The Trinity and the God who Became Man – Premier Thought for the Day

This weeks Premier ‘Thought for the Day” – The Trinity, the Divinity of Jesus and the God who became man.

Like the others it is based on Magnificent Obsession – this time chapter 6.  I also used this chapter last Sunday evening as a source for the Sunday evening apologetic sermon on the Eternity and unchangeableness of God.  Here are a few quotes from that chapter.

Once you see that God is eternal, you will never again ask the question, ‘who or what made God?” You will see that the question does not make sense. Keith Ward

“None of these provincials, or their deity, seems to have any idea of a world beyond the desert, the flocks and the herds, and the imperatives of nomadic substances”. (Christopher Hitchins).

 “If you take Christ out of Christian, you just have ian. And Ian won’t save you” (Michael Ramsden – European Director of Ravi Zacharias Ministries).

Long ago the early African Christian Augustine who admittedly lived in the desert but could hardly by any qualification be called ignorant or illiterate, recognised that we need to be really careful when talking about the Trinity. When the question is asked ‘what three?’ human language labours altogether under great poverty of speech. The answer, however, is given, three ‘persons’, not that it might be completely spoken, but that it might not be left wholly unspoken”. (Augustine On The Trinity, Book V, Ch. 9).

. “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” (1 John 5:18).

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.

3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (John 1).

“This the postulate of a designer or creator only raises the unanswerable question of who designed the designer or created the creator. Religion and theology and theodicy have consistently failed to overcome this objection” (Hitchens p.71). Again showing his basic ignorance of both theology and Christianity.

When asked by the Edge Foundation, “What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?’ Dawkins replied: I believe that all life, all intelligence, all creativity and all design anywhere in the universe, is the direct or indirect product of Darwinian natural selection.” (Cited in Flew P.xix) 

Let me give you another mind-blowing passage from one of those ignoramuses who had no idea of a world beyond the desert – Paul wrote about Jesus – He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together (Colossians 1:15-17).

“For our God, Jesus Christ, now that He is with the Father, is all the more revealed in His glory. Christianity is not a thing of silence only but of manifold greatness. “ (Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans, Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol 1 p.75.

For Christ is King, and Priest, and God, and Lord, and angel, and man, and captain, and stone, and a Son born, and first made subject to suffering, then returning to heaven, and again coming with glory, and He is preached as having the everlasting kingdom: so I prove from all the Scriptures” (Dialogue with Trypho, Ante-Nicene Fathers VOl1 P.211.)

As Athanasius of Alexandria stated ‘ he became what we are, that we might become what he is.

Calvin as always puts if clearly – “For the same reason it was also imperative that he who was to become our Redeemer be true God and true man. It was his task to swallow up death. Who but the Life could do this? It was his task to conquer sin. Who but very Righteousness could do this? It was his task to rout the powers of world and air. Who but a power higher than world and air could do this? Now where does life or righteousness, or lordship and authority of heaven lie but with God alone? Therefore our most merciful God, when he willed that we be redeemed, made himself our Redeemer in the person of his only-begotten Son (Romans 5:8). (Institutes 2:12:2)

And I love the way a much earlier Christian described the incarnation – “He that hung up n the earth in space was Himself hanged up; he that fixed the heavens was fixed with nails; He that bore up the earth was borne up on a tree; the Lord of all was subjected to ignominy in a naked body – God put to death! The King of Israel slain with Israel’s right hand!” (Melito – Ad 160-177 The Philosopher – Anti-Nicene Fathers vol 8. P.257.

. It is the Spirit who now takes all these glorious truths about Jesus and applies them to people. “The Holy Spirit is the bond by which Christ effectually unites us to himself” (Institutes 3:1:1).

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14),

The Resurrection – The Best Starting Point for the Gospel – Magnificent Obsession

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “The Trinity and the God who Became Man – Premier Thought for the Day

  1. David. Thanks for that. I read The Wee Flea avidly and really appreciate your doing it. Just one tweak I would suggest to this post in regard to labelling the quotations. It was the **Ante**-Nicene Fathers (ante with an ‘e’), meaning ‘before the Council of Nicaea’, not ‘against’ it (anti with an ‘i’).

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  2. Theological conundrums only confuse the average mind.
    Prefer Paul’s reasoning. One Lord, Jesus Christ, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and in all. No confusion there!

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  3. ““None of these provincials, or their deity, seems to have any idea of a world beyond the desert, the flocks and the herds, and the imperatives of nomadic substances”. (Christopher Hitchins).”

    Then Hitchins cannot have read the Bible with much care. Some of it can with some degree of accuracy be described in that (reductive) manner – but most of it cannot. Psalm 8 cannot. Nor can Isaiah 40-55. And that is just for starters. But if he has not, his opinion of it is of no value. One has no right to complain of Homer, Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, Milton, St Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, or the Bible, if one has not read them; or of any other author, for that matter. If one is familiar with the Bible, Hitchens’ remark comes across as ignorant.

    A “new atheist” is someone who is more impressed by the fact that people do not dream long and complex allegories such as “Piers Plowman” or “The Pilgrim’s Progress”, than by what figures such as Lady Fee (in the former) or Apollyon (in the latter) were created to symbolise.

    The “new atheists” and their followers often come across as philistine, not because they are not Christian, but because they seem to be incapable of realising their debt to the culture they so despise – a culture which is partly Hebraic, partly Greco-Roman, for long Jewish & Christian, and only in part influenced by the physical sciences. Christianity is harmed not at all by acknowledging the contribution of the physical sciences, because all truth is God’s; but Hitchens and those of like mind with him display the very same tunnel-vision that they deplore in Evangelical Fundamentalists.

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