

  • Grace

    Abby – 110 “Again, I do not defend him in any wrongdoing. But I believe that context is important in all things.”

    Abby – Driscoll contradicts himself, – he writes a book, outlining Deity, but questions whether or not Christ could have sinned, and then further states elsewhere:

    “Could Jesus have Sinned? While systematic theologians have spilled much ink on this point, the precise biblical answer is that we do not know. The Bible never addresses, much less answers, the question.”

    Abby we do know, the Word of God tells us, …. as I’ve posted to you in 109 it is obvious from Scripture.

    For he hath made him to be sin for us,who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

    For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15

    If you cannot see the CONTRADICTION, there is little to add. As for “context” – the man hasn’t a clue.

    “Could Jesus have Sinned? While systematic theologians have spilled much ink on this point, the precise biblical answer is that we do not know. The Bible never addresses, much less answers, the question. Some will find this disturbing, but the Bible is clear that humility is the first requirement for a good theologian, so that we can be satisfied with what the God of the universe thinks we need to know.”
    Mark Driscoll – “Vintage Jesus” – Could Jesus have sinned? – Page 52)

  • Abby

    Grace @111

    “Could Jesus have Sinned?”

    The important word here is “could.” This is my own opinion again. If Jesus was fully human, which has been established by way-smarter people than me, than He must have had the ability to sin. Otherwise, He would have an unfair God-advantage with regards to being holy. How could He have “sympathy” for our weaknesses? If He felt no “tug” to give in to temptation?

    “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15 (You can’t have a better answer than this.)

    But Driscoll answers the question–”we don’t know.” I believe that is an honest answer.

    Jesus was a man. He did not sin. But He is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” “. . .and in all points tempted.”

  • Abby

    Grace @111

    “Could Jesus have Sinned?”

    The important word here is “could.” This is my own opinion again. If Jesus was fully human, which has been established by way-smarter people than me, than He must have had the ability to sin. Otherwise, He would have an unfair God-advantage with regards to being holy. How could He have “sympathy” for our weaknesses? If He felt no “tug” to give in to temptation?

    “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15 (You can’t have a better answer than this.)

    But Driscoll answers the question–”we don’t know.” I believe that is an honest answer.

    Jesus was a man. He did not sin. But He is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” “. . .and in all points tempted.”

  • Grace

    Abby – 112

    “If Jesus was fully human, which has been established by way-smarter people than me, than He must have had the ability to sin. Otherwise, He would have an unfair God-advantage with regards to being holy. How could He have “sympathy” for our weaknesses? If He felt no “tug” to give in to temptation?”

    Abby, you are trying to equate God the Son and His Holyness to your and anyone else, it cannot be done.

    “unfair God-advantage with regards to being holy.” ? ?

    Abby I would caution you regarding that comment. God the Son always had the advantage, He is Deity, He is God the Son, He is Holy. Do you need more proof ?

    Abby YOU WRITE:…… “But Driscoll answers the question–”we don’t know.” I believe that is an honest answer.”

    No it isn’t Abby, it’s denying what the Bible says regarding Christ being sinless – there is nothing honest with IGNORING SCRIPTURE and making it up as you go along.

  • Grace

    Abby – 112

    “If Jesus was fully human, which has been established by way-smarter people than me, than He must have had the ability to sin. Otherwise, He would have an unfair God-advantage with regards to being holy. How could He have “sympathy” for our weaknesses? If He felt no “tug” to give in to temptation?”

    Abby, you are trying to equate God the Son and His Holyness to your and anyone else, it cannot be done.

    “unfair God-advantage with regards to being holy.” ? ?

    Abby I would caution you regarding that comment. God the Son always had the advantage, He is Deity, He is God the Son, He is Holy. Do you need more proof ?

    Abby YOU WRITE:…… “But Driscoll answers the question–”we don’t know.” I believe that is an honest answer.”

    No it isn’t Abby, it’s denying what the Bible says regarding Christ being sinless – there is nothing honest with IGNORING SCRIPTURE and making it up as you go along.

  • Grace

    Abby 112

    ““If Jesus was fully human, which has been established by way-smarter people than me, than He must have had the ability to sin. Otherwise, He would have an unfair God-advantage with regards to being holy.”

    Jesus was always HOLY, and sinless –

    You’re forgetting something here. Jesus was the Word, He created everything, that includes you and me.

    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    2 The same was in the beginning with God.

    3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

    4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

    5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

    6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

    7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

    8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

    9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

    10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

    11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

    12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

    13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1

  • Grace

    Abby 112

    ““If Jesus was fully human, which has been established by way-smarter people than me, than He must have had the ability to sin. Otherwise, He would have an unfair God-advantage with regards to being holy.”

    Jesus was always HOLY, and sinless –

    You’re forgetting something here. Jesus was the Word, He created everything, that includes you and me.

    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    2 The same was in the beginning with God.

    3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

    4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

    5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

    6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

    7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

    8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

    9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

    10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

    11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

    12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

    13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1

  • DonS

    Grace and Abby — you seem to be talking past each other a bit here. Abby, Grace thinks that Driscoll and you are both allowing for the possibility that Christ actually sinned or may have sinned during his time on earth. That is why she is so vehemently arguing against your points. Grace, neither Abby nor Driscoll are saying any such thing, as far as I can tell. They both acknowledge and celebrate Christ’s sinlessness, and his consequent ability to be the unblemished Lamb for the remission of our sins. What they are doing is speculating as to whether Christ MIGHT HAVE possibly had the ability to sin, as the Son of Man. In other words, could he have succumbed to temptation and sinned, because of His humanity? Not “did He”, but rather “could He”?

    Now I know next to nothing about either Piper or Driscoll. I don’t really care to. But if you two are going to have this discussion, you should at least be talking about the same thing. ;-)

  • DonS

    Grace and Abby — you seem to be talking past each other a bit here. Abby, Grace thinks that Driscoll and you are both allowing for the possibility that Christ actually sinned or may have sinned during his time on earth. That is why she is so vehemently arguing against your points. Grace, neither Abby nor Driscoll are saying any such thing, as far as I can tell. They both acknowledge and celebrate Christ’s sinlessness, and his consequent ability to be the unblemished Lamb for the remission of our sins. What they are doing is speculating as to whether Christ MIGHT HAVE possibly had the ability to sin, as the Son of Man. In other words, could he have succumbed to temptation and sinned, because of His humanity? Not “did He”, but rather “could He”?

    Now I know next to nothing about either Piper or Driscoll. I don’t really care to. But if you two are going to have this discussion, you should at least be talking about the same thing. ;-)

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Don @ 115, abby @ 112 and grace @113

    Don, Ok so the issue then is COULD Jesus have sinned? The question matters. Alot. It is fine amd good to ask the question. The answer needs to be a solid “no”.

    Abby, your argument now seems to be that to feel that “tug of sin” = to be human. I agree with you (and so do the Lutheran Confessions) . What this “tug” is, is that we are ever and always conflicted between what our conscience, the Law tells us, and what our heart would really rather do if we had no conscience. Our “sin nature”, our heart being tugged towards sin, seems to be a very part of being human. Our hearts do not agree with our conscience. That is why there is that “tug”. Our heart wars against our conscience or the Law of God.

    So dear sister Abby, you note a truth that we have to acknowledge. It is in the bible “Who knows his own heart, it is dark beyond knowing” and St Paul in Romans “The good I want to do I do not, and the evil I dont want to do I do!”

    But I also need to disagree with you dear sister. That “tug of sin” is what is called “Original Sin”. It is that thing inside of our heart that has us always making a mental calculation between sin and faith in what our conscience tells us. And we have to confess that even if we end up obeying our conscience in our thoughts, words or deeds meticulously, our heart is still not in it. We need to grit our teeth most of the time to follow our conscience.

    This heart condition as I said, is called “Original Sin”. We are born this way. You must teach a child to behave for example . You do not have to teach a child to misbehave. The bible describes this as “tree and fruit”. If the tree is bad, then the fruit can only be bad as well. That is our situation with Original sin.

    Here is a deeper reading on this topíc from the Lutheran Confessions:

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/fc-ep.php#I. Original Sin.

    Here is Martin Luther´s preface to his fine german translation of Romans for a further, and shorter! reading on this:

    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

    So here Grace has it almost right. I say almost, because she says that Jesus could not sin, and that is right, but then she says that it is because Jesus is God. That IS completely right, but that is only 1/2 of it, and so Don is right in that our two sisters are sort of talking past each other. Abby is pondering our Lord´s Humanity, which Grace is pondering our Lord´s Divinity. But we need to put the two togeather for as Don pointed out, Jesus is ONE person that cannot be considered only as Man or only as God. Reason cannot take us fully to a correct understanding this means by the way.

    So then: If having a “defective heart” that has that “tug of sin” is truly a part of what it is to be human, then Jesus could not have become a man without also becoming too a sinner. It is that simple. But we are told that Jesus was born without a heart that conflicted with God´s Law or Conscience. His heart , in contrast , fully and always agreed with his conscience. So much so that he did not have to think about doing what was right like we have to. With his pure (and fully HUMAN!) heart, he spontaneously and joyfully just did Jesus. And doing Jesus as a human being meant and could only mean, doing God´s Will. The “Tree” was all good, and so the fruit in thought, word and deed, would also simply have to be good too! No other possibility! So Grace is absolutely correct but she is correct not only according to the fact that Jesus is God, but also according to the fact that Jesus was fully human! The Second Adam had a heart that was perfectly in God´s Image. You can think of it this way: Original Righteousness, that righteousness that the first Adam had before the fall, was again fully in that Second Adam named Jesus according to his humanity born of the Virgin Mary.

    So Saint Mary is the Mother of God. This is what Grace is confessing here. This is true.

    And Saint Mary is also the Mother of God In-car-ate, God-in-the-flesh who was in every way fully and completely human exactly as we are human. And Abby you are right in this almost completely except for that part about what it really means to be “human.” This does not include the part that we only can know as sinners… that original sin, tug of sin that is in our fallen hearts that is the root and source of the actual sins we do in our thoughts, words , and deeds every day and every moment of our existence.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Don @ 115, abby @ 112 and grace @113

    Don, Ok so the issue then is COULD Jesus have sinned? The question matters. Alot. It is fine amd good to ask the question. The answer needs to be a solid “no”.

    Abby, your argument now seems to be that to feel that “tug of sin” = to be human. I agree with you (and so do the Lutheran Confessions) . What this “tug” is, is that we are ever and always conflicted between what our conscience, the Law tells us, and what our heart would really rather do if we had no conscience. Our “sin nature”, our heart being tugged towards sin, seems to be a very part of being human. Our hearts do not agree with our conscience. That is why there is that “tug”. Our heart wars against our conscience or the Law of God.

    So dear sister Abby, you note a truth that we have to acknowledge. It is in the bible “Who knows his own heart, it is dark beyond knowing” and St Paul in Romans “The good I want to do I do not, and the evil I dont want to do I do!”

    But I also need to disagree with you dear sister. That “tug of sin” is what is called “Original Sin”. It is that thing inside of our heart that has us always making a mental calculation between sin and faith in what our conscience tells us. And we have to confess that even if we end up obeying our conscience in our thoughts, words or deeds meticulously, our heart is still not in it. We need to grit our teeth most of the time to follow our conscience.

    This heart condition as I said, is called “Original Sin”. We are born this way. You must teach a child to behave for example . You do not have to teach a child to misbehave. The bible describes this as “tree and fruit”. If the tree is bad, then the fruit can only be bad as well. That is our situation with Original sin.

    Here is a deeper reading on this topíc from the Lutheran Confessions:

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/fc-ep.php#I. Original Sin.

    Here is Martin Luther´s preface to his fine german translation of Romans for a further, and shorter! reading on this:

    http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

    So here Grace has it almost right. I say almost, because she says that Jesus could not sin, and that is right, but then she says that it is because Jesus is God. That IS completely right, but that is only 1/2 of it, and so Don is right in that our two sisters are sort of talking past each other. Abby is pondering our Lord´s Humanity, which Grace is pondering our Lord´s Divinity. But we need to put the two togeather for as Don pointed out, Jesus is ONE person that cannot be considered only as Man or only as God. Reason cannot take us fully to a correct understanding this means by the way.

    So then: If having a “defective heart” that has that “tug of sin” is truly a part of what it is to be human, then Jesus could not have become a man without also becoming too a sinner. It is that simple. But we are told that Jesus was born without a heart that conflicted with God´s Law or Conscience. His heart , in contrast , fully and always agreed with his conscience. So much so that he did not have to think about doing what was right like we have to. With his pure (and fully HUMAN!) heart, he spontaneously and joyfully just did Jesus. And doing Jesus as a human being meant and could only mean, doing God´s Will. The “Tree” was all good, and so the fruit in thought, word and deed, would also simply have to be good too! No other possibility! So Grace is absolutely correct but she is correct not only according to the fact that Jesus is God, but also according to the fact that Jesus was fully human! The Second Adam had a heart that was perfectly in God´s Image. You can think of it this way: Original Righteousness, that righteousness that the first Adam had before the fall, was again fully in that Second Adam named Jesus according to his humanity born of the Virgin Mary.

    So Saint Mary is the Mother of God. This is what Grace is confessing here. This is true.

    And Saint Mary is also the Mother of God In-car-ate, God-in-the-flesh who was in every way fully and completely human exactly as we are human. And Abby you are right in this almost completely except for that part about what it really means to be “human.” This does not include the part that we only can know as sinners… that original sin, tug of sin that is in our fallen hearts that is the root and source of the actual sins we do in our thoughts, words , and deeds every day and every moment of our existence.

  • Abby

    Don @115, fws @166

    THANK YOU! You both nailed it! I couldn’t get the words out properly, but you expressed my thoughts better!

    And my only point about Piper or Driscoll is that we should be careful with the vitriol we spread about other Christians. Which you brought together for me, Don.

    Thank you both, again.

  • Abby

    Don @115, fws @166

    THANK YOU! You both nailed it! I couldn’t get the words out properly, but you expressed my thoughts better!

    And my only point about Piper or Driscoll is that we should be careful with the vitriol we spread about other Christians. Which you brought together for me, Don.

    Thank you both, again.

  • Abby

    I meant fws@116.

  • Abby

    I meant fws@116.

  • Abby

    fws@116

    I believe I agree with you totally. But I am still wondering how Jesus could “have sympathy” with our plight–”original sin”–”temptations”–if He could NOT have sinned? I don’t understand the point of the devil’s temptations. Wouldn’t the devil have known his exercise was futile? And did Jesus, like us, have the internal raging, daily battle of temptation that the devil puts before us–or not?

  • Abby

    fws@116

    I believe I agree with you totally. But I am still wondering how Jesus could “have sympathy” with our plight–”original sin”–”temptations”–if He could NOT have sinned? I don’t understand the point of the devil’s temptations. Wouldn’t the devil have known his exercise was futile? And did Jesus, like us, have the internal raging, daily battle of temptation that the devil puts before us–or not?

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Abby @ 119

    You are asking all the right questions I think. They are good ones.

    All we can do is see what the Scriptures say and then try to orient ourselves around them. We are talking about things that our reason will not be able to fully grasp merely because we are finite and we are talking about the very nature of God. Infinite things. We are even doing this when we talk about the Blessed Incarnation. I don´t really get how Jesus can be 100% God and 100% man. 100+100=?

    Ok..

    Jesus was a “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”. “There was nothing about him that man should want him”. Meaning that Jesus was plain if not unattractive. Jesus had to be pointed out in a crowd. Here is the Creator of the Universe, Lord of Lords and King of Kings walking on earth among us, and….. nobody noticed. He had a reputation as a party animal (“winebibber and glutton). He hung out with the “bottom feeders ” of society that the religious shunned. Alot of folks only accept this as a fact by glossing the fact with “ah, but these were repentent sinners, they were sorry for what they had done and had stopped doing it. ” Not so much! And the pastors and religious people of his day? Well, they would only meet up with him in the dark of night (Nicodemus). They did not want to be seen dining with him and fraternizing with him did they? Even in his betrayal, he had to be indicated and singled out with a kiss. How is that possible? I don´t really know.

    Further, you are right in that the Scriptures say that Jesus was “tempted in all ways like we are tempted”. And the Scriptures say that he “who was without sin, became sin for us.” This must all be taken in the most literal way we can take it.

    So with all of this your question was this: How could Jesus really empathize with our plight of having damaged hearts if his also was not damaged , and sinful, and he did not have to experience that internal war going on as we do: between following in faith (ie joyfully and spontaneously and without any effort is what that means!) what our conscience tells us and…. our hearts which would do otherwise if there was no conscience or Law accusing us?

    Abby, when I was told that I would be dead in a year from HIV and I was weak and in alot of pain, the only thing that made sense to me was to look at a crucifix on my wall and see the Son of God and Son of Man hanging there dead. For me. For ME! for me. For… me. Sinful me.

    One who did not sin, there, on that cross, became sin for me. He experienced ALL the painful horrible and suffering consequences that sin delivers to me every single moment of every single day. He understands sorrow and grief. He understands what it is to be abandoned by everyone and to be unloved. He understands what it is like to be “thrown under the bus” in favor of the tidiness of that religious sacrifice that the Pharisees practiced so well and that God and our conscience does FULLY demand of all of is. He understands, AS MY GOD, what it feels like to be sacrificed to morality and shown no mercy. Maybe only some pity as “love the sinner and hate the sin” which means to be unliked and be treated as something less than “human”.

    Yet it is very, very important for me to understand that Jesus not only did not sin, He could not. Not as God, and not even as God-made-flesh. As a HUMAN he could not sin. That means that I can hope that I too, one day, will be freed from that inner struggle between my conscience that is always accusing me, and my heart which only follows that conscience as a burden and begrudgingly. What a miserable thing. We were not made for that as humans!

    And you are right. This “tug of temptation ” is such a huge part of our existence , we cannot imagine any other kind of existence. But look at the Blessed Incarnation! There is that other kind of human existence. It looks like Jesus. Keep your eyes fixed on him.

    But it gets better!

    We can´t fix our will. Evangelicals, yes like thw two men everyone is criticizing here, say that now that we are christians, and we have the Holy Spirit, the deal is to use our “sanctified” will power to win that constant struggle of the “tug of temptation.”

    It doesn´t work. Why not? Our willpower (ie our heart) IS the problem.

    And so Jesus tells Nicodemus that the only solution is not a repair job. It is a NEW birth. NEW as in , well, new. Not new as in “transformation” or change or a “re-condition-ed” heart. New.

    This is what you received Abby in your new birth that God made happen in your water baptism. And he gave this same new birth to me and to Grace and to Don S and all of us here. And what does that New Man/Woman look like that is now the new NEW Abby?

    Why, it looks EXACTLY like your Beloved Jesus in the Blessed Incarnation! As a new man Abby, you have a new heart that is a good tree, that simply cannot sin! This is just as 1 John says. And at the same time, you still have that Old Adam that can only sin as a bad tree.

    So you still battle. But now you battle with who you once were. Old Adam. And he still needs to die. So your struggle is not where you try to live, sanctification, and get right with God. That has already happened completely in you and for you! So now you are free from the accusations of your conscience. You died to it. Your concience is clean!

    But now you want to kill that old adam so that he is forced by that death, to serve me and grace and don in the sweet way you have been doing, and to encourage us all not to judge quicky but to treat each other with love and respect.

    And how do we do that disciplining of the Old Adam? Same way as any pagan. Nothing spiritual about that. Lots of hard work. Training like an athlete. self denial. and with a goal: to serve and submit and humble ourselves to others and ask that they be the judge of whether or not we are making them feel loved!

    You are a good example of that Abby. So are Grace and Don. And together we are all part of one body and get to love and serve each other providing the parts that each of us is maybe missing alone.

    I hope that helps dear sister!

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Abby @ 119

    You are asking all the right questions I think. They are good ones.

    All we can do is see what the Scriptures say and then try to orient ourselves around them. We are talking about things that our reason will not be able to fully grasp merely because we are finite and we are talking about the very nature of God. Infinite things. We are even doing this when we talk about the Blessed Incarnation. I don´t really get how Jesus can be 100% God and 100% man. 100+100=?

    Ok..

    Jesus was a “man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”. “There was nothing about him that man should want him”. Meaning that Jesus was plain if not unattractive. Jesus had to be pointed out in a crowd. Here is the Creator of the Universe, Lord of Lords and King of Kings walking on earth among us, and….. nobody noticed. He had a reputation as a party animal (“winebibber and glutton). He hung out with the “bottom feeders ” of society that the religious shunned. Alot of folks only accept this as a fact by glossing the fact with “ah, but these were repentent sinners, they were sorry for what they had done and had stopped doing it. ” Not so much! And the pastors and religious people of his day? Well, they would only meet up with him in the dark of night (Nicodemus). They did not want to be seen dining with him and fraternizing with him did they? Even in his betrayal, he had to be indicated and singled out with a kiss. How is that possible? I don´t really know.

    Further, you are right in that the Scriptures say that Jesus was “tempted in all ways like we are tempted”. And the Scriptures say that he “who was without sin, became sin for us.” This must all be taken in the most literal way we can take it.

    So with all of this your question was this: How could Jesus really empathize with our plight of having damaged hearts if his also was not damaged , and sinful, and he did not have to experience that internal war going on as we do: between following in faith (ie joyfully and spontaneously and without any effort is what that means!) what our conscience tells us and…. our hearts which would do otherwise if there was no conscience or Law accusing us?

    Abby, when I was told that I would be dead in a year from HIV and I was weak and in alot of pain, the only thing that made sense to me was to look at a crucifix on my wall and see the Son of God and Son of Man hanging there dead. For me. For ME! for me. For… me. Sinful me.

    One who did not sin, there, on that cross, became sin for me. He experienced ALL the painful horrible and suffering consequences that sin delivers to me every single moment of every single day. He understands sorrow and grief. He understands what it is to be abandoned by everyone and to be unloved. He understands what it is like to be “thrown under the bus” in favor of the tidiness of that religious sacrifice that the Pharisees practiced so well and that God and our conscience does FULLY demand of all of is. He understands, AS MY GOD, what it feels like to be sacrificed to morality and shown no mercy. Maybe only some pity as “love the sinner and hate the sin” which means to be unliked and be treated as something less than “human”.

    Yet it is very, very important for me to understand that Jesus not only did not sin, He could not. Not as God, and not even as God-made-flesh. As a HUMAN he could not sin. That means that I can hope that I too, one day, will be freed from that inner struggle between my conscience that is always accusing me, and my heart which only follows that conscience as a burden and begrudgingly. What a miserable thing. We were not made for that as humans!

    And you are right. This “tug of temptation ” is such a huge part of our existence , we cannot imagine any other kind of existence. But look at the Blessed Incarnation! There is that other kind of human existence. It looks like Jesus. Keep your eyes fixed on him.

    But it gets better!

    We can´t fix our will. Evangelicals, yes like thw two men everyone is criticizing here, say that now that we are christians, and we have the Holy Spirit, the deal is to use our “sanctified” will power to win that constant struggle of the “tug of temptation.”

    It doesn´t work. Why not? Our willpower (ie our heart) IS the problem.

    And so Jesus tells Nicodemus that the only solution is not a repair job. It is a NEW birth. NEW as in , well, new. Not new as in “transformation” or change or a “re-condition-ed” heart. New.

    This is what you received Abby in your new birth that God made happen in your water baptism. And he gave this same new birth to me and to Grace and to Don S and all of us here. And what does that New Man/Woman look like that is now the new NEW Abby?

    Why, it looks EXACTLY like your Beloved Jesus in the Blessed Incarnation! As a new man Abby, you have a new heart that is a good tree, that simply cannot sin! This is just as 1 John says. And at the same time, you still have that Old Adam that can only sin as a bad tree.

    So you still battle. But now you battle with who you once were. Old Adam. And he still needs to die. So your struggle is not where you try to live, sanctification, and get right with God. That has already happened completely in you and for you! So now you are free from the accusations of your conscience. You died to it. Your concience is clean!

    But now you want to kill that old adam so that he is forced by that death, to serve me and grace and don in the sweet way you have been doing, and to encourage us all not to judge quicky but to treat each other with love and respect.

    And how do we do that disciplining of the Old Adam? Same way as any pagan. Nothing spiritual about that. Lots of hard work. Training like an athlete. self denial. and with a goal: to serve and submit and humble ourselves to others and ask that they be the judge of whether or not we are making them feel loved!

    You are a good example of that Abby. So are Grace and Don. And together we are all part of one body and get to love and serve each other providing the parts that each of us is maybe missing alone.

    I hope that helps dear sister!

  • Grace

    I disagree strongly regarding “talking past Abby” -

    Understanding who God the Son is….. is pivotal to understanding Him not being able to sin. Man most often wants to bring God the Son down to their level, instead of reaching for Him as their only hope, their Salvation. God the Son could never have died on the cross for our sins, IF He were able to sin, or if He had sinned, He too would have needed a Savior.

    Driscoll made the statement:

    “Could Jesus have Sinned? While systematic theologians have spilled much ink on this point, the precise biblical answer is that we do not know. The Bible never addresses, much less answers, the question. Some will find this disturbing, but the Bible is clear that humility is the first requirement for a good theologian, so that we can be satisfied with what the God of the universe thinks we need to know.”
    Mark Driscoll – “Vintage Jesus” – Could Jesus have sinned? – Page 52)

    As for Driscoll, …… he refuses to understand the sinless nature of the LORD Jesus -

    I didn’t talk past anyone – I was and am clear on the answers that come straight from the Word of God, as the Scripture posted more than once to prove the sinless nature of the LORD Jesus Christ.

    For he hath made him to be sin for us,who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

    For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15

    Christ Jesus sinless nature must be understood in order to comprehend who He is, and why He came to this earth.

  • Grace

    I disagree strongly regarding “talking past Abby” -

    Understanding who God the Son is….. is pivotal to understanding Him not being able to sin. Man most often wants to bring God the Son down to their level, instead of reaching for Him as their only hope, their Salvation. God the Son could never have died on the cross for our sins, IF He were able to sin, or if He had sinned, He too would have needed a Savior.

    Driscoll made the statement:

    “Could Jesus have Sinned? While systematic theologians have spilled much ink on this point, the precise biblical answer is that we do not know. The Bible never addresses, much less answers, the question. Some will find this disturbing, but the Bible is clear that humility is the first requirement for a good theologian, so that we can be satisfied with what the God of the universe thinks we need to know.”
    Mark Driscoll – “Vintage Jesus” – Could Jesus have sinned? – Page 52)

    As for Driscoll, …… he refuses to understand the sinless nature of the LORD Jesus -

    I didn’t talk past anyone – I was and am clear on the answers that come straight from the Word of God, as the Scripture posted more than once to prove the sinless nature of the LORD Jesus Christ.

    For he hath made him to be sin for us,who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

    For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15

    Christ Jesus sinless nature must be understood in order to comprehend who He is, and why He came to this earth.

  • Grace

    Frank, I pray for you often, ever since I understood what you were going through, which was a few weeks ago. I pray that you will be healed.

  • Grace

    Frank, I pray for you often, ever since I understood what you were going through, which was a few weeks ago. I pray that you will be healed.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Grace @ 122

    Thanks dear Grace. I have all the healing I need in Jesus. But then you know that.

    Grace @121

    I think Grace when people say that I am “talking past them” they are not telling me they think that what I am saying is wrong. They are saying that I do not quite understand the question that they have, and so I am not answering their question. Sometimes people don´t know how to ask the question in a way that I can understand what it is that is really the real question. Sometimes what they want is an answer to a question that is behind the question they actually posed.

    So this all is a process that requires a certain amount of patience yes? You are good at laying things out clearly. Not everyone can express exactly what it is they really are trying to say. I know that I often say stuff that is not exactly what it is that I mean to say. And I am grateful when people show me the grace of bearing with that patiently and lovingly.

    So they are not saying you are wrong Grace, they are just saying that your response, even though correct, did not answer THE question they are trying to get an answer to.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    Grace @ 122

    Thanks dear Grace. I have all the healing I need in Jesus. But then you know that.

    Grace @121

    I think Grace when people say that I am “talking past them” they are not telling me they think that what I am saying is wrong. They are saying that I do not quite understand the question that they have, and so I am not answering their question. Sometimes people don´t know how to ask the question in a way that I can understand what it is that is really the real question. Sometimes what they want is an answer to a question that is behind the question they actually posed.

    So this all is a process that requires a certain amount of patience yes? You are good at laying things out clearly. Not everyone can express exactly what it is they really are trying to say. I know that I often say stuff that is not exactly what it is that I mean to say. And I am grateful when people show me the grace of bearing with that patiently and lovingly.

    So they are not saying you are wrong Grace, they are just saying that your response, even though correct, did not answer THE question they are trying to get an answer to.

  • Abby

    fws@120

    Dear Frank–you made me cry. Thank you for your kind answer. I also pray for you.

    Two women with a Bible–too dangerous? But then I remember Martin Luther making Katie learn.

    I have no problem saying, “I don’t know.” My puny brain can just accept the mysteries.

  • Abby

    fws@120

    Dear Frank–you made me cry. Thank you for your kind answer. I also pray for you.

    Two women with a Bible–too dangerous? But then I remember Martin Luther making Katie learn.

    I have no problem saying, “I don’t know.” My puny brain can just accept the mysteries.

  • Grace

    Abby — 124

    “Two women with a Bible–too dangerous? “

    No Abby a Bible isn’t dangerous, and neither is a woman who studies – the danger lies in not studying it – either male or female.

  • Grace

    Abby — 124

    “Two women with a Bible–too dangerous? “

    No Abby a Bible isn’t dangerous, and neither is a woman who studies – the danger lies in not studying it – either male or female.

  • Abby

    Only hyperbole, Grace. I love studying. I couldn’t give it up if I tried.

  • Abby

    Only hyperbole, Grace. I love studying. I couldn’t give it up if I tried.

  • DonS

    Frank @ 116:

    Well said. I agree with your post 100%. While we are here on earth, we will never possibly be able to comprehend the Divine Christ’s willingness to submit to His Father’s will, and to become the Son of Man, fully God and yet fully human, on our behalf. But the reason He was able to live a sinless life, and to be the perfect Lamb, was because of His Divinity. Though He was fully human, He was not tainted with Original Sin.

    Grace @ 121: I did not mean offense. It seemed to me, from reading through the posts, that you and Abby were talking about different things — you about whether Christ actually sinned (of course He didn’t), and Abby about whether in His Humanity, though He lived a sinless life, He might actually have been tempted to sin. The former is definitely heresy, and deserves a strong rebuke. The latter, however, is a genuine question of interest, by one who has a desire to explore the mystery of Christ’s dual nature, fully Divine, yet fully human; Son of God, and Son of Man. What did it mean when Christ took on the identity of a man? Subject to doubt and anguish, as exemplified by His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. In submission to the will of God the Father (“Not my will, but Thine be done”). Separated from God the Father because He bore our sins on the cross, and in such emotional anguish and despair that, though He was divine and knew the plan in its fullness, He cried out “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me”? He was considered by Satan himself to be susceptible to temptation. It’s not heresy to explore and consider such things, in the context of Scripture, as Abby was doing. I just though that if you had truly understood the nature of her questions, you would have responded much more gently than you did.

  • DonS

    Frank @ 116:

    Well said. I agree with your post 100%. While we are here on earth, we will never possibly be able to comprehend the Divine Christ’s willingness to submit to His Father’s will, and to become the Son of Man, fully God and yet fully human, on our behalf. But the reason He was able to live a sinless life, and to be the perfect Lamb, was because of His Divinity. Though He was fully human, He was not tainted with Original Sin.

    Grace @ 121: I did not mean offense. It seemed to me, from reading through the posts, that you and Abby were talking about different things — you about whether Christ actually sinned (of course He didn’t), and Abby about whether in His Humanity, though He lived a sinless life, He might actually have been tempted to sin. The former is definitely heresy, and deserves a strong rebuke. The latter, however, is a genuine question of interest, by one who has a desire to explore the mystery of Christ’s dual nature, fully Divine, yet fully human; Son of God, and Son of Man. What did it mean when Christ took on the identity of a man? Subject to doubt and anguish, as exemplified by His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. In submission to the will of God the Father (“Not my will, but Thine be done”). Separated from God the Father because He bore our sins on the cross, and in such emotional anguish and despair that, though He was divine and knew the plan in its fullness, He cried out “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me”? He was considered by Satan himself to be susceptible to temptation. It’s not heresy to explore and consider such things, in the context of Scripture, as Abby was doing. I just though that if you had truly understood the nature of her questions, you would have responded much more gently than you did.

  • Abby

    Don@127

    Dear Don: Thank you so much! I feel you really “got” what I was trying to say. Thank you for explaining it so well. I believe in Christ’s deity 100%. And His 100% humanity. The rest I can say, I don’t know. I do have a lot of unanswerable questions. You could ask my pastor about that!

  • Abby

    Don@127

    Dear Don: Thank you so much! I feel you really “got” what I was trying to say. Thank you for explaining it so well. I believe in Christ’s deity 100%. And His 100% humanity. The rest I can say, I don’t know. I do have a lot of unanswerable questions. You could ask my pastor about that!

  • Grace

    Don – 127

    “Grace @ 121: I did not mean offense. It seemed to me, from reading through the posts, that you and Abby were talking about different things — you about whether Christ actually sinned (of course He didn’t), and Abby about whether in His Humanity, though He lived a sinless life, He might actually have been tempted to sin. The former is definitely heresy, and deserves a strong rebuke. The latter, however, is a genuine question of interest, by one who has a desire to explore the mystery of Christ’s dual nature, fully Divine, yet fully human; Son of God, and Son of Man.”

    Don – I read Abby’s posts, I certainly am capable of understanding what she posted.

    Abby’s posts reads:

    “Could Jesus have Sinned?”
    The important word here is “could.” This is my own opinion again. If Jesus was fully human, which has been established by way-smarter people than me, than He must have had the ability to sin. Otherwise, He would have an unfair God-advantage with regards to being holy. How could He have “sympathy” for our weaknesses? If He felt no “tug” to give in to temptation?

    This is a statement which shows a lack of understanding who Jesus is – - – “He would have an unfair God-advantage with regards to being holy.” – - – - There is no “God-advantage” or “could” to it. He, being God the Son, always was, and always will be Deity. Understanding Jesus being God the Son, and Deity would erase that question completely.

    “But Driscoll answers the question–”we don’t know.” I believe that is an honest answer.”

    If that is Driscoll’s “honest answer” and Abby agrees with it, than there is a problem here in study – the Scriptures clearly state that Jesus was sinless, Driscoll either hasn’t read these passages or he doesn’t care to use them for what reason? ………… and why would anyone believes that is an honest answer, if someone has studied the Bible? I think not!

  • Grace

    Don – 127

    “Grace @ 121: I did not mean offense. It seemed to me, from reading through the posts, that you and Abby were talking about different things — you about whether Christ actually sinned (of course He didn’t), and Abby about whether in His Humanity, though He lived a sinless life, He might actually have been tempted to sin. The former is definitely heresy, and deserves a strong rebuke. The latter, however, is a genuine question of interest, by one who has a desire to explore the mystery of Christ’s dual nature, fully Divine, yet fully human; Son of God, and Son of Man.”

    Don – I read Abby’s posts, I certainly am capable of understanding what she posted.

    Abby’s posts reads:

    “Could Jesus have Sinned?”
    The important word here is “could.” This is my own opinion again. If Jesus was fully human, which has been established by way-smarter people than me, than He must have had the ability to sin. Otherwise, He would have an unfair God-advantage with regards to being holy. How could He have “sympathy” for our weaknesses? If He felt no “tug” to give in to temptation?

    This is a statement which shows a lack of understanding who Jesus is – - – “He would have an unfair God-advantage with regards to being holy.” – - – - There is no “God-advantage” or “could” to it. He, being God the Son, always was, and always will be Deity. Understanding Jesus being God the Son, and Deity would erase that question completely.

    “But Driscoll answers the question–”we don’t know.” I believe that is an honest answer.”

    If that is Driscoll’s “honest answer” and Abby agrees with it, than there is a problem here in study – the Scriptures clearly state that Jesus was sinless, Driscoll either hasn’t read these passages or he doesn’t care to use them for what reason? ………… and why would anyone believes that is an honest answer, if someone has studied the Bible? I think not!

  • collie

    Grace:
    “Understanding Jesus being God the Son, and Deity would erase that question completely” [Could Jesus have sinned?]

    It doesn’t seem to me that Abby is questioning the fact that Jesus is God, but knowing the weakness of human flesh of which she and all of us are made, was only wondering out loud if Jesus’s humanity weakens him. Fws, in his excellent answer @120 has illustrated that it was impossible for Jesus to sin. But if Abby had not asked the question, how would she have received an answer?

    I asked a similar question of my confirmation pastor eleven years ago; basically, By assuming human flesh, was this a demotion for God? The pastor’s answer, sort of a surprise for me was – No!, In fact, it was a promotion! Wow, I thought, how can that be? But on pondering this, I have to chalk it up to one of those mysteries of God that make us stand in awe of him. He purposely chose to become like us!

    And I also want to quote a brief passage of scripture that relates, I think, to how we should approach each other (fellow Christians):

    . . . but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus. . . Philippians 2:3-5

    Grace, according to this scripture, I have to assume that your knowledge of the bible is greater than mine, and it also suggests that you assume that Abby’s bible knowledge is greater than yours. Just because she has asked a question that your mind doesn’t ask, does not make her faith in God insufficient. I would say that all of us have an insufficient knowledge of God, simply because we have puny little brains in comparison to God, and can’t understand his ways.

    “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord” Isaiah 55:8

    I would also like to point out that this just reinforces for me that faith is a gift from God, because when we put our minds to it (God and all his ways) we can’t understand things. So, faith is an excellent gift to possess, but it doesn’t erase questions that may arise from our brains. So Abby’s question netted her an answer but also revealed new knowledge to me, by way of fws’s answer.

    I like questions! my own, or others that I haven’t thought of.

  • collie

    Grace:
    “Understanding Jesus being God the Son, and Deity would erase that question completely” [Could Jesus have sinned?]

    It doesn’t seem to me that Abby is questioning the fact that Jesus is God, but knowing the weakness of human flesh of which she and all of us are made, was only wondering out loud if Jesus’s humanity weakens him. Fws, in his excellent answer @120 has illustrated that it was impossible for Jesus to sin. But if Abby had not asked the question, how would she have received an answer?

    I asked a similar question of my confirmation pastor eleven years ago; basically, By assuming human flesh, was this a demotion for God? The pastor’s answer, sort of a surprise for me was – No!, In fact, it was a promotion! Wow, I thought, how can that be? But on pondering this, I have to chalk it up to one of those mysteries of God that make us stand in awe of him. He purposely chose to become like us!

    And I also want to quote a brief passage of scripture that relates, I think, to how we should approach each other (fellow Christians):

    . . . but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus. . . Philippians 2:3-5

    Grace, according to this scripture, I have to assume that your knowledge of the bible is greater than mine, and it also suggests that you assume that Abby’s bible knowledge is greater than yours. Just because she has asked a question that your mind doesn’t ask, does not make her faith in God insufficient. I would say that all of us have an insufficient knowledge of God, simply because we have puny little brains in comparison to God, and can’t understand his ways.

    “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord” Isaiah 55:8

    I would also like to point out that this just reinforces for me that faith is a gift from God, because when we put our minds to it (God and all his ways) we can’t understand things. So, faith is an excellent gift to possess, but it doesn’t erase questions that may arise from our brains. So Abby’s question netted her an answer but also revealed new knowledge to me, by way of fws’s answer.

    I like questions! my own, or others that I haven’t thought of.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    collie @ 130

    that phillipians passage is a great one!

    I would like to add to that every good teacher as a variety of ways to explain the same thing. why? Each of us is very different and maybe one way of hearing something explained might just not take or hit home with me , but then I might hear the SAME truth told to me in a slightly different way, and bam! my lightbulb moment for that truth!

    So those of us who think we know alot, and maybe we do, still get to humble ourselves by learning ever new ways to explain the same truth. Here is a great place to practice. And to do this we have to become the servant and beneath the person we seek to serve. How? We need to learn how that person is thinking and have a loving interest in that person. they need to become our teacher, and we need to become a student of them. They are our subject that we need to learn! And we want them to feel from that: love.

    When we see love, we see the biblical proof that there is righteousness happening. Love is the fulfillment of God´s Will. Nothing else is. If we know theology inside and out, and if we keep all God´s rules, if there is not love, all that St Paul tells us is meaningless nothing.

  • http://www.thirduse.com fws

    collie @ 130

    that phillipians passage is a great one!

    I would like to add to that every good teacher as a variety of ways to explain the same thing. why? Each of us is very different and maybe one way of hearing something explained might just not take or hit home with me , but then I might hear the SAME truth told to me in a slightly different way, and bam! my lightbulb moment for that truth!

    So those of us who think we know alot, and maybe we do, still get to humble ourselves by learning ever new ways to explain the same truth. Here is a great place to practice. And to do this we have to become the servant and beneath the person we seek to serve. How? We need to learn how that person is thinking and have a loving interest in that person. they need to become our teacher, and we need to become a student of them. They are our subject that we need to learn! And we want them to feel from that: love.

    When we see love, we see the biblical proof that there is righteousness happening. Love is the fulfillment of God´s Will. Nothing else is. If we know theology inside and out, and if we keep all God´s rules, if there is not love, all that St Paul tells us is meaningless nothing.

  • Grace

    Collie – 130

    “Grace, according to this scripture, I have to assume that your knowledge of the bible is greater than mine, and it also suggests that you assume that Abby’s bible knowledge is greater than yours. Just because she has asked a question that your mind doesn’t ask, does not make her faith in God insufficient. I would say that all of us have an insufficient knowledge of God, simply because we have puny little brains in comparison to God, and can’t understand his ways.”

    No I don’t don’t think Abby’s knowledge of the Bible is greater than mine, if it was, she would not have asked the question.

    My mind doesn’t ask questions as to God the Son’s ability to sin, … and the reason for that is; it is plainly understood from Scripture. There is no reason to question whether Jesus could have sinned when the Bible emphatically tells us He doesn’t, that He is sinless. This isn’t difficult to understand -

    For he hath made him to be sin for us,who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

    For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15

  • Grace

    Collie – 130

    “Grace, according to this scripture, I have to assume that your knowledge of the bible is greater than mine, and it also suggests that you assume that Abby’s bible knowledge is greater than yours. Just because she has asked a question that your mind doesn’t ask, does not make her faith in God insufficient. I would say that all of us have an insufficient knowledge of God, simply because we have puny little brains in comparison to God, and can’t understand his ways.”

    No I don’t don’t think Abby’s knowledge of the Bible is greater than mine, if it was, she would not have asked the question.

    My mind doesn’t ask questions as to God the Son’s ability to sin, … and the reason for that is; it is plainly understood from Scripture. There is no reason to question whether Jesus could have sinned when the Bible emphatically tells us He doesn’t, that He is sinless. This isn’t difficult to understand -

    For he hath made him to be sin for us,who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

    For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15

  • Grace

    Collie – the passage of Scripture you quoted #130
    . . . but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus. . . Philippians 2:3-5

    The above has nothing to do with those who preach false doctrine, or those who correct such doctrine through the Word of God. However, it is a great passage. I add verses 6 and 7.

    3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

    4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

    5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

    6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

    7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: Philippians 2:3-7

    8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross

    Humility doesn’t equate to not speaking up when false doctrine is given. If that were so, then those of us who spend much time in study to defend the Gospel, would not stand boldly for it’s truth. One cannot “esteem” another’s false doctrine, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, good example. They know not what the Scriptures say,…. what they do know is what the Watchtower teaches, or the Book of Mormon. I don’t esteem their lack of knowledge, but point straight to God’s Word as the source of my understanding and belief -

  • Grace

    Collie – the passage of Scripture you quoted #130
    . . . but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus. . . Philippians 2:3-5

    The above has nothing to do with those who preach false doctrine, or those who correct such doctrine through the Word of God. However, it is a great passage. I add verses 6 and 7.

    3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

    4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

    5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

    6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

    7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: Philippians 2:3-7

    8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross

    Humility doesn’t equate to not speaking up when false doctrine is given. If that were so, then those of us who spend much time in study to defend the Gospel, would not stand boldly for it’s truth. One cannot “esteem” another’s false doctrine, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, good example. They know not what the Scriptures say,…. what they do know is what the Watchtower teaches, or the Book of Mormon. I don’t esteem their lack of knowledge, but point straight to God’s Word as the source of my understanding and belief -

  • Abby

    Grace@129

    I would like it pointed out to me where I or Driscoll said that Jesus sinned.

    Thank you.

  • Abby

    Grace@129

    I would like it pointed out to me where I or Driscoll said that Jesus sinned.

    Thank you.

  • DonS

    Abby @ 128: You are very gracious :-) Keep studying the Word and keep asking those questions. There is nothing wrong with asking questions in your seeking to understand our Savior and His plans for us a little bit better. The mystery of Christ’s humanity is a truly wondrous one!

    Won’t it be great when we are in His presence and those “unanswerable” questions will be answered in all their fullness!

  • DonS

    Abby @ 128: You are very gracious :-) Keep studying the Word and keep asking those questions. There is nothing wrong with asking questions in your seeking to understand our Savior and His plans for us a little bit better. The mystery of Christ’s humanity is a truly wondrous one!

    Won’t it be great when we are in His presence and those “unanswerable” questions will be answered in all their fullness!

  • DonS

    Collie @ 130: Well said!

    I would add to your thoughts Galatians 6: 1-3 : “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering youself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”

    Matt. 11:15 : “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” ;-)

  • DonS

    Collie @ 130: Well said!

    I would add to your thoughts Galatians 6: 1-3 : “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering youself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”

    Matt. 11:15 : “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” ;-)

  • Grace

    Abby – 134

    “I would like it pointed out to me where I or Driscoll said that Jesus sinned.”

    Driscoll -

    “Could Jesus have Sinned? While systematic theologians have spilled much ink on this point, the precise biblical answer is that we do not know. The Bible never addresses, much less answers, the question. Some will find this disturbing, but the Bible is clear that humility is the first requirement for a good theologian, so that we can be satisfied with what the God of the universe thinks we need to know.”
    Mark Driscoll – “Vintage Jesus” – Could Jesus have sinned? – Page 52)

    Read my post 121 AGAIN -

    Abby you write:

    “Could Jesus have Sinned?”
    The important word here is “could.” This is my own opinion again. If Jesus was fully human, which has been established by way-smarter people than me, than He must have had the ability to sin. Otherwise, He would have an unfair God-advantage with regards to being holy. How could He have “sympathy” for our weaknesses? If He felt no “tug” to give in to temptation? “

    Your statement “He would have an unfair God-advantage with regards to being holy.” – - very strange comment!

    God the Son was always holy -

    Abby – I didn’t accuse you of saying Christ sinned. What I pointed out over and over and over again is; …………. Scriptures end the debate before Driscoll ever asked the question – the Bible clearly says Jesus was sinless. There is no “could” to it!!

  • Grace

    Abby – 134

    “I would like it pointed out to me where I or Driscoll said that Jesus sinned.”

    Driscoll -

    “Could Jesus have Sinned? While systematic theologians have spilled much ink on this point, the precise biblical answer is that we do not know. The Bible never addresses, much less answers, the question. Some will find this disturbing, but the Bible is clear that humility is the first requirement for a good theologian, so that we can be satisfied with what the God of the universe thinks we need to know.”
    Mark Driscoll – “Vintage Jesus” – Could Jesus have sinned? – Page 52)

    Read my post 121 AGAIN -

    Abby you write:

    “Could Jesus have Sinned?”
    The important word here is “could.” This is my own opinion again. If Jesus was fully human, which has been established by way-smarter people than me, than He must have had the ability to sin. Otherwise, He would have an unfair God-advantage with regards to being holy. How could He have “sympathy” for our weaknesses? If He felt no “tug” to give in to temptation? “

    Your statement “He would have an unfair God-advantage with regards to being holy.” – - very strange comment!

    God the Son was always holy -

    Abby – I didn’t accuse you of saying Christ sinned. What I pointed out over and over and over again is; …………. Scriptures end the debate before Driscoll ever asked the question – the Bible clearly says Jesus was sinless. There is no “could” to it!!

  • Abby

    Collie@130
    Don@135

    Thank you both. You can hear my heart. And I admit, as a sinner, I must and do ask sinful questions.

    I have no problem conceding to Grace.

    fws@131

    You made me cry again. I hope in heaven I can meet you. God bless you.

  • Abby

    Collie@130
    Don@135

    Thank you both. You can hear my heart. And I admit, as a sinner, I must and do ask sinful questions.

    I have no problem conceding to Grace.

    fws@131

    You made me cry again. I hope in heaven I can meet you. God bless you.

  • collie

    Abby@138 “You can hear my heart” Maybe it’s because on this issue, the same questions rise in my mind, especially when I read the account of Satan tempting Jesus in the desert. I think to myself, from a human point of view, who could withstand this? I get anxious every time I read it, as if the story is going to change ;-) . (The same thing happens when I read Genesis 3 – “No, Adam & Eve, don’t do it! Darn, you did, now we’re messed up”) I guess the two accounts are bookends, so to speak; mankind gives in to temptation, but praise God, Jesus does not. Thanks again for posing the question.

    Don@136 – excellent scriptures. Thanks for those.

    Grace – the rest of the little Philippians passage:

    “. . .so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10-11

    - what we will all be doing one glorious day.

  • collie

    Abby@138 “You can hear my heart” Maybe it’s because on this issue, the same questions rise in my mind, especially when I read the account of Satan tempting Jesus in the desert. I think to myself, from a human point of view, who could withstand this? I get anxious every time I read it, as if the story is going to change ;-) . (The same thing happens when I read Genesis 3 – “No, Adam & Eve, don’t do it! Darn, you did, now we’re messed up”) I guess the two accounts are bookends, so to speak; mankind gives in to temptation, but praise God, Jesus does not. Thanks again for posing the question.

    Don@136 – excellent scriptures. Thanks for those.

    Grace – the rest of the little Philippians passage:

    “. . .so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:10-11

    - what we will all be doing one glorious day.

  • Abby

    If anyone is interested, Pirate Christian radio is airing for 10 weeks a study by Dr. Rod Rosenbladt on the “Two Natures of Christ” from the book by Martin Chemnitz. Two installments are already up: November 10 and November 17. It is being called a “college course” on the subject.

    http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/

  • Abby

    If anyone is interested, Pirate Christian radio is airing for 10 weeks a study by Dr. Rod Rosenbladt on the “Two Natures of Christ” from the book by Martin Chemnitz. Two installments are already up: November 10 and November 17. It is being called a “college course” on the subject.

    http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/

  • collie

    Chemnitz is great; I read his book “The Lord’s Supper” shortly after being confirmed in the Lutheran church. One of the prime reasons I became a Lutheran was because of its teaching on this sacrament, and Chemnitz expounds at great length about it and the benefits we receive from it.

    I’ve wanted to read his book on the two natures of Christ, but was put off by the length of it, figuring I wouldn’t have the discipline to read to the end. I’ll have to look up the archives of Rosenblatt’s study after the rush of holiday preparations has eased; maybe it will entice me to finally read the book. Abby, thanks for the link!

  • collie

    Chemnitz is great; I read his book “The Lord’s Supper” shortly after being confirmed in the Lutheran church. One of the prime reasons I became a Lutheran was because of its teaching on this sacrament, and Chemnitz expounds at great length about it and the benefits we receive from it.

    I’ve wanted to read his book on the two natures of Christ, but was put off by the length of it, figuring I wouldn’t have the discipline to read to the end. I’ll have to look up the archives of Rosenblatt’s study after the rush of holiday preparations has eased; maybe it will entice me to finally read the book. Abby, thanks for the link!

  • Abby

    Collie:

    I love your “collie”–I had a beautiful girl when I was a child. She was very sweet. I still think of her.

  • Abby

    Collie:

    I love your “collie”–I had a beautiful girl when I was a child. She was very sweet. I still think of her.

  • collie

    That is our “Gabby” when she was about 7 weeks old; she’s now 2. We also have “Zeke” a 4 year old – a gift from me to my husband 4 years ago today. I came to the conclusion after some research that a collie would be a good breed for our neighborhood, which is a close-knit family community that surrounds a nine-hole golf course. There are no fences allowed except for the electric, invisible type. My husband has always admired German Shepherds, but I didn’t want the extra challenge of owning a breed that is a guard dog.

    We feel like we are a “retro” dog family, because people are reminded of Lassie, from the tv series and movies. People who have owned collies as children always have fond memories of them. I love to hear them. Zeke is a magnificent, good-looking collie; acquiring him was a happy mistake. He was the last of the litter, so I thought, and was 12 weeks old, (kinda on the ‘old’ side for a puppy). Thought I was getting a reject, but I really liked him, his looks personality and all, so I bought him. It was a year later that I was told by the breeder that he was one of two from the litter she had held back as “show” collies. Wish I had known that then. I would have worked harder at keeping his ears tipped over (a requirement to show them). But, no matter, we love him and Gabby.

    Thanks Abby for the positive story of your collie and for giving me an opening to boast of our dogs. Just another aside, I read somewhere that the U.S. Army attempted to train collies for use during wwII, but gave up because the dogs were not aggressive, and no amount of training could make them so. They really are great dogs. You may also call me by my real name – Claire. I just have always used a handle on this blog, probably for no good reason. ;-)

  • collie

    That is our “Gabby” when she was about 7 weeks old; she’s now 2. We also have “Zeke” a 4 year old – a gift from me to my husband 4 years ago today. I came to the conclusion after some research that a collie would be a good breed for our neighborhood, which is a close-knit family community that surrounds a nine-hole golf course. There are no fences allowed except for the electric, invisible type. My husband has always admired German Shepherds, but I didn’t want the extra challenge of owning a breed that is a guard dog.

    We feel like we are a “retro” dog family, because people are reminded of Lassie, from the tv series and movies. People who have owned collies as children always have fond memories of them. I love to hear them. Zeke is a magnificent, good-looking collie; acquiring him was a happy mistake. He was the last of the litter, so I thought, and was 12 weeks old, (kinda on the ‘old’ side for a puppy). Thought I was getting a reject, but I really liked him, his looks personality and all, so I bought him. It was a year later that I was told by the breeder that he was one of two from the litter she had held back as “show” collies. Wish I had known that then. I would have worked harder at keeping his ears tipped over (a requirement to show them). But, no matter, we love him and Gabby.

    Thanks Abby for the positive story of your collie and for giving me an opening to boast of our dogs. Just another aside, I read somewhere that the U.S. Army attempted to train collies for use during wwII, but gave up because the dogs were not aggressive, and no amount of training could make them so. They really are great dogs. You may also call me by my real name – Claire. I just have always used a handle on this blog, probably for no good reason. ;-)

  • Abby

    Claire: The dog I have now is a Cavalier King Charles: Annie. She is a real sweetheart too. She’s 10 now and I’m starting to worry about losing her. These dogs have been touted as “therapy dogs” and she really helped me get through after my husband died. She thinks she’s human–she gets bent out of shape because I can’t take her into stores and restaurants. She goes everywhere with me and is very popular. I’ve met a lot of people because of her. She loves everyone. I’ve often said I was going to get her a job at WalMart as a “greeter.” She doesn’t have an aggressive bone in her body either. Wonderful for kids.

  • Abby

    Claire: The dog I have now is a Cavalier King Charles: Annie. She is a real sweetheart too. She’s 10 now and I’m starting to worry about losing her. These dogs have been touted as “therapy dogs” and she really helped me get through after my husband died. She thinks she’s human–she gets bent out of shape because I can’t take her into stores and restaurants. She goes everywhere with me and is very popular. I’ve met a lot of people because of her. She loves everyone. I’ve often said I was going to get her a job at WalMart as a “greeter.” She doesn’t have an aggressive bone in her body either. Wonderful for kids.

  • collie

    Abby, I’ve admired the Cavalier King Charles spaniels; always thought they were cute. It’s good to hear they have sweet personalities and are good with children. Sorry about the loss of your husband, it sounds like Annie has been a therapy for you. God really is good to us, isn’t he? dogs are no replacement for our loved ones, but they sure do make us smile and make us feel loved.

    Thank you Lord, for dogs!

  • collie

    Abby, I’ve admired the Cavalier King Charles spaniels; always thought they were cute. It’s good to hear they have sweet personalities and are good with children. Sorry about the loss of your husband, it sounds like Annie has been a therapy for you. God really is good to us, isn’t he? dogs are no replacement for our loved ones, but they sure do make us smile and make us feel loved.

    Thank you Lord, for dogs!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jaxon.josh Jaxon

    This all depends on the level & need for complex spirituality! I’ve witnessed native Kenyans worshipping & praying intensely for a much longer period of time than any American Christian! This was in a very informal yet highly emotional experience! For some the need for formality is a prerequisite to emotion, for others it is not necessary. What is much more necessary than both is that the words of Christ be brought forth to the generations of those passing before us. If this is not the penultimate thought in our spiritual consciousness, then we have succumb to the evil one’s distraction!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jaxon.josh Jaxon

    This all depends on the level & need for complex spirituality! I’ve witnessed native Kenyans worshipping & praying intensely for a much longer period of time than any American Christian! This was in a very informal yet highly emotional experience! For some the need for formality is a prerequisite to emotion, for others it is not necessary. What is much more necessary than both is that the words of Christ be brought forth to the generations of those passing before us. If this is not the penultimate thought in our spiritual consciousness, then we have succumb to the evil one’s distraction!


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