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The Nature of Man

The thought that the body is a vehicle for our soul is not a biblical view. This is a pagan view on the nature of man. A view that looks for an escape from the body and focusses on the escalation of the soul. Man was not a created as a house to be inhabited by a previously prepared soul

“then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” (Genesis 2:7 ESV)

In regard to the creation and nature of man we hold:
1. The body was created good. In creation the body is made and there is nothing inherently sinful making it a source of sin. Sin begins in the spirit of man. There is a distinction in humanity from everything, and that is that we are fashioned in the image of God the Creator.
2. Death is not natural for man. Human death is the consequence of sin.
3. Body and spirit are not in conflict. The human person is the unity of the two and is the image of God. (more…)

Vos: What Points of Reformed Theology are Related to the Doctrine of Predestination?

vos_geerhardus_bIn Dogmatics Vol 1., p 98 Vos answers the question, “At what points is the doctrine of predestination or election related to the rest of Reformed doctrine as a whole?” In other words “What other areas in Reformed theology are connected or impacted from the doctrine of predestination?” Vos answers with five points: God’s Sovereignty, Human Inability, Mystical Union with Christ, and the Perseverance of the Saints.

First, the doctrine of predestination or election is a direct consequence of the Reformed concept (shaped by Scripture) of God’s sovereignty. During the period of the Reformation, one came to the doctrine of predestination one of two ways. Either starting with man and his salvation (Luther) or starting from the doctrine of God (Calvin and Zwingli). Starting with God, Calvin held that the creature, even at it’s highest importance, is still subordinate to God. Vos argues that to deny the doctrine of predestination is ultimately to deny the sovereignty of God. To deny the sovereignty of God is to go against the clear teachings of Scripture. (more…)

Mark Jones on Images of Jesus – We Live By Faith Not Sight

Mark Jones writes for Reformation21.org. It’s a blog site that, honestly, I read because Carl Trueman & Scott Oliphint contribute. That said, it isn’t a place that I frequently visit. But today I ran across this article on images of Jesus. I honestly never thought when I first came to the PCA as an ordained minister that this would be a debated issue. In this article, Mark appeals to the fact that we will see Christ one day with our eyes. For now, we live by faith and therefore we see Christ by faith. He also appeals to the fact of the beatific vision being a basis for any image, not just falling short, but being totally inadequate to capture a true sense of the risen Christ. You can read the article in its entirety here.

Outside the Church There is No Salvation

ImageThe church is the primary work of the holy Trinity. The product of the work that takes place in history is the church. The church is the plan of God from eternity past.

Christ is our high priest. One of the functions of being a high priest is that Christ as a mediator. Christ is interceding between two parties. The first party is God the Father. God the Father cannot be approached unless there is a mediator between him and the party who wants to come to him. To approach God the Father outside of a mediator whom He has ordained results in the judgment of God. The only mediator that God has ordained is Christ Jesus, and the only party that Jesus mediates on behalf of is the church. The church is the object of the mediatorial work of Jesus.  (more…)

Images of Jesus: Modern Day Nestorianism

Greg Koukl is an apologist that I’ve always respected and enjoyed. I’ve been listening to him off and on for over 10 years at str.org. However I viewed a video where Koukl defends images of Jesus. Why? Because they depict his humanity and not his deity. This is in part the problem with images of Jesus. Because they only depict one nature. They therefore separate the person of Christ by separating the natures of Christ. This is clearly in the land of Nestorianism. A separation of the natures of Christ is heretical because now we no longer have Christ.  (more…)

Another Reformed Look at the Incarnation

calvinIn discussions against Calvinism it appears that little is remembered about the reasons for a Reformed anthropology. Part of this can also be seen in the Reformed understanding of the person and work of Jesus. Christ’s work is directly related to who he is. This Christmas we focus often on the birth of Christ and we can also take the time to be reminded of the significance of the Incarnation. The unique identity of Jesus determines the efficacy of his work. Why was it that God must be the one would be the Messiah? Calvin speaks in the Institutes (II, 12.3) that Jesus had to be God because only a Messiah who was simultaneously God and man could obey God on our behalf: (more…)

What are the “keys of the Kingdom”?

Matt 16:18-19 And I tell you,  you are Peter, and  on this rock  I will build my church, and  the gates of  hell  shall not prevail against it. I will give you  the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and  whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed  in heaven.”

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