Putting Words In His Mouth?

Somebody please contact Reformed Theological Seminary Assistant Professor, James Anderson, and tell him to please  remove his book, Paradox in Christian Theology, from bookstores and to stop using it in his classroom immediately.

According to Vantilian Lane Keister over at the Greenbaggins blog, when speaking of the Trinity Cornelius Van Til didn’t really mean it when he said that God is both one person and three persons after all.  Van Til was not asserting anything like the strict numerical identity between the unity and plurality of the Godhead that  is so critical to the central thesis of his book and Christian orthodoxy in general.  After all, and according to Anderson, Van Til’s well known assertion that “the whole Godhead, is one person” is not only permissible, it is the sine qua non of Trinitarian orthodoxy and is, at least in Anderson’s mind, positively “Augustinian.”  Now it appears that both Van Til’s critics and supporters have been wrong all along.  It has all been one great big misunderstanding.

Consider the following from Van Til’s  “Introduction to Systematic Theology”:

Unity and plurality are equally ultimate in the Godhead. The persons of the Godhead are mutually exhaustive of one another, and therefore of the essence of the Godhead. God is a one-conscious being, and yet he is also a tri-conscious being.

As a unitary conscious being and a tri-conscious being God is both one and three in the same sense.  But that’s not all . . .

It is sometimes asserted that we can prove to men that we are not asserting anything that they ought to consider irrational, inasmuch as we say that God is one in essence and three in person. We therefore claim that we have not asserted unity and trinity of exactly the same thing.

Yet this is not the whole truth of the matter. We do assert that God, that is, the whole Godhead, is one person . . .We need both the absolute cotermineity of each attribute and each person with the whole being of God, and the genuine significance of the distinctions of the attributes and the persons. “Each person,” says Bavinck,  “is equal to the whole essence of God and coterminous with both other persons and with all three”. . . Over against all other beings, that is, over against created beings, we must therefore hold that God’s being presents an absolute numerical identity. And even within the ontological Trinity we must maintain that God is numerically one. He is one person.

Notice, God is not one in any generic sense.  God is numerically one.  And, if there can be any doubt what he means Van Til asserts; “He is one person.”

Now, pay close attention, Van Til continues:

When we say that we believe in a personal God, we do not merely mean that we believe in a God to whom the adjective “personality” may be attached. God is not an essence that has personality; He is absolute personality. Yet, within the being of the one person we are permitted and compelled by Scripture to make the distinction between a specific or generic type of being, and three personal subsistences.

Did you catch that?  The reason Van Til cannot be charged with teaching heterodoxy or anything so crass as God is both one person and three persons is because Van Til draws a distinction between God as a person in the generic sense as opposed to God consisting of “three personal subsistences.”  Keister writes:

I believe that what Van Til means here is that the “specific or generic type of being” corresponds to the phrase “God is one person,” and that the phrase “three personal subsistences” refers to the tri-personality of the three persons. In other words, the distinction between “God is a person” and “God is three persons” is a distinction between a generic type of being (and therefore personality) as contrasted with the three relational persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Consequently, when Van Til said God is one person he really means a “specific or generic type of being.”  Van Til, along with Gordon Clark, Richard Swineburn, Thomas Morris and others, really holds to a form of generic unity sometimes associated with social trinitarianism.  According to Keister, this is the only conclusion we can reach if we are to read him “charitably.”  However, as a viable solution to the problem of the one and the many and one that solves the apparent contradiction inherent in the Trinity, Anderson rejects the idea of a generic unity as heterodox in toto and is a solution that he believes necessitates tritheism:

Indeed, I suggest…the essential inadequacy of *all* social trinitarian interpretations, that is, all trinitarian models in which the divine persons are numerically distinct from the divine substance (however that latter is construed).  Such interpretations weaken the ontological unity within the Godhead to the point where a collapse into tritheism is unavoidable.   Paradox in Christian Theology, 45-46.

And, on Anderson’s website, Van Til FEM (or Frequently Encountered Misconceptions, ya think), he writes:

Van Til’s concern was that we should avoid any implication that the unity of the Godhead is an impersonal unity, that the Being who is the ground of all being is ultimately impersonal in nature…This, then, was Van Til’s basic motivation for stating that God must be one person as well as three persons…What exactly are these different senses? Where or how is the distinction to be made? Van Til, of course, didn’t specify; his point was that we cannot specify the distinction, as finite creatures, and thus we must rest content with an apparent contradiction (at least for now). Although we can rationally infer that there is a distinction to be made, we are not in a position to specify what that distinction is.

Now, no one that I know of who holds to a generic form of unity believes that God is “ultimately impersonal in nature.” But then, as Gordon Clark notes in his treatise on the Trinity “a genus is not one of its included individuals” and therefore God is not one person.  In fact, Daniel Chew, who has recently interacted on his blog with a couple of Vantilians on this very question (including a recent exchange with the Vantilian pit-bull, Paul Manata) observes:

… one truly wonders who among the orthodox ever thought of the Godhead as being “an impersonal abstraction”. If the Godhead is made of up three persons, does not the presence of three persons in the Godhead make the Godhead even more personal, without having the need to adopt a non-confessional and idiosyncratic at best definition of the Trinity?

…The Godhead IS the presence of God in three persons, not some impersonal entity of “god-ness”. When we speak of God as being one essence (substantia, hypostatis), we are saying that God is one and works in unity, not that three separate “gods” partake of one divine essence of “God-ness” — which is practically tritheism. How we are to comprehend it fully is none of our business. The three persons of God are distinct but not separate from each other. They have their own “centers of consciousness” (ie what make persons persons) which are however not operating independently of the other two persons (cf perichoresis).

However, all this is moot if Keister is correct and to read Van Til “charitably” is to read the idea of a generic unity into his assertion that  “God is one person.”  Of course, Keister being a uniter not a divider previously claimed that on matters of epistemology Clark and Van Til were in fact in total agreement and that the Clark/Van Til controversy was really the Clark/John Murray controversy and that Clark and Van Til had enormous respect for each other, heck, they even recommended each other’s books and used them in the classroom.  Van Til’s only crime, according to Keister, is that he should have “phrased himself more felicitously.”  More felicitously?  How about more clearly so that he wouldn’t have been so broadly and universally misunderstood as he butchered the doctrine of the Trinity rendering it not just incomprehensible and in the sense of being unintelligible (something I believe he intended to do), but positively irrational.

So, before Anderson returns all the proceeds from his book to his publisher, and before we conclude that Van Til has been seriously misunderstood by all of his supporters and critics alike prior to Keister, I hope there is one thing we all can agree on: Van Til had a penchant for making difficult ideas and doctrines positively obscure.  Clark never needed a cadre of apologists and revisionists throughout the years trying desperately to make him appear to say what he apparently did not say or do what he did not do.  Thankfully the records of some men can stand on their own.

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296 Comments on “Putting Words In His Mouth?”

  1. Daniel Chew Says:

    I can just picture the following books:

    Lane Keister, What Van Til really said.
    James Anderson, What Van Til really really said.

    and so on.

  2. Sean Gerety Says:

    When I first read Van Til Vantilians would tell me that to really understand him I needed to read Frame. Then when I read Frame I was told that to really understand him I needed to read Bahnsen. Then when I read Bahnsen it seems I need to read . . . .

    Not only do Vantilians contradict themselves in their understanding of Van Til, they can’t even recognize the contradictions in their own thinking. Keister ends his piece by favorably quoting Bill Edgar:

    “This is one of Van Til’s most original contributions to theology proper. As he said at the beginning of the chapter, to speak of God as one is to speak of God as a person.”

    Does Kesiter not realize that if VT was asserting some sort of generic unity of the divine Persons then this can hardly be called his “most original contributions to theology proper.” Keister won’t even acknowledge that it is wrong to speak of God as one person. At least the traditional understanding recognizes that God exists not as a unitary person but as a plurality of three persons in one substance.

    The true original was Clark who successfully abandoned as unintelligible the idea of “substance.” But, let’s face it, to affirm Clark at any level in most P&R circles, primarily those of WTS and WSC which Kesiter inhabits, is tantamount to treason. That’s not hyperbole either. These men have no understanding of just how deeply the Clark/Van Til controversy continues to affect their theological thinking.

  3. greenbaggins Says:

    Sean, challenging words. First, let me say this: I have no hesitation in affirming Clark at MANY levels. Not only was he my father’s best friend at Covenant College, but I think Clark is unfairly criticized by many Van Tillians. Clark was a true presuppositionalist.

    Secondly, I am not so keen on Frame’s interpretation of Van Til. I think Bahnsen understood Van Til better.

    Thirdly, Van Til is difficult to read. When I read him in seminary, I found myself thinking often that here was a non-native English speaker. His English reads like Dutch.

    Fourthly, I will cheerfully admit that you could be absolutely right about Van Til. Scott Clark would agree with you and not with me on the issue of Van Til and his Trinitarian ideas. Let me parenthetically add here that I am not nearly as comfortable with “paradox” as Van Til is. I do think that there are things about God that we will never be able to understand. Clark would say as much. But that’s a far cry from saying that there are “apparent contradictions” within the Godhead. That I cannot hold. I am merely asking the question as to whether it is possible to read Van Til in an orthodox direction. The argument would run along the lines I have outlined. But I could be wrong. By the way, I wanted to write you about the FV stuff that your ban is lifted from commenting on my blog. Just try to keep the rhetoric down to a dull roar. 😉

  4. Sean Gerety Says:

    Thanks Lane for lifting the ban. Although I’m nervous about taking you up on the offer. Not that there are any hard feelings. I just don’t think I know how to tread safely with Vantilians. Frankly, I thought I was walking very gingerly on Scott Clark’s blog before he gave me the boot and then publicly admitted after the fact that “Clarkians” just irritate him.

    I think what strikes me as odd is the sheer amount of charity extended to Van Til. I just don’t get it? I can’t think of any other theologian who has been given so much latitude or where others have worked so hard to make him at least appear to be saying something other than what he wrote — or even if he wrote it at all. I mean, just to bring up what finally got me booted from your blog for a moment, read the Complaint filed against Clark linked on the sidebar and tell me that the ideas expressed and the language used are Murray’s. These are ideas and doctrines that are discussed, explicated and defended in any number of VT’s works. Good luck finding anything on the same philosophic level in Murray.

    Now in the case of the Trinity you may be right about VT, but you would think there would be some additional explication somewhere concerning the sense in which VT understood God’s oneness. Can you provide any? Also, this is no small thing since it is the ontological Trinity that makes up the heart of VT’s apologetic and even influences his doctrine of the covenant. OTOH, I think John Robbins made a good point in reference to the broader reference in VT’s Intro:

    Professor Van Til asserts that God is one person eight times in this one lengthy quotation: “God . . . is numerically . . . one;” “We speak of God as a person;” “God is one-conscious being;” “the work of one absolute person;” “We do assert that God, that is, the whole Godhead, is one person;” “God’s being presents an absolute numerical identity;” “God is numerically one;” “He is one person.” He takes great pains to make it clear that he rejects the doctrine of the Trinity, one God in three persons, as “not the whole truth of the matter.” God is both one person and three persons, just as his existence can and cannot be proved.

    I think the only real charitable thing we can say, at least without more supporting evidence to the contrary, is that VT was confused and his writings on the subject, even in the portion you cite in support of your argument, are contradictory. And, I don’t think it’s just because English was his second language. If that’s the case, a lot of damage has occurred because of his failure to express himself clearly in English.


  5. Sean, I was booted from Scott Clark’s blog too. FVers irritate him as well. (I emailed him, and he said he was tired of my arguments, and had already made up his mind about FV). Bottom line, Clark doesn’t seem to care to interact with people that disagree with him.

    That is something I appreciate about you. We have our differences, but we can talk about them, disagree, and can still be in talking fellowship. It’s a bad sign when communication stops altogether.

  6. Hugh McCann Says:

    wonder what it is about “Clarkians” that so irritates VT-ers?

    maybe b/c (as JR said), it’s as possible to be too logical as it is to be too healthy!

    “Argh,” saith the Vantillites…

  7. Hugh McCann Says:

    Back to the matter at hand:

    Please excuse my ignorance, but can any of my better-read friends tell me where (if) and more importantly, HOW, any of the players in this drama actually DEFINE such terms as “person,” “essence,” “being,” etc.?

    Clark (Gordon or R. Scott), Van Til, Murray, Frame, Anderson, Keister, Gerety, Robbins, RTS, WSC, WTS, or…?

    Thanks, Hugh

  8. Hugh McCann Says:

    Drake,
    I can hear your footsteps.
    (Or is that your keyboard?)
    Hugh

  9. Drake Says:

    Hugh,
    I am out of the game for a while. I am trying to pass an A+ exam and score some employment in IT.

    Drake

  10. drake Says:

    BTW, a very engaging paper on the issue was written by Lossky here: http://jbburnett.com/resources/lossky/lossky-person.pdf

    I am not yet decided on the issue myself. The difficulty comes when you have to translate over from Clark’s to the Early Church’s use of Aristotle’s philosophy to see what words mean the same thing if any do. That will make your head want to explode. I do see the point as I read Hodge’s Systematic that the essential attribute of human nature is the rational faculty. Whether there is a distinction between a generic rational faculty and a hypostatic rational faculty, I don’t quite know. I think Clark would say that the person is a hypostatized rational faculty.

  11. pat Says:

    From Greenbaggins blog:

    “The problem with Van Til’s language here is the confusion that can result from using “person” in these two different ways. He didn’t exactly make it clear that he was using the term in two different ways. Only by a judgment of charity can we come to that conclusion. Some are not willing to extend that judgment of charity to Van Til’s thought. I will close by quoting Bill Edgar’s footnote on Van Til’s statement, a helpful reminder of what VT was trying to do:”

    “This is one of Van Til’s most original contributions to theology proper. As he said at the beginning of the chapter, to speak of God as one is to speak of God as a person. This fits our ordinary experience, as, for instance, when we pray, we pray to one person. It also fits biblical data that constantly refers to God as a person. By this reminder Van Til avoids two errors. The first is the tendency, found mostly in Western theology, of separating God’s essence, which becomes a remote inaccessible being, from the persons. The other is the neoorthodox error of reducing personality to relationship, rather than regarding it as the foundation of ontological consciousness.

    Note again: “As he said at the beginning of the chapter, to speak of God as one is to speak of God as a person. This fits our ordinary experience, as, for instance, when we pray, we pray to one person.”

    This is wrong thinking. To speak of God as one is to speak of God as one God period. We do not pray to one person, but to one God who is three persons. CVT made the common misconception of thinking of God as one person rather than one God, and then trying to make the contradiction with God being three persons make sense. It doesn’t. We need to get our minds around the thought that God is one essence, that is, one by definition. He and He alone (or they and they alone are) is God. This is wrong thinking. To speak of God as one is to speak of God as one God period. We do not pray to one person, but to one God who is three persons. CVT made the common misconception of thinking of God as one person rather than one God, and then trying to make the contradiction with God being three persons make sense. It doesn’t. We need to get our minds around the thought that God is one essence, that is, one by definition. He and He alone (or they and they alone are) is God.

  12. Hugh McCann Says:

    Thanks, Drake!

    Praying for your successes academic and vocational,

    Hugh

  13. Hugh McCann Says:

    I’m sorry Pat –I can’t help it– but didn’t you mean to include this paragraph one more time to make a (dare I say it) “trinity”?

    This is wrong thinking. To speak of God as one is to speak of God as one God period. We do not pray to one person, but to one God who is three persons. CVT made the common misconception of thinking of God as one person rather than one God, and then trying to make the contradiction with God being three persons make sense. It doesn’t. We need to get our minds around the thought that God is one essence, that is, one by definition. He and He alone (or they and they alone are) is God.

  14. Denson Dube Says:

    Hi Sean,
    “Of course, Keister being a uniter not a divider previously claimed that on matters of epistemology Clark and Van Til were in fact in total agreement ….“

    I would say, Keister is indulging in obfuscation, and day dreaming.
    Why would anyone, expend so much effort in trying to make falsehoods appear true and call that charity? What sort of charity is that? Is this not sheer wickedness?

    Jesus said, John 14:23 – “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word “, and Godś Word alone is true!

    The rabid misology of van Tilians is demonic! Ordinary people understand that nonsense can only be nonsense!

    “Unity and plurality are equally ultimate in the Godhead.“ Huh? Just what does this mean? “…. we must maintain that God is numerically one. He is one person. …. God is a one-conscious being, and yet he is also a tri-conscious being.“
    Unity(1) is not “equal“ to plurality(3)(1=3 is false)! Ask any 5 year old!
    This is as blatant a denial of the law of (non)contradiction as any! This is stark insanity!
    And so, the van Tilian claim to the supposed solution of the problem of “the one and many“, from van Til´s theology turns out to be articulated on sheer nonsense!

    Denson

  15. Denson Dube Says:

    Hugh,
    “..tell me where (if) and more importantly, HOW, any of the players in this drama actually DEFINE such terms as “person,” “essence,” “being,” etc.?“
    Clark used to insist on definitions. It would be ironic if he failed to define his chief terms. The place to find definitions Clark attached to terms he used is his publications; The Incarnation for starters.

    van Till did not seem to care much for definitions and in fact seemed to delight in obscurantism, probably under the mistaken view that obscurity is a sign of learning.

    Denson

  16. pat Says:

    Gordon Clark did indeed define those terms in “The Incarnation.” A person is a set of propositions, essence is the definition of something, and being (from to be) is what all things are.

    Van Til and the rest don’t seem to clearly define those terms and are confusing at best. The fact that they speak of person and personality as different things points to that confusion.

  17. Sean Gerety Says:

    I would say, Keister is indulging in obfuscation, and day dreaming.

    I don’t think so. The problem is VT’s involvement in theology proper seems to me pretty scant and that one sentence may be enough to avoid the charge of heterodoxy on the doctrine of the Trinity. But I stress *may.*

  18. pat Says:

    What “one sentence?”

  19. Sean Gerety Says:

    Did you read the post?

  20. pat Says:

    Of course I read the post. How else would I have been able to respond so clearly to what Keister has been blogging about? You made a vague statement and I’m looking for you to clarify/explain what you mean.

  21. drake Says:

    Hugh,Pat,Sean,

    Pat says,

    “A person is a set of propositions, essence is the definition of something, and being (from to be) is what all things are.”

    Aquinas deals with the defintion of person here: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/summa.FP_Q29_A1.html and here: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/summa.FP_Q29_A4.html

    He clearly calls the person a “relation”. My difficulty is understanding how Clark would define relation or if he would even believe it. Supoposedly in Aristotle/Thomism if I was to say A is larger than B that the comparison “larger” defines a relation between the two and that relation defines person when A and B are rational natures.

    Do you guys know of anywhere in Clark where he deals with relation in Aristotle?

    In the Clark language I believe that the human mind and the divine mind both think to themselves, “I am the Messiah.” This is personal/hypostatic and I think it is getting to the same root idea that Aquinas is getting at. However, does this mean that there are two persons in one sense and one in another? Or is it one theanthropic mind (Sounds Eutychian to me)or what? I have not figured that out. Why don’t you guys figure that out for me and get back to me on it ok? 🙂

    Drake

  22. pat Says:

    Ok, I scrolled through the post again and I notice this:

    “When we say that we believe in a personal God, we do not merely mean that we believe in a God to whom the adjective “personality” may be attached. God is not an essence that has personality; He is absolute personality. Yet, within the being of the one person we are permitted and compelled by Scripture to make the distinction between a specific or generic type of being, and three personal subsistences.”

    Apparently this last sentence in the paragraph is what Sean was referring to. As he replies,

    “Did you catch that? The reason Van Til cannot be charged with teaching heterodoxy or anything so crass as God is both one person and three persons is because Van Til draws a distinction between God as a person in the generic sense as opposed to God consisting of ‘three personal subsistences.’”

    I guess as Sean says, it “may” be enough to clear Van Til from heterodoxy on the Trinity. In any event, VT’s teaching on the Trinity is not clearly orthodox and not to be promoted.

  23. Denson Dube Says:

    Hi Sean,
    van Til´ś theology is confused and God is not the author of confusion. Confusion is a mixture of error and truth. A mixture of error and truth is heterodoxy. A bit of leaven leavens the whole lump, the Word of God tells us. The purpose of mixing error and truth is to deceive. van Til´s orthodox statements(on the trinity) do not clear him of heterodoxy on the trinity, for he clearly says God is one person and God is three persons and that is simply false.

    The Bible says we should desire the sincere(pure) milk of the Word! 99,9% of milk with just 0,1% of a potent poison is not enough to clear the glass of milk for consumption.
    The Holy Spirit is the teacher, and He is not confused!
    van Til´s methodology(paradox – which he exhibits in his theology) affects other areas of doctrine as well and is the root cause of much of the impotence and ineffectiveness of Christians in reformed churches, which are pastored by people who have been taught that it is ok to be a moron! Purity in thought, which is purity in doctrine/belief is the source of life and power or effectiveness in the Christian´s life.

    Denson

  24. pat Says:

    Drake,

    I don’t see how the word relation explains what a person is. Of course there are relations between persons that make them differ, but the question what is the nature of the relation. I think we end up back with Clark’s definition, that it has to do with the different propositions thought. Also, when it comes to the Trinity, it is hard to see that there are different relations, if relations are a matter of comparative qualities like greater and lesser. If as a matter of similiar and different relations, then the thoughts of each person in the Trinity are both.

    I’m not sure I would agree that both minds (which to me is what persons are)in the Trinity think “I am the Messiah” unless the term Messiah is equal to the God/Man unit. The Logos does not think that He made atonement does He? He doesn’t think that He died, does he? Does He think that He is the Second Adam?

  25. pat Says:

    Clark deals with relation in Aristotle in “Thales to Dewey” pp. 109-111.


  26. Pat:
    “I’m not sure I would agree that both minds (which to me is what persons are)in the Trinity think ‘I am the Messiah’ unless the term Messiah is equal to the God/Man unit.”

    Did you mean to say Incarnation instead of Trinity?

    “The Logos does not think that He made atonement does He? He doesn’t think that He died, does he? Does He think that He is the Second Adam?”

    I think so.

  27. pat Says:

    “The Logos does not think that He made atonement does He? He doesn’t think that He died, does he? Does He think that He is the Second Adam?”

    “I think so.”

    Really? I guess you probably think that the Logos thinks that He got tired and that He never got tired, that He died and can’t die, that He knows everything, including the day of His return, and does not know everything. Do you think the Logos is schizophrenic, or of two minds?

    Yes, I meant to say Incarnation.

  28. Michael Stephens Says:

    Since we beat the Van Tillian thread into the ground I want to have fun with Pat and Drake….

    While I havent read the Clark’s book on the Trinity I have read the another Genius, Charnok.

    All personalities share the same attributes:
    No parts. One being, substance. Since simplicity is perfection. They know one anothers thoughts.

    But as Clark taught me a word must not be something to have a meaning. If something is everything then it is nothing. Hence the word exist means nothing because everything exists. Which leads me to wonder what definition of being are we using? to Be is a meaningless word. A being could be defined as a conciousness which is a rational mind, which is a person. But I digress…

    What are the Spirit, the Father, and the Son not? in relation to one another. And then what is common amoungst them. I would imagine the defintions are somewhere in there.

  29. pat Says:

    Being is a meaningless word as Clark pointed out.

    In relation to each other, the Spirit, the Father, and the Son are not the same mind. For they think different thoughts. What is common to them are similar thoughts that they and they alone think, which is what makes them Divine.


  30. Pat:
    “Tired” is a descriptor that applies to human bodies. Since I believe that the Logos became human, then that descriptor could apply to His body.

    What is death, for a man? It is not the cessation of existence. Our minds continue after our death, do they not? What happens is our minds are separated from our bodies. When Christ died, the Logos was separated from His body. Christ’s body lay in the tomb, His mind was elsewhere.

    As far as what Christ knows, I think the answer lies in the relationship between mind and body. Unfortunately, since we can’t trust science to provide us with truth about such things, and revelation only gives us so much detail about it, I don’t know if I’d be able to explain my thoughts clearly enough to satisfy you. I’ll try if you like.

    I don’t think the Logos is schizophrenic, or of two minds.

  31. pat Says:

    Being tired is really a matter of our minds as it considers the body in its functioning. So also is pain and hunger.

    Jesus unquestionably had a human spirit (mind) as well as a Divine Spirit in that he learned things.

    The mind of the Logos was never temporally located as a human mind is. It was always eternal, omniscient and omnipresent.

    The Logos Himself must be of two minds if He thinks He is tired and tireless, localized and omniscient, ignorant of some things and yet omniscient.


  32. “Being tired is really a matter of our minds as it considers the body in its functioning. So also is pain and hunger.”

    If you say so. I disagree.

    “Jesus unquestionably had a human spirit (mind) as well as a Divine Spirit in that he learned things.”

    It’s hardly “unquestionable,” since that’s one of the questions at hand. If it were unquestionable, this conversation wouldn’t be taking place, methinks.

    “The mind of the Logos was never temporally located as a human mind is. It was always eternal, omniscient and omnipresent.”

    What do you mean by “temporally located?”

    “The Logos Himself must be of two minds if He thinks He is tired and tireless, localized and omniscient, ignorant of some things and yet omniscient.”

    If so, it sounds like those two minds disagree. I think you’re putting words in my mouth, too.

  33. drake Says:

    Pat said,
    “I’m not sure I would agree that both minds (which to me is what persons are)in the Trinity think “I am the Messiah” unless the term Messiah is equal to the God/Man unit.”

    Oh no, I was unclear. I meat by both minds, the human and divine minds in Christ.

    “The Logos does not think that He made atonement does He? He doesn’t think that He died, does he? Does He think that He is the Second Adam?”

    I think he does. The actions of suffering in the atonement, is a human-divino action whereas most other actions of Christ are divino-human. What i mean is that in suffering this is a human action “moding” as the Logos and those actions performed by the human nature can be predicated of the Logos because of the union. I think in Clark’s language it could be said that the union of the two natures creates a theanthropic infima species. This is not a third metaphysical subject b/c the union is not at the level of nature, or what Clark might call Class.

    All of the actions of Christ are not divino-human (formally theandric) some are human -divino. What that means is that there are three classes of action as I cited above, divine actions without respect to a human nature (non-theandric), divine actions through a human nature (formally theandric) and then HUMAN ACTIONS moding as a divine person (materially theandric).

    So what I am saying is that human actions performed as in a single hypostatic mode with the Logos are not directly to be predicated of the Logos but indirectly.

    Thanks for the reference on relations Pat!

    Michael Stephens

    I would be careful with taking an extreme perfectionist view of the simplicity of God. I believe in simplicity but the way Aquinas’ actus purus view was constructed destroyed the possibility of real distinctions between the attributes and our knowledge of him, etc. Charles Hodge says much here. See my article on this issue:

    http://olivianus.thekingsparlor.com/theology-proper/the-problem-of-divine-simplicity-solved-by-charles-hodge-ed-by-drake-shelton

    Pat said,
    “Being is a meaningless word as Clark pointed out.”

    Agreed

  34. pat Says:

    “Being tired is really a matter of our minds as it considers the body in its functioning. So also is pain and hunger.”

    “If you say so. I disagree.”

    I think medical doctors would confirm this, if common sense doesn’t suggest it to you.

    “Jesus unquestionably had a human spirit (mind) as well as a Divine Spirit in that he learned things.”

    “It’s hardly “unquestionable,” since that’s one of the questions at hand. If it were unquestionable, this conversation wouldn’t be taking place, methinks.”

    Again, the fact that Jesus learned things should prove it beyond question. Luke 2:52 says “Jesus increased in wisdom.” “If his mind had been the Logos, its wisdom could never have increased.” “The Incarnation” p.10. Not for anything, but to deny that Jesus had a human spirit/mind is to espouse Appolinarianism, God in a body. Again, as Clark points out, though we speak of in-carn-ation, the Bible does teach of an in-psuch-ation.

    “The mind of the Logos was never temporally located as a human mind is. It was always eternal, omniscient and omnipresent.”

    “What do you mean by ‘temporally located?’”

    Located at a time in a particular place.

    “The Logos Himself must be of two minds if He thinks He is tired and tireless, localized and omniscient, ignorant of some things and yet omniscient.”

    “If so, it sounds like those two minds disagree. I think you’re putting words in my mouth, too.”

    I think you are not realizing the implications of your thoughts. If you think that the Logos thought that He got hungry, tired, and died and the same time acknowledge that the Logos is immutable and eternal, then you are having Him think contradictory thoughts.


  35. Dear

    Your article is very good! Vantilianism are ilogical and confused.

  36. pat Says:

    Drake,

    We can attribute the thoughts and actions of one of the minds (why are not minds persons?) to the other, as the Bible does, or to the them together as a unit. But it doesn’t change the fact that the Logos Himself didn’t suffer, bleed and die.

    Now there are some acts and statements made by Jesus that can only have been done and said by the Logos, some done and said only by the Man, and some either one or both could have said and done.


  37. Pat:
    “I think medical doctors would confirm this, if common sense doesn’t suggest it to you.”

    I’ve yet to find a medical doctor that acknowledges the existence of a mind as anything other than a function of the brain. The brain being a physical organ (not a mind) is why I said “tired” is a descriptor of the body.

    Luke 2:52 and its interpretation is the part of my tentative view that I referred to when I said I don’t know if I can find the words to best explain myself yet. I’m working on it.

    How can an immaterial mind be located in space? I get the “tent” analogy, but *how* does that work?

    I assure you I’m not having the Logos think contradictory thoughts. In order to do so, I’d have to say that he is A and Not-A at the same time, in the same sense. This I haven’t done, and you’re jumping the gun without even asking me to explain. I think it’s funny that you’re all on fire about rejecting Chalcedon, but want to hold me to Constantinople. How convenient. Sounds to me like you’re looking for someone to argue against, and to be quite honest I just don’t feel like it. Maybe Charlie Ray’d be up for it.

  38. pat Says:

    “I’ve yet to find a medical doctor that acknowledges the existence of a mind as anything other than a function of the brain. The brain being a physical organ (not a mind) is why I said “tired” is a descriptor of the body.”

    The point is that being tired is a thought of the mind with respect to the body. It is the person who is tired, not his body per se. In any event, God doesn’t feel pain or get tired, humans, having human minds do.

    “How can an immaterial mind be located in space? I get the “tent” analogy, but *how* does that work?”

    We don’t need to know how it works in order to acknowledge that it does. Clearly our immaterial minds are located with our material bodies.

    “I assure you I’m not having the Logos think contradictory thoughts. In order to do so, I’d have to say that he is A and Not-A at the same time, in the same sense.”

    Again, you’re not following what I’m saying. Either you have the Logos thinking contradictory statements or you have Him ceasing to be Divine for the moment. For example, when Jesus said “I thirst” was the Logos thirsty? Did He change from being impassive? Or when Jesus said “no one knows the day or hour…, not the Son,” was the Logos claiming He didn’t know? Was He claiming not to be omniscient at that instant?

  39. drake Says:

    Pat, this is the best explanation I have veer read on the issue of predication in the incarnation:

    ““St. Sophronius, and after him St. Maximus and St. John Damascene, showed that the two energeia produce three classes of actions, since actions are complex, and some are therefore mingled of the human and the divine.
    (1) There are Divine actions exercised by God the Son in common with the Father and the Holy Ghost (e.g. the creation of souls or the conservation of the universe) in which His human nature bears no part whatever, and these cannot be called divino-human, for they are purely Divine. It is true that it is correct to say that a child ruled the universe (by the communicatio idiomatum), but this is a matter of words, and is an accidental, not a formal predication — He who became a child ruled the universe as God, not as a child, and by an activity that is wholly Divine, not divino-human.
    (2) There are other Divine actions which the Word Incarnate exercised in and through His human nature, as to raise the dead by a word, to heal the sick by a touch. Here the Divine action is distinguished from the human actions of touching or speaking, though it uses them, but through this close connexion the word theandric is not out of place for the whole complex act, while the Divine action as exercised through the human may be called formally theandric, or divino-human.
    (3) Again, there are purely human actions of Christ, such as walking or eating, but these are due to the free human will, acting in response to a motion of the Divine will. These are elicited from a human potentia, but under the direction of the Divine. Therefore they are also called theandric, but in a different sense — they are materially theandric, humano-divine. We have seen therefore that to some of our Lord’s actions the word theandric cannot be applied at all; to some it can be applied in one sense, to others in a different sense. The Lateran Council of 649 anathematized the expression una deivirilis operatio, mia theandrike energeia, by which all the actions divine and human are performed.”
    [“Monothelitism and Monothelites’, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10502a.htm%5D

  40. pat Says:

    I find Clark’s explanation clearer and simpler.

    As to “(2) There are other Divine actions which the Word Incarnate exercised in and through His human nature, as to raise the dead by a word, to heal the sick by a touch.” Though the word/command appeared to come through the mouth and hand of a man, it was a Divine Person speaking and doing the act. Note that Jesus’s touch itself did not heal anyone; it was the will/command of God that did so.

    As to “(3) Again, there are purely human actions of Christ, such as walking or eating, but these are due to the free human will, acting in response to a motion of the Divine will. These are elicited from a human potentia, but under the direction of the Divine.” I can hardly make sense of this. All human actions are determined by “a motion of the Divine will.” That is, all human actions are a result of God’s determination. The Man did and acted according to God’s determinate will. But he also had human thoughts as we do, and grew in sanctification/knowledge as we do. And he made decisions/choices based on practical wisdom as we do. But of course, the Man had to yield in ways to God’s determination that we don’t experience. In essence, the Logos took absolute control of the human body at times.

  41. drake Says:

    Pat
    “Though the word/command appeared to come through the mouth and hand of a man, it was a Divine Person speaking and doing the act.”

    So then this act is divino-human.

    “I can hardly make sense of this. All human actions are determined by “a motion of the Divine will.” That is, all human actions are a result of God’s determination.”

    But not all human actions are human-divino as in one mode.

    You demonstarted no superiority in your description over the article I posted.

  42. pat Says:

    “But not all human actions are human-divino as in one mode.”

    What the heck does this mean? Can you put this pedantic language in laymans terms?

    “You demonstarted no superiority in your description over the article I posted.”

    Well, you haven’t demonstated this claim. Or were you just offering a subjective opinion? What makes you like the divino-human, human-divino description? Is it because it sounds more sophisticated? To me, it is just saying what has been said for thousands of years. My/ Clark’s description seems to bring more clarity to who Jesus Christ, the God/Man is.

  43. drake Says:

    ““But not all human actions are human-divino as in one mode.”

    What the heck does this mean? Can you put this pedantic language in laymans terms?”

    Sure, both human and divine operate according to their one messianic consciousness, or messianic mode. This does not mean that the messianic consciousness is another metaphysical subject created from the union of the human and divine minds, it is a hypostatic subject or infima species created from the union of the human and divine minds.

    “My/ Clark’s description seems to bring more clarity to who Jesus Christ, the God/Man is.”

  44. pat Says:

    “Sure, both human and divine operate according to their one messianic consciousness, or messianic mode. This does not mean that the messianic consciousness is another metaphysical subject created from the union of the human and divine minds, it is a hypostatic subject or infima species created from the union of the human and divine minds.”

    How is that any clearer than my/Clark’s description? Again, I can hardly make sense of it. How can one consciousness be shared by both human and divine mind? Or how can two minds combine to form one consciousness? What is a consciousness? A hypostatic subject or infirma species created from the union of the human and divine minds? What is your basis for that claim? Is that any different than saying two natures forming one person?

  45. drake Says:

    I have been reading Cheung’s Systematic and I think his defintion of person nails down what I am trying to say and clears up a problem I have been having.

    He says,
    “God the Son took up a human nature, and a human nature must include a human soul or
    mind. Although a “person” is defined in terms of the mind or intellect, the doctrine is that
    Christ remains one person even though he possesses two natures. This is so because of
    the definition of a person as a system of consciousness, and because of the nature of the
    relationship between the divine mind and the human mind.”
    pg. 143
    http://www.vincentcheung.com/books/theology2010.pdf

    System of consciousness is then the defintion of person. When I was brought to the understanding that both minds think to themselves, “I am the messiah” this created a difficulty for me because this is a clear indication of a personal union, but how can there be a personal union if there are two persons? Cheung’s defintion clears it up for me at least. This is not to say that there are not distinctions between the two sets, there are. This is not to say that the two sets make one set. The two sets personally united makes one SYSTEM of consciousness.

    I don’t think his section there deals with all the issues but his def. of person is convincing, and I have to say I take his view as of right now.

  46. drake Says:

    What is so exciting to me is that we are leaps and bounds beyond any other system of theology in the history of Christianity. Lossky who is an Eastern Orthodox scholar admits he has no defintion of human person to even work with. He says,

    “To avoid such unconscious confusion, as well as conscious anachronisms— inserting Bergson into the work of St. Gregory of Nyssa or Hegel into the work
    of St. Maximus the Confessor— we will refrain for the moment from all attempts at finding in
    these texts the outlines of a developed
    doctrine (or doctrines) of the human person such as might have arisen in the course of the
    history of Christian theology. For my part, I must admit that until now I have not found what one
    might call an elaborated doctrine of the human person in patristic theology, alongside its very
    precise teaching on divine persons or hypostases.”

    pg. 1

  47. pat Says:

    How is “a system of consciousness” different from a mind?

    What is a “personal union” if not being persons united? In fact, how can there not be two persons involved?

    Are minds sets of thought? Do two minds thus combine in Jesus to form System of consciousness? What is meant by system.

    Sorry, but rather than being convincing, it seems to raise more questions as to what is being meant.

    Oh, and by the way, as I’ve already pointed out, though both minds think “I am the God/Man” there are many thoughts that both minds don’t think.

  48. Drake Says:

    “How is “a system of consciousness” different from a mind?”

    In some cases nothing. In the cae of Christ system refers to an “integrated whole”.

    “In fact, how can there not be two persons involved?”

    1. Because there are not two Messiahs. 2. Because the Covenant of redemption has two parties not three. 3. Because our direct bridge to God is the human nature of Christ. If the human nature is not personally united tot he Logos it is impossible to become the righteousness of GOD IN HIM. 2 COR 5:21. The obedience of Christ under the Covenant of redemption is the obedience of his entire person. “The obedience…was the obedience OF HIS PERSON…It was performed in the
    HUMAN NATURE; but it was the person of Christ who performed it. As in the person of a man, some of his acts, as to the immediate principle of operation, are acts of the body, and some are acts of the soul; yet, in their performance, they are the acts of the person: so the acts of Christ, in his mediation, as to their immediate operation, were the actings of his distinct natures; some of the divine, some of the human: but as to the perfecting efficacy of them they were the acts of his whole person:…the Son of God [in the abstract] was never absolutely made under
    the law, nor could he be formally obliged thereby….who never could be made under the law in his whole person: for the divine nature cannot be subject to an outward work of its own, such as the law is; nor can it have an authoritative
    power over it, as it must have, if it were under the law…99″4. It is granted, that the human nature of Christ, or ‘that which was made of a woman,’ was made
    under the law, and thereby obediance became necessary to him; but this being by a special dispensation, intimated in the expression of it-he was made under the law; namely, as he was made of a woman; the obedience he yielded thereon, was for us, and not for himself: for, as made under the law, he not only owed obedience to its precepts, but he was made obnoxious to its curse; but surely this was not for himself, but for us.”
    Only the human nature of Christ could have been under the law, per se, so if there is no personal union, the human person could not impute to you the Righteousness of God.

    “Do two minds thus combine in Jesus to form System of consciousness?”

    I refuse to believe that Jesus was born a human person who after a period of time enters into union with the divine. Jesus is conceived in this state, that is a theanthropic mode.

    “Sorry, but rather than being convincing, it seems to raise more questions as to what is being meant.”

    I don’t know who you think you are saying this to but I of tried to make the two person view work for over a year integrating it into every part of systematic theology, and in fact it simply does not work. I do not believe the Anchoretic view of the hypostatic union but that means little.

    “Oh, and by the way, as I’ve already pointed out, though both minds think “I am the God/Man” there are many thoughts that both minds don’t think.”

    I am completely aware of that and I already said as much when I said, “This is not to say that there are not distinctions between the two sets, there are. This is not to say that the two sets make one set. The two sets personally united makes one SYSTEM of consciousness.”

  49. Drake Says:

    The above quote if from John Owen, The Doctrine of Justification by Faith Through the Imputation of the
    Righteousness of Christ (Luckman and Suffield: London, 1797), 117-118

    So Pat, you have only barked at my view you have yet to touch it.

  50. pat Says:

    “In fact, how can there not be two persons involved?”

    “1. Because there are not two Messiahs.”

    Two persons does not imply two Messiahs, that is, two God/Mans. But two minds does indeed imply two persons.

    “3. Because our direct bridge to God is the human nature of Christ. If the human nature is not personally united tot he Logos it is impossible to become the righteousness of GOD IN HIM.”

    The two persons are united. But what does it mean to be personally united? United in their persons? But whatever that might be, it is not the righteousness of the Logos that is imputed to us, but the earned righteousness of the Second Adam/MAN having fulfilled the demands of the law.

    “The obedience of Christ under the Covenant of redemption is the obedience of his entire person. “The obedience…was the obedience OF HIS PERSON…It was performed in the
    HUMAN NATURE; but it was the person of Christ who performed it. As in the person of a man, some of his acts, as to the immediate principle of operation, are acts of the body, and some are acts of the soul; yet, in their performance, they are the acts of the person: so the acts of Christ, in his mediation, as to their immediate operation, were the actings of his distinct natures; some of the divine, some of the human: but as to the perfecting efficacy of them they were the acts of his whole person.”

    No, the obedience was the obedience of the man, the Second Adam. The Logos was never subject to His own law.

    “It is granted, that the human nature of Christ, or ‘that which was made of a woman,’ was made
    under the law, and thereby obediance became necessary to him; but this being by a special dispensation, intimated in the expression of it-he was made under the law; namely, as he was made of a woman;”

    Being the Second Adam meant that the Man was under the Covenant of Works yet did not receive the condemnation received by the First Adam.

    “Do two minds thus combine in Jesus to form System of consciousness?”

    “I refuse to believe that Jesus was born a human person who after a period of time enters into union with the divine. Jesus is conceived in this state, that is a theanthropic mode. ”

    No one has suggested this. You claimed that Jesus is two minds, yet one system of consciousness. So you seemed to be suggesting that the two minds somehow join together to form one system of consciousness. Is that not what you are claiming? If so, how do they combine, again what do you mean by system of consciousness?

    “Sorry, but rather than being convincing, it seems to raise more questions as to what is being meant.”

    “I don’t know who you think you are saying this to but I of tried to make the two person view work for over a year integrating it into every part of systematic theology, and in fact it simply does not work. I do not believe the Anchoretic view of the hypostatic union but that means little. ”

    Well, it sure seems to work to me. In fact, it’s the only thing that is making any sense.

    “The two sets personally united makes one SYSTEM of consciousness.”

    Again, what do you mean by system? How do sets of thoughts ‘personally’ unite? It seems to me that you would have to some overriding ego/self/mind/person to be ruling over this system. But that is just a third man argument, similar to the fourth man argument for the Trinity, which is refuted by the infinite regress result. BTW, are the two minds of Jesus two consciousnesses? If not, then how do you distinguish a mind/person from a consciousness? If so, then again, you have a third man/concsciousness claim which, as I’ve shown, is logically impossible. Or to put it another way, “a genus is not one its included individuals.”

  51. Drake Says:

    “In fact, how can there not be two persons involved?” “1. Because there are not two Messiahs.” Two persons does not imply two Messiahs, that is, two God/Mans. But two minds does indeed imply two persons”

    Not if both minds think the same personal proposition, namely, I am the messiah.

    I see you will not even attempt an answer on the Covenant of Redemption.

    “The two persons are united. But what does it mean to be personally united? United in their persons? But whatever that might be, it is not the righteousness of the Logos that is imputed to us, but the earned righteousness of the Second Adam/MAN having fulfilled the demands of the law. ”
    Are you kidding me? The passage in 2 Cor 5:21 says , “the righteousness of God”. You believe i some created grace merited by mere human activity. You have seared your conscience.
    “No, the obedience was the obedience of the man, the Second Adam. The Logos was never subject to His own law. ”
    Then you cannot participate in the Logos’ Eternal Sonship. In that case you are lost and on your way to hell.
    “Being the Second Adam meant that the Man was under the Covenant of Works yet did not receive the condemnation received by the First Adam. ”
    Christ is in the covenant of redemption which is a kind of covenant of works but not nearly in the same sense. Let me ask you a question Pat: Was the first Adam commanded to obey God’s law that he might receive the righteouness he did not have?
    “No one has suggYou claimed that Jesus is two minds, yet one system of consciousness. So you seemed to be suggesting that the two minds somehow join together to form one system of consciousness. Is that not what you are claiming? If so, how do they combine, again what do you mean by system of consciousness”
    I have already answered this
    “Again, what do you mean by system?”
    I have already answered this. An integrated whole.
    “How do sets of thoughts ‘personally’ unite?”
    I do not know. I do not have to know. How did God split the red sea? How do things come into existence by divine fiat? Can you explain these things? No, we don’t have to know the how just the what. There is nothing illogical in it and that is these are the key determining factors: do you have scripture for your view and is it rational?
    “It seems to me that you would have to some overriding ego/self/mind/person to be ruling over this system.”
    That is called the Logos
    “But that is just a third man argument, similar to the fourth man argument for the Trinity, which is refuted by the infinite regress result.”
    There is no third man because there are not two persons but one person. The rational faculty is at the level of nature for the human aspect in Christ here. The human receives a hypostatization in union with the Logos. Normal human persons have their own hypostatizations but the human nature in Christ receives hypostatization in union with the Logos. You cannot think of the human nature outside of union with the Logos.
    “BTW, are the two minds of Jesus two consciousnesses?”
    Yes but the divine one is the hypostasis for the human. It is not as if the divine nature and hypostasis untied to a human nature and hypostasis to create a third set as I have stated numerous times now.

  52. Drake Says:

    You have to understand Pat, every one of your objections here i have thought of much longer than you have and I went even deeper with them and saw the applications of them to Systematic theology as a whole.


  53. Drake, does Charlie know? 😛

    Pat,
    “The point is that being tired is a thought of the mind with respect to the body. It is the person who is tired, not his body per se.”

    If you say so Pat. I disagree. I think being tired is not a thought, it’s a state of being. But I suppose my definition is just as arbitrary as yours, so have it your way.

    “We don’t need to know how it works in order to acknowledge that it does. Clearly our immaterial minds are located with our material bodies.”

    Hey, I didn’t realize we could use the “Idon’tunderstandbutthat’sjustthewayitis” defense! I ought to use that myself sometime…

    “Either you have the Logos thinking contradictory statements or you have Him ceasing to be Divine for the moment.”

    OR, I have Him doing neither, and you’re the one that’s not even attempting to follow what I’m saying.

    “For example, when Jesus said “I thirst” was the Logos thirsty?”

    Yup, because the Logos had become human, and thus had a body that thirsted, just like any other man.

    “Did He change from being impassive?”

    The Logos, as the eternal mind He is, is impassive. But the Logos had taken on a “passive” (?) body.

    “Or when Jesus said “no one knows the day or hour…, not the Son,” was the Logos claiming He didn’t know? Was He claiming not to be omniscient at that instant?”

    I’ll try to explain what I’m thinking. When infants are born, they have a mind, yes? And a mind must think thoughts, else it is no mind. But what propositions does a child understand? It knows certain propositions innately, but in a sense they have not been revealed/understood/learned/whatever. (I told you my language isn’t precise in this area. Hopefully you’ll extend some Christian charity instead of treating me like an idiot.)

    Now, while infant brains are associated with a limited set of innate propositions, Jesus’ brain was associated with the complete set of true propositions (the omniscient Logos). But a finite human brain can’t handle omniscience, so according to God’s providential direction, the body/mind combo of Christ learned things, the same way an infant “learns” that which he already knows innately.

    That’s my current understanding in a nutshell. I know it has some vague terms, and some speculation. Thus, I’m not dogmatic about it. I’m open to respectful challenges and conversation. I just see less problems with that view than with a two-person view. Others might think differently; that’s fine, I’m not offended.

  54. Denson Dube Says:

    Drake, Patrick;
    We do say that God is three persons, or the scriptural data implies that. The three persons are ¨united¨. But this does not make them one person, but one God.
    If Jesus had one mind, then his humanity(learning, getting tired and dying,) and His divine claims,( … before Abraham was, I am etc etc ..) was a simple case of schizophrenia or worse! Then you two agree with the Jews who called Jesus an insane/possessed Samaritan!
    It is only if Jesus had two minds, that one can make sense of the scriptural data and also talk about a union!
    The result of the union was the God-man, the Messiah, Christ Jesus. His human nature, explains his obedience to the law, death and resurrection and His divine nature explains his divine claims. By human nature I mean 100% human person and by divine nature I mean 100% divine person as Second Person of the Godhead. What are the two natures, if not persons, one divine and the other human?

    Denson

  55. Roger Mann Says:

    Drake wrote,

    There is no third man because there are not two persons but one person. The rational faculty is at the level of nature for the human aspect in Christ here. The human receives a hypostatization in union with the Logos. Normal human persons have their own hypostatizations but the human nature in Christ receives hypostatization in union with the Logos. You cannot think of the human nature outside of union with the Logos.

    Wow, Drake, I think you may have finally become a Christian! Praise God! The problem many are having here is the result of equating the term “person” with “mind” or “soul.” Not only is that non-Confessional (since a “rational soul” is part of the human “nature” that was assumed by the Logos), but it is also non-Scriptural. Scripture clearly teaches a distinction between one’s “person” and his “mind.”

    “Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence… When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me… Thus my heart was grieved, and I was vexed in my mind.” (Psalm 73:13,16,21)

    This passage no more equates the person or subject (“I,” “my,” and “me”) with his thoughts or mind than it does his hands. They are clearly distinguished in the passage.

    Moreover, while it’s certainly true that a normal human person/individual possesses only one mind, the Incarnate second Person of the Godhead is hardly a normal human person/individual. He is the unique God-man — possessing both a fully divine and a fully human mind, in accordance with His fully divine and fully human natures.

    As Vincent Cheung rightly points out, the “mind” or “soul” is a property of “nature” rather than a property of “person” as such:

    The proper formulation is to state that God the Son took up a human nature, including a human mind, in such a manner that the human mind is contained by the divine mind, although the two are not in any way mingled or confused. Whereas the divine mind has complete control over the human mind, the human mind does not have free access to the divine mind, but it receives special information and capabilities only as granted by the divine mind.

    In the Trinity, there are three systems of consciousness working in unison [i.e., within the one divine mind/nature — RM], each fully participating in the divine attributes. When God the Son took up a human nature, he also took up a human center of consciousness [i.e., within the assumed human mind/nature — RM]. But there remains only three centers of consciousness in the Trinity, because the human nature of Christ was not deified. It was not added to the Trinity as such, since what is human cannot become divine. (Systematic Theology, pg. 142-144)

  56. Sean Gerety Says:

    i have thought of much longer than you have and I went even deeper with them and saw the applications of them to Systematic theology as a whole.

    What is this supposed to mean? Although I can tell you what it is – a non sequitur. 🙂

  57. Sean Gerety Says:

    I haven’t really been following any of this as I’ve been away, but it must be good since Roger almost wet himself and even Charlie Ray has tried to post (he’s still banned). Hopefully I can catch up later today, but this grabbed me. Drake said:

    “If the human nature is not personally united tot he Logos it is impossible to become the righteousness of GOD IN HIM.”

    Wouldn’t a human nature that is personally united to something or someone also be a human person?

  58. Denson Dube Says:

    Roger/Drake,
    What is a hypo static union? This is a meaningless term, like nature and person that you just pipe incessantly! Clark complained about the lack of definitions or complete unintelligibility if not confusion in most discussions on this issue. None of you seem concerned at all with communicating meaningfully or care to address Clark´s concerns or his efforts at introducing intelligibility. Your contributions do not advance understanding on the issue, being just repetitions of what has been said before and which Clark criticised.

    Denson


  59. Denson:
    What did you think about what I had to say about death, and what it means for a man (as opposed to a plant or animal)?

    FWIW, I’d agree with your last paragraph up until the last sentence.

    Sean:
    Anyone know what’s up with Charlie these days? I went to his site and he’s posting a bunch of stuff from Clark, Robbins, Trinity Foundation, etc. Last I heard, in his book they were all heretics…

  60. brandonadams Says:

    I posted the following at Lane’s blog, and I briefly mentioned the issue a while ago somewhere on this blog:

    Are you familiar with Witness Lee and Living Streams Ministries? They are a cult founded by a man named Witness Lee back in the 50s-60s. Walter Martin led CRI in condemning Lee’s teaching as heretical (explained in a CRI article by E. Calvin Beisner, which can be found here http://www.ecalvinbeisner.com/freearticles/TeachingsofWitnessLee&LocalChurch.pdf ). Lee taught that the Father is the Son and the Son is the Spirit – all are one – though his heresy had a spin on modalism in that he separated the “ontological Trinity”, which distinguished the Persons, from the “economic Trinity”, which did not.

    The reason I mention this is because after 30 years, CRI has now come out and said they were wrong in their condemnation of the cult. (Of course, CRI is under different leadership now, and Beisner is strongly opposed to this new position). Many, many Christians look to CRI for discernment in the area of cults and they are now being led astray by this acceptance of the Lee cult. (And I can attest this is not just theory. I know of Christians and pastors now fellowshipping with this cult because of CRI’s position).

    CRI devoted an entire issue to exhonerating the cult. http://journal.equip.org/issues/we-were-wrong

    Lee said things like “The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are not three separate persons or three Gods; they are one God, one reality, one person.”

    and also We may say that the Triune God has three persons but only one essence; the persons should not be confused and the essence should not be divided; the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are three in person, but they are one in essence.

    Lee held to what he called the “twofoldness of Divine Truth”, which basically allows for contradictory views to both be held as true.

    In the issue, CRI said the following:

    We were aware at CRI that Lee made such statements and we therefore classified the LC’s theology as aberrant rather than heretical, according to the theological definition of aberrant that we have adhered to for decades. Aberrant theology will affirm orthodoxy but then will add to those confessions of orthodoxy further affirmations that contradict, compromise, or undermine them. We simply concluded that the LC believed they lived in a world where two contradictory propositions could be true at the same time and in the same sense…

    …when Lee affirmed the existence of three eternally distinct persons in the Godhead he was stating his true belief. Furthermore, when he affirmed that the Trinity is one person he was not engaging in boldfaced self-contradiction. He was rather attempting to safeguard LC theology from the implication of separateness of being (tritheism) that the word person at least potentially carries… [Lee said] “We dare not say that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are three persons, nor do we dare say that they are not, because this is truly a mystery.”…

    Lee’s thinking was very close to that of the late Reformed theologian Cornelius Van Til on this point, and although Van Til has been criticized for his view, no one that I am aware of has charged him with heresy. Theology blogger Phil Gons writes:

    Avoiding modalism and tritheism is as challenging as steering clear of legalism and antinomianism. Errors in formulating a biblical doctrine of the Trinity stem from the desire to say too much. Perhaps Van Til’s approach is best. He leaves the tension unresolved and maintains the full mystery of the Trinity by arguing that God is both one person and three persons, though in different senses. Van Til is combating the notion that “God” is some kind of attribute that the three persons of the Trinity share in common. Frame’s defense of Van Til on this point is quite insightful. Van Til’s formulation helpfully preserves us from the tendency toward either modalism or tritheism. God is one and God is three, but in different senses (and thus not contradictorily). In precisely what ways He is one and three, we cannot and should not say. http://philgons.com/2008/01/are-you-a-practical-modalist/

    And so this issue is not just an in-house Reformed skirmish. Much less is it a Clark/Van Til issue. This is a matter that concerns all of Christianity. Not only is Van Til’s unbiblical view of paradox wreaking havoc all over the place, but even his specific view of the Trinity is allowing outright cults to be branded as Christians and be accepted by one of the longest standing countercult groups.

    For an overview of Lee’s teaching, see here http://contrast2.wordpress.com/2010/09/25/the-false-gospel-of-witness-lee-and-the-living-stream-ministries/

  61. drake Says:

    Denson said,
    “If Jesus had one mind, then his humanity(learning, getting tired and dying,) and His divine claims,( … before Abraham was, I am etc etc ..) was a simple case of schizophrenia or worse! Then you two agree with the Jews who called Jesus an insane/possessed Samaritan!”

    I do not remember denying that Christ has two minds. The fact is he does but they are personally united in one system of consciousness. I have said that a few times now.

    Roger said,

    “Wow, Drake, I think you may have finally become a Christian! Praise God! The problem many are having here is the result of equating the term “person” with “mind” or “soul.” Not only is that non-Confessional (since a “rational soul” is part of the human “nature” that was assumed by the Logos), but it is also non-Scriptural. Scripture clearly teaches a distinction between one’s “person” and his “mind.””

    First Roger, I still do not believe the union is a metaphysical unity but a hypostatic unity. 2nd what really shook me up on this was reading through Charles Hodge’s Systematic Theology in response to a Romanist attack on the Reformed doctrine of human nature.

    Hodge says,
    “While, therefore, the Scriptures make the original moral perfection of man the most prominent element of that likeness to God in which he was created, it is no less true that they recognize man as a child of God in virtue of his rational nature. He is the image of God, and bears and reflects the divine likeness among the inhabitants of the earth, because he is a spirit, an intelligent, voluntary agent; and as such he is rightfully invested with universal dominion. This is what the Reformed theologians were accustomed to call the essential image of God, as distinguished from the accidental. The one consisting in the very nature of the soul, the other in its accidental endowments, that is, such as might be lost without the loss of humanity itself.” Systematic Theology Vol 2 pg. 99

    That opened my eyes a bit on that issue.

    Sean said,
    “What is this supposed to mean? Although I can tell you what it is – a non sequitur”
    Ok Sean, if you can answer these issues for me I’ll change my mind again but
    1. In the Covenant of Redemption per Church of Scotland, Jonathan Edwards, Dabney, SOSK, the parties in the Covenant of Redemption are the Father and the Son (Assumed one person). The terms of this covenant included dying for the elect. On the two person model, this 2nd party could not agree to those terms because he of himself could not suffer.
    2. How do we become the Righteousness of GOD BY BEING UNITED TO A HUMAN PERSON ONLY?
    3. Col 1:14 must be speaking of the human person on the two person view, yet the same person is said to create the world in vs 16.
    These were insurmountable problems for me.

  62. drake Says:

    Sean said,
    “Wouldn’t a human nature that is personally united to something or someone also be a human person?”

    No, because he receives his hypostasis from the Logos. The Logos is the human nature’s person or hypostasis.

    Denson in reference to defintion: Classification: Clark said many times that essence is a thing’s defintion and that’s fine; I will go with that defintion, but there must be other classifications. Nature can be defined as the neccessary predicates for a given genus of a thing. By the way Clark makes these eact distinctions in his book on the Trinity. Person/hypostasis/infima species can be defined as a system of consciousness that includes and these are Calrk’s exact words: “greater connotation and lesser extension” than Nature; this has traditionally been called accidents .

    Wheteher you want to cal person infima species with Calrk’s language, fine but the defintion is the ame. There are different levels of classification as Clark himself admits.The nature is at the level of neccessary predication of a genus, and person/hypostasis/infima species is at the level of greater connotation and lesser extension. Read The Trinity, by Clark, Trinity Foundation, 1985 pg. 50. It’s on his section on Augustine about 4 pages in.

  63. drake Says:

    Sorry about my spelling guys, I am in a hurry and cannot spend too much time here today.

  64. Sean Gerety Says:

    “Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence… When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me… Thus my heart was grieved, and I was vexed in my mind.” (Psalm 73:13,16,21)

    This passage no more equates the person or subject (“I,” “my,” and “me”) with his thoughts or mind than it does his hands. They are clearly distinguished in the passage.

    Seems to me that the person IS equated with his thoughts. As a man thinketh so is he, in this case the person was vexed, grieved, in pain, etc.

  65. Sean Gerety Says:

    This is not to say that there are not distinctions between the two sets, there are. This is not to say that the two sets make one set. The two sets personally united makes one SYSTEM of consciousness.

    I was trying to figure out how any of this relates to the topic of the above post and then it hit me, the three persons of the Trinity make one system of consciousness, hence one person as Van Til claimed. 8-P

  66. Roger Mann Says:

    Drake wrote,

    First Roger, I still do not believe the union is a metaphysical unity but a hypostatic unity.

    Well, no one has been arguing for a “metaphysical” unity of the divine and human natures in the sense that the two natures were merged or somehow mingled together. The orthodox position has always maintained a “hypostatic” union of the divine and human natures in the one Person (hypostasis) of the Logos:

    “The Son of God, the second Person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance, and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon him man’s nature, with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof; yet without sin: being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man.” (WCF 8.2)

    Yet this is a still a “metaphysical” union in the sense that the divine and human natures were truly “united” in the one Person (hypostasis) of the Logos. That is, the one Person (hypostasis) fully possesses both the divine and human natures. He essentially possesses the divine nature from all eternity, and He assumptively possesses the human nature from the moment He was conceived in the womb of Mary. As all the orthodox writers have affirmed in the past, this was not merely a loose connection, or juxtaposition, or sacramental union between the divine and human natures. The second Person (hypostasis) truly “became flesh” by uniting Himself to human nature. He did not merely “indwell” a distinct human person in the Incarnation, as every heretic has maintained in one form or another.

  67. Roger Mann Says:

    Sean wrote,

    Seems to me that the person IS equated with his thoughts. As a man thinketh so is he, in this case the person was vexed, grieved, in pain, etc.

    No, Sean, it is the “person” or “subject” of the passage (the “I,” “me,” and “my”) who was thinking those thoughts and feeling that pain, just as it is the “person” or “subject” of the passage who washed his hands in innocence. Using your illogic, “the person IS equated with his hands” as well! As usual you are trying to defend the indefensible and are sounding like an idiot.

  68. Sean Gerety Says:

    Ok Sean, if you can answer these issues for me I’ll change my mind again but

    I’m not interested in trying to change your mind, just understand it.

    1. In the Covenant of Redemption per Church of Scotland, Jonathan Edwards, Dabney, SOSK, the parties in the Covenant of Redemption are the Father and the Son (Assumed one person). The terms of this covenant included dying for the elect. On the two person model, this 2nd party could not agree to those terms because he of himself could not suffer.

    Again, I would refer you to H. Hoeksema’s Dogmatics and his discussion of the Pactum Salutis. He makes a number of solid exegetical arguments demonstrating that the CoR is made between God and Christ “as the eternal Son in His human nature” in distinction to “Christ as the eternal Son of God in His divine nature,” and, interestingly, for some of the reasons you just gave. Actually, I found his arguments very persuasive and would recommend you check them out for yourself (since I’m not going to reproduce them here, although I may blog on the topic at some point).

    2. How do we become the Righteousness of GOD BY BEING UNITED TO A HUMAN PERSON ONLY?

    I never said we were and I can’t see how that is even an implication of Clark’s view?

    3. Col 1:14 must be speaking of the human person on the two person view, yet the same person is said to create the world in vs 16.
    These were insurmountable problems for me.

    That’s fine. I’m just trying to understand your new Chuengian understanding. So, tell me, two sets of what make “one SYSTEM of consciousness”?

    FWIW I find his explanation very confusing. Bear with me…

    “God the Son took up a human nature, and a human nature must include a human soul or mind. Although a “person” is defined in terms of the mind or intellect, the doctrine is that Christ remains one person even though he possesses two natures.”

    Human nature includes a human mind and “person” is defined as the mind or intellect. Christ is one person who has two natures, both natures which include their respective “minds”, but “person” in this case, in the case of Christ, is not defined in terms of mind or intellect.

    Person is defined in terms of intellect or mind when it comes to you, me, Moe, Larry, and Curly, but Person is not defined in this way in the case of Christ. In the case of Christ person is defined as a “system of consciousness, and because of the nature of the relationship between the divine mind and the human mind.”

    Am I missing something, bit isn’t this just a case of simple equivocation?

    Also, and I think Pat might have already asked, but what is the difference between a mind and a system of consciousness?

    Again, don’t get me wrong, I fully agree that only a two-mind theory with an asymmetric accessing relationship between the human and divine mind makes sense of the biblical material, but what I’m having trouble with is why in the case of Christ “person” should not be defined as intellect or mind?

  69. Sean Gerety Says:

    it is the “person” or “subject” of the passage who washed his hands in innocence. Using your illogic, “the person IS equated with his hands” as well! As usual you are trying to defend the indefensible and are sounding like an idiot.

    Actually Roger, the reference to hands is metaphoric, that is unless you believe (and you probably do) that hands apart from minds or souls can be guilty or innocent of anything.

    That said, if you choose to continue with abusive ad hominem I will ban you permanently from this blog.

  70. Drake Says:

    Roger

    please cool it with the idiot , stupid labels. You are not speaking to reprobates here so chill out! You are not speaking to people who refuse to acknowledge the arguments neither are you speaking to religious hypocrwho’s who make muder pacts behind closed doors and make merchandise of religion. Keep your wilsonite satirism to yourself.

  71. drake Says:

    Sean said,
    “I was trying to figure out how any of this relates to the topic of the above post and then it hit me, the three persons of the Trinity make one system of consciousness, hence one person as Van Til claimed. 8-P”

    The problem that I see here is that the Father and the Spirit do not think to themselves, “I am the messiah.” This would destroy the possibility that all three minds are one system of consciousness in the hypostatic sense.

    “He makes a number of solid exegetical arguments demonstrating that the CoR is made between God and Christ “as the eternal Son in His human nature” in distinction to “Christ as the eternal Son of God in His divine nature,” and, interestingly, for some of the reasons you just gave.”

    I will look into this, but I think this might not answer the problem because the Logos is still the one who has to be the 2nd party because in eternity there simply was no human nature.

    “I never said we were and I can’t see how that is even an implication of Clark’s view?”

    The mediator between God and man is the man Christ Jesus. The human nature or on your view person of Jesus is the DIRECT BRIDGE TO GOD. We are not directly united to the divine nature; that is why the divine person the Logos had to become human hypostatically to provide directly for us in a human nature. See Girardeau, Discussions, pg. 488

    If indeed we are united directly to the human person and not the divine person it is therefore ipso facto impossible to partake of the Righteousness of God or the Eternal Sonship of the Logos without there being a personal union between human and divine.

    “that’s fine. I’m just trying to understand your new Chuengian understanding. So, tell me, two sets of what make “one SYSTEM of consciousness”?

    I spoke on this earlier. I believe there are two minds: one, the Logos’ is hypostatized the other, the human nature, receives the Logos’ hypostasis. “But that is just a third man argument, similar to the fourth man argument for the Trinity, which is refuted by the infinite regress result.”
    There is no third man because there are not two persons but one person. The rational faculty is at the level of nature for the human aspect in Christ here. The human receives a hypostatization in union with the Logos. Normal human persons have their own hypostatizations but the human nature in Christ receives hypostatization in union with the Logos. You cannot think of the human nature outside of union with the Logos.

    “I’m having trouble with is why in the case of Christ “person” should not be defined as intellect or mind?”

    Because both minds think to themselves a singular personal proposition “I am the messiah.”


  72. Drake:
    I must admit I’m not familiar with the technical terms being used. I tried to explain my view above, do you think it sounds at least similar to what you’re saying? Thanks.

  73. pat Says:

    “If indeed we are united directly to the human person and not the divine person it is therefore ipso facto impossible to partake of the Righteousness of God or the Eternal Sonship of the Logos without there being a personal union between human and divine. ”

    Are you again claiming that we somehow partake of a quality of God? Again, 2 Cor.5:21 is not speaking of a quality/character of God that is imputed to us. It is the earned righteousness of the Second Adam, His obedience to the law that is imputed to us. That is the “righteousness of God” that is imputed to us. This is basis Reformed theology. The verse is one footnoted from Chap.11,Sect. 1, after the phrase “but by imputing the obedience of Christ and satisfaction of Christ to them.”

  74. drake Says:

    Pat T Williams,
    Can you give me a summary?

    Pat said,
    “Are you again claiming that we somehow partake of a quality of God?”

    I take Girardeau’s view of adoption and so yes, but in a human way. That is what it means to be sons of God with Jesus as our brother. Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

    “It is the earned righteousness of the Second Adam”
    Pat are you serious, The apostle calls it God’s righteousness. Not a man’s righteousness. Not even a unique man’s righteousness, GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS.

    Calvin says,
    “Calvin says,
    “Though righteousness flows from God alone, still we shall not attain the full manifestation of it anywhere else than in the flesh of Christ for in it was accomplished the redemption of man, in it a sacrifice was offered to atone for sins, and an obedience yielded to God to reconcile Him to us; it was also filled with the sanctification of the spirit and at length, having vanquished death, it was received into heavenly glory. It follows that all the parts of life have been placed
    in it.”(Comm. on John 6:51)…He had been very God, because no human ability was equal to such a burden, it is, however, certain that He performed all these things in His human nature.”(Comm. 3:11:9) (Wallace 145)”

    Our treasury of merit is the human nature of Christ and if its not there then we don;t have it. The problem is Pat on the two person view this human person, this treasure chest cannot contain the righteousness of God because he is not a divne person.


  75. Drake:
    I’m taking mind and person to be synonymous, as a collection of propositions. A divine mind is an omniscient mind. A human mind is a mind associated with a body. Thus, the mind of Christ is both fully divine (as it is omniscient) and fully human (as it became associated with a body.

    As for how Christ could “grow in wisdom” and not know the hour of His second coming, I explain it like this, as I posted earlier:

    “I’ll try to explain what I’m thinking. When infants are born, they have a mind, yes? And a mind must think thoughts, else it is no mind. But what propositions does a child understand? It knows certain propositions innately, but in a sense they have not been revealed/understood/learned/whatever. (I told you my language isn’t precise in this area. Hopefully you’ll extend some Christian charity instead of treating me like an idiot.)

    Now, while infant brains are associated with a limited set of innate propositions, Jesus’ brain was associated with the complete set of true propositions (the omniscient Logos). But a finite human brain can’t handle omniscience, so according to God’s providential direction, the body/mind combo of Christ learned things, the same way an infant “learns” that which he already knows innately.”

    Hopefully that made some sense, so that you can at least figure out what I mean, even if you don’t agree. From your last few posts it seemed to me that we were kind of saying similar things, although perhaps using different terminology. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t grossly misunderstanding you.

  76. pat Says:

    “It is the earned righteousness of the Second Adam”
    Pat are you serious, The apostle calls it God’s righteousness. Not a man’s righteousness. Not even a unique man’s righteousness, GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS.

    Drake, are you kidding me? God’s righteousness is the righteouness that He gives. It is a righteousness based on fulfilling the law. We do not get imputed a character/quality. We get the Second Man’s earned righteousness.

    “Our treasury of merit is the human nature of Christ and if its not there then we don;t have it. The problem is Pat on the two person view this human person, this treasure chest cannot contain the righteousness of God because he is not a divne person.”

    Again our merit, our righteousness, our justification before God is the imputed righteousness of the Second Agam; we are counted as having fulfilled God’s law perfectly because he did so on our behalf.

  77. Sean Gerety Says:

    The problem that I see here is that the Father and the Spirit do not think to themselves, “I am the messiah.” This would destroy the possibility that all three minds are one system of consciousness in the hypostatic sense.

    I was being a bit tongue and cheek Drake. However, without some clear definitions and without saying confusing and contradictory things that amount to a person being defined both as and as not their mind (for in Christ’s sake two minds make one system of consciousness and it is this system that makes Christ a single person), then I hardly think Van Til’s claim is at all outrageous.

    Besides, and to your point, all Three Persons can say “I am God.” Why can’t both persons say, “I am the Messiah”?

    I will look into this, but I think this might not answer the problem because the Logos is still the one who has to be the 2nd party because in eternity there simply was no human nature.

    And God loved us even when we were yet sinners, yet we are not justified until such time as when we first believe. Similarly, Jesus is the first born of all creation, so there is a sense in which Jesus as the Logos incarnate transcends time, or, logically, proceeds creation.

    The mediator between God and man is the man Christ Jesus. The human nature or on your view person of Jesus is the DIRECT BRIDGE TO GOD. We are not directly united to the divine nature; that is why the divine person the Logos had to become human hypostatically to provide directly for us in a human nature. See Girardeau, Discussions, pg. 488
    If indeed we are united directly to the human person and not the divine person it is therefore ipso facto impossible to partake of the Righteousness of God or the Eternal Sonship of the Logos without there being a personal union between human and divine.

    Again, I don’t see how on “my view” or Clark’s that Jesus Christ as mediator is as divided as you make it out to be. There is only one Messiah Jesus Christ. Jesus as the God/man mediates between both God and man, so if it is in that sense you mean Jesus is the direct bridge for man to God then I suppose He is also the direct bridge for God to man. But, unless I’m just missing some crucial point that is relevant to the discussion, I think your point 2 is a bit beside the point.

    “that’s fine. I’m just trying to understand your new Chuengian understanding. So, tell me, two sets of what make “one SYSTEM of consciousness”?

    I spoke on this earlier. I believe there are two minds: one, the Logos’ is hypostatized the other, the human nature, receives the Logos’ hypostasis.

    If by hypostatized you mean Jesus received his substance, essence or “underlying reality,” then aren’t we all hypostatized by the Logos who lighteth every man? If you mean something like the human mind took on the divine personality or the divine person took on a human mind or something of that sort, well of course He did. But then we’re back dealing with the question of what defines a person. So far it seems to be different things for you depending on who or what you’re dealing with.

    Did you ever think of giving the whole Incarnation thing a rest? Heck, according to Roger you’re ahead of the game. Why, according to him (to the exclusion of Clark, Robbins, me, and a few others)you’re even a “Christian.”

    There is no third man because there are not two persons but one person.

    Straw man. I haven’t argued or even thought you were providing a basis for any third man.

    The rational faculty is at the level of nature for the human aspect in Christ here. The human receives a hypostatization in union with the Logos. Normal human persons have their own hypostatizations but the human nature in Christ receives hypostatization in union with the Logos. You cannot think of the human nature outside of union with the Logos.

    You can’t think of the human person (the man Jesus) outside of union with the divine Person either. Which raises the question; what substantial difference would there be if you replaced key terms above with the word person? For example; You cannot think of the human person outside of union with the divine Person.

    Also, sans what appears to be meaningless religious jargon (beware of those who use Latin phrases), how is what you’ve described in any way substantially different from Robbins’ closing remarks to Clark’s Incarnation, with the exception that Robbins is a lot more intelligible. And just for a small refresher, here is what he wrote:

    The relationship that obtains between the Logos, the Second Person of the Trinity, and Jesus is unique, unlike that between the Logos and every other man who comes into the world (see John 1:9). The Logos did not merely light the mind of Christ; the Logos Himself is fully in Christ. Christ could therefore say, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” No mere prophet could make such an astounding claim. Prophets, inspired by God, possess some of the divine propositions. Christ, however, possess them all, as the author of Hebrews argues in the first chapter. *All* the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Christ, for in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

    If, as seems to be the case, we now have a solution to the puzzles of the Incarnation, a solution that avoids the contradictions and meaningless words of the traditional formulations, a solution that is supported by Scripture itself, we are obliged to accept it. Jesus Christ was and is both God and man, a divine person and a human person. To deny either is to fall into error. Once the key terms are defined and clearly understood, the Incarnation is an even more stupendous and awe-inspiring miracle than the Church has hitherto surmised. – J.W.R.

    Again, I think Robbins is far more intelligible even without the question of who hypostatized who. Besides, I take it for granted that the human person or mind did not make the divine person or mind ignorant.

    “I’m having trouble with is why in the case of Christ “person” should not be defined as intellect or mind?”

    Because both minds think to themselves a singular personal proposition “I am the messiah.”

    I don’t see how this is any way substantially different from Three Persons thinking the singular personal proposition “I am God”? Am I missing something? Seriously, I’m not wed to Clark here, but I’m just looking for a clear definition of “person” that can be used without equivocation for both Jesus the God/man and Drake Shelton, Sean Gerety, and Roger Mann (we’ll leave Charlie Ray out for now since I have my doubts). So far Cheung has not provided one and neither have you.

  78. pat Says:

    Drake, maybe the following from Calvin will help:

    “Sin is here contrasted with righteousness, when Paul teaches us, that we were made the righteousness of God, on the ground of Christ’s having been made sin. Righteousness, here, is not taken to denote a quality or habit, but by way of imputation, on the ground of Christ’s righteousness being reckoned to have been received by us.”

    “The righteousness of God in him In the first place, the righteousness of God is taken here to denote — not that which is given us by God, but that which is approved of by him, as in John 12:43, the glory of God means — that which is in estimation with him — the glory of men denotes the vain applause of the world. Farther, in Romans 3:23, when he says, that we have come short of the glory of God, he means, that there is nothing that we can glory in before God, for it is no very difficult matter to appear righteous before men, but it is a mere delusive appearance of righteousness, which becomes at last the ground of perdition. Hence, that is the only true righteousness, which is acceptable to God.”

    “Let us now return to the contrast between righteousness and sin How are we righteous in the sight of God? It is assuredly in the same respect in which Christ was a sinner. For he assumed in a manner our place, that he might be a criminal in our room, and might be dealt with as a sinner, not for his own offenses, but for those of others, inasmuch as he was pure and exempt from every fault, and might endure the punishment that was due to us — not to himself. It is in the same manner, assuredly, that we are now righteous in him — not in respect of our rendering satisfaction to the justice of God by our own works, but because we are judged of in connection with Christ’s righteousness, which we have put on by faith, that it might become ours.”

  79. pat Says:

    “Besides, and to your point, all Three Persons can say ‘I am God.’”

    Actually, the Three Persons can only say “We are God” (in the collective sense, just as they can say “We are One” as Jesus said He and the Father are one) because God is the Three Persons, not any one of the Persons. Similarly, I’ve been pointing out on Green Baggins that no Person thinks “I am Trinitarian” because no Person thinks that He is three persons.

  80. Sean Gerety Says:

    Pat, a genus is not one of its individuals. The Logos is God.

  81. pat Says:

    Sean, God is the genus. Thus He is not one of the Individuals. God is the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Though is often said, this is statement is not equate to the Father is God, the Son is God, the Spirit is God. For that would mean that each Person is God and thus tritheism. Again, the Logos is not the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, which is who God is. The Logos is not God, though He is Divinity, that is, His thoughts are Divine thoughts, what He thinks is true because He thinks it.

  82. Sean Gerety Says:

    the Logos is not God…

    From Gordon Clark’s God and Logic under the heading
    Logic Is God

    . . . “In the beginning was Logic, and Logic was with God, and Logic was God…. In logic was life and the life was the light of men.

    Any translation of John 1:1 that obscures this emphasis on mind or reason is a bad translation. And if anyone complains that the idea of ratio or debate obscures the personality of the second person of the Trinity, he should alter his concept of personality. In the beginning, then, was Logic.

    That Logic is the light of men is a proposition that could well introduce the section after next on the relation of logic to man. But the thought that Logic is God will bring us to the conclusion of the present section. Not only do the followers of Bernard entertain suspicions about logic, but also even more systematic theologians are wary of any proposal that would make an abstract principle superior to God. The present argument, in consonance with both Philo and Charnock, does not do so. The law of contradiction is not to betaken as an axiom prior to or independent of God. The law is God thinking.

    … As there is no temporal priority, so also there is no logical or analytical priority. Not only was Logic the beginning, but Logic was God.

  83. Roger Mann Says:

    Actually Roger, the reference to hands is metaphoric, that is unless you believe (and you probably do) that hands apart from minds or souls can be guilty or innocent of anything.

    The last time I checked, faithful Jews used to literally wash their hands as an outward demonstration of spiritual cleansing in the Old Testament. So the hands themselves are hardly metaphors. Therefore my point remains: It is the “person” or “subject” of the passage (the “I,” “me,” and “my”) who was thinking those thoughts and feeling that pain, just as it is the “person” or “subject” of the passage who washed his hands in innocence. There’s a clear distinction made between the person who was thinking, and the thoughts that that person was thinking.

    That said, if you choose to continue with abusive ad hominem I will ban you permanently from this blog.

    Please, spare me the crocodile tears and man-up a bit! You can dish it out fine, Sean, but you sure can’t take it, can you? Weren’t you the one who just finished saying that I “almost wet myself,” as if I’m an overly excited little girl? And now you’re whining because I said that you’re “sounding like an idiot” for trying to defend an indefensible position? What a hypocrite!

    Anyway, ban me from your blog if you’d like. It makes no difference to me. My life will go on just fine. But you certainly won’t intimidate me into silence with your bullying tactics that you like to throw around so often. I call things as I see them. If you’re making no sense (as you were above), then I’m going to say that you’re “sounding like an idiot.” Would you rather I lie and say that you’re “sounding like a genius?” Well, that’s not going to happen. You’ve got the wrong guy for that. And since you continue to promote and vigorously defend an heretical view of the Incarnation, I’m going to continue calling you a heretic — plain and simple. That’s not an “abusive ad hominem.” That’s an accurate description.

  84. Sean Gerety Says:

    “…used to literally wash their hands as an outward demonstration of spiritual cleansing in the Old Testament.”

    I guess you really don’t know what the word “metaphor” means after all Roger.

    What was that about looking like an idiot? 🙂

  85. pat Says:

    I think Clark was speaking colloquially here. Clark is pointing out that logic is the nature of God’s thinking. His being called “the Logos” indicates that. Remember what makes the Logos a distinct Person are the propositions He thinks differently from the other Persons. But God is not exclusively His thoughts but the thoughts of the whold Trinity. As the Athanasian Creed says, “The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal, yet there are not three eternals, but one eternal… So likewise the Father is Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet there are not three Almighties, but one Almighty… not three Gods, but one God.”

    Also, in considering John 1:1, the Logos is said to be “with” God. Either God here refers to the Father, the representative head of the Trinity, or to the Trinity itself, because that is who God is. The point is He viewed distinctly from the Trinity but is “with” the Trinity, that is, He is part of it. He is not the Trinity itself/themselves. Also, the anarthrous use of Logos as being God points to the character/quality of the Logos as being Divine (“Divine is the Word”). The articular use would not make sense because it would make the Logos equal to the Trinity (“The God[Trinity] is the Word”). Another way to say this is that the Persons are all of the same specific substance, but no one Person is the same as the Trinity.

  86. drake Says:

    Pat said,
    ““The righteousness of God in him In the first place, the righteousness of God is taken here to denote — not that which is given us by God, but that which is approved of by him, as in John 12:43, the glory of God means”

    First, I used this point in my original Theses page 76. I read that a few times Pat already. Second, I think you are missing his point or THE point. The fact is, I believe that Justification is an EXTRNAL ACT. I am not participating in the qualities of God in that sense that the Romanists and Eastern orthodox teach. This is Calvin’s point methinks because in his commentaries on Phil 3:9 he says

    “In the first place, that the righteousness of the law must be given up and renounced, that you may be righteous through faith; and secondly, that the righteousness of faith COMES FORTH FROM GOD, and does not belong to the individual. As to both of these we have in the present day a great CONTROVERY WITH THE PAPISTS; for on the one hand, they do not allow that the righteousness of faith is altogether from God, but ascribe it partly to man; and, on the other hand, they mix them together, as if the one did not destroy the other. Hence we must carefully examine the several words made use of by Paul, for there is not one of them that is not very emphatic.”

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom42.iv.iv.ii.html

    Phi 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which IS OF GOD BY FAITH:

    The greek here is τὴν ἐκ θεοῦ δικαιοσύνην ἐπὶ τῇ πίστει
    Ek means “out of, from, by, away from”

    John Owen says in The Doctrine of Justification by Faith

    “2. It is the righteousness of God, that is imputed to us. ” We are made the righteousness of God in Christ f.” ” The righteousness of God upon them that believe J.” Bat faith, absolutely considered, is not the righteousness of God.—That unto which the righteousness of God is revealed, is not itself the righteousness of God ; for nothing can be the cause of itself: but the righteousness of God is revealed to faith ||, and by it is received §.— Faith is not ” the righteousness of God which is by faith f.” That by which the righteousness of God is to besought, obtained and submitted to, is not that righteousness itself; but such is faith**.—The righteousness which is imputed to us, is not our own antecedently to that imputation; but faith is a man’s own ff.—God imputeth righteousness unto us and thereby we are justified ; but we are justified by the obedience and blood of Christ §§: but faith is neither the obedience nor the blood of Christ.—Finally ”
    Pg. 157

    Sean said,
    “Besides, and to your point, all Three Persons can say “I am God.” Why can’t both persons say, “I am the Messiah”?”

    The three persons thinking, “I am God” is not personal. This would be at the level of nature.

    “Similarly, Jesus is the first born of all creation, so there is a sense in which Jesus as the Logos incarnate transcends time, or, logically, proceeds creation.”

    Firstborn simply refers to superiority. “transcends time, or, logically, proceeds creation” This is Eutychian. Logically? How can an eternal temporal creature be logical?

    “Again, I don’t see how on “my view” or Clark’s that Jesus Christ as mediator is as divided as you make it out to be.”

    As long as the union is not personal it is divided enough to make my point.

    “If by hypostatized you mean Jesus received his substance, essence or “underlying reality,” then aren’t we all hypostatized by the Logos who lighteth every man?”

    That is not what I mean. The human nature is his own. The issue is that the hypostasis of the human nature is the Logos. I have said that a few times now. Sure, all of us receive of our hypostasis from the Logos in the sense that he created everything, but he gives me my own hypostasis. What I am saying and have said a couple times now is that the human nature DOES NOT HAVE HIS OWN HYPOSTASIS BUT THE LOGOS IS THE HYPOSTASIS OF THE HUMAN NATURE.

    “Did you ever think of giving the whole Incarnation thing a rest? Heck, according to Roger you’re ahead of the game. Why, according to him (to the exclusion of Clark, Robbins, me, and a few others)you’re even a “Christian.””

    I kind of hate the fact that he seems to be giving the impression that we are on the same team and it may be in some loose sense but I must say Roger is the most difficult person to debate with I have ever met. Not because his arguments are that good but he is by far the most insolent person I think I have ever met. P.s. I know a few others nipping at his heals.

    “Straw man. I haven’t argued or even thought you were providing a basis for any third man.”
    Sorry Sean, this was a poke at Pat who said this earlier.

    “You can’t think of the human person (the man Jesus) outside of union with the divine Person either.”

    Oh I think you can. This is Clark’s whole point on the issue of suffering, that the person of the Logos cannot suffer. When it comes to suffering you must think of the human person outside of union with the Logos. On the hypostatic view (In the Cheungian sense) suffering is a human-divino act, i.e., a human action performed as in a single hypostatic mode with the Logos , not directly to be predicated of the Logos but indirectly.

    “I don’t see how this is any way substantially different from Three Persons thinking the singular personal proposition “I am God”?”

    Because “I am God” is at the level of nature. “I am the Messiah” is at the level of hypostasis.

    That last goes to Pat as well.

  87. pat Says:

    Drake,

    The last part of the Owne quote “God imputeth righteousness unto us and thereby we are justified ; but we are justified by the obedience and blood of Christ §§: but faith is neither the obedience nor the blood of Christ.—Finally ” expresses the idea that the righteousness of God that is imputed is Christ’s earned righteousness, “the obedience [active] and blood of Christ [passive].” Again, we get credited Christ’s righteousness, which is His obedience, not His Divine character of being perfectly righteous or holy. We do not get credited/imputed something of God’s character, i.e., His being perfectly righteous or holy.

  88. Denson Dube Says:

    Roger,
    “There’s a clear distinction made between the person who was thinking, and the thoughts that that person was thinking“.

    Wow! A little learning is dangerous, so dangerous!
    Hume, though speaking as an empiricist, noted a long time ago that we are only ever aware of our thoughts …. and not anyone behind the thinking! Positing an unknown/unknowable something behind the thoughts is totally without foundation. That is why Jesus said He is the truth, not behind the truth! He is the Logos!

    Who is the idiot now?

    Denson

  89. drake Says:

    Pat
    I am starting to think you are searing your conscience. I just quoted Owen a couple days ago saying, on pages 115-118

    “”The obedience…was the obedience of his person…It was performed in the
    human nature; but it was the person of Christ who performed it. As in the person of a man, some of his acts, as to the immediate principle of operation, are acts of
    the body, and some are acts of the soul; yet, in their performance, they are the
    acts of the person: so the acts of Christ, in his mediation, as to their immediate
    operation, were the actings of his distinct natures; SOME OF THE DIVINE, some of
    the human: but as to the perfecting efficacy of them they were the acts of his
    whole person:…the Son of God [in the abstract] was never absolutely made under
    the law, nor could he be formally obliged thereby….who never could be made
    under the law in his whole person: FOR THE DIVINE NATURE cannot be subject to an
    outward work of its own, such as the law is; nor can it have an authoritative
    power over it, as it must have, if it were under the law…99″4. It is granted, that
    the human nature of Christ, or ‘that which was made of a woman,’ was made
    under the law, and thereby obediance became necessary to him; but this being
    by a special dispensation, intimated in the expression of it-he was made under the
    law; namely, as he was made of a woman; the obedience he yielded thereon, was
    for us, and not for himself: for, as made under the law, he not only owed
    obedience to its precepts, but he was made obnoxious to its curse; but surely this
    was not for himself, but for us.”100”

    In the quote that you just commented on he nowhere denies the deit/divinity of Christ as seperated from the human nature. As I just quoted Owen believes the human nature is one aspect of a divine person. You are deceiving yourself here man.

  90. Sean Gerety Says:

    Oh I think you can. This is Clark’s whole point on the issue of suffering, that the person of the Logos cannot suffer. When it comes to suffering you must think of the human person outside of union with the Logos. On the hypostatic view (In the Cheungian sense) suffering is a human-divino act, i.e., a human action performed as in a single hypostatic mode with the Logos , not directly to be predicated of the Logos but indirectly.

    Thanks. Again, I’m not wed to Clark’s view (despite the barking and frothing of some) and, despite some difficulties, don’t even mind defining person as a system of consciousness (which may in fact be preferable since it would allow for the possibility of more than one center of consciousness or minds that make up a singular system and which is necessary to account for the biblical material).

    I’ll have to continue to think on this more. But unlike you I’m not going to drive myself nuts over it. 😉 And, for the record, I do not think Robbins and Clark were heretics. Now that is idiotic.

  91. pat Says:

    Drake:In the quote that you just commented on he nowhere denies the deit/divinity of Christ as seperated from the human nature. As I just quoted Owen believes the human nature is one aspect of a divine person. You are deceiving yourself here man.

    Drake, this is not what we are currently debating. We are debating what the righteounsess of God is. You seemed to be saying that it is a character/quality in Jesus having to do with His Deity that gets imputed to us. I say it the obedience of Jesus.

  92. Sean Gerety Says:

    Point well taken Denson. Roger is making an elementary philosophic blunder, but don’t think that will stop him.

  93. Roger Mann Says:

    I guess you really don’t know what the word “metaphor” means after all Roger. What was that about looking like an idiot?

    According to the dictionary, a “metaphor” is “a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable.” For example, when Jesus said, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), the term “bread” is clearly a metaphor, as Jesus is not literally a loaf of Wonder bread. But when Scripture says that Pilate “took water and washed his hands” (Matthew 27:24) in order to represent his innocence of the blood of Jesus, the term “hands” is clearly not a metaphor, as it refers to the literal washing of physical hands in the passage. The same thing applies to Psalm 73:13 — the term literally refers to the external washing of physical hands. So my point still stands:

    This passage no more equates the person or subject (“I,” “my,” and “me”) with his thoughts or mind than it does his hands. They are clearly distinguished in the passage.

  94. Roger Mann Says:

    Point well taken Denson. Roger is making an elementary philosophic blunder, but don’t think that will stop him.

    That’s funny! Only Clark, Robbins, you, and a handful of others in the entire history of the church define “person” as the thoughts themselves, and yet you think it’s the distinction that I’m pointing out from Scripture that is the “elementary philosophic blunder.” Yes, a little learning is a “dangerous” thing indeed!

  95. Sean Gerety Says:

    As a footnote, someone recently wrote to me privately and asked:

    The two-mind (person) theory seems to offer a solution to the puzzle, but there is one thing that I am having difficulty with. If we assert that Jesus Christ has two minds or is two persons, does this not make the Godhead to consist of four persons instead of three? Is this a denial of the Trinity, which is to consist of only three persons? It would seem now we would have the Father, the Logos, the man Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. There are four minds operating, and if we attempt to reduce this to three to maintain a Trinity, we are forced to combine the mind of the Logos and Jesus to make one, and we are back to where we started where we have one mind both mutable/immutable.

    Here is how I replied and I’d be curious what Drake, Pat & Patrick think (I really don’t care what Roger thinks as I’m still thinking of banning him just because he’s an incorrigible bore along the lines of Marc Carpenter and Charlie Ray):

    Really tough questions and I don’t think there are any easy answers . . . In any case, you raise issues that I’ve been struggling with as well. I would recommend Thomas Morris’ The Logic of God Incarnate as it has helped me think through some of these things. From what I can tell Dr. Crampton basically equates Morris’ view with Clark’s, which I think is understandable since Clark defines person as their mind, or, rather the propositions one thinks, whereas Morris proposes a two-mind solution to the problem of the Incarnation. FWIW I think Clark’s two person theory is semantically related to Morris’ two mind view where there is an asymmetric accessing relationship between the human and divine minds. I think Clark would say there is a similar relation between the divine and human persons and since Clark defines person as their mind he and Morris are not really that far apart. However, how Clark’s two-person theory relates to the doctrine of the Trinity does raise some interesting challenges.

    You might recall that Clark was open to refinements to his definition of person and that any definition would be preferable to the current state of things. FWIW I’m inclined, at least for now, to accept a sort of synthesis between Morris and Clark and define person not simply as a mind as Clark does, or as a center of consciousness, or as a suppositum as Morris does, but rather as simply a system of consciousness (which is how Vincent Cheung apparently defines “person”). This way one person can be said to have more than one center of consciousness, or, simply more than one mind (which would account for the Incarnation and Jesus learning, thirsting, being ignorant of some things, etc., according to His human mind, and, according to His divine mind not doing any of these things). Unless I’m mistaken, this would also account for how each mind thinks. Whereas thoughts pass through Christ’s human mind (just like thoughts pass through our minds), according to His divine the Second Person’s thoughts remain forever present before Him. How these two mind relate accounts for Jesus growing in knowledge, etc. Moreover, if we think of a person as a system of consciousness then provided that the human and divine minds think the same thoughts, the same propositions, they remain part of the same system. In that case when John Robbins concludes Clark’s book by saying: “The Logos did not merely light the mind of Christ; the Logos Himself is fully in Christ. Christ could therefore say, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life,'” rather than there being two persons in view there would instead be one system of consciousness hence one person that contains the same propositions according to both Christ’s human and divine minds. In that case it would seem to me that there would be no addition to the internal life of the Trinity and Chalcedonian orthodoxy and the hypostatic union remains intact.

  96. Sean Gerety Says:

    Roger the Dodger writes:

    But when Scripture says that Pilate “took water and washed his hands” (Matthew 27:24) in order to represent his innocence of the blood of Jesus, the term “hands” is clearly not a metaphor,

    The term “hands” isn’t the metaphor, the washing of the hands is. The washing of hands was used as a metaphor by Pilate to illustrate his presumed innocence. And, irony of ironies you even say so.

    In a long list of dumb things you’ve said, this one takes the cake.


  97. Sean:
    The problems you quoted, along with some statements made by Pat in this very thread, are reasons why I can’t accept a two-person theory. And since I can’t (at the moment) fathom how a person can be distinct from his mind, I’m also having problems with a two-mind theory. However…

    What you’ve presented sounds good on the surface, but I really don’t know what an “asymmetric accessing relationship” or a “system of consciousness” really means. I think I need to revist Clark, and read Morris & Cheung, in order to comment in any meaningful way.

    I’d be interested in anyone’s thoughts on my comparison to infants who “learn” what they already innately “know.” Thanks gents.

  98. drake Says:

    Sean said,
    “don’t even mind defining person as a system of consciousness (which may in fact be preferable since it would allow for the possibility of more than one center of consciousness or minds that make up a singular system and which is necessary to account for the biblical material). ”

    This is exactly why I believe it. We are communicating on the exact same wavelegnth here.

    No I do not think that Clark’s two person view posits another person in the Trinity. That’s just silly. The best soeone could say is that it posits four persons in the Economic Trinity, not the Ontological. A major point of his view is to preserve the immutability of God’s essence and to remove from our minds the possibility that something created gets introduced/deified inside of the Godhead, per EO 6th Council, i.e. insanity.

  99. pat Says:

    Sean, I have a problem with this part: “Moreover, if we think of a person as a system of consciousness then provided that the human and divine minds think the same thoughts, the same propositions, they remain part of the same system.”

    What happens when the two minds don’t think the same thoughts, as is frequently the case, do they fall out of the system?

  100. pat Says:

    Sean said,
    “don’t even mind defining person as a system of consciousness

    So is every mind a system of conciousness? And thus two systems of conciousnesses form one conciousness? This would be saying the same as two persons forming one person, or two natures forming one person, right?

  101. pat Says:

    Patrick T: Now, while infant brains are associated with a limited set of innate propositions, Jesus’ brain was associated with the complete set of true propositions (the omniscient Logos). But a finite human brain can’t handle omniscience, so according to God’s providential direction, the body/mind combo of Christ learned things, the same way an infant “learns” that which he already knows innately.”

    You seem to be suggesting that the infant Jesus grew to know everything that was in the Mind of the Logos. Well, if that were so, how could he not know the day and hour of his return? BTW, what is said of the boy Jesus in Luke 2:52 is very similar to what is said of John the Baptist (in Luke 1:80 and 2;40 who was only a man.


  102. Pat:
    “You seem to be suggesting that the infant Jesus grew to know everything that was in the mind of the Logos.”

    Read what I said (and you just quoted) again: “But a finite human brain can’t handle omniscience…” So no, I don’t think Jesus, humanly speaking, learned everything that was in the mind of the Logos.

    Look again: Luke 2:40 is about Christ, not John the Baptist. Regardless, I’m not sure how that’s relevant to what I’m saying.

  103. Sean Gerety Says:

    What happens when the two minds don’t think the same thoughts, as is frequently the case, do they fall out of the system?

    If they didn’t think the same thoughts then I would think they would be different systems. The point is and per the quote from Robbins, both Christ’s earthly mind and divine mind think precisely the same thoughts, albeit not in exactly the same way or to the same extent. The propositions contained by the one mind is assumed by the other in what Morris calls an “asymmetrical accessing relation.” I think the Robbins quote fits this person qua system definition just as well as it would Clark’s two person theory:

    “The Logos did not merely light the mind of Christ; the Logos Himself is fully in Christ. Christ could therefore say, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” No mere prophet could make such an astounding claim. Prophets, inspired by God, possess some of the divine propositions. Christ, however, possess them all, as the author of Hebrews argues in the first chapter. *All* the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Christ, for in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.”

    So is every mind a system of conciousness?

    Yes, but not exclusively.

    And thus two systems of conciousnesses form one conciousness?

    No, not exactly. For example Morris puts it this way:

    “The divine mind of God the Son contained, but was not contained by, his earthly mind . . . Think, for example, of two computer programs or informational systems, one containing but not contained by the other. The divine mind had full and direct access to the earthly, human experience resulting from the Incarnation, but the earthly consciousness did not have such full and direct access to the content of the overarching omniscience proper to the Logos, but only such access, on occasion, as the divine mind allowed it to have.”

    This would be saying the same as two persons forming one person, or two natures forming one person, right?

    No, it would be one person if you define person in terms of a system of propositions or system of consciousness (I think I might like propositional system better) which may, similar to the above mentioned computer program analogy, consist of more than one mind. I’m thinking too in terms of what individuates the Persons of the Trinity in that as each distinct propositional systems they each don’t think precisely the same set of thoughts. Whereas, in the person of Christ both His earthly and divine minds think precisely the same thoughts which is why Jesus could say things like “before Abraham was I am.”

    Anyway, as I’ve said even back when Charlie and Roger first started spitting on me, I’ve never been wed to Clark’s theory although I don’t think it is remotely heretical or “Nestorian” and even John Murray said as much (see my piece on Crampton), but it all comes down to how we define our terms. My problem with Cheung, at least in how it was presented, was that his definition(s) of person amounted to nothing more than an equivocation. But then I thought why even define person in terms of mind to begin with. I also mentioned that I’ve always thought of Clark’s theory in terms of a smaller and expanding circle within a larger circle and if you think of these circles together as a unitary system and define person that way, then it seems like an acceptable solution. Heck, and if you think of system in terms of propositions you’re, for all practical purposes, back to Clark anyway with the exception that you’re not defining person quite so narrowly.

  104. pat Says:

    Sean:If they didn’t think the same thoughts then I would think they would be different systems. The point is and per the quote from Robbins, both Christ’s earthly mind and divine mind think precisely the same thoughts, albeit not in exactly the same way or to the same extent.

    That’s impossible. As Clark points out, the Logos does not think “I thirst” and many other human thoughts and vice versa.

  105. drake Says:

    Pat
    “What happens when the two minds don’t think the same thoughts, as is frequently the case, do they fall out of the system?”

    I have explained these things so many times this is getting a bit drawn out. There is no act whether human or divine that cannot be predicated of the person of the Logos. It is either a divine act predicated directly of the Logos or a human act predicated indirectly of the Logos. One subject of predication therefore one system of consciousness.

    “So is every mind a system of conciousness? And thus two systems of conciousnesses form one conciousness? This would be saying the same as two persons forming one person, or two natures forming one person, right?”

    I have already answered this as well. 1. Yes. 2. No there was never a time when the two minds were two seperate systems of consciousness as I have already stated as well.

    “This would be saying the same as two persons forming one person, or two natures forming one person, right?”

    Again for now I think the third time, the human mind of Christ is at the level of nature so the human nature is not a person. So your straw man is exposed. Not two persons becomeong one person but a real human nature is hypostatized in union with the Logos.

    Again the two natures do not form anything new. The eternal Logos who has always existed becomes the person of the human nature.

    “That’s impossible. As Clark points out, the Logos does not think “I thirst” and many other human thoughts and vice versa”

    I have already answered this stuff numerous times Pat. The thirsting is a human-divino act not a divino-human act. This would be predicated of the Logos indirectly.

  106. pat Says:

    Pat
    “What happens when the two minds don’t think the same thoughts, as is frequently the case, do they fall out of the system?”

    Drake:I have explained these things so many times this is getting a bit drawn out. There is no act whether human or divine that cannot be predicated of the person of the Logos. It is either a divine act predicated directly of the Logos or a human act predicated indirectly of the Logos. One subject of predication therefore one system of consciousness.

    Well, you are simply saying that the acts of the God/Man or Man/God (Divino-Humano or Humano-Divino)are the acts of one subject and one system of consciousness. But that is just begging the question. Again, just because the qualities and acts of the Logos are attributed to the Man and vice versa, it does not follow that they must be viewed only as one subject. Again, the very fact that we can speak of the Logos and the Man suggests we can differentiate the thoughts and acts and associate them more particularly to the proper one. Just as we say that God became incarnate, when we know that it was not the Trinity that became incarnate but only specifically the Logos.

    Pat:“That’s impossible. As Clark points out, the Logos does not think “I thirst” and many other human thoughts and vice versa”

    Drake:I have already answered this stuff numerous times Pat. The thirsting is a human-divino act not a divino-human act. This would be predicated of the Logos indirectly.

    Again, I have no problem agreeing with this. But it just doesn’t seem to be at helpful in understanding the Incarnation. It doesn’t seem to really say much more than what the WCF affirms in Chap.8,Sect.7

    “Christ, in the work of mediation, acts according to both natures, by each nature doing that which is proper to itself; yet, by reason of the unity of the person, that which is proper to one nature is sometimes in Scripture attributed to the person denominated by the other nature.”

    Nor does it suggest Clark’s two person view to be incorrect.

  107. pat Says:

    Pat:“That’s impossible. As Clark points out, the Logos does not think “I thirst” and many other human thoughts and vice versa”

    Drake:I have already answered this stuff numerous times Pat. The thirsting is a human-divino act not a divino-human act. This would be predicated of the Logos indirectly.

    Also, besides the act of thirsting, there is the thought “I thirst.” The Logos, the Divine Mind and the Man, the Human Mind do not share this thought.

  108. drake Says:

    “But that is just begging the question.”

    Begging what question. One of the questions that I have addressed 3 or four times now?

    “Again, just because the qualities and acts of the Logos are attributed to the Man and vice versa, it does not follow that they must be viewed only as one subject.”

    I do not remember saying that acts of the Logos are attributed to the human nature. The Logos is the sole subject of all incarnate acts either directly or indirectly.

    “Again, the very fact that we can speak of the Logos and the Man suggests we can differentiate the thoughts and acts and associate them more particularly to the proper one.”

    If by one you mean nature, fine. If by one you mean person, no.

    Pat said,
    “Drake:I have already answered this stuff numerous times Pat. The thirsting is a human-divino act not a divino-human act. This would be predicated of the Logos indirectly.”

    Again, I have no problem agreeing with this. But it just doesn’t seem to be at helpful in understanding the Incarnation. It doesn’t seem to really say much more than what the

    WCF affirms in Chap.8,Sect.7
    “Christ, in the work of mediation, acts according to both natures, by each nature doing that which is proper to itself; yet, by reason of the unity of the person, that which is proper to one nature is sometimes in Scripture attributed to the person denominated by the other nature.”
    Nor does it suggest Clark’s two person view to be incorrect.”

    That it does not contradict the Confession is cool wind in my face, that it challenges Clark’s view I affirm because he denied that suffering could be predicated of the Logos, which in fact must be predicated of the Logos at the expense of the covenant of redemption and the believer’s possession of God’s righteousness.

  109. drake Says:

    Pat said,

    “Also, besides the act of thirsting, there is the thought “I thirst.” The Logos, the Divine Mind and the Man, the Human Mind do not share this thought.”

    Agreed, as I have stated numerous times, there are two minds or ceneters of consciousness.

  110. pat Says:

    Sean:If they didn’t think the same thoughts then I would think they would be different systems. The point is and per the quote from Robbins, both Christ’s earthly mind and divine mind think precisely the same thoughts, albeit not in exactly the same way or to the same extent.

    Incidentally, the Robbins quote does not intimate that there is a sharing of thoughts in the God/Man.
    All that Dr.Robbins was pointing out was the uniqueness of the Man, that unlike other men who have/had the Holy Spirit’s influence on their minds, Jesus has the Logos fully. What that implies Dr. Robbins does not say. BTW, I wonder who he is referring to by “Christ.” The Logos surely is “fully in” the God/Man, but not in the Man per se. And yes because of this He, that is, the God/Man can say “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” but surely the Man per se cannot. But for what it’s worth, Dr. Robbins did affirm Clark’s solution: “Jesus Christ was and is both God and man, a divine person and a human person.” The Incarnation, p.78.

  111. Cliffton Towne Says:

    There is one definition of God and there is one definition of man. There is also one definition of person. In addition to the one definition of person there is a single definition of each individual person. That is, there is only one definition that applies to a particular person and to no other. No one proposition that is included in the definition of a particular person, an individual, can apply to any other definition of a particular person. That said, to deny that the mediator is one person on account of the fact that the Scriptures teach that Jesus grew in wisdom, or suffered, and these truths cannot be applied to deity, is irrelevant. It is irrelevant because the one definition of deity is distinguished from the one definition of man, and the one definition of a particular person. If one should so claim that to speak of the Son is necessarily to speak of deity, then not only are we no longer talking about the Son as a particular person, an individual, but we are also confusing the one definition of God with the one definition of a particular person.

  112. pat Says:

    Drake: Begging what question. (?)

    Your assertion that there is one system of consciousness in the God/Man not two.

    Drake: I do not remember saying that acts of the Logos are attributed to the human nature. The Logos is the sole subject of all incarnate acts either directly or indirectly.

    That is what is meant by indirectly. They are not His acts directly but by His being associated to the Logos and vice versa. See again the WCF quote.

    Pat:“Again, the very fact that we can speak of the Logos and the Man suggests we can differentiate the thoughts and acts and associate them more particularly to the proper one.”

    Drake: If by one you mean nature, fine. If by one you mean person, no.

    It doesn’t matter what word we use, it’s the concept. We can distinguish the Logos from the Man though we can’t separate them. But if you call the Logos a Person, it seems inconsistent to not call the Man a person. But if we agree that they are two distinct and different minds (BTW, would you say that the Logos has a mind or is His mind?), then the thoughts can be said to be DIRECTLY the thoughts of the One and INDIRECTLY (via association) the thoughts of the Other.

    Drake: That it does not contradict the Confession is cool wind in my face, that it challenges Clark’s view I affirm because he denied that suffering could be predicated of the Logos, which in fact must be predicated of the Logos at the expense of the covenant of redemption and the believer’s possession of God’s righteousness.

    Are you claiming that the Logos directly suffered? Or was His suffering indirect, a human-divino act, i.e., an act directly from the one attributed to the other “person denominated by the other nature.”
    Clark would not deny such, nor would I. The claim is that the Logos Himself did not suffer, just as He did not thirst, and die. BTW, you still haven’t expressed what you think is the righteousness of God that believers possess and whether you disagree that it is the obedience of Christ.

  113. pat Says:

    Cliffton offers an interesting solution. He seems to suggest that Jesus Christ is defined as a single person with a single set of propositions that include God like and Man like propositions. This seems to be an apriori assumption. Given that Jesus Christ is revealed to us as one, having Proper Names, it seems somewhat plausible. However, we know that the Logos is an eternal Person, having existed prior to the incarnation. Thus, we would have this Person being redefined, even to the extent that He is thinking new thoughts. But it must be maintained that the Logos is immutable. His incarnation is a unique association with a man, but I think we must maintain that the Logos Himself did not become someone new. So I think in the end we can speak of Jesus with respect to the unit, and also with respect to the two parts, whether one refers to the parts as minds, natures or persons.

  114. drake Says:

    Pat,
    “is meant by indirectly. They are not His acts directly but by His being associated to the Logos and vice versa. See again the WCF quote. ”
    You did not pay attention to one of the first things said here from the Catholic encyclopedia. There are some acts that are entirely divine.

    “But if you call the Logos a Person, it seems inconsistent to not call the Man a person.”
    assertion
    “BTW, would you say that the Logos has a mind or is His mind?)”
    The Logos is fully God and therefore simple having no parts ergo he is His mind.
    “Are you claiming that the Logos directly suffered? Or was His suffering indirect, a human-divino act, i.e., an act directly from the one attributed to the other “person denominated by the other nature.”
    The latter.
    The righteousness which believers possess is not siply the obedience of a human person to the law, it is the righteousness of Christ a divine person both human and divine’s obedience to God’s law some divine and some human acts. Of course it is the obedience of Christ yet Christ is a divine person.

  115. pat Says:

    Patrick T.: Read what I said (and you just quoted) again: “But a finite human brain can’t handle omniscience…” So no, I don’t think Jesus, humanly speaking, learned everything that was in the mind of the Logos.

    Okay, I admit I don’t understand what you are getting at. You admit that Jesus had a human mind, right? And you say that it was associated with a divine mind, right? So, did Jesus learn things based on that association? Or did he learn things the way the rest of us humans learn things? Did the mind of Jesus have free access to all the thoughts of the Logos, the divine mind? Or did the Logos have to reveal them to the human mind as He does with us?

  116. pat Says:

    Patrick T.Look again: Luke 2:40 is about Christ, not John the Baptist. Regardless, I’m not sure how that’s relevant to what I’m saying.

    I said that what is said about the boy Jesus was said about John the Baptist. The point is that Jesus had to learn things the same way all people do: acquiring the proper information.


  117. Pat:
    “You admit that Jesus had a human mind, right? And you say that it was associated with a divine mind, right?”
    I’ll quote myself again:

    “…I can’t accept a two-person theory. And since I can’t (at the moment) fathom how a person can be distinct from his mind, I’m also having problems with a two-mind theory.”

    And again:
    “I’m taking mind and person to be synonymous, as a collection of propositions. A divine mind is an omniscient mind. A human mind is a mind associated with a body. Thus, the mind of Christ is both fully divine (as it is omniscient) and fully human (as it became associated with a body.

    When infants are born, they have a mind, yes? And a mind must think thoughts, else it is no mind. But what propositions does a child understand? It knows certain propositions innately, but in a sense they have not been revealed/understood/learned/whatever. (I told you my language isn’t precise in this area. Hopefully you’ll extend some Christian charity instead of treating me like an idiot.)

    Now, while infant brains are associated with a limited set of innate propositions, Jesus’ brain was associated with the complete set of true propositions (the omniscient Logos). But a finite human brain can’t handle omniscience, so according to God’s providential direction, the body/mind combo of Christ learned things, the same way an infant “learns” that which he already knows innately.”

    Christ is unique because unlike other men, whose minds grow, Christ’s mind is the Omniscient Logos, thus anything Christ “learns” happens the same way that infants “learn” what they already know innately.

    I’m trying to be as clear as possible without using jargon.

  118. pat Says:

    Drake:You did not pay attention to one of the first things said here from the Catholic encyclopedia. There are some acts that are entirely divine.

    Which might they be? And how is possible not to be able to attribute something done by the Logos (such as raising the dead) to the Man?

    Drake: divine’s obedience to God’s law

    How can a divine obey God’s law. It is His own law. He is not subject to it. Thus He cannot obey it. Now maybe you will say that he obeys it indirectly through the Man. But again, as I’ve said, it is still more directly the Man’s obedience. Nor do I think that the value of the Man’s obedience is raised; obeying God’s law is obeying God;s law; He did for us what The First Adam failed to do: provide perfect, personal, perpetual obedience to God’s law. It was Christ qua man that He obeyed God’s law and suffered its punishment (death) as only a man could. Again, Jesus is spoken of as the Second/Last Man/Adam, one like Adam, to do for us, again, to do the opposite for His people what Adam did for his. Note that 1 Tim.2:5 emphasis Jesus’ manhood when speaking of him as the mediator (“the MAN Christ Jesus”).

  119. pat Says:

    Patrick T. You speak of Jesus having a “finite human brain” associated with the omniscient Logos. Maybe you are referring to the human organ, not the immaterial spirit. For you later say “Christ is unique because unlike other men, whose minds grow, Christ’s mind is the Omniscient Logos, thus anything Christ “learns” happens the same way that infants “learn” what they already know innately.

    Yet when I said “You seem to be suggesting that the infant Jesus grew to know everything that was in the mind of the Logos,” you seem to suggest no because you reply ”

    Read what I said (and you just quoted) again: “But a finite human brain can’t handle omniscience…” So no, I don’t think Jesus, humanly speaking, learned everything that was in the mind of the Logos.”

    Now, my point was not so much the quantity of actual knowledge Jesus humanly speaking acquired, but the nature of his acquiring knowledge. You say He had it all innately and didn’t have to learn as we do. He didn’t need to read a book (“especially not the Bible!) to learn anything. But the Scriptures say he “grew” in wisdom, which does not seem to speak of having it innately, but rather,like John the Baptist who “grew strong in spirit, filled with wisdom” (Luke 2:40), and all men, who have to learn things.

  120. Denson Dube Says:

    Hi Roger,
    That’s funny! Only Clark, Robbins, you, and a handful of others in the entire history of the church define “person” as the thoughts themselves,..

    What Clark, Robbins, myself and a handful others or you and the entire church think is of little consequence.
    What matters, what really matters, is what God says and God says he is truth(not distinct from it)!

    Denson

  121. drake Says:

    Pat T
    “Thus, the mind of Christ is both fully divine (as it is omniscient) and fully human (as it became associated with a body.”

    This is Eutychian. This will end you up saying that there is only one operation and one will, ergo one nature.

    Pat said,
    “Drake:You did not pay attention to one of the first things said here from the Catholic encyclopedia. There are some acts that are entirely divine.

    Which might they be? And how is possible not to be able to attribute something done by the Logos (such as raising the dead) to the Man?”

    I will quote the same thing I posted earlier from the NACE,

    “(1) There are Divine actions exercised by God the Son in common with the Father and the Holy Ghost (e.g. the creation of souls or the conservation of the universe) in which His human nature bears no part whatever, and these cannot be called divino-human, for they are purely Divine. It is true that it is correct to say that a child ruled the universe (by the communicatio idiomatum), but this is a matter of words, and is an accidental, not a formal predication — He who became a child ruled the universe as God, not as a child, and by an activity that is wholly Divine, not divino-human.”

    “How can a divine obey God’s law. It is His own law. He is not subject to it. Thus He cannot obey it.”

    I already addressed that in the Owen quote. I am no longer requoting things to you Pat, you are obviously not paying attention. This has become a policy with you.

  122. drake Says:

    Drake said,
    “This is Eutychian. This will end you up saying that there is only one operation and one will, ergo one nature.”

    Maybe I should say this will end up with one operation, ergo, one nature, ergo, one will.

  123. Denson Dube Says:

    Sean,
    I am not enthused with ¨consciousness¨ and I think Cheung is simply repeating the vagueness of centuries of confusion. Clark´s precise definition is much better. One is conscious of something. Just conscious of what? Everything, the universe, God, self or Krishna?
    Reflection on these will lead one, I think, to Clark´s position. Consciousness, life, awareness, is simply thinking. Further reflection will lead one to conclude that, ¨the flesh profitteth nothing. The words(thoughts) are spirit and life¨.

    Denson

  124. Sean Gerety Says:

    I am not enthused with ¨consciousness¨ and I think Cheung is simply repeating the vagueness of centuries of confusion. Clark´s precise definition is much better . . . Reflection on these will lead one, I think, to Clark´s position. Consciousness, life, awareness, is simply thinking. Further reflection will lead one to conclude that, ¨the flesh profitteth nothing. The words(thoughts) are spirit and life¨.

    You might be right Denson, but then how would you answer the concern it raises in regard to the Trinity? If Christ is one God-man and two persons then at the very least (per Drake above) this will affect how the Three Persons relate to each other and to the world (i.e. the economic trinity). Instead of Three Persons there would arguably be four. Using Morris’ computer program analogy perhaps Christ the human person would be the “interface” between the ontological Trinity and man. I just don’t know how that would work or even if it’s necessary, but I think a lot of this comes down to how we define our terms.

    Also, let me be clear, I greatly appreciate Clark’s attempt to face the problem of the Incarnation squarely. Frankly, and for the most part, I think he succeeded. I don’t think he was heterodox in the slightest — that is, once one grasps how he defined “person” (something neither Roger, Charlie and others seemingly can grasp).

    As John Murray wrote:

    It may be that the term “Person” can be given a connotation in our modern context, and applied to Christ’s human nature, without thereby impinging upon the oneness of His divine-human Person. In other words, the term “nature” may be too abstract to express all that belongs to His humanness and the term “Person” is necessary to express the manhood that is truly and properly His.John Murray, Collected Writings of John Murray (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1977), II:138.

    What really irks me about Roger and Charlie is that a lot of this, at least for me, has been trying to think through Clark’s theory out loud. Which is impossible when you have to keep batting away ignorant gnats (thankfully, this is my blog and I can control them). 🙂

    OTOH, perhaps instead of “system of consciousness” couldn’t we simply follow Clark and define a person as a complex of propositions (something I’m leaning towards anyway). A person is a complex of propositions regardless of how or what he thinks. Even if you maintain Clark’s two-person theory the human mind and divine mind think even the same thoughts differently. Therefore, a person so defined could consist of both a divine and earthly mind (and Pat is right and the two minds would not necessarily have to think exactly the same thoughts – my mistake). It is the congeries of propositions in this case contained in both minds that define a person.

  125. Maxim Koshansky Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I just wanted to add something to the discussion. Concerning the suffering of Christ, I look at it this way: When Jesus died, death was somehow applied to his entire person including the divine nature, but it had no effect on the divine nature because God simply cannot die. As Calvin said:

    “It was his to swallow up death: who but Life could do so? It was his to conquer sin: who could do so save Righteousness itself?” (Institutes 2.12.2)

    So in a sense, death “fought” life, and life won because life is greater than death (and can’t be conquered by it), as light is greater than darkness (Ecclesiastes 2:13).

    Concerning Christ’s obedience, I’ve always understood it as Christ meriting eternal life by fulfilling the covenant of Works, as Romans 5 says, “by the obedience of one man,” etc. Jesus was sinless from his birth.

    So Drake, I agree with you if you mean that Christ’s righteousness as God is identical to his righteousness as a man – since he did no wrong as God (God is not subject to the moral law), and he did no wrong as man (he obeyed the moral law perfectly), so therefore this righteousness must be identical in his whole person, and this righteousness is what is imputed to believers. Is this what you mean, Drake?

    Concerning incorporeal things within space mentioned earlier, look at the second verse of Genesis:

    “And the earth was without form, and void,” etc. Incorporeal means “without body.” It’s only one verse, but it seems to prove that something incorporeal was within time and space.

  126. drake Says:

    Sean said,
    “OTOH, perhaps instead of “system of consciousness” couldn’t we simply follow Clark and define a person as a complex of propositions ”

    Are you asserting that we should take his defintion but posit only one person?

    I would be willing to do that but the difficulty comes in distinguishing the ousias, or natures. As long as there is still metaphysical distinctions in the natures.

  127. Denson Dube Says:

    Thanks Sean.

    The man remains a man, derived from God, forever and so the ontological trinity remains unaltered, forever!
    Further more, we should not second guess God, what the ontological trinity may or may not do, but rather follow scripture where ever it may lead us.
    If the Bible reveals(and it does) that God has taken man into himself(this is no alteration of the trinity at all!), so be it(I think it´s quite cool and affords to my faith great comfort!). He is the High priest who alone effectively intercedes for me forever! Hallelujah!!!

    Denson

  128. Sean Gerety Says:

    Are you asserting that we should take his defintion but posit only one person?

    Yes, I think so.

    I would be willing to do that but the difficulty comes in distinguishing the ousias, or natures. As long as there is still metaphysical distinctions in the natures.

    I don’t see why it wouldn’t?


  129. Thanks Drake. Maybe this is a stupid question, but why is having only one will in Christ bad?

  130. Drake Says:

    Pat T,

    I have to say that you not knowing this makes me furious, not neccessarily at you but at your pastor. One will in Christ is the Eutychian heresy of the monothelite. See 6th council.

    Denson

    the human nature is not in God. From the aquinas link I posted earlier see the article that deals with the issue that the union is something created. I think it is article 7.

    Drake


  131. Haha, well, I no longer attend the church I grew up in. Yes, I understand that maybe it’s Eutychian, I understand it’s monothelite, but why it’s bad is what I want to know.

    Why is it ok to question Chalcedon, but automatically not ok to question the 6th council at Constantinople?

    I’ve posited a single mind that is both divine and human, and now I’m wondering if the same could simply be said about a single will that is both divine and human, since it is the will of the God-Man.

    Everywhere I look at stuff on Monothelitism, it says that Christ only had a divine will, but no human will. That’s not what I’m saying. I don’t understand what makes a will “human” or “divine” except that it belongs to a man or to God. Jesus, being both, has a will that is both divine and human. What am I missing?

  132. drake Says:

    “, but why it’s bad is what I want to know.”

    Luk 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

    Two wills. Not wo apsects of the same will for Christ says, “not my will”.

    “Why is it ok to question Chalcedon, but automatically not ok to question the 6th council at Constantinople?”

    I am not saying it is not ok to question 6th council. The 6th council has some stupid nonsense in its def. of faith but i am just giving you references.


  133. My thoughts on Lk 22:42 run something like this:

    In saying “Not my will, but thine, be done,” Christ is expressing that it is His will that His own will not be done. Assuming Christ has a single will, this seems to be a paradox. If we try to resolve this paradox by positing two wills (one human, one divine) in Christ, this leads us to Christ expressing: ‘It is my (divine) will that my (human) will not be done, but rather thy (that is, the Father’s will, which is the same One Will that is shared by the Logos) will be done.’

    Now, since the will of the Father = the will of the Logos, we can simplify the above thusly: ‘It is my (divine) will that my (human) will not be done, but rather that my (divine) will be done.

    This seems to be a tautology, Christ expressing that it is God’s will that God’s will be done. Well of course it is. Another problem is that Christ seems to be equivocating on the word “my will,” since He is clearly expressing that it is His will that His will not be accomplished. In a two-will view, He must switch back and forth between expressing His divine will, and talking about His human will.

    Recently I did a study on John 5, in which Christ says “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me” (v.30). In context, Jesus is not trying to show how His will is separate from that of the Father’s, but rather He is emphasizing His unity of purpose with the Father. The Jews want to kill Him because they believe He is setting Himself up as an equal to God, but in a competing, blasphemous way (vv. 16,18). Thus I interpreted v.30 as Jesus basically asserting that He is not some blasphemous revolutionary seeking to elevate Himself apart from the Father (my *own* will), but rather that His desire and goal is identical with the Father’s.

    If this understanding is applied to Luke 22:42 and Matthew 26:39, we see Christ providing 1) the truth that His work on Earth was absolutely necessary and atonement could be accomplished in no other way, and 2) an example for us to follow, in that God’s will trumps all desires, purposes, wishes, designs, etc. of man or angel.

    –OR–

    I just don’t understand what a “will” really is, in which case I think I’ll take Dr. Robbins’ advice and set the matter aside for the time being before my head (or is it mind…?) explodes 🙂 Thanks again for the interaction gentlemen.

  134. drake Says:

    Pat T
    “He must switch back and forth between expressing His divine will, and talking about His human will.”

    That’s just traditional Christology. So what?

    “In saying “Not my will, but thine, be done,” Christ is expressing that it is His will that His own will not be done.”

    This seems silly to me. His will is that the fathers will be done.

    “‘It is my (divine) will that my (human) will not be done, but rather that my (divine) will be done.”

    No in context it is the human will that the divine will be done not the human will. This is a human-divino action/volition.

    “Christ expressing that it is God’s will that God’s will be done.”

    You keep saying the same thing in different ways. In the garden it is the human will speaking not the divine. It is the human will that the divine wil be done.

    You can have two seperate wills in agreement and purpose but still have two distinct wills.

  135. pat Says:

    Drake: No in context it is the human will that the divine will be done not the human will. This is a human-divino action/volition.

    Is there any difference between a human will and a human thought? I really don’t see any real distinction between saying Jesus had a human will or saying that he has a human mind. Nor that there is any differece bewteen saying that the two minds form one “system of consciousness” than saying that two persons form one person. Isn’t the system of consciousness merely the two minds, the two sets of propositions combined?

  136. drake Says:

    Pat said,
    “Is there any difference between a human will and a human thought?”

    Yes. This is what saving faith is. It is intellectual; assent/belief, but as John 1 and Romans 9 make very clear it is not an act of our will.

    “I really don’t see any real distinction between saying Jesus had a human will or saying that he has a human mind”

    Then you need to take an Arminian view of saving faith.

    “Nor that there is any differece bewteen saying that the two minds form one “system of consciousness” than saying that two persons form one person”

    Pat has completely failed to comprehend the numerous addresses I have given to this issue. I told you that i am not repeating myself again so please read my statements about hypostasis and nature again if it is truth you really seek rather than a slavish devotion to Clark, who i love, but ackowledge as a fallible man.


  137. Drake, thanks for being patient and bearing with me.

    “You can have two seperate wills in agreement and purpose but still have two distinct wills.”

    Gotcha. Can you explain or point me to another explanation of why there can’t be 3 wills in the Trinity? (I’m not arguing that there are, just want to read about it.) Thanks again man.

  138. drake Says:

    Pat,
    On the one will in the Trinity. I will have to get back to you on that. I must admit you have stumped me here. I have never met anyone who denied it so i have never really studied it that much.

    Drake


  139. Drake: I just remember you saying, once upon a time, that we couldn’t say that will is a property of persons, or else we’d have to say that each Person of the Trinity has His own will (with the assumption being that that would be error). You then concluded that will must be a property of nature. I may be wrong but I think you said this back in the original conversations wherein Charlie Ray shook the dust off his sandals.

  140. Sean Gerety Says:

    “Thanks Drake. Maybe this is a stupid question, but why is having only one will in Christ bad?”

    It’s not stupid, just not warranted according to the biblical data.

    See, particularly the exegetical material at http://www.gotquestions.org/Monothelitism.html

    Also, can we all play nice. I actually thought for a minute we were making progress. Please don’t let me down guys.

  141. drake Says:

    Pat T

    That’s right.

  142. Sean Gerety Says:

    From Traducianism by Gordon Clark:

    “Naturally, the Persons of the Trinity are one in the sense that all men are one and all horses are one; but it does not follow that the three Persons are one only in that sense. For example, three human beings have three wills; but the three Persons have but one will. Hence the diversification of human beings is not identical to the diversification of the Persons, for which reason we cannot assert that the two unities are completely identical.”

    See also Morris’ discussion of why it is logically impossible for there to be more than one will in the Godhead. Good stuff.

  143. pat Says:

    Pat said,
    “Is there any difference between a human will and a human thought?”

    Drake:Yes. This is what saving faith is. It is intellectual; assent/belief, but as John 1 and Romans 9 make very clear it is not an act of our will.

    Pat:“I really don’t see any real distinction between saying Jesus had a human will or saying that he has a human mind”

    Drake:Then you need to take an Arminian view of saving faith.

    You seem to misunderstand the nature of faith and will. I don’t deny faith is something God must give to individuals. But it is still the individual that believes. It is indeed an act of the indiviidual’s will. God, by regeneration, changes the individual’s will. And wills are not separate from or void of thought. What we will is based on what we think and desire.

    Pat: “Nor that there is any differece bewteen saying that the two minds form one “system of consciousness” than saying that two persons form one person”

    Not that I’m saying that two persons do become one person. But I believe you have said that the two sets “personally unite” (which you did not explain what that is or means) to form one system of consciousness. So no matter how much you continue to balk and say you have explained this many times, it still remains that your system of consciousness amounts to combining the two sets of thoughts in Jesus, which really is the same as two minds/natures/persons becoming one consciousness. Maybe it will help if you define consciousness.

  144. drake Says:

    “It is indeed an act of the indiviidual’s will. ”

    Joh 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

    I cannot believe that you are asking me to comment on this issue yet again. Its not happening Pat. Read what I have already said numerous times.

  145. drake Says:

    The issue is you either do not understand the classifiction of nature and hypostasis or you have refused to acknowledge the existence of such a thing and dismiss it as Aristotelian, yet I also adressed that as well so no matter how you cut it, I have laready answered this stuff and you have failed to give a single rebuttal to the classifications that are so vital to this issue.

  146. speigel Says:

    @Gerety:
    I’m glad the Morris book recommendation came in handy.

    You said in a comment that some progress is being made on this blog about the incarnation. Could you clarify and expand what progress has been made outside of what Morris, or Cheung, has previously written? Thanks.

  147. Denson Dube Says:

    “Is there any difference between a human will and a human thought?”

    No!

    Will may be used in two major senses. When the mind is presented with several propositions about a particular subject and takes only some(believes some) and disbelieves others. Or when one is ¨faced¨ with the alternative between going to the Mall and doing some reading. The mind may think ¨I need to read rather than time wasting at the Mall¨. We call this a ¨decision¨ or an act of the will. But it is really simple believing(thinking) this and not that.

    Two, as a reference to a whole plan, (complex or simple), such as the atonement or about the purpose of one´s life. The will of God for example, is simply God´s thoughts. Reading the book of John where Jesus says he keeps God´s ¨saying¨ or does his will means Jesus thinks God´s thoughts and lives according to them.
    When we say God´s will not our will, we mean His thoughts not our thoughts.
    Drake: ¨Then you need to take an Arminian view of saving faith¨.
    Ironically separating mind and will is at the centre of Arminian sotereology. Seperating mind and will is classic head and heart confusion.

    Denson

  148. Denson Dube Says:

    “Is there any difference between a human will and a human thought?”

    No!

    Will may be used in two major senses. When the mind is presented with several propositions about a particular subject and takes only some(believes some) and disbelieves others. Or when one is ¨faced¨ with the alternative between going to the Mall and doing some reading. The mind may think ¨I need to read rather than time wasting at the Mall¨. We call this a ¨decision¨ or an act of the will. But it is really simple believing(thinking) this and not that.

    Two, as a reference to a whole plan, (complex or simple), such as the atonement or about the purpose of one´s life. The will of God for example, is simply God´s thoughts. Reading the book of John where Jesus says he keeps God´s ¨saying¨ or does his will means Jesus thinks God´s thoughts and lives according to them.
    When we say God´s will not our will, we mean His thoughts not our thoughts.
    Drake: ¨Then you need to take an Arminian view of saving faith¨.
    Ironically separating mind and will is at the centre of Arminian sotereology. Separating mind and will is classic head and heart confusion.

    Denson

  149. drake Says:

    Pat said,
    “”But I believe you have said that the two sets “personally unite” (which you did not explain what that is or means) to form one system of consciousness.”

    Dec 2,
    Drake said, “In the Clark language I believe that the human mind and the divine mind both think to themselves, “I am the Messiah.” This is personal/hypostatic”

    December second by “personally unite” I supplied the meaning one of singular personal proposition thought by both minds.

    Dec 3
    “All of the actions of Christ are not divino-human (formally theandric) some are human -divino. What that means is that there are three classes of action as I cited above, divine actions without respect to a human nature (non-theandric), divine actions through a human nature (formally theandric) and then HUMAN ACTIONS moding as a divine person (materially theandric). So what I am saying is that human actions performed as in a single hypostatic mode with the Logos are not directly to be predicated of the Logos but indirectly.”
    On Dec 3 by “personally unite” I supplied the meaning of the exact classification of predication that exists between the natures in a personal union.
    On Dec 5 Pat demanded I be more clear concerning the definition of person being a “system of consciousness, he said How is “a system of consciousness” different from a mind?”
    I SAID, In some cases nothing. In the case of Christ system refers to an “integrated whole”.
    On Dec 5 I made the statement again “This is not to say that there are not distinctions between the two sets, there are. This is not to say that the two sets make one set. The two sets personally united makes one SYSTEM of consciousness.””
    So by personally unite I made the distinction that the term set is not the meaning of the term “system” in Christ as if the two made one theanthropic set.
    Nature and person:
    Later in Dec 5 I said, “There is no third man because there are not two persons but one person. The rational faculty is at the level of nature for the human aspect in Christ here. The human receives a hypostatization in union with the Logos. Normal human persons have their own hypostatizations but the human nature in Christ receives hypostatization in union with the Logos. You cannot think of the human nature outside of union with the Logos.”
    So by personally unite I made very clear that TWO HYPOSTATIZED SETS, DO NOT, I REPEAT DO NOT UNITE TO FORM A THIRD SET BECAUSE THE HUMAN NATURE IS NOT HYPOSTATIZED WITH A HUMAN HYPOSTASIS BUT THE LOGOS IS THE HYPOSTASIS FOR THE HUMAN NATURE.
    Pat said, ““BTW, are the two minds of Jesus two consciousnesses?”
    Yes but the divine one is the hypostasis for the human. It is not as if the divine nature and hypostasis united human nature and hypostasis to create a third set as I have stated numerous times now.”
    Sean said, “Sean said,
    “Wouldn’t a human nature that is personally united to something or someone also be a human person?”
    To which I replied “No, because he receives his hypostasis from the Logos. The Logos is the human nature’s person or hypostasis. ”
    On Dec 6 the issue of nature and hypostasis comes up again.
    I said, “I spoke on this earlier. I believe there are two minds: one, the Logos’ is hypostatized the other, the human nature, receives the Logos’ hypostasis.
    On Dec 7 I said it yet again, Sean said,
    ““If by hypostatized you mean Jesus received his substance, essence or “underlying reality,” then aren’t we all hypostatized by the Logos who lighteth every man?”
    I replied
    “That is not what I mean. The human nature is his own. The issue is that the hypostasis of the human nature is the Logos. I have said that a few times now. Sure, all of us receive of our hypostasis from the Logos in the sense that he created everything, but he gives me my own hypostasis. What I am saying and have said a couple times now is that the human nature DOES NOT HAVE HIS OWN HYPOSTASIS BUT THE LOGOS IS THE HYPOSTASIS OF THE HUMAN NATURE.”
    On Dec 7 Pat said,
    “This would be saying the same as two persons forming one person, or two natures forming one person, right?”
    I replied, Again for now I think the third time, the human mind of Christ is at the level of nature so the human nature is not a person. So your straw man is exposed. Not two persons becomeong one person but a real human nature is hypostatized in union with the Logos. ”
    The thing Pat primarily just won’t acknowledge is that I am positing one hypostatized set: the Logos becoming the hypostasis of a “generic” human nature set.
    This is the fundamental problem of the Clark view from my perspective so far.
    On Dec 6 I gave explicit defintion what my system of classification was, “Wheteher you want to cal person infima species with Calrk’s language, fine but the defintion is the ame. There are different levels of classification as Clark himself admits. The nature is at the level of neccessary predication of a genus, and person/hypostasis/infima species is at the level of greater connotation and lesser extension.”
    So on Dec 6, by personally unite you knew that I did not mean two hypostatized sets uniting, in explicit detail you knew it.
    On Dec 7 Sean said, ““I don’t see how this is any way substantially different from Three Persons thinking the singular personal proposition “I am God”?”
    I replied
    “Because “I am God” is at the level of nature. “I am the Messiah” is at the level of hypostasis.”
    So by personally unite, I am even applying what I mean when I speak about nature and hypostasis.
    So when we are talking about the exact proposition that the two minds personally unite at, when we are talking about how personally unite refers to predication, whether we are talking about the definition of system as an integrated whole, and Sean supplied the Morris construction “The propositions contained by the one mind is assumed by the other in what Morris calls an “asymmetrical accessing relation” I tell you exactly what I mean b personally unite. 8 times I made the point that Pat’s two persons becoming one person was in error due to the distinction in nature and person. The thing Pat primarily just won’t acknowledge is that by personally unite I am positing one hypostatized set: the Logos, becoming the hypostasis of a “generic” human nature set. Not two in the same sense uniting in one of the same sense. But two different kinds of sets in one System of consciousness, namely the hypostasis of the Logos. 8 times I made this point! I apply what I mean by personally unite and I classify the terms.

  150. drake Says:

    Denson did not provide one pasage of holy scripture for his excathedra. Show me the scripture.


  151. I must admit, Denson’s explanation of will sounds good, except that I don’t see how it couldn’t lead to God having 3 wills.

    Thanks for the resources Sean. I need to do a study on will.

  152. Sean Gerety Says:

    You said in a comment that some progress is being made on this blog about the incarnation. Could you clarify and expand what progress has been made outside of what Morris, or Cheung, has previously written? Thanks.

    Nothing exactly ground breaking, but I’ve become more comfortable with possibility of defining a person in terms of either a system of consciousness per Cheung or as simply a complex of propositions per Clark. Thinking of a person in terms of a system or a complex as opposed to a specific center of consciousness or mind could theoretically allow for one person to have one or more centers of consciousness or minds. Even if we maintain Clark’s two-person theory the human mind and divine mind think even the same thoughts differently, so there has to be a way to account for both. Therefore, I believe a person defined as a complex of propositions could consist of both a divine and a earthly mind. It is the congeries of propositions contained in both minds that would define the person.

    While Clark’s theory certainly does solve the central problem of the Incarnation it does seem to raise others. For example, how Christ relates to the Trinity is one example. Also, there is Jesus’ self identifying himself as the Logos, the eternal Son and Second Person. I don’t know that the two-person theory can account for Jesus the man saying things like “before Abraham was, I am.”

    But, let me be clear, I greatly appreciate Clark’s attempt to face the problem of the Incarnation squarely. Frankly, and for the most part, I think he succeeded. I don’t think he was heterodox in the slightest — that is, once one grasps how he defined “person.” As Dr. Crampton said; “one might legitimately say that Christ is one God-man and two persons. John Murray admitted this very thing.”

    FWIW I have been struggling to find how a two-mind theory would work, so your recommendation of Morris was very helpful. But, let’s face it, once you eliminate the kenotic theory there really aren’t many alternatives apart from just embracing the Incarnation as an insoluble and insufferable paradox or simply rejecting Christianity as contradictory nonsense.

  153. pat Says:

    Dec 2,
    Drake said, “In the Clark language I believe that the human mind and the divine mind both think to themselves, “I am the Messiah.” This is personal/hypostatic”

    Personal means having to do with a person. Thus, it is a matter of two persons each thinking “I am the Messiagh.”

    December second by “personally unite” I supplied the meaning one of singular personal proposition thought by both minds.

    Again, personsal means that each mind is a person thinking the same proposition.

    Dec 3
    “All of the actions of Christ are not divino-human (formally theandric) some are human -divino. What that means is that there are three classes of action as I cited above, divine actions without respect to a human nature (non-theandric), divine actions through a human nature (formally theandric) and then HUMAN ACTIONS moding as a divine person (materially theandric). So what I am saying is that human actions performed as in a single hypostatic mode with the Logos are not directly to be predicated of the Logos but indirectly.”

    Again, as I’ve said, this says nothing more than what is been acknowledged for hundreds, if not thousands of years.
    “Christ, in the work of mediation, acts according to both natures, by each nature doing that which is proper to itself; yet, by reason of the unity of the person, that which is proper to one nature is sometimes in Scripture attributed to the person denominated by the other nature.” No one is denying this. But the issue is whether this is at all helpful. In other words, you don’t seem to be expressing any thing different than what has been expessed historically by two natures and one person. You are simply using different terms. And the different seem to suffer the same problems that Clark pointed out.

    Drake: The Logos is the human nature’s person or hypostasis. ”

    This is a historic view, which tends to Appolinarianism. It is espoused by Henry Thiesen. BTW, it seems that we have to start with the fact that the Logos was a Person prior to His incarnation.

    Drake: “… The human nature is his own. The issue is that the hypostasis of the human nature is the Logos. I have said that a few times now. Sure, all of us receive of our hypostasis from the Logos in the sense that he created everything, but he gives me my own hypostasis. What I am saying and have said a couple times now is that the human nature DOES NOT HAVE HIS OWN HYPOSTASIS BUT THE LOGOS IS THE HYPOSTASIS OF THE HUMAN NATURE.”

    This seems confusing to me. Define hypostasis and human nature.

    Drake: I replied, Again for now I think the third time, the human mind of Christ is at the level of nature so the human nature is not a person. So your straw man is exposed. Not two persons becomeong one person but a real human nature is hypostatized in union with the Logos. ”
    The thing Pat primarily just won’t acknowledge is that I am positing one hypostatized set: the Logos becoming the hypostasis of a “generic” human nature set.

    Again, this doesn’t make sense to me. “At the level of nature.” “Hypostatized set?” “Generic human nature set?” What the heck do these things mean?

    On Dec 6 I gave explicit defintion what my system of classification was, “Wheteher you want to cal person infima species with Calrk’s language, fine but the defintion is the ame. There are different levels of classification as Clark himself admits. The nature is at the level of neccessary predication of a genus, and person/hypostasis/infima species is at the level of greater connotation and lesser extension.”

    What’s the reference? And what’s your point? I don’t see an explicit definition here.

    Drake: “Because “I am God” is at the level of nature. “I am the Messiah” is at the level of hypostasis.”

    I’m assuming you mean that “I am God” is what the the Logos thinks prior to the Incarnation and “I am Messiah is what the God/Man thinks after the Incarnation. But just as each Person in the Trinity think similar propositions, isn’t this merely the idea that the two minds of Jesus think the same thought? BTW, by “Messiah” do you mean the God/Man? Or do you mean the one who make atonement? If the latter, then it is a humano-divino thought/predication.

  154. drake Says:

    Pat,
    “Again, personsal means that each mind is a person thinking the same proposition. ”

    For now the 9th time. A mind can think without being a person. You have to take this view to be reformed. the rational faculty is the essential property of nature in Reformed theology. I already proved this from Hodge.

    “Again, as I’ve said, this says nothing more than what is been acknowledged for hundreds, if not thousands of years.”

    And you have yet to show anything wrong with it.

    “This is a historic view, which tends to Appolinarianism. It is espoused by Henry Thiesen. BTW, it seems that we have to start with the fact that the Logos was a Person prior to His incarnation.”

    I does nothing of the sort. First it posits the union at the level of hypostasis, not nature avoiding the apollinarian nonsense that implies upon a union at the level of nature. I do not posit that the human was a peson before the Incarnation, 1. because there was no time before the human nature was that he was not incarnated or in union with the Logos 2. For the 9th time a rational faculty is not neccesarily a person, it must be hypostatized before it is a person.

    “This seems confusing to me. Define hypostasis and human nature. ”

    Pat you are the worst opponent I have ever debated.
    This is now the 10th time addressing this issue and the 3rd time givine you the exact classifications:
    I said before,

    “Wheteher you want to cal person infima species with Calrk’s language, fine but the defintion is the ame. There are different levels of classification as Clark himself admits.The nature is at the level of neccessary predication of a genus, and person/hypostasis/infima species is at the level of greater connotation and lesser extension. Read The Trinity, by Clark, Trinity Foundation, 1985 pg. 50. It’s on his section on Augustine about 4 pages in.”

    So again nature is defined as the level of neccessary predication of a genus, in this case of a human nature as Hodge pointed out nature is the rational faculty or mind. Person/hypostasis/infima species is at the level of greater connotation and lesser extension. This is at the level of mode.

    “Again, this doesn’t make sense to me. “At the level of nature.” “Hypostatized set?” “Generic human nature set?” What the heck do these things mean?”

    For the 11th time. See the paragrah above.

    “I’m assuming you mean that “I am God” is what the the Logos thinks prior to the Incarnation and “I am Messiah is what the God/Man thinks after the Incarnation.”

    No, this thought “I am God” reflects his nature nhot his hypostasis.

    “But just as each Person in the Trinity think similar propositions, isn’t this merely the idea that the two minds of Jesus think the same thought?”

    “I am God” is a thought of his divine mind and is therefore a divino-human predication.

    “BTW, by “Messiah” do you mean the God/Man? Or do you mean the one who make atonement?”

    I see no difference.

    “If the latter, then it is a humano-divino thought/predication.”

    The divine mind thinks the same thing.

    “But just as each Person in the Trinity think similar propositions”
    First, the thoughts that overlap in the Trinity reflect naturem, not hypostasis as Calrk makes very clear in his book on the Trinity.

    “isn’t this merely the idea that the two minds of Jesus think the same thought?”

    But this propostion reflects hypostasis not nature. It is not natural for all human nature’s to be the Messiah. This thought is brought about in union with the Logos, or as he is hypostatized by the Logos.

  155. drake Says:

    Actually I take that back, Roger Mann is the worst opponent I have ever debated. But Pat is a close second.

  156. pat Says:

    Drake:For now the 9th time. A mind can think without being a person. You have to take this view to be reformed.

    Says who? I guess then Clark wasn’t Reformed.

    Drake: the rational faculty is the essential property of nature in Reformed theology. I already proved this from Hodge.

    No one is denying this. “As a man thinks, so is he.” The issue, again, as Clark asks, what else is needed to be a person? A consciousness?

    Pat: “Again, as I’ve said, this says nothing more than what is been acknowledged for hundreds, if not thousands of years.”

    Drake: And you have yet to show anything wrong with it.

    I think I have. Its the same stuff that Clark showed. Again, what was united to the Logos, who is and was a Person prior to the Incarnation? Was it a human nature, consisting of a mind and body? In any event, are you conceding that your view, i.e., Chueng’s view is simply the historic Chalecedon/WCF view in different language?

    Drake: It does nothing of the sort. First it posits the union at the level of hypostasis, not nature avoiding the apollinarian nonsense that implies upon a union at the level of nature. I do not posit that the human was a peson before the Incarnation, 1. because there was no time before the human nature was that he was not incarnated or in union with the Logos 2. For the 9th time a rational faculty is not neccesarily a person, it must be hypostatized before it is a person.

    First of all, Apollinarianism teaches that the Logos simply took on a body. Thus, it is God in a human body. It does not posit a human person prior to the incarnation. In fact,it doesn’t posit a human person at all, but merely a body. Second, wherein the Personhood of Jesus is derived from the Logos, not from the two natures forming one new person, it is similar to Apollinarianism. Third, are you saying that the Incarnation was eternal, that there was a union prior to Jesus’s birth? Lastly, how does a rational nature become hypostatized? Of course it has to be hypostatized to be a person because that is what a hypostasis is.

    Drake:So again nature is defined as the level of neccessary predication of a genus, in this case of a human nature as Hodge pointed out nature is the rational faculty or mind. Person/hypostasis/infima species is at the level of greater connotation and lesser extension. This is at the level of mode.

    Pat:“Again, this doesn’t make sense to me. “At the level of nature.” “Hypostatized set?” “Generic human nature set?” What the heck do these things mean?”

    Drake:For the 11th time. See the paragrah above.

    Once again, the paragraph doesn’t clarify it for me. I don’t know why when I ask you to explain something you keep giving me the same stuff. Try using different and/or simpler language. Or maybe we should just skip this stuff.

    Drake: No, this thought “I am God” reflects his nature nhot his hypostasis.

    Do natures think? I thought only persons think.

    Pat:BTW, by “Messiah” do you mean the God/Man? Or do you mean the one who make atonement?”

    Drake:I see no difference.

    Pat:“If the latter, then it is a humano-divino thought/predication.”

    Drake:The divine mind thinks the same thing.

    No, the divine mind does not think that He made atonement.

  157. drake Says:

    “Says who? I guess then Clark wasn’t Reformed.”
    Not on this point he wasn’t. H eoverlooked or dismissed without giving proper attention to the distinction between nature and person. If indeed there is no distinction between nature and person, then what did man lose in the fall? He loses his moral character but as Hodge points out that is accidental. Hodge says the rational faculty is retained in the fall and is therefore the essential property of human nature. But on your view its not because accidentals are no different than essentials. There is no distinction between nature and person and therefore what does Adam lose? Oh he loses his defintion, his essence, his HUMANITY! This vindicates many Roman catholic apologists and nonsense like this has been the proclaimed intellectual cause of many Reformed people leaving to the RC and EO “churches.”
    “Third, are you saying that the Incarnation was eternal, that there was a union prior to Jesus’s birth? Lastly, how does a rational nature become hypostatized? Of course it has to be hypostatized to be a person because that is what a hypostasis is.”
    No. Notice what i said, “because there was no time BEFORE THE HUMAN NATURE WAS that he was not incarnated or in union with the Logos” Notice I did not say, “there was no time that the human nature was not in union with the logos” I said Before the human nature was. What i am saying is that the “existence” of the human nature began 2010 years ago or so, and at no time either at the point of conception or after that he was not hypostatized by the Logos. At the point of conception and all throughout eternity there is only one subject of adoration and worship to the Logos, the Person of Jesus Christ, the God-Man.
    “Lastly, how does a rational nature become hypostatized?”
    Like everything else, God calls it into being by fiat. That does not mean that God is the hypostasis of all things though. Only Christ’s human nature has a divine person as its hypostasis.
    “Pat:“Again, this doesn’t make sense to me. “At the level of nature.” “Hypostatized set?” “Generic human nature set?” What the heck do these things mean?””
    Once again, the paragraph doesn’t clarify it for me. I don’t know why when I ask you to explain something you keep giving me the same stuff. Try using different and/or simpler language. Or maybe we should just skip this stuff”
    Then you need to be consistent and say that Adam lost his humanity in the fall and be good Manichaen.
    “Do natures think? I thought only persons think.”
    I would agree that only persons think, yet the person in question has two minds personally united and is the person who thinks. And yes, it was the person of the Logos in his human mind that did ot know when the last day is in Mat 24:36. This is not a paradox for in his divine mind he knows all things. What I amk saying is that we can classify propositional thoughts according to what level they apply to.
    “Drake:The divine mind thinks the same thing.
    No, the divine mind does not think that He made atonement.”
    Yes he does because the divine mnd is hypostatized in the same mode with the human nature and therefore all actions of the human nature are predicate dof the Logos. This is the exact reaon why the Covenant of Redemption will not work on Clark’s theory. You have to have the human nature able to make atonement for the elect but here’s the kicker, the logos is the second party in this covenant it must be him making atonement or the the covenant is shot.

  158. Daniel F Says:

    Sean, I wanted to put this comment on the Meyers post but you closed comments.

    There’s something I don’t get. You seem to want FV men to conform to the standards of the church, and to listen to and heed things like the PCA’s GA assembly report, etc. Is that right?

    Yet when the PCA exonerates a man (Meyers), you call him a dog and go against the church? Are you so fast to accuse and so slow to doubt yourself?

    I exhort you to listen to the Church and submit to her rulings. Not to a “pope,” not to a few men, but to the presbyterian body of wise men ordained by God, who listened to Meyers, and found him innocent.

    Do you know better than the church you are a part of? You fly in the face of the church, and your theological opponents. Not a good place to be. Slow down and think. Quit swinging that hammer like a reckless man.

  159. Sean Gerety Says:

    There’s something I don’t get. You seem to want FV men to conform to the standards of the church, and to listen to and heed things like the PCA’s GA assembly report, etc. Is that right?

    Not at all Daniel. The report, if it is worth anything (and I’m not convinced it is), should provide Presbyteries with the tools by which FV men like Meyers might be disciplined and swiftly removed from office. I don’t expect the FV men to be anything other than what they are. Plus, if you are to believe them they are already in full conformity to the Standards (even if Meyers says they need to be completely reworked).

    Yet when the PCA exonerates a man (Meyers), you call him a dog and go against the church? Are you so fast to accuse and so slow to doubt yourself?

    What is there to doubt? That Meyers really believes it when he writes: ““Righteousness” in the Bible means covenant faithfulness. A person is righteous when he does what the covenant requires of him.” No, I believe Meyers’ complete and utter rejection of Christ’s alien righteousness imputed to believers.

    I exhort you to listen to the Church and submit to her rulings. Not to a “pope,” not to a few men, but to the presbyterian body of wise men ordained by God, who listened to Meyers, and found him innocent.

    LOL 🙂

    Do you know better than the church you are a part of?

    I left the PCA a couple of years ago. If I didn’t I’m sure I would have been falsely charged with violating the Ninth Commandment along with the rest of those who dare oppose the FV false gospel in the PCA.

  160. David Reece Says:

    Sean,

    Do you think there is any way for Scripturalists to start coming together? I think it is our duty to regroup and institutionalize. Is there a way I can contact you to talk about this idea?

  161. Sean Gerety Says:

    You can certainly contact me. My email is magma2 at gmail dot com.

    However, there already is the Trinity Foundation. They’re still spreading the good word. 🙂

  162. Drake Says:

    David,
    I emailed Tom J from the T foundation about this a number of months ago and got no response. I asked him if we could have a meeting of sorts over the christology thing. I got no response.

    Sean

    I think David is wanting more than a website and a publishing house. Scripturalism needs something more ecclesiastical. I think he’s right.

  163. lawyertheologian Says:

    A church of Scripturalists? I doubt that would work. The best man I think to look toward that end would be Gary Crampton, but he now being Reformed Baptist, that wouldn’t go well with many.

  164. Drake Says:

    The fact that crampton went baptist proves he could not be the best man. From my study I have a suspiicion that he went baptist due to dr. Robbins. In robbins’ lecture “the new covenant of grace” he teaches right at the 30 minute mark that the new cov. Is different from the mosaic in that everyone in the nc is saved! I couldn’t believe my ears. A man I had so much respect for teaching baptist nonsense. I don’t understand why we need to stress over this. The heavy lifting has already been done. On issues of philosophy we read Clark and say what he said on issues of systematic theology we say what the Scottish puritans said. Those are the two strongest schools in the history of reformation doctrine. I am not persuaded that we need uber educated people to get this done.

  165. Sean Gerety Says:

    I for one would be more than happy to sit under Dr. Crampton’s preaching. God willing maybe I’ll get the opportunity someday.

    And, while Drake can’t believe his ears, the WCF states: “the Covenant of Grace: whereby he [God] freely offers unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in him, that they may be saved; and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto life his Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe” (WCF 7.3). Notice that the promise of the Holy Spirit is to “those that are ordained unto eternal life.” The promise is not to all men, nor to all who hear the Gospel, nor to all the baptized, nor to all who profess faith, but only to the elect, to “those who are ordained unto life.” Notice also that the promise includes God’s making the elect “willing and able to believe.” Belief is not a condition that sinners meet in order to receive covenant blessings; saving faith is itself a promised blessing of the Covenant of Grace.

    So I’m not exactly sure what Drake’s problem is, but then I’m not interested in following him into some rabbit trail.

  166. David Reece Says:

    Sean,

    Thanks for the contact. When I get off of work I will write you.

    Drake,

    Is there a way I may contact you?

  167. Drake Says:

    Sean you know as I have brought it up numerous times before without a glmipse of a response heb 4:1, heb 10:29 and John 15:2 clearly teach that there are non elect who fall away from covenant promises on the nt. This is not a rabbit trail this is fundamental Presbyterian doctrine. You know the SOSK cleared these issues up and it’s like I say this and it just goes in one ear and out the other. There are two extreems the Bostonian view of the covenants that you have taken: 1 your baptistic view that crampton is more consistent with 2 the FV view where membership in the church is equivocated with salvation and the covenant emblems also become efficacious. Two extremes of the idea that the Cog is co extensive with salvation.

    David,
    My email is drake.shelton@gmail.com

    try emailing Tom j. Maybe if more people email him we may persuade him to make some moves as he wields the powers of the universe from his mother in laws’s basement!

  168. Sean Gerety Says:

    John 15:2 clearly teach that there are non elect who fall away from covenant promises on the nt.

    FWIW it is your view of the CoG is in harmony with the FV. I suggest you look up their many references to the parable of the vine dresser. Here’s one from Norman Shepherd Call of Grace:

    “If this distinction (outward and inward branches) is in the text, it is difficult to see what the point of the warning is. The outward branches cannot profit from it, because they cannot in any case bear genuine fruit. They are not related to Christ inwardly and draw no life from him. The inward branches do not need the warning, because they are vitalized by Christ and therefore cannot help but bear good fruit” (Call of Grace, pp. 89-90).

    As all Israel is not Israel, God made no covenant with the non elect. The non-elect have no part in the CoG. But I’m glad you noted your disagreement with the Confession on this point.

  169. lawyertheologian Says:

    Drake,

    The language of the New Covenant from Jer.31:33 clearly indicates a change in the nature of one Covenant to another. I have not heard any paedobaptist not acknowledge this, that the OT people of God did not all know God, but in the NT the people of God do all know Him.

    And being in the covenant of grace means that you are united to the one who met the covenant of works in your behalf, just as being in the covenant of works means you are all united to Adam. If one is truly in the covenant of grace, then one is an elect.

    Nor is faith what makes one in the covenant of grace, any more than faith makes us justified.

  170. Drake Says:

    You guys need to read rutherford’s covenant of life opened. Neither of you even touched the texts before you. In reference to the jer 31 text: I completely understand the the new covenant is substance while the ot was shadow. Ergo a perfected covenant. That in no way removes unbelievers from covenant status.

  171. drake Says:

    In reference to the Hebrews 8 and everyone being saved thing: You have same kind of language in the OT. When Moses prophesied “Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live” (Duet 30:6)not everyone of his descendants were converted.

  172. Drake Says:

    In reference to Sean Israel arg. I already dealt with that in the Brandon Adams debate a number of weeks ago. It is from rutherford’s “not by birth but by such a birth” arg.


  173. Doesn’t Rutherford hold that the CoG is a conditional covenant, with Faith as the condition?

  174. lawyertheologian Says:

    Yes, it’s a bunch of rubbish. Drake, throw that book away.

  175. Hugh McCann Says:

    HEB 4:1 ~ Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.

    HEB 10:29 ~ How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?

    This sounds like 2 Peter 2:1, with the Divine Despot-bought reprobates. Or the Heb. 6 gang.

    Dunno how these prove a thing– paedo & credo should both say that all fallers-away are reprobate, non-elect, covenant poseurs, mere professors and not possessors of true faith. Never truly engrafted into Christ; only sanctified in an outward, ceremonial sense. No other way to read these unless you’re a papist…

    As for JOHN 15:2 ~ ‘Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.’

    Almost everyone botches this passage. It’s not about Bible reading or prayer or mystic sweet communion, it’s about trusting Christ alone.

    V. 10 is the key ~ ‘If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.’

    Those who ‘abide’ are those who by faith alone receive Christ, and thus ‘keep all his commandments.’ Like the all-out imperatives in the sermon on the mount – perfection is the only way to glory: either one’s own (null set) or His!

    Happy New Year, all!

    Hugh

  176. Drake Says:

    You guys are not even touching the argument you are just making assertions.


  177. “You guys are not even touching the argument you are just making assertions.”

    I believe I just asked a question. Care to comment on it?

  178. Drake Says:

    Guys I have already observed this debate. A friend of mine that is in the same denom I am in was in his last year of his m div, we were roommates and we went over this issue every day for months. He had his entire class and the professor against him and for like 3 months they debated this issue. Believe me I have already considered what you are going to say and I am convinced that the Bostonian view is the bread and butter of the fv. When you collapse the internal approbation and the external admin. In the same covenant it is only a matter of time before you start confusing the sign from that which is signified and the visible and invisible church become the same thing and basically things fall out just as they have with the fv. Our view posits the unconditional as the cor not the cog.

  179. Drake Says:

    Yes faith is the condition of the cog.


  180. So you’re saying that one can be in the New Covenant, but not in the CoG?

  181. Drake Says:

    No faith is the condition to receive that which Is promised by the cog.

  182. Drake Says:

    To be a party in the cog you must either profess faith or be a child or household member of someone who does profess faith in Christ.


  183. So, one can be in the CoG but not receive its promises?

  184. Drake Says:

    Yes that was the whole point of the passages I quoted and most clearly heb 4:1 and heb 10:29. You are never going to be able to deal with those passages so I accept your resignation from bostonianism.

  185. David Reece Says:

    I thought the CoG is made between God the Father and Christ and that Christ fulfills it on behalf of the people he represents in contrast with the CoW which Adam fails to fulfill for himself or those whom he represents.

    I thought the CoR aka the Intra-Trinitarian Cov. was made between the three persons of the Trinity about their roles in the plan.

    How can a person be a part of the CoG and not be elect? I thought that not all who are in the visible church are a part of the CoG.

  186. Drake Says:

    David, that is the Bostonian view. The view of the Scottish guys and Edwards was that the cor is between the father and the son and the cog is between God and the visible church. I am not sure what Witsius said here but I think you have been sold a bag of goods for the reasons cited above.

  187. Sean Gerety Says:

    “Yes faith is the condition of the cog.”

    But didn’t Drake just tell us the non-elect are members of the CoG? If faith is the condition of the CoG and the non-elect by definition do not believe, how is it then that the reprobate are members of the covenant? Do they exercise faith? But, isn’t the faith CoG members have “not of themselves; it is the gift of God” (WCF XI.1)? Are the non-elect recipients of this free gift of God’s grace too?

    In the combox to a previous post Drake said, “Unbelievers in the Covenant of Grace have a certain non-salvific, legally binding union to Christ while remaining at the same time under Adam and the Covenant of Works” [emphasis mine]. How can those who are under “Adam and the CoW” simultaneously be members of the CoG? Do they have a foot in each and are just straddling the fence between heaven and hell? And, is there even a such thing as a fence between heaven and hell? What kind of worthless and ineffective covenant is this?

    Let’s take for granted that Drake isn’t so far off the reservation in that he really believes the non-elect have faith, then how are the non-elect members of the CoG? The FV men say via baptism, does Drake? Could it be that Drake is confused about the external aspects of the CoG’s administration which the non-elect can participate in with the substance of the covenant or its internal aspects? FWIW Drake exemplifies the kind of confusion concerning the covenant that in my view has allowed the FV men to make incredible strides in the spread of their false gospel.

    Also, why is the amount of time Drake spends thinking about something or going over something whether it’s the covenants or the Incarnation or his shoe size relevant?

    Feel free to trace Drake’s replies and discover his confusion for yourselves. As I said, I’m not wasting any more of my time going down this rabbit trail than I have to, besides I can cite dozens of FV men who say the same things that Drake does. As Paul said, all Israel is not Israel. There are nominal Christians, i.e., those who appear to be but are not Christians. Many of them have also been baptized perhaps even as infants. But none of them are members of the CoG.

    And, yes, David, you are correct.

  188. Denson Dube Says:

    Drake,
    About my other e-mail in that other thread — me accusing you of being a mixed bag, well, I may have been wrong about whatś in that bag(Eastern Orthodoxy etc), for which I apologise, but I think I can see the mix more clearly in this thread. Thanks Sean and others for bringing it out!

    Denson


  189. @Drake: There are more than two views of the covenants. Just because someone disagrees with your view, doesn’t mean they’re “Bostonian.” I’ll admit I don’t know much about Boston’s view, but from what I do know, I disagree with him. But then again, I’m one of those nasty little Reformed Baptists, so I obviously have no idea what I’m talking about, and I thank you for condescending to even reply to my nonsense. I hope your Scripturalist denomination works out, even though I won’t be allowed to join.

  190. Drake Says:

    I just said that faith was the condition to receive the promises of the covenant of grace not to be a party in it. You have misrepresented me and completely failed to deal with what I am saying. My view is not even in the same universe as the Fv and I have shown why. Deal with Hebrews 4 and 10. Until you do you are only fooling yourself Sean.

  191. Drake Says:

    As far as sean’s statements about the overlapping of the covenant or one foot in one covenant and another in another covenant. This shows me how much time you have put into studying this. The covenants do overlap. For instance baptism symbolizes death to sin and rebirth as circumcision did, then why does Christ take that sign if there is no overlap in the covenants? Christ needed to die to no sin neither did he need the benefits signed and sealed in the emblems yet he partook of them.

  192. Drake Says:

    Refute my article sean and I will consider changing. Your assertions are unconvincing.

    Denson
    I claim to be a Presbyterian and my view of the covenant comes from Samuel Rutherford possibly the most influential theologian at the Westminster assembly but I am a mixed bag huh? One question : how do you figure? Your last attack at me was an embarassing failure, I have a hunch this one is not going to be much better.

  193. Drake Says:

    Sean and co. You have not shown why infants should be baptized if not everyone in the visible church has covenant promises. What then is the infant baptism based on? An assumption that all the baptized infants are elect? Ah now that does sound very much like the fv.


  194. “Sean and co. You have not shown why infants should be baptized if not everyone in the visible church has covenant promises. What then is the infant baptism based on?”

    I take it you’re not responding to me at all, eh? 🙂 Like I said, you gotta stop assuming we’re all in the same boat, Drake. I’ll get back to you shortly on Hebrews, if you’re remotely interested.

  195. Sean Gerety Says:

    I just said that faith was the condition to receive the promises of the covenant of grace not to be a party in it. You have misrepresented me and completely failed to deal with what I am saying.

    Hogwash. You said unbelievers have a “legally binding union to Christ.”

    We’re done.


  196. Hebrews 4:1; why do you assume that any of the ones who do not enter the rest are in the CoG in the first place?

    Hebrews 10:26-30;
    “For if we”
    Humans, especially Jews.

    “sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth”
    Heard the gospel, the good news of the Messiah.

    “there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins”
    Jesus is the only sufficient sacrifice; there is no other option.

    “but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.”
    All who reject Christ end up in Hell.

    “Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.”
    Speaking to Jews, about Jews.

    “Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot,”
    The Jews rejected and crucified Christ.

    “counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing”
    The OT Jews – all of them – were sanctified – set apart from other nations – by the blood of the sacrifices, which were a picture of Christ’s sacrifice. If they reject the true sacrifice, it shows that they did not understand or believe in the meaning of the animal sacrifices. This is not a problem for me, as I do not equate the Mosaic Covenant with the New.

    “and insulted the Spirit of grace?”
    The Jews had everything handed to them on a silver platter, and decided to turn their noses up at it. Pretty self-explanatory.

    “For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. And again, ‘The LORD will judge His people.'”
    Remember this is the letter to the Hebrews, God’s OT people.

    “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
    Amen.

  197. Drake Says:

    Pat
    on reference to Rutherford. He taught that professio. Of faith or being a child of one who does admits one to cog membership, faith is the condition to receive that which is promised. So the cog is conditional in that sense not in the sense that Sean keeps trying to force with no basis. See col pg 137,


  198. @Drake: Assuming you’re addressing me, and not Pat (LawyerTheologian)… I think I understand what you’re saying, at least in this thread. I still disagree though.

  199. Drake Says:

    Sean

    you have yet to demonstrate why a legally binding union to Christ commits me to anyfalse teaching you just keep making assertions.


  200. @Drake: Hows about you quit spamming Sean and respond to my question about Hebrews 4:1, and my take on Hebrews 10? Or will you not waste your time on a wee baptist boy?

  201. Drake Says:

    Pat
    heb 10:29 is not talking about ot Jews. The blood the covenant by which he was sanctified is not the blood of an animal it is the blood of God’s son. You are searing your conscience from the truth.

  202. Drake Says:

    Pat
    heb 4:1
    the reason why those in heb 4:1 are in the cog is because a promise is held out to them, a promise that they are falling away from.

  203. Drake Says:

    Yes the pat that I have been addressing in the last few posts is pat t Williams.

  204. brandonadams Says:

    In reference to the Hebrews 8 and everyone being saved thing: You have same kind of language in the OT. When Moses prophesied “Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live” (Duet 30:6)not everyone of his descendants were converted.

    I only have time to make one small note: Deut 30 is a prophecy of the New Covenant. It is a statement about something that is going to happen in the future. See, for example, Bryan Estelle’s chapter in “The Law is Not of Faith”.

  205. Drake Says:

    Sean
    if you deny That unbelievers in the visible church have a union to Christ you need to rip John 15:2 from your bible.

    Brandon
    on deut 30 I preached a sermon on this issue and I have it attached to the bottom of the page in the covenant theology section of my website. Deut 30 is not eschatalogical, I had this debate with a Detroit baptist seminary guy a few years ago. The issue is: the land promise was fulfilled in the ot time. I deal with this also in my Christian baptism paper.


  206. Drake: “the reason why those in heb 4:1 are in the cog is because a promise is held out to them, a promise that they are falling away from.”

    Please don’t misunderstand me and think I’m a proponent of any “well-meant offer” nonsense, but isn’t a promise set before all men, in a sense? That is, any who believe in Christ will receive salvation. When we preach the gospel to an unbeliever, are we not displaying the promises of God before them? Obviously these unbelievers are not in the CoG, as I know you’d agree.
    You’re not the only one who has studied Hebrews. I’ve written a few papers myself, not that it means diddly-squat.
    Imagine, if you will, a Jewish man, that is, a descendant of Abraham. This man has been living out a life of outward obedience to the Law, a very pious man indeed. He spends each day poring over the Torah, praising God aloud to any within earshot. He has immersed himself in Old Testament study.
    Then Jesus comes. This Jewish man does not believe that Jesus is the Messiah. Despite all his advantage of being a Jew, of having the Law & the Prophets at his disposal, he has rejected Christ, the fulfillment of this man’s entire culture and heritage.

    Is it really a stretch to say that this man has fallen away, as in Hebrews 6? That he has tasted the goodness of the gospel, but has spit it out of his mouth? That he has experienced what it is like to live among believers, and seen firsthand the operations of the Spirit in others, and has decided to place himself under the condemnation of the Law instead?
    This is all possible. One need not say that this man was ever a participant in the Covenant of Grace. There is simply no biblical warrant for it.


  207. Still waiting on anything other than assertion regarding Heb 10:29.

  208. lawyertheologian Says:

    Drake,

    You say that the CoG is a conditional covenant in the sense that to be a recipient of the the promises one has to have faith. Yet you also say that one can be in the CoG simply by virtue of having promises given. How is this possible? After all aren’t the promises that of the Holy Spirit, and aren’t they promised only to the elect? Now, I realize paedobaptists assert that Acts 2:39 declares a promise to the children of believers. Are you saying that based on that children of believers aee in the CoG (and thus united to Christ)but may not receive its promised benefits?

    But then the only real beneficiaries of the covenant of grace are the elect, who have united with Christ from eternity. Eph.1:4. Whatever union with Christ a baby might have, if he is not an elect, it is not a union with His death and resurrection.

    And just to be clear, faith is not a term of the covenant. And what was promised, was promised to Christ, who did fulfill its terms/conditions.

  209. Hugh McCann Says:

    COG/ COR theories ad nauseum too often have differing definitions, & who’s in or out & why.

    But we know that God’s elect/ sheep are the only ones shown grace & redeemed!

    Brandon & Drake – Why isn’t Dt 30:6 eschatological, in the vein of Jer 31:31ff & Eze 36:26? ~ And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

    In John 15, v. 6 applies as much as v. 2. These are Judas’ life (death?) verses…

    John 15:2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

    This describes a non-abiding, dead, false branch.

    Judas obviously wasn’t clean, did not abide in Jesus, did not bear [good] fruit, etc.

    Personalizing 15:6 for J.I. = Judas did not abide in Jesus; he was thus thrown away like a [bogus] branch and withered; thrown into the fire, and burned.

    The rest is to the elect 🙂 ~~~

    If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. ~John 15:7-10~

    Enjoy your election by the Father and security in the Son under the new, vastly improved covenant!

  210. Hugh McCann Says:

    Deut 30:6 also sounds like

    Gen 12:2 ~ And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.

    Or Gen 15:5 ~ And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

    Or Gen 17:4-7, even! ~ Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.

  211. Hugh McCann Says:

    Drake,

    Reading your “article on all this stuff.”

    Rutherford’s is called “Cov’t of LIFE Opened.” Your essay is on “CoR distinct from CoG”. SR’s CoL = CoR?

    Sorry, but cannot go with ya that “Gen 17:23, Jud 2:20, Jer 11:10, 2 Pet 2:1, 20, Heb 6 and 10:26-29 all prove that unbelievers are in the Covenant of Grace. Christ is not a party in the Covenant of Grace though he is the representative of the elect in the surety of the Covenant of Grace.”

    Labored hard with free-offerers that non-elect get no grace, either the so-called ‘common’ variety, much less any in the CoG!

    They may appear to be shown grace, but they are actually just hardened by God’s good gifts, not blessed.

    This is the trouble with FV-ers, no? They want false professors to be sheep one day and wolves the next!

    Grace by NT definition is only for the elect, with no condition(s), even with WCF or y’all to the contrary.

    Just a sweet li’l taste: Eph 1:2-8 ~ GRACE to you and PEACE from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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

    In love he predestined us for ADOPTION as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious GRACE, with which he has BLESSED us in the Beloved.

    In him we HAVE redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his GRACE which he lavished upon us, etc.

    US, US, WE, US, US, WE, US, etc.! No grace for goats!

    Grace –> election, blessing, sanctification, blamelessness, adoption, redemption, forgiveness, etc.

    1 Cor 1:30f ~ And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

    6:11 ~ you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    Rom 8:30 ~ those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

  212. Drake Says:

    Pat T
    You said of Heb 10:29
    “OT Jews – all of them – were sanctified – set apart from other nations – by the blood of the sacrifices, which were a picture of Christ’s sacrifice. If they reject the true sacrifice, it shows that they did not understand or believe in the meaning of the animal sacrifices. This is not a problem for me, as I do not equate the Mosaic Covenant with the New.”

    You gave no arguments to show that this verse refered to OT saints. I showerd that the person spoken of was trampling under the Son of God, and then he refers to the same object as the blood of the covenant. This was not an assertion.

    “but isn’t a promise set before all men, in a sense?”
    In the visible church, yes, which is why the visible Church contains the same parties as the COG.

    “Imagine, if you will, a Jewish man, that is, a descendant of Abraham. This man has been living out a life of outward obedience to the Law, a very pious man indeed. He spends each day poring over the Torah, praising God aloud to any within earshot. He has immersed himself in Old Testament study.

    Then Jesus comes. This Jewish man does not believe that Jesus is the Messiah. Despite all his advantage of being a Jew, of having the Law & the Prophets at his disposal, he has rejected Christ, the fulfillment of this man’s entire culture and heritage….Is it really a stretch to say that this man has fallen away, as in Hebrews 6?”

    I reject your premise. Jesus said if someone believed Moses they would believe Him. I reject that this Jewish man believed anything he studied.

    Lawyer,
    “You say that the CoG is a conditional covenant in the sense that to be a recipient of the the promises one has to have faith.”

    No. What I said is that one must have faith to receive that which is promised namely, forgivenss of sins, sonship etc. What i siad was, “faith is the condition to receive that which is promised.” All in the visible church have promises given tot hem, not all receive the objects of those promises.
    “Yet you also say that one can be in the CoG simply by virtue of having promises given.”

    You equivocated earlier and that led you to this false inference.

    “After all aren’t the promises that of the Holy Spirit”
    Among other things. Knowledge of God, special providential dealings (per ishmael) etc.
    “and aren’t they promised only to the elect?”

    Only the elect receive the objects of the promises of salvation, as God gives the condition of faith only to the elect.

    “Now, I realize paedobaptists assert that Acts 2:39 declares a promise to the children of believers.”

    And all those associated with his household

    “Are you saying that based on that children of believers are in the CoG (and thus united to Christ) but may not receive its promised benefits?”

    On my use of the word “that” from the corrections I made earlier…yes.

    “But then the only real beneficiaries of the covenant of grace are the elect, who have united with Christ from eternity”

    wrong, because there are more promises in the covenant than election, such as the providential protection of God as in the case of Ishmael, “God was with the boy”.

    “And just to be clear, faith is not a term of the covenant. And what was promised, was promised to Christ, who did fulfill its terms/conditions.”

    depends on what view of the covenant you have.

    Hugh
    “But we know that God’s elect/ sheep are the only ones shown grace & redeemed!”

    The elect are the only ones who receive saving grace, but Esau was hated of God yet he was given knowledge of him and God had a special providential hand on him and his line.

    “under the new, vastly improved covenant!”

    I am still waiting for an argument to show that my view is not a vastly improved covenant. The shadows have been done away and the substance abides. Yet to pick at you a bit, those who use instruments, levitical choirs, and holy days have ressurected the shadows. Strange behaviour from those who see such radical change in the covenants.

    Hugh,
    “Deut 30:6 also sounds like
    Gen 12:2 ~ And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.
    Or Gen 15:5 ~ And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
    Or Gen 17:4-7, even! ~ Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.”

    Gen 12:2 and 15:5 has no promise of salvation, ergo, do not work as counter args.

    So then are you admitting that God uses universal language to refer to his promises yet these promises were conditional? Yes, ok then we agree, I accept your resignation from Bostonianism.

  213. Hugh McCann Says:

    Drake,

    I said, “But we know that God’s elect/ sheep are the only ones shown grace & redeemed!”

    You said, “The elect are the only ones who receive saving grace, but Esau was hated of God yet he was given knowledge of him and God had a special providential hand on him and his line.”

    >> OK. So what? These don’t contradict each other. Esau was a damned goat, whatever he knew of God, or any ‘special providential hand on him & his line.’ Same for Cain, Saul, and Judas.

    I said, “under the new, vastly improved covenant!”

    You said, “I am still waiting for an argument to show that my view is not a vastly improved covenant. The shadows have been done away and the substance abides.”

    >> I’m just confused by your rhetoric – for all I know, you may promoting God’s new covenant.

    You also said, “Yet to pick at you a bit, those who use instruments, levitical choirs, and holy days have ressurected [sic] the shadows. Strange behaviour from those who see such radical change in the covenants.”

    >> Choirs, days, and instruments are not condemned in either testament. But I know, since we’re not commanded to use ’em, so they’re off limits to true Presbyterians (read, Christians).

    I quoted Gen 12:2, 15:5, & Gen 17:4-7.

    You said, “Gen 12:2 and 15:5 has no promise of salvation, ergo, do not work as counter args.”

    >> Ah, but they neatly go together: Gen 12:2 speaks of Abe’s ‘nation’ (the church) being a ‘blessing,’ and such we are as we bear witness to Christ!
    >> 15:5 speaks of Abe’s kids, which Paul says we are by faith in Christ.
    >> Glad that 17:4ff is obvious even to thee!
    >> These with Zeke 36 and Jerry 31 were to point us to church/ elect/ new covenant/ faithful/ Abe’s kids/ new-heart folk, which Moses is also talking about in Deut 30:6 ~ ‘Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.’
    >> Not all descendants of either Moses or Abe, but a chosen remnant by grace.

    You said, “So then are you admitting that God uses universal language to refer to his promises yet these promises were conditional?”

    >> Nay to both. ‘Universal’ to you, but not to me. ‘Descendants’ means elect, not all outwardly called. NO CONDITION, NO TERM, NO REQUIREMENT under New Cov’t.
    >> WHY again aren’t you an FV-er?

    You also said, “Yes, ok then we agree, I accept your resignation from Bostonianism.”

    >> Dunno. Never been to Boston. No intention to do so.

  214. drake Says:

    “Sorry, but cannot go with ya that “Gen 17:23, Jud 2:20, Jer 11:10, 2 Pet 2:1, 20, Heb 6 and 10:26-29 all prove that unbelievers are in the Covenant of Grace. Christ is not a party in the Covenant of Grace though he is the representative of the elect in the surety of the Covenant of Grace.”

    Labored hard with free-offerers that non-elect get no grace, either the so-called ‘common’ variety, much less any in the CoG! ”

    Your view just becomes indinstinguishable from Baptist theology.

    “This is the trouble with FV-ers, no? They want false professors to be sheep one day and wolves the next!”
    My view doesn’t even come close to teaching that.
    “>> I’m just confused by your rhetoric – for all I know, you may promoting God’s new covenant.”

    Not sure what you mean.

    “>> Choirs, days, and instruments are not condemned in either testament. But I know, since we’re not commanded to use ‘em, so they’re off limits to true Presbyterians (read, Christians).”

    Do you know how happy this makes me to read you saying this?

    John Calvin writes:

    “The apostle writes that “Christ is “a minister of the circumcision, to fulfill the promises which had been given to the fathers” [Rom 15:8p]. Speaking thus, he does not philosophize as subtly as if he had spoken in this fashion: “Inasmuch as the covenant made with Abraham applies to his descendants, Christ, to perform and discharge the pledge made once for all by his Father, came the salvation of the Jewish nation.” Do you see how after Christ’s resurrection also, he thinks that the promise of the covenant is to be fulfilled, not only allegorically but literally, for Abraham’s physical offspring? To the same point Peter’s announcement to the Jews [Acts 2:39] that the benefit of the gospel belongs to them and their offspring by right of the covenant; and in the following chapter he calls them “sons of the covenant’ [Acts 3:25], that is, heirs.” (Institutes, book iv chapter xvi sec. xv)

    Samuel Rutherford clarifies what we mean when he says,

    “Children are in Covenant Not by Birth, but by Such a Birth…It’s false that the Jews by birth as birth, had hereditary right to Church-privileges, they had right by such a birth from Abraham taken in our free-love Covenant fellowship with God…ABRAHAM IS NOT THE PHYSICAL BUT MORAL ROOT. For the Covenant was made with Abraham, not as believing Father, but as the believing Head of Children, of Servants, and strangers under him, as the Covenant is laid as an Heavenly depositum upon Zacheus, in relation not to his children only, but to his house, Luke 19. For when he is made a son of Abraham, salvation, that is, the Covenant of Life comes to him and to his house: and so to Cornelius, Acts 10, and to the Jailer, Acts 16, and to their houses, and the same way I distinguish seeds.” Covenant of Life pg. 181-182

    with regard to Gal 3:16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ.

    Rutherford says,

    “But this seed is only Christ, not mystical Christ head and members: for neither are we blessed in Christ mystical, nor was Christ mystical the Church made a curse for us: Nor did the Church mystical pay a price of satisfaction to offended justice for us, verse 19…Now the seed coming is Christ coming in the flesh to take on our nature. If the seed were taken for Christ mystical, the Apostle must say, The law was added because of transgression, until the seed should come: that is, until Christ mystical, his Church should come in the flesh which is nonsense…” pg. 442

    Hugh you want to make the seed in Gal 3 refer to the elect and it does not as Rutherford shows. The seed is Christ and we are plants in the seed, as it were. Your view is explicitly Baptist. The Baptist wants the seed to be the elect but it is not. It is Christ and the elect in him as the seed. Further, this verse does not refer to the Covenant of Grace but to the Covenant of Redemption on the Rutherfordian view. The Baptist misses the point completely as do you Hugh.

    “>> WHY again aren’t you an FV-er?
    This is why, the disinction between the parties of the COR and the COG, i.e. Because I am not a Bostonian.
    So why aren’t you a Baptist?

  215. drake Says:

    I am still waiting for you to adress my arguments in my article hugh. Is Christ then in the COG? Christ is in need of no promises in the Covenant of Grace, namely, adoption, forgiveness of sins, etc.

    The promises of the Covenant of Redemption (sitting at the right hand of God, divine Kingship over all nations Psalm 2, etc.) are not given to the elect but to Christ. But on your view aren’t they in the same covenant and have the same promises?

  216. drake Says:

    Hugh, “Brandon & Drake – Why isn’t Dt 30:6 eschatological, in the vein of Jer 31:31ff & Eze 36:26? ~ And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

    Literally, this promise was fulfilled in the OT. In 1 Kings 4:21 Solomon is reigning over Israel and is experiencing the fulfillment of ancient promises in the

    900’s B.C. Not only Genesis 15 but other related promises given to Abraham are seeing fruition. In Genesis 22:17 God says to Abraham after he had been willing to sacrifice Isaac to the Lord “indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.” Though the atheists, dispensationalists and scoffers mock at the idea that these promises were fulfilled they simply do not know the scriptures:

    “1Ki 4:20 Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand that is on the seashore in abundance; they were eating and drinking and rejoicing. 1Ki 4:21 Now Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt; they brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.”

    Not only do we see fulfillment in the late 900’s B.C. but even until the time of Nehemiah’s ministry (445B.C.) there is fulfillment of this promise:

    “Neh 9:7 “You are the LORD God, Who chose Abram And brought him out from Ur of the Chaldees, And gave him the name Abraham. Neh 9:8 “You found his heart faithful before You, And made a covenant with him To give him the land of the Canaanite, Of the Hittite and the Amorite, Of the Perizzite, the Jebusite and the Girgashite– To give it to his descendants. And You have fulfilled Your promise, For You are righteous. ”

  217. Denson Dube Says:

    Drake,
    “Denson
    I claim to be a Presbyterian and my view of the covenant comes from Samuel Rutherford possibly the most influential theologian at the Westminster assembly but I am a mixed bag huh? One question : how do you figure? Your last attack at me was an embarassing failure, I have a hunch this one is not going to be much better.”

    The Pope claims to be a successor of the Apostle Peter!

    I often wondered why your voluminous writing is unnourishing and unenjoyable — now I see, that it is because you are confused about the most fundamental truth, the Gospel.
    (1)Jesus died only for the elect — through unconditional election(the “U” in TULIP), and therefore, your oxymoronic “conditional grace” is the nonsense that it is. The reprobate are those who are not elect and hence they are not party to the covenant of grace — that is what it means to be reprobate.

    (2)John Owen, who you falsely ascribe your confusion to, omments on Heb. 10: 29;(The Death of Death …. Chapter V. pp 252 – 256)
    “The intention of the apostle in this place is the same with the general aim and scope of the whole epistle, – to persuade and urge the Jews, who had embraced the doctrine of the gospel, to perseverance and continuance therein. This, as he doth perform in other places, with divers and various arguments, – the most of them taken from a comparison at large instituted between the gospel in its administration, and those legal shadows which, before their profession, they lived under and were in bondage unto, – so here he urgeth a strong argument to the same purpose ‘ab incommodo, seu effectu pernicioso’, from the miserable, dangerous effects and consequences of the sin of backsliding, and wilful renunciation of the truth known and professed, upon any motives and inducements whatsoever; which he assureth them to be no less than a total casting off and depriving themselves of all hopes and means of recovery, with dreadful horror of conscience in expectation of judgement to come …. Whereupon, having abundantly proved that the gospel, and the manifestation of grace therein, is exceedingly preferred to and exalted above the old ceremonies of the law, he concludes that certainly a much sorer punishment(which he leaves to their judgement to determine) awaits for them who wilfully violate the holy gospel, and despise the declaration of grace therein contained and by it revealed; ….. Secondly, the apostle doth neither declare what hath been nor assert what may be, but only adds a commination upon a supposition of a thing; his main aim being to deter from the thing rather than to signify that it may be, by showing the misery that must needs follow if it should so come to pass.”
    Your denial that your position is FV only serves to show how confused you must be!

    regards,

    Denson

  218. drake Says:

    Denson,

    “John Owen, who you falsely ascribe your confusion to, omments on Heb. 10: 29;(The Death of Death …. Chapter V. pp 252 – 256)”

    Is this guy serious? When have I mentioned a word about John Owen? My view comes from Rutherford as you just admitted.

    “The intention of the apostle in this place is the same with the general aim and scope of the whole epistle, – to persuade and urge the Jews, who had embraced the doctrine of the gospel,”

    Interesting because Pat T just said that the verse referred to old testament Jews.

    So what was the point on that Owen quote? I agreed with everything he said.

  219. drake Says:

    Hugh
    When I ask you why you are not a Baptist I am asking what basis you have for infant Baptism on your view of the covenant?

    I would like to know exactly what you are asking when you ask me why I am not FV.

  220. lawyertheologian Says:

    Drake,

    I recall now that you have a peculiar understanding of the CoG. Your understanding makes it very similar to the Old Covenant and not at all related to the Covenant of Works. And you define the Covenant of Redemption to cover what most separate from the CoG. That is, the way the CoG is normally understood, and expressed the WCF is that Jesus, as the Second Adam fulfilled the CoW on behalf of His people. Without this, there is no basis for justification.

    This Covenant (whether you call it the CoR or CoG)was in place throughout man’s history. The New Covenant is not the CoR or CoG(though you may want to associate/call it the CoG), but those who are in the NC are in the CoG and clearly those within this Covenant are all believers as again Jer.31:39 makes clear. Again, no Reformer as far as I know has ever denied this.

  221. drake Says:

    My suspicion is that you think that the FV was the first Reformed system to teach that there are unbelievers in the COG. The very sentiment makes me chuckle.

  222. Hugh McCann Says:

    Drake,

    On my view of the covenants, I have no basis for infant baptism.

    I’m not well-enough read to know whom were the 1st putatively Reformed folk to go legalistic, but two early systems in redemptive history were Pharisees & Judaizers.

    The FV-ers are no doubt new kids on the block with the same old tired Romish song & dance on justification.

    I’m just not reading a whole lotta gospel in your posts, man.

    And you’re saying that there are reprobates temporarily in the cov’t of grace?

  223. Hugh McCann Says:

    D,

    Moi: “Labored hard with free-offerers that non-elect get no grace, either the so-called ‘common’ variety, much less any in the CoG!”
    Toi: “Your view just becomes indinstinguishable from Baptist theology.”
    >> Well, it could be worse!

    Moi: “Choirs, days, and instruments are not condemned in either testament. But I know, since we’re not commanded to use ‘em, so they’re off limits to true Presbyterians (read, Christians).”
    Toi: Do you know how happy this makes me to read you saying this?
    >> So glad I could brighten your day! (Glad, too, to give ya a chuckle.*)

    D: John Calvin writes: “The apostle writes that “Christ is “a minister of the circumcision, to fulfill the promises which had been given to the fathers” [Rom 15:8p]. Speaking thus, he does not philosophize as subtly as if he had spoken in this fashion: “Inasmuch as the covenant made with Abraham applies to his descendants, Christ, to perform and discharge the pledge made once for all by his Father, came the salvation of the Jewish nation.” Do you see how after Christ’s resurrection also, he thinks that the promise of the covenant is to be fulfilled, not only allegorically but literally, for Abraham’s physical offspring? To the same point Peter’s announcement to the Jews [Acts 2:39] that the benefit of the gospel belongs to them and their offspring by right of the covenant; and in the following chapter he calls them “sons of the covenant’ [Acts 3:25], that is, heirs.” (Institutes, book iv chapter xvi sec. xv)

    >> Oh, then Calvin was (again) wrong. Abe’s spiritual offspring are the inheritors of the Genesis promises, as St Paul saith in Romans 4:11f, 16-18 & Galatians 4:31 ~ WE ARE SARAH’S SONS! Peter and Paul (Calvin too at times?) taught that “the benefit of the gospel belongs to them and their offspring” by grace alone through faith alone unto the elect Jew or Gentile alone.

    >> BINGO: Gal 3:13f ~ Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us–for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree — that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

    D: Samuel Rutherford clarifies what we mean when he says, “Children are in Covenant Not by Birth, but by Such a Birth… It’s false that the Jews by birth as birth, had hereditary right to Church-privileges, they had right by such a birth from Abraham taken in our free-love Covenant fellowship with God…ABRAHAM IS NOT THE PHYSICAL BUT MORAL ROOT. For the Covenant was made with Abraham, not as believing Father, but as the believing Head of Children, of Servants, and strangers under him, as the Covenant is laid as an Heavenly depositum upon Zacheus, in relation not to his children only, but to his house, Luke 19. For when he is made a son of Abraham, salvation, that is, the Covenant of Life comes to him and to his house: and so to Cornelius, Acts 10, and to the Jailer, Acts 16, and to their houses, and the same way I distinguish seeds.” Covenant of Life pg. 181-182

    >> “For the Covenant was made with Abraham, not as believing Father, but as the believing Head of Children, of Servants, and strangers under him”??? I demur from SR here. Abe is father to all God’s faithful children after him, as saith St Paul to the Romans and the Galatians.

    D: with regard to Gal 3:16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ.

    >> AND to all who are in him, as you point out below!

    D: Rutherford says, “But this seed is only Christ, not mystical Christ head and members: for neither are we blessed in Christ mystical, nor was Christ mystical the Church made a curse for us: Nor did the Church mystical pay a price of satisfaction to offended justice for us, verse 19… Now the seed coming is Christ coming in the flesh to take on our nature. If the seed were taken for Christ mystical, the Apostle must say, The law was added because of transgression, until the seed should come: that is, until Christ mystical, his Church should come in the flesh which is nonsense…” pg. 442

    >> I dunno what is a ‘mystical Christ,’ but the ‘Seed,’ Jesus Christ, includes all of us who are taken in his train, grafted into Him by faith. He is our Head, and we His body parts: we can no more rend this Head from His body than we can damn His bride.

    D: Hugh you want to make the seed in Gal 3 refer to the elect and it does not as Rutherford shows. The seed is Christ and we are plants in the seed, as it were. Your view is explicitly Baptist. The Baptist wants the seed to be the elect but it is not. It is Christ and the elect in him as the seed.

    >> RIGHT! “It is Christ and the elect in him as the seed.” That’s what St Paul & I are sayin’! ‘But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.’ Gal 3:22.

    D: Further, this verse does not refer to the Covenant of Grace but to the Covenant of Redemption on the Rutherfordian view. The Baptist misses the point completely as do you Hugh.

    >> Oh, OK.

    D: I am still waiting for you to adress my arguments in my article hugh. Is Christ then in the COG? Christ is in need of no promises in the Covenant of Grace, namely, adoption, forgiveness of sins, etc.

    >> Right; Christ was in a ‘cov’t’ strictly of works, no grace, etc. He did most excellently, and then the Father imputed to Him all our sins. Christ first earned our salvation, seeing no grace! Then, He Who knew no sin gloriously BECAME sin for us that we would have His righteousness imputed unto us.

    D: The promises of the Covenant of Redemption (sitting at the right hand of God, divine Kingship over all nations Psalm 2, etc.) are not given to the elect but to Christ. But on your view aren’t they in the same covenant and have the same promises?

    >> We are seated WITH Christ in the heavenlies (Eph 2:6), and are to be seated forever with him. Why do you tear us apart from Christ?
    “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.” Rev. 3:21.
    “And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.” 1 Jn 5:4.
    “We are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Rom 8:37.

    MOI: “Brandon & Drake – Why isn’t Dt 30:6 eschatological, in the vein of Jer 31:31ff & Eze 36:26? ~ And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

    TOI: Literally, this promise was fulfilled in the OT. In 1 Kings 4:21 Solomon is reigning over Israel and is experiencing the fulfillment of ancient promises in the 900’s B.C. Not only Genesis 15 but other related promises given to Abraham are seeing fruition. In Genesis 22:17 God says to Abraham after he had been willing to sacrifice Isaac to the Lord “indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.” Though the atheists, dispensationalists and scoffers mock at the idea that these promises were fulfilled they simply do not know the scriptures: “1Ki 4:20 Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand that is on the seashore in abundance; they were eating and drinking and rejoicing. 1Ki 4:21 Now Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt; they brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.”

    More toi: Not only do we see fulfillment in the late 900’s B.C. but even until the time of Nehemiah’s ministry (445B.C.) there is fulfillment of this promise: “Neh 9:7 “You are the LORD God, Who chose Abram And brought him out from Ur of the Chaldees, And gave him the name Abraham. Neh 9:8 “You found his heart faithful before You, And made a covenant with him To give him the land of the Canaanite, Of the Hittite and the Amorite, Of the Perizzite, the Jebusite and the Girgashite– To give it to his descendants. And You have fulfilled Your promise, For You are righteous.”

    >> No. The promise that, ‘the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live,’ is to God’s elect unto eternal life, not merely for temporal, geographic blessings. Stone temples & their paraphernalia, land grabs, carnal kingships, all these prefigure Christ’s eschatological blessings to his new cov’t people promised to Abe, Moses, David, Solomon, et. al.

    You deny or at least ignore the ultimate fulfillment of God’s Abrahamic & Mosaic promises in the new cov’t?

    * I’m so glad we had this time together;
    just to have a laugh and sing a song.
    Seems we just get started and before you know it, comes the time we have to say, “So long.”

  224. Hugh McCann Says:

    Drake,

    Something about this from you* didn’t sit right, and now I see why. SR is saying it’s not about Christ and his own (confusing us with talk of a ‘mystical Christ’), then you second him, but also admit that, ‘It is Christ and the elect in him as the seed.’ And with that sentiment, we say, “Amen.”

    SR’s quote is unhelpful and just wrong next to Gal 3:29 ~
    And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to promise.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    * You said, ‘with regard to Gal 3:16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ.

    ‘Rutherford says, “But this seed is only Christ, not mystical Christ head and members: for neither are we blessed in Christ mystical, nor was Christ mystical the Church made a curse for us: Nor did the Church mystical pay a price of satisfaction to offended justice for us, verse 19…Now the seed coming is Christ coming in the flesh to take on our nature. If the seed were taken for Christ mystical, the Apostle must say, The law was added because of transgression, until the seed should come: that is, until Christ mystical, his Church should come in the flesh which is nonsense…” pg. 442

    ‘Hugh you want to make the seed in Gal 3 refer to the elect and it does not as Rutherford shows. The seed is Christ and we are plants in the seed, as it were. Your view is explicitly Baptist. The Baptist wants the seed to be the elect but it is not. It is Christ and the elect in him as the seed. Further, this verse does not refer to the Covenant of Grace but to the Covenant of Redemption on the Rutherfordian view. The Baptist misses the point completely as do you Hugh’

  225. drake Says:

    Hugh

    “On my view of the covenants, I have no basis for infant baptism.”

    **So you are Baptist then.

    “I’m just not reading a whole lotta gospel in your posts, man. ”

    **My view is that in the COR the Logos represents Christ and undertakes to purchase salvation for them. COR is redemption accomplished. COG is redemption applied. The COG then is the primary tool that God uses to apply the COG. The elect have their salvation assured from eternity based on the work of Christ alone for the elect alone. That is the Calvinist Gospel plain and clear.

    “And you’re saying that there are reprobates temporarily in the cov’t of grace?”

    **Whether or not an apostate falls out of the COG I don’t know, but surely there are unbelievers in the COG.

    “Well, it could be worse!”

    **I just wish I could get sean to admit that.

    “For the Covenant was made with Abraham, not as believing Father, but as the believing Head of Children, of Servants, and strangers under him”??? I demur from SR here. Abe is father to all God’s faithful children after him, as saith St Paul to the Romans and the Galatians”

    **You are not getting him. Abe physical’s seed are God’s church not by physical birth alone but by such a birth as plants of a moral root.

    “>> AND to all who are in him, as you point out below!…>> I dunno what is a ‘mystical Christ,’ but the ‘Seed,’ Jesus Christ, includes all of us who are taken in his train, grafted into Him by faith. He is our Head, and we His body parts: we can no more rend this Head from His body than we can damn His bride.”

    **But we are not the seed. Christ is the seed. Rutherford says,
    “But this seed is only Christ, not mystical Christ [i.e. the elect as you want it to say Hugh] head and members: for neither are we blessed in Christ mystical, nor was Christ mystical the Church made a curse for us: Nor did the Church mystical pay a price of satisfaction to offended justice for us, verse 19…Now the seed coming is Christ coming in the flesh to take on our nature. If the seed were taken for Christ mystical, the Apostle must say, The law was added because of transgression, until the seed should come: that is, until Christ mystical, his Church should come in the flesh which is nonsense…” pg. 442
    Gal 3:19 is saying the same thing as Gal 4:4 that the seed in Gal 3:19 is the Son made of a woman made under the law in 4:4. So you are making the seed in verse 19 to be the elect, and so the elect pays the penalty for the sins of the elect and then you have to deal with the issue of the promise in vs. 19. Is that the promise of the holy spirit, forgiveness of sins, sonship, etc? Christ then is promised forgiveness of sins on your view. Rubbish! This is a different covenant all together. The seed is Christ the party with the father in the COR, the promise is to Christ sitting at the right hand of God, divine Kingship over all nations Psalm 2, Heb 1:8-13 etc. Different parties, different promises, DIFFERENT COVENANT.
    “D: Further, this verse does not refer to the Covenant of Grace but to the Covenant of Redemption on the Rutherfordian view. The Baptist misses the point completely as do you Hugh.
    >> Oh, OK.”

    **Is this an admission?

    “>> Right; Christ was in a ‘cov’t’ strictly of works, no grace, etc. He did most excellently, and then the Father imputed to Him all our sins. Christ first earned our salvation, seeing no grace! Then, He Who knew no sin gloriously BECAME sin for us that we would have His righteousness imputed unto us.”

    **Then why does he take the signs and seals of the COG? The rutherfordian view sees the COR as a COW. It is a different covenant than the COW with adam, but it is another COW with Christ.

    “>> We are seated WITH Christ in the heavenlies (Eph 2:6), and are to be seated forever with him. Why do you tear us apart from Christ?”

    **I am not tearing us apart from Christ I am simply affirming that I am not promised the heathen as my inheritance and to be honored even as the father is. God gives his glory to no one outisde of the Godhead.
    “>> No. The promise that, ‘the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live,’ is to God’s elect unto eternal life, not merely for temporal, geographic blessings. Stone temples & their paraphernalia, land grabs, carnal kingships, all these prefigure Christ’s eschatological blessings to his new cov’t people promised to Abe, Moses, David, Solomon, et. al.”

    **Hugh read the context, God gave this conditional promise upon fulfillment of the Land promise Deut 30:5 says, “The LORD your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.”

    “You deny or at least ignore the ultimate fulfillment of God’s Abrahamic & Mosaic promises in the new cov’t?”

    **In my baptism paper I make very clear the the land promise was/is fulfilled:

    O.T. Church-Literally
    1. Their Redemption from Babylonian Captivity (Jer 16)
    2. Their Inheritance in the Land of Canaan (1 Kings 4:21, Neh. 9:7-8)

    Church in General
    1. Literally- The Garden of Eden, The Land of Canaan and the Hope of God restoring all things back to Himself (Col 1:19-20, Romans 4:13)
    2. Antitypically- Their eternal inheritance of the New Heavens and the New Earth (Isaiah 60:18-22 – Revelation 21-22)
    3. Figuratively –in the blossoming of the Church (Acts 15:13-18)
    4. Figuratively- Union with Christ and His benefits (Hebrews 4:3, Num 14:23 Psalms 95:11)


  226. Drake: FIRST, because personally I’m sick and tired of you using the word “Baptist” like it’s a derogatory code-word for filth. Perhaps that’s not how you mean it, but it sure comes across that way. Last I checked, Sean Gerety is a Presbyterian who subscribes to WCF. OK, fine, but I haven’t seen him ban Baptists, or restrict Baptists from discussing their views of the covenants on this blog. So kindly restrict yourself from the argument of “That sounds Baptist, ergo that is false.” Are we not brothers? Answer me honestly. I remember you reacting rather heatedly to Charlie Ray & Roger Mann using the argument “That contradicts Chalcedon, ergo that is false.” You MUST stop assuming that everyone must think along the same rigidly convoluted lines that you do, else they’re pathetic idiots or “uh-oh spaghettio lightweights.” Honestly, your complete lack of charity for your Baptist brothers is enough to turn off some Presbyterians.

    “…he refers to the same object as the blood of the covenant. This was not an assertion.”
    Don’t you hear yourself? Are you actually saying that Christ’s blood was sanctifyingly applied to a non-elect person? How in blazes is that Reformed?

    “the visible Church contains the same parties as the COG”
    Goodbye Westminster, Hello Federal Vision.

    “I reject your premise. Jesus said if someone believed Moses they would believe Him. I reject that this Jewish man believed anything he studied.”
    I didn’t intend to imply that he did. I am aware of John 5:46.
    Also, it doesn’t bother me if Owen disagrees with me.

  227. Hugh McCann Says:

    Like: “rigidly convoluted lines”!

  228. Hugh McCann Says:

    Whew – Here we go again…

    **My view is that in the COR the Logos represents Christ and undertakes to purchase salvation for them. COR is redemption accomplished. COG is redemption applied. The COG then is the primary tool that God uses to apply the COG. The elect have their salvation assured from eternity based on the work of Christ alone for the elect alone. That is the Calvinist Gospel plain and clear.
    }} Did you mean to write that, “The COG then is the primary tool that God uses to apply the COR,” rather than what appears above?

    “And you’re saying that there are reprobates temporarily in the cov’t of grace?”
    **Whether or not an apostate falls out of the COG I don’t know, but surely there are unbelievers in the COG.
    }} Hmm. I no use grace for unbelievers, as I said early on. You do as you wish, but you do seem rigidly convoluted.

    “For the Covenant was made with Abraham, not as believing Father, but as the believing Head of Children, of Servants, and strangers under him”??? I demur from SR here. Abe is father to all God’s faithful children after him, as saith St Paul to the Romans and the Galatians”
    **You are not getting him.
    }} AMEN!!!

    **Abe physical’s seed are God’s church not by physical birth alone but by such a birth as plants of a moral root.
    {{ WHA…?! Convoluted!

    … the ‘Seed,’ Jesus Christ, includes all of us who are taken in his train, grafted into Him by faith. He is our Head, and we His body parts: we can no more rend this Head from His body than we can damn His bride.”
    **But we are not the seed.
    }} Yes we are, IN CHRIST }} Yep, following Pavel: Gal 3:29 ~ And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to promise.

    **Christ is the seed. Rutherford says,
    }} Screw Rutherford, he’s rigidly convoluted.

    **Gal 3:19 is saying the same thing as Gal 4:4 that the seed in Gal 3:19 is the Son made of a woman made under the law in 4:4.
    }} And we are that Man’s one-flesh bride. Why is this so hard for you to admit/ get?

    **So you are making the seed in verse 19 to be the elect…
    }} Yep, following Pavel: Gal 3:29 ~ And if you are Christ’s, then YOU (plural) ARE ABRAHAM’S SEED, heirs according to promise.

    }} We are in Christ, married to Christ, his body, ONE!

    Right; Christ was in a ‘cov’t’ strictly of works, no grace, etc. He did most excellently, and then the Father imputed to Him all our sins. Christ first earned our salvation, seeing no grace! Then, He Who knew no sin gloriously BECAME sin for us that we would have His righteousness imputed unto us.”
    **Then why does he take the signs and seals of the COG? The rutherfordian view sees the COR as a COW. It is a different covenant than the COW with adam, but it is another COW with Christ.
    }} He fulfilled all righteousness, circumcision, Passover, baptism, instituted Supper (didn’t eat himself); Jesus fulfilled the CoW we couldn’t. He was conferred no grace in “taking signs & seals of CoG.” His was strictly a CoW with Father.

    We are seated WITH Christ in the heavenlies (Eph 2:6), and are to be seated forever with him. Why do you tear us apart from Christ?”
    **I am not tearing us apart from Christ I am simply affirming that I am not promised the heathen as my inheritance and to be honored even as the father is. God gives his glory to no one outisde of the Godhead.
    }} OK; sounds pious, brudda. I’ll judge the nations with my Lord. Hope he gives me the Vatican, but prolly has that marked out for Luther.

    No. The promise that, ‘the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live,’ is to God’s elect unto eternal life, not merely for temporal, geographic blessings. Stone temples & their paraphernalia, land grabs, carnal kingships, all these prefigure Christ’s eschatological blessings to his new cov’t people promised to Abe, Moses, David, Solomon, et. al.
    **Hugh read the context, God gave this conditional promise upon fulfillment of the Land promise Deut 30:5 says, “The LORD your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.”
    }} & I agree he did that, but the heart circumcision of v. 6 he did only with elect who were few & far between in Old Cov’t, vastly expanded in the New, prophesied in Jer 31, explained in Heb 8. All in the new cov’t are believers, heart-circumcised, blood-bought saints. Washed, sanctified, justified, glorified. No apostates, unbelievers, stony-hearts, or unwashed heathen allowed.

    “You deny or at least ignore the ultimate fulfillment of God’s Abrahamic & Mosaic promises in the new cov’t?”
    **In my baptism paper I make very clear the the land promise was/is fulfilled:
    3. & 4. Figuratively
    }} “Figuratively,” but really, truly, & spiritually, right? We are in the NEW Jerusalem, the Promised Land TODAY.

  229. drake Says:

    Pat T
    “Drake: FIRST, because personally I’m sick and tired of you using the word “Baptist” like it’s a derogatory code-word for filth.”
    So then are most people that write here Baptist? I thought Sean’s posse was Presbyterian but it seems not. Sorry, I did not know that Hugh was a Baptist. I did not mean to refer to Baptists as filth I was using the Baptist system as a measuring rod to presbyterians.
    “Don’t you hear yourself? Are you actually saying that Christ’s blood was sanctifyingly applied to a non-elect person?”
    Not in the salvific sense but the covenantal sense.
    ““the visible Church contains the same parties as the COG”
    Goodbye Westminster, Hello Federal Vision.”
    That is only true if I held to the Bostonian view of the COG. The fed visionists believe or at leats imply that the visible church is coextensive with salvation precisely because of this false view of the Covenants.
    Hugh
    “Did you mean to write that, “The COG then is the primary tool that God uses to apply the COR,” rather than what appears above?”
    **yes, sorry
    “Hmm. I no use grace for unbelievers, as I said early on. You do as you wish, but you do seem rigidly convoluted.”
    **That keeps being asserted but never demonstrated
    “**Abe physical’s seed are God’s church not by physical birth alone but by such a birth as plants of a moral root.
    {{ WHA…?! Convoluted!”
    What is convoluted?
    **Yep, following Pavel: Gal 3:29 ~ And if you are Christ’s, then YOU (plural) ARE ABRAHAM’S SEED, heirs according to promise
    This completely ignored what I said about Gal 3:19.
    “He fulfilled all righteousness, circumcision, Passover, baptism, instituted Supper (didn’t eat himself); Jesus fulfilled the CoW we couldn’t. He was conferred no grace in “taking signs & seals of CoG.” His was strictly a CoW with Father. ”
    You completely ignored the question. Why did Jesus get Baptized? Why did he partake of the passover in Mat 26?
    “No. The promise that, ‘the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live,’ is to God’s elect unto eternal life, not merely for temporal, geographic blessings. Stone temples & their paraphernalia, land grabs, carnal kingships, all these prefigure Christ’s eschatological blessings to his new cov’t people promised to Abe, Moses, David, Solomon, et. al.”
    Assertion. Show me why you think that from that passage.
    “}} & I agree he did that, but the heart circumcision of v. 6 he did only with elect who were few & far between in Old Cov’t”
    So then you are admitting that this passage was fulfilled in the OT and not Eschatalogical?If yes, then I have answered the Jer 31 and Hebrews 8 argument.
    “}} “Figuratively,” but really, truly, & spiritually, right? We are in the NEW Jerusalem, the Promised Land TODAY.”
    Well I take the promised land to expand to the whole earth under the NT. I am post mil. But there is a sense in which union with Christ is a fulfillment of the land promise but the new heavens and the new earth have not come and so not all day observances are done away with. I.e. christian sabbath keeping.


  230. “So then are most people that write here Baptist?”
    Not to my knowledge, but I can think of 5 off the top of my head.

    “I thought Sean’s posse was Presbyterian but it seems not.”
    I don’t know about “Sean’s posse,” but if you find any, I’m sure you can ask them. As for Sean’s spiritual brothers, friends, and commenters, yes, there are some Baptists among them.

    “Not in the salvific sense but the covenantal sense.”
    Thankfully, my covenant saves unconditionally.

    “The fed visionists believe or at leats imply that the visible church is coextensive with salvation precisely because of this false view of the Covenants.”
    Have you ever read the Federal Vision Joint Statement? They very much do NOT associate salvation with the visible church, because in their view (as in yours) you can be a member of the CoG and end up in Hell. Not possible in my view, whether it’s “Bostonian” or not. Seriously, would you drop that Boston thing? It’s annoying, especially since I’ve already said I disagree with Boston.

  231. drake Says:

    ““Not in the salvific sense but the covenantal sense.”
    Thankfully, my covenant saves unconditionally.”

    So does mine. My unconditional covenant is the COR. I am represented by Christ from eternity, before I could meet any condition.

    ““The fed visionists believe or at leats imply that the visible church is coextensive with salvation precisely because of this false view of the Covenants.”
    Have you ever read the Federal Vision Joint Statement? They very much do NOT associate salvation with the visible church, because in their view (as in yours) you can be a member of the CoG and end up in Hell.”

    My argument was mostly from the implications of things I have heard FVers say.


  232. “My unconditional covenant is the COR.”

    OK, fine, but is that Westminster-approved? Because as far as I know, most of Sean’s readers hold to the WCF.

  233. drake Says:

    God’s Hammer patrons,

    Will you admit that many Reformed people both Presbyterian and Congregational have held that there are unbelievers in the covenant of grace without making any of the FV inferences for centuries before the FV camp even “existed”?

  234. drake Says:

    “OK, fine, but is that Westminster-approved? Because as far as I know, most of Sean’s readers hold to the WCF.”

    I think the WCF is the best confession as it was clarified by the other Scottish documents such as the Sum of Saving Knowledge. But the WCF had mistakes in it imo.


  235. @Drake: Sure. Speaking as a Baptist, I’d say that sort of difficulty is inevitable when one makes the Mosaic Covenant an administration of the CoG, just as the New Covenant. IMHO, in order to resolve the inconsistency, one must either go your route, or, horror of horrors, become a Baptist.

    NOTA BENE: I do NOT wish to debate this here. I’m not looking for responses of any sort to this comment. This issue has already been discussed here and I do not believe another discussion would be fruitful at the present time. I appreciate your understanding on this point.


  236. @Drake: Then maybe ease off with the ridicule of WCF’s view on the matter, as you find yourself (along with the Baptists) taking exception.

  237. drake Says:

    Well the whole premise of the SOSK was that the WCF was unclear on some points and needs revision on the issue of the covenants.

  238. Hugh McCann Says:

    Drake,

    “Abe physical’s seed are God’s church not by physical birth alone but by such a birth as plants of a moral root.
    **What is convoluted?
    ~~ “such a birth as plants of a moral root”!?! Abe’s spiritual seed (Christ and believers) is / are in view in Gal 3 & Rom 4.

    Yep, following Pavel: Gal 3:29 ~ And if you are Christ’s, then YOU (plural) ARE ABRAHAM’S SEED, heirs according to promise
    **This completely ignored what I said about Gal 3:19.
    ~~ Thank you. Now you gladden me. 🙂

    “He fulfilled all righteousness, circumcision, Passover, baptism, instituted Supper (didn’t eat himself); Jesus fulfilled the CoW we couldn’t. He was conferred no grace in “taking signs & seals of CoG.” His was strictly a CoW with Father. ”
    **You completely ignored the question. Why did Jesus get Baptized? Why did he partake of the passover in Mat 26?
    ~~ To fulfill all righteousness, as he told John the Scripturalist, I mean Baptizer. But HE GOT NO GRACE. HE TOOK THE FULL WEIGHT OF THE LAW ON OUR BEHALF.

    “No. The promise that, ‘the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live,’ is to God’s elect unto eternal life, not merely for temporal, geographic blessings. Stone temples & their paraphernalia, land grabs, carnal kingships, all these prefigure Christ’s eschatological blessings to his new cov’t people promised to Abe, Moses, David, Solomon, et. al.”
    **Assertion. Show me why you think that from that passage.
    ~~ B/c the promise to so circumcise hearts is clearly made in Jer 31 and spoken of as fulfilled in Heb 8. The Jews failed to do all that God commanded, including aortic cleaning, so God had to do it for us.

    “}} & I agree he did that, but the heart circumcision of v. 6 he did only with elect who were few & far between in Old Cov’t”
    **So then you are admitting that this passage was fulfilled in the OT and not Eschatalogical?If yes, then I have answered the Jer 31 and Hebrews 8 argument.
    ~~ Not fulfilled – of course not. Had the 1st cov’t been successful, ther’d have been no place for the 2nd. There were scattered elect in Israel, but the majority appear to have been hardened. Moses’ seed, like Abe’s, are we who embrace Christ by faith.

    I weary. You’re younger, smarter (maybe), and definitely more widely read.
    As a Scripturalist, I will go back to the Word and check my assertions.
    Rigid, convoluted theologians weary me.
    Good night.
    Hugh

  239. Hugh McCann Says:

    “Assert & Ignore” — my new motto!

    Thanks, Drake.

  240. Denson Dube Says:

    Drake,
    Did you, or did you not write the following?

    “ In robbins’ lecture “the new covenant of grace” he teaches right at the 30 minute mark that the new cov. Is different from the mosaic in that everyone in the nc is saved! I couldn’t believe my ears.“

    Your implication here is that not everyone who is in the nc is saved, is it not? Just what does it mean to be in the nc and being saved?

    “Sean you know as I have brought it up numerous times before without a glmipse of a response heb 4:1, heb 10:29 and John 15:2 clearly teach that there are non elect who fall away from covenant promises on the nt“

    Notice here, Drake says these scriptures “clearly teach that there are non elect who fall away from covenant promises..“

    These scriptures teach no such thing. John Owen, in the passage I quoted denies that these scriptures(Heb 10: 29) are discussing the non-elect or addressed to the non-elect. The writer of Hebrews was not writing to non-believers(In fact not a single book of the new testament is addressed to unbelievers). He was writing to believers. What we need to ask our selves is how this verse(these passages) applies to believers. Owen explains this in the quoted passage and he does not say these are non-elect who fall away. Yet you claim to agree with him? Are you insane or just a dishonest little liar, simply here to waste our time?

    “Yes faith is the condition of the cog.“

    “That in no way removes unbelievers from covenant status.“

    This is such incoherent nonsense, it belies belief! If faith is the condition of the cog, how then can you say an unbeliever, someone who does not believe, someone without faith, can be in the covenant?

    Sean, I am amazed you are still patiently putting up with this inflated muddle headed little blasphemer?

    regards,

    Denson

  241. Denson Dube Says:

    oops!
    Just what does it mean to be in the nc and not be saved?
    Denson

  242. lawyertheologian Says:

    God’s Hammer patrons,

    “Will you admit that many Reformed people both Presbyterian and Congregational have held that there are unbelievers in the covenant of grace without making any of the FV inferences for centuries before the FV camp even “existed”?”

    Again, I have not heard of any. Can you provide a list of some?

  243. Hugh McCann Says:

    Drake,

    Lest I be said to ignore, you said on 01/11/11 @ 8:22: “Gal 3:19 is saying the same thing as Gal 4:4 that the seed in Gal 3:19 is the Son made of a woman made under the law in 4:4.”

    FINE. BEAUTIFUL. AGREED. OF COURSE CHRIST IS ABE’S SEED, PER Gal 3:16 ~ Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.

    Gal 4:4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

    Gal 3:19 is below.

    You also said, “So you are making the seed in verse 19 to be the elect…”

    NO. I AM *INCLUDING* IN CHRIST THE SEED OF 3:16, 19, ETC., WE BELIEVERS OF VV. 22, 26, 28, & 29, JUST AS DOES ST PAUL! YOU ARE TEACHING CONFUSION, DRAKE.

    Context:

    Gal 3:13-29 ~ 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us–for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”– 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
    15 To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. 16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.
    17 This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. 18 For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.
    19. Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. 20 Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.
    21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law.
    22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE. 23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.
    24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian,
    26 for IN CHRIST JESUS YOU ARE ALL SONS OF GOD THROUGH FAITH. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
    28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for YOU ARE ALL ONE IN CHRIST JESUS.
    29 And IF YOU ARE CHRIST’S, then YOU ARE ABRAHAM’S SEED, heirs according to promise.

  244. Hugh McCann Says:

    LawyerT,

    Sean’s quote of 01/10/11 (3:01pm) speaks to Shelton’s question. WCF adherents have to disagree with FV & with Drake:

    …while Drake can’t believe his ears, the WCF states: “the Covenant of Grace: whereby he [God] freely offers unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in him, that they may be saved; and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto life his Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe” (WCF 7.3).

    Notice that the promise of the Holy Spirit is to “those that are ordained unto eternal life.” The promise is not to all men, nor to all who hear the Gospel, nor to all the baptized, nor to all who profess faith, but only to the elect, to “those who are ordained unto life.”

    Notice also that the promise includes God’s making the elect “willing and able to believe.” Belief is not a condition that sinners meet in order to receive covenant blessings; saving faith is itself a promised blessing of the Covenant of Grace.

  245. lawyertheologian Says:

    Hugh,

    Are there Reformed non WCF adherents who believe that there are unbelievers in the CoG? Drake claims there are. Maybe there is Rutherford and others, but they define/redefine the CoG differently from the WCF and most if not all Reformers.

  246. Hugh McCann Says:

    LT,

    Dunno, but both Shelton and Rutherford are Presbyterians. The former includes Presbies in his query.

    DS asked: ‘Will you admit that many Reformed people both Presbyterian and Congregational have held that there are unbelievers in the covenant of grace without making any of the FV inferences for centuries before the FV camp even “existed”?’

  247. drake Says:

    Denson,

    ““Yes faith is the condition of the cog.“
    “That in no way removes unbelievers from covenant status.“
    This is such incoherent nonsense, it belies belief! If faith is the condition of the cog, how then can you say an unbeliever, someone who does not believe, someone without faith, can be in the covenant?”That is because you have delibertaley seared your conscience. You probably read where I distinguished the way condition is being used in thiese different contexts and I have had patrons here admit to me that my disinction was not contradictory. By the first statement I meant that faith is the condition to recieve the promises of the COG. The second statement refers to memebership n the COG. There is a difference between a promise and the object promised. If I said hey denson, I am goint to give you an ice cream cone if you stop slandering me. The propositional promise is distinct from the ice cream.
    “Just what does it mean to be in the nc and not be saved?”
    To have certain promises held out to you and to have a special providential hand on your life, per Ishmael, “God was with the boy”
    “Sean, I am amazed you are still patiently putting up with this inflated muddle headed little blasphemer?”
    When all else fails attack me personally. Denson I am no longer responding to anything you have to say.

    Hugh,
    Gal 3. Vs 16 clearly says that the seed is not many. It makes a specific point todeny that it is many. The elect are many. Ergo, your view is wrong. The seed is not the elect it is Chirst, singular not plural. I undersdtand vs 29 to be saying that the elect are united to the seed according to the COR. Not that the elect are the seed, por else vs 16 contradicts vs. 29.
    “Sean’s quote of 01/10/11 (3:01pm) speaks to Shelton’s question. WCF adherents have to disagree with FV & with Drake:
    …while Drake can’t believe his ears, the WCF states: “the Covenant of Grace: whereby he [God] freely offers unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in him, that they may be saved; and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto life his Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe” (WCF 7.3).
    Notice that the promise of the Holy Spirit is to “those that are ordained unto eternal life.” The promise is not to all men, nor to all who hear the Gospel, nor to all the baptized, nor to all who profess faith, but only to the elect, to “those who are ordained unto life.”
    I have adressed this on numerous occasions. The WCF is wrong here and the SOSK cleared it up later.
    “Notice also that the promise includes God’s making the elect “willing and able to believe.”
    You have yet to show that I teach against this. I teach that faith is the condition to receive forgiveness of sins and the holy spirit, and God gives the elect the condition as a gift and witholds it from the reprobate.
    “Belief is not a condition that sinners meet in order to receive covenant blessings;”
    Depending on which cov. blessing you are refering to this is heresy. The apostolic exhortation was believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. We believe after God regenerates us. Are you seriously teaching that God believes for us?
    “saving faith is itself a promised blessing of the Covenant of Grace.”
    How does that mean that we do not do the believing?

    Forum,
    I was asked to provide names of the men who have held my view of the Covenants: Those who have held that the COR is a distinct Covenant from the COG:
    The writers of the SOSK, Rutherford, David Dickson, James Durham, Patrick Gellespie, Hermann Witsius, Wilhelmus A’Brackel, Jonathan Edwards, and R.L. Dabney. There are more and they can be read in chapter seven of Geerhardus Vos, Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation. I cannot say that I have myself read Witsius, Wilhelmus A’Brackel, Jonathan Edwards, and R.L. Dabney explicitly say that unbelievers are in the COG but it seems an inevitable consequence form the delineation of parties between the Covenants. S soon as you move Christ out of the COG and put him in the COR the COG loses the implication that it is coextensive with salvation/election though I think Dabney tried something like that.

    As Sean knows, as he quoted an article by Matthew McMahon of apuritansmind.com McMahon holds to Rutherfords view. McMahon was the guy that did the most recent revision of Rutherford’s book, that the on one I read. Personally i was under the impression that the Scottish and Dutch puritans all held to this view. It has only been with in my experiences with the American Reformed that I find this hostility to this view.

  248. Drake Says:

    Hugh
    on the baptism and Passover statements I don’t think you got my argument. The argument in rhetorical form: why is Christ taking the signs and seals of the cog when he needs nothing that they sign and seal, namely, forgiveness of sins etc.

    I want to note the comments that are being made about Rutherford. Rutherford is not just a footnote type Presbyterian, he was like THE presbyterian in his day. He was considered the premier theologian of the Scottish church, he refuted the divine right of kings and was key in his influenes in the national covenants in scotland with his work Free Disputation. That is the elephant in your living room.

  249. Drake Says:

    I just remembered it was Rutherford’s Insistance that unbelievers are in the cog that based his ideas of a national covenant. He even promoted the idea of national baptism because of it. I forgot about that other huge elephant in your living room until now.

  250. Hugh McCann Says:

    D.,

    Per your “Gal 3. Vs 16 clearly says that the seed is not many. It makes a specific point to deny that it is many. The elect are many. Ergo, your view is wrong. The seed is not the elect it is Christ, singular not plural. I understand vs 29 to be saying that the elect are united to the seed according to the COR. Not that the elect are the seed, or else vs 16 contradicts vs. 29.”

    I only point out that v 16 precedes v 29. In “saying that the elect are united to the seed according to the COR,” you seem to concede that IN CHRIST we are one with Him.

    Being so united to Him, St Paul and I say that we elect are Abraham’s seed/ offspring only by virtue of our union and identification with our Lord Jesus Christ. We are ONE with the Seed! Agreed?

  251. Hugh McCann Says:

    I’ve never been elephant hunting, but Shelton encourages me!

    I think Rutherford’s more a Heffalump, however.

    We should only promote “a national covenant” & “national baptism” if these are duly enforced by the civil magistrate at the end of a sword! In hoc signo vinces!

  252. Hugh McCann Says:

    More from Paul the apostle ~

    Romans 4:11ff ~ He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of ALL WHO BELIEVE without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

    13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void.

    15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.

    16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed TO ALL HIS OFFSPRING/ SEED — not only to the adherent of the law, BUT ALSO TO THE ONE WHO SHARES IN THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM, who is the father OF US ALL,

    17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations” — in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

    18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your OFFSPRING/ SEED be.”

    ABE’S OFFSPRING/ SEED = CHRIST AND ALL THOSE IN HIM BY FAITH ALONE.

    Thank you,
    Hugh

  253. Sean Gerety Says:

    Haven’t been following any of this and have no idea what the video is supposed to mean, but some fresh meat for ya’ll to chew on:

    …now the orthodox and reformed church holdeth, that the covenant and promises are preached to the whole visible church, but for the Elects sake, and that however externally, the covenant of grace and promises be promulgated to everyone, and all within the lists of the visible church; yet they belong in God’s intention and gracious purpose only to the Elect of God (Samuel Rutherford, The Due Right of Presbyteries, p. 248).

    The invisible church; and not the visible church as it is such hath right to the sacraments, because these who have right to the covenant have right to the seals of the covenant; and this is Peter’s argument to prove the baptising of infants to be lawful (Acts 2:38­39). But only the invisible church hath right to the covenant. For God saith only of, and to the invisible church, and not to the visible church in his gracious purpose, Jer. 32:38, “And I will be their God and they shall be my people, Jer. 31:33, I will put my law in their inward parts and Jer. 31:34, They shall all know me (all within the covenant) I will forgive their iniquity. Now the visible church, as the visible church, is not within the covenant. Therefore the visible church, as the visible church, and being no more but the visible church, hath not right to the seals of the covenant, but insofar as God is their God, and they his pardoned and sanctified people, as it is, [in ­ GB] Jer. 31:33­34 (Samuel Rutherford, The Due Right of Presbyteries, 1644, SWRB reprint, 1995, p. 249).


  254. “He even promoted the idea of national baptism because of it.”
    Sounds like an elephant in *your* living room to me…

    Sean, thanks for those Rutherford quotes.

  255. Denson Dube Says:

    “… non elect who fall away from covenant promises..“
    The promises are not to the non-elect and so they never fall away from them. God’s covenant promises are never to the reprobate, those he has not predestined to save. There is no “well meant offer”!

    Rutherford’s convoluted thinking, has not done you any good. You do not make any sense at all.

    “When all else fails attack me personally.”
    What else is there left to do, since you are incorigibly irrational, and impervious to reason?

    “Denson I am no longer responding to anything you have to say.”
    As if this makes any difference! Your responses consist of repetition of the confusion in your mind, a waste of my time.

    regards,

    Denson

  256. lawyertheologian Says:

    It seems to me that Rutherford said that only believers, or more precisely the elect, are in the CoG. “They shall all know me (all within the covenant).”

    BTW, Drake, you seem to think that there are spiritual/redemptive and non spiritual/non redemptive promises to the CoG. I’m not sure if that makes sense; can one be a recipient of one and not the other? And BTW, which covenant, if any, are those who are members thereof guaranteed eternal life? The CoR?

  257. Denson Dube Says:

    Sean,
    Oh, thank you, thank you, Sean for that Rutherford quote!! I can´t believe that lying deceiver, Drake, with his pretence to scholarship and learning, that he would so grossly misrepresent Rutherford! What a shameless dog! But, come to think of it, I always thought Drake seemed to have problems with the English language!

    regards,

    Denson

  258. drake Says:

    Samuel Rutherford
    Covenant of Life Opened

    Pg. 134-137 Chapter title: “It is false that none are in the Covenant of the New Testament but Converts”

    “because there can be none (say Anabaptists) but real believers under the New Testament in covenant with God. Yea but the New testament offers Christ a Covenant , in the preached promises, alike to fathers and sons, Matthew 4:16, the people (fathers and sons) that sat in darkness saw great light…How can the Lord say, blessed be Egypt, and though the whole seed be visibly in Covenant, old and young, yet it followeth not that, therefore every promise that is absolute, that is, of a new heart is made to all and everyone within the Visible Covenant…the Lord calls them those whom he delivered out of Egypt his people…whether they have a new heart or not, the Lord calls them his people…so the Church of Corinth, 2 Corinthians 16, is called his people…many of them uncircumcised in heart…and with many of them God was not well pleased…and so it is most false that none are in Covenant under the New testament, but only believers; for Judas, Demas, Simon Magus, and all the externally called…are by their profession in Covenant externally”

    I could quote scores of more passages like this from his book.

  259. drake Says:

    From Seans’ first quote,

    “the covenant of grace and promises be promulgated to everyone, and all within the lists of the visible church;”

    Sean, you are a Baptist, after Denson’s comments, the overwhelming failure on the part of any Presbyterians to demonstrate warrant for infant Baptism, the overwheling failure to demonstrate the elect as the seed in Gal 3, failure to deal with Heb 10:29 and Heb 4:1, the slanderous crap about Rutherford’s views of the COG and Denson’s reprobate language I find this forum to be grossly guilty of violations of the 9th commandment and unworthy to engae in anymore. None of you are my brethren.

  260. Denson Dube Says:

    Drake,

    The Reformers persecuted Anabaptists and drowned Baptists for rejecting Roman Catholic baptism! They persecuted Baptists in the New World for teaching separation of state and church. Yet none of us follow them in these infelicities, now. They were just plain morons sometimes. It is idiotic to swallow everything the Reformers taught! Rutherford was self contradictory! The passages Drake quoted contradict what Sean quoted, more likely just expressions of prejudice against Anabaptists! Rutherford could not be caught ¨agreeing¨ with the Anabaptists! The Reformers could not accept that the Baptist/Anabaptists were ahead of them in understanding the Bible in many ways.

    I for one cannot abandon logic to follow Rutherford(One man!)
    “ ..Denson’s reprobate language …“
    LOL! Then you haven´t been reading the Bible!

    “I find this forum to be grossly guilty of violations of the 9th commandment and unworthy to engae in anymore. None of you are my brethren.“
    The ninth commandment, the ninth commandment! This is familiar language from certain quarters!

    And goodbye and good riddance!

    regards,

    Denson

  261. Sean Gerety Says:

    From Seans’ first quote,

    “the covenant of grace and promises be promulgated to everyone, and all within the lists of the visible church;”

    Sean, you are a Baptist…None of you are my brethren.

    Oh, my. Well since the quotations are from Rutherford, who, not surprisingly repeats the position of the WCF, the same one John Robbins defends, then I guess Rutherford is a Baptist too. I’d say I’m in good company, even if you think everyone here are reprobates. Yet, it seems to me that you are the one unwilling – or would that be unable – to learn.

    Is it possible that you have confused the external administration of the CoG with its substance? Oh, that’s right, it’s not possible because you had a seminarian roommate and thought about this topic for many months so even when Rutherford’s own words refute you everyone is a reprobate and you’re the poor beleaguered victim.

    And, Denson, tone it down a notch. I do think you’ve crossed the line in some of your personal attacks against Drake and I think you owe him an apology.

  262. Denson Dube Says:

    Drake,
    I would like to apologise to Drake and this forum unreservedly for causing offence in my personal attacks on Drake. I do realise I could have disagreed with him without calling him names! Please do forgive me, Drake, and everyone in this forum.

    regards,

    Denson

  263. lawyertheologian Says:

    The fact that Rutherford adds the word “externally” after “Covenant” suggests that those are not internally in the Covenant, though I do think it is a mistake to view the CoG similar to the Covenant of Circumcision (the Old Covenant). Again, the New Covenant is not like the Old Covenant. As the WCF expresses it, the CoG was administered differently in the Old Covenant under the law, than it is now in the New Covenant under grace. The CoG is not the New Covenant; the NC is the CoG administerered in this new era of grace after the death of Christ. Drake doesn’t seem to get this.

  264. Sean Gerety Says:

    Thank you Denson for your apology to Drake.

    And, Pat, good point. Not bad coming from a genuine Baptist 😉


  265. Drake, it seems that, since you view *everyone* in this thread as having a Baptistic view of the covenants, you are judging us all as non-Christians. Thanks for finally showing us how you really feel about Baptists.

  266. lawyertheologian Says:

    Sean, that is what all true Baptists (Reformed, 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith) believe. In fact, it is where we believe paedobaptists (which all Presbyterians are) go wrong in overly stressing the continuity of the Covenant(s). The New Covenant is for believers only, not they and their children. One enters into it by spiritual birth not physical birth.

  267. lawyertheologian Says:

    Agg! “Baptists” is the word I wanted. I need a preview button.


  268. Thanks for that last post Pat. Although technically you could be a Presbyterian & not a Paedobaptist, just as you could be a Paedobaptist & not a Presbyterian (Owen). It partially depends on one’s definition of “Presbyterian.” But I suppose that’s another conversation…

  269. lawyertheologian Says:

    Yes Pat, a Presbyterian is really one who adheres to the Presbyterian polity, which is what the term is meant to refer to (though, it actually simply refers to “old men/Elders”). Many use the term Presbyterian to refer to their paedobaptist view, which traditionally/historically is what all Presebyterians hold.

  270. Hugh McCann Says:

    Yea, Pat! 🙂 ~ ‘the New Covenant IS NOT LIKE the Old Covenant. As the WCF expresses it, the CoG was administered differently in the Old Covenant under the law, than it is now in the New Covenant under grace. The CoG IS NOT the New Covenant; the NC is the CoG administered in this new era of grace after the death of Christ. Drake doesn’t seem to get this.’

    Aye, there’s the rub! Along with Sean & Shelton playing dueling quotes.

    Pat, did you mean: ‘The New Covenant is for BAPTISTS only, not they and their children,’ when you wrote, ‘“Baptists” is the word I wanted.’?

    DS saith: Sean, you are a Baptist [Read:’Damned’?], after Denson’s comments,

    the overwhelming failure on the part of any Presbyterians to demonstrate warrant for infant Baptism,
    {Didn’t know that was their responsibility here.]

    the overwhelming failure to demonstrate the elect as the seed in Gal 3,
    [V.29 SAYS ‘THE ELECT (in Christ) ARE ABE’S SEED,’ FOR THE 3rd OR 4th TIME…]

    failure to deal with Heb 10:29 and Heb 4:1,
    [Like Heb.6, 2Pet.2:1, Jude4, these are false professors (whether Baptist or Presby) who fall away from the visible church, the cov’t promises, etc. ‘They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.’ 1Jn 2:19.]

    the slanderous crap about Rutherford’s views of the COG
    [Only cuz you & Sean produce contradictory statements from SR. BTW: SR ain’t the ultimate authority; nor the SOSK (whatever that is), not even the vaunted WCF.]

    and Denson’s reprobate language I find this forum to be grossly guilty of violations of the 9th commandment and unworthy to engage in anymore. None of you are my brethren.
    [Oh my, my, and boo-hoo!]

    None of you are my brethren. [You said it, Primo.]
    None of you are my brethren.
    None of you are my brethren.
    None of you are my brethren.

    …It just got quiet in here w/o our Shelton. 😦

  271. lawyertheologian Says:

    “Pat, did you mean: ‘The New Covenant is for BAPTISTS only, not they and their children,’ when you wrote, ‘“Baptists” is the word I wanted.’?”

    I assume you are asking me this (LT, hey,let’s be consistent with the name references here: I’m LT, Patrick T is Pat, Shelton is Drake and Sean is Sean).

    No, I was referring to true Baptists, not Baptist. Sean has corrected this for me.

    Hugh, your posts are hard to read (as also Drake’s) because you seem to write like adolescents (no offense) with too much shorthand and abbreviations, and everything is so packed together that I don’t know whose statements are whose. Also, you also seem to be becoming overly personal in your remarks. Okay, this isn’t my blog, but I just thought I’d offer my opininion on how to make this blog better.


  272. LT, pardon me for speaking for Hugh, but I’m fairly certain that comment was intended as a joke (look where he inserted the word “Baptists”… obviously the NC isn’t just for Baptists!). Of course, I may have misread Hugh myself…

  273. Hugh McCann Says:

    Thanks, LT,

    for clearing up my ‘PAT’ confusion. I’ll not go into an old SNL routine…

    I was confused by these:

    lawyertheologian Says:
    January 13, 2011 at 11:16 am
    Sean, that is what all true Baptists (Reformed, 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith) believe. In fact, it is where we believe paedobaptists (which all Presbyterians are) go wrong in overly stressing the continuity of the Covenant(s). The New Covenant is for believers only, not they and their children. One enters into it by spiritual birth not physical birth.

    lawyertheologian Says:
    January 13, 2011 at 11:20 am
    Agg! “Baptists” is the word I wanted. I need a preview button.

    But yes, Patrick, I was trying to be funny.

    Sorry if I offended anyone beside Drake.

  274. Hugh McCann Says:

    Now I’m missing Drake!
    …..;)

  275. pat Says:

    Not for anything, but I’m not sure why Drake wouldn’t accept the external/internal distinction. Again, I don’t think it is quite accurate to say that one is in the CoG externally (though maybe it is okay to say that one is in the visible church externally)for the CoG is a spiritual relationship. Again, not all those in the Covenant of Circumcision were in the CoG, the CoC being an external covenant picturing the CoG. I think Rutherford and other paedobaptists get themselves twisted up in inconsistencies by not affirming the above.

  276. Hugh McCann Says:

    Pat,

    “Not for anything, but I’m not sure why Drake wouldn’t accept the external/ internal distinction.”
    >>Amen. This was most frustrating, as were his other inabilities/ unwillingness to see.

    “Again, I don’t think it is quite accurate to say that one is in the CoG externally (though maybe it is okay to say that one is in the visible church externally) for the CoG is a spiritual relationship. Again, not all those in the Covenant of Circumcision were in the CoG, the CoC being an external covenant picturing the CoG.”
    >> This makes sense, so it’ll prolly be derided and derailed. OT Jews and Jesus got a CoW; the elect (some in Israel, and NT believers) get grace. The Bible calls simply it the new covenant.

    “I think Rutherford and other paedobaptists get themselves twisted up in inconsistencies by not affirming the above.”
    >> Not knowing SR beyond the contradictory, dueling quotes from Drave & Sean, I here concur.

  277. pat Says:

    Hey, all of a sudden I became “Pat” again instead of “lawyertheologian!”

    Hugh, what is “prolly?”

    I’m not sure I agree that the OT Jews got a CoW except that the CoC was that to them if they didn’t believe in Christ the Seed.

    Also the New Covenant didn’t exist in the OT era.

  278. Hugh McCann Says:

    Well, the bloggy-thing-a-ma-jig sez ‘Pat.’ I dunno who you are.

    ‘Prolly’ = probably.

    (‘Dunno’ = I don’t know.)

    Amen & amen to your clarifications.


  279. It was me and my computer who accidentally changed my username.

    Sorry, I kind of knew what was meant by the slang but being a lawyer and theologian, I don’t care much for such butchering of the English language.

  280. Hugh McCann Says:

    I getcha, being a sometimes English teacher and a Bible student (theologian).

    Being with friends @ G’s H, and bloggin’, I guess I feel too at home.


  281. An English teacher using terms like “getcha and “bloggin'”?” You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

    What is “G’s H”?

  282. Hugh McCann Says:

    LT,

    “G’s H” stands for God’s Hammer.

    May I ask who you are and where you went to seminary?

    I apologize if my colloquialisms offended you.

    I mean no disrepect to Sean, but this is a blog; we’re not writing theological papers or legal briefs! Though we may, I suppose.

    Hugh


  283. Hugh, You lazy bastard. You can’t even write out “God’s Hammer.”

    See my blog lawyertheologian@wordpress.com for info on me.

    One doesn’t need to have attended a seminary to be a theologian.

    I think we should always try to write and speak in a correct manner.

    No I’m not offended.

  284. Hugh McCann Says:

    LT,

    I’m not finding your name at your blog. Did I miss a page?

    Why not apply your blog rule to your conduct here?: “Comments should avoid making disparaging personal remarks.”

    Your crude name-calling is unbecoming. To do so after complaining about my colloquialisms, seems almost hypocritical, doesn’t it?

    Of course ‘one doesn’t need to have attended a seminary to be a theologian,’ but one does need a driver’s license to techincally/ legally be a driver, doesn’t one?

    One can weekly hit a bucket of balls and call himself a tennis player or a golfer, but it’s a stretch.

    You no doubt earned a law degree and passed your state’s bar exam, and are licensed to practice law. Hence, you rightly call yourself a lawyer.

    ‘Theologian’* denotes more than studied interest (and much more than a hobby), as ‘lawyer’ denotes more than law student.

    Of course, in our day and age, everyone with an opinion considers himself an authority on religion, faith, and God.

    Since you are meticulous about language, however, you may want to rethink using a term that gives the appearance of more than mere study (however earnest or extensive you may feel this to be), and would sound as pompous to those who are true theologians,* as would a paralegal calling himself a ‘lawyer.’

    Just a thought,
    Hugh

    * Though I imagine truly regenerate theologians would be too humble even to label themselves as such. Does not the term denote one whose livelihood is obtained by preaching and teaching God’s word?


  285. Hugh,

    My name is Patrick Sciacca.

    Sorry about my abrasive locker room jesting.

    No I don’t think the term theologian denotes one whose livelihood is obtained by preaching and teaching God’s word but one who is well versed (a specialist)in theology, which of course many preachers are, and in which I believe myself also to be. I have been studying theology a lot longer than law, and I am well more versed in the former.

    Let’s not discuss any more of this here. You can post to my blog.

  286. Hugh McCann Says:

    LT,

    Thanks, Patrick,

    I tried posting to your latest entry, “What is Love,” but comments there are closed.

    God is of course PATIENT, and he is KIND. Thankfully, in his _agape_ (Jn 3:16, et. al.; his essential self), God has chosen to think well of sinners and to treat us well regardless of what we are like.

    He calls us to the same, even to loving our enemies.

    Clearly, we are not commanded to love from a feeling we have, but as a matter of our choosing/ being willing, just as our heavenly Father has done.

    1 Jn 3:1 ~ ‘See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.’

    3:23 ~ ‘And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.’

    4:9f ~ ‘In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.’

    Just wondering, why are you “sorry” about “your abrasive locker room jesting”? I.e. are you repenting of a sin, or merely informing us of how you’re feeling?

    Hugh


  287. Hugh,

    This isn’t the place for this. Let’s not hijack Sean’s blog.

  288. Hugh McCann Says:

    Agreed. Thank you.

  289. Steve M Says:

    Over on ReformedForum they had a program devoted to a complete distortion of the nature of the Clark-Van Til controversy. In the comment section I posted the following:

    I am still waiting for any Van Tilian to explain why it is OK to state that the Godhead is one person and three persons but there is something wrong with saying that Christ was one person and two persons. Which of his natures was impersonal? Was it his human nature or his divine nature?

    I want to be clear that I am not asserting that Christ is both one person and two persons, but I was looking to see how a Van Tilian could rule out the possiblity.

    No Van Tilian has responded thus far.

  290. LJ Says:

    Steve M:

    I am fairly new to this blog myself even though I have been a devotee of GHC since 1995. I don’t recall you contributing to God’s Hammer until recently, but I may be wrong.

    Having said that, in the short time I have had the pleasure of reading your posts, here and elsewhere, I find your ability to reason and present your case, i.e., argue, to be outstanding.

    As an example I hope you don’t mind my copying and pasting just one of your posts from another blog? Keep up the good work brother, you encourage me!

    Here for your reading pleasure is Steve M taking on some Van Tilians:

    “The common ground we have with the unbeliever is our knowledge of God”
    “I deny common ground with the natural man”

    It is obvious that these statements are only “apparently” contradictory, thus we should make no attempt to reconcile them. We should just embrace them. Of course we should reject any real contradictions (if it were possible for us to tell them apart from the apparent).

    I am aware that I need to guard against being too logical. That is a very dangerous thing. We must all be sure to mix some irrationally with our logic. Unfortunately, it is difficult for me to know exactly how much irrationality to mix in or why I should retain any logic at all.

    According to Dr. Oliphant everything is the opposite of what it is. Maybe that is a bit overstated. Everything only appears to be the opposite what it is. Maybe everything is simply an analogy of what it is. He doesn’t like the word analogy. The truth man can know is different from the truth God knows but somehow still true. Maybe the falsehoods that we believe are also analogical and therefore not really false. Maybe there is no distinction between truth and falsehood.

    I think Dr. Oliphant is very confused. Maybe he is only apparently confused. I don’t intend to try to determine which is the case, because I would have to resort to the use of logic and I don’t understand when I am supposed to use it and when I am not. I don’t understand when the laws apply and when they don’t. I gathered from his interview that we should put logic aside when it leads us to a conclusion with which he would disagree.

    I was interested in his defense of Van Til’s odd view of the trinity, but without applying logic to the scriptures, how do we arrive at the doctrine of the Trinity at all?

  291. Steve M Says:

    LJ

    I thank you for your comments. I am quite flattered to hear your opinion. I wish that I could be half the warrior for truth that John Robbins was. I believe that I owe a great deal to both Gordon Clark and John Robbins. I hope to build on the tremendous work that they have done and maybe go even farther than they did in arguing for the truth of Scripture and against the distortions presented by those who pretend to be defending the faith, but are really (as John Robbins said) defending something else; something non-Christian.

  292. David Reece Says:

    It is so nice to find other real Christians … Scripturalists.


  293. Maybe VanTillians don’t like Clark’s pantheism. Or maybe his hyper-calvinism, or his irrational belief that sensations are unreliable which negates his starting axiom about scripture (which cannot be accessed without sensation).

    But both VT and Clark are wrong about the doctrine of endless torment and that’s the real problem!


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