February 14, 2011

Why the Trinity is Non-Negotiable

Four reasons why the Trinity cannot be compromised:

1. The Trinity is integrally correlated to salvation, Christian identity and baptism, at least according to the Great Commission. Matthew 28:19

2. Apart from the Trinity, there is no salvation. We come to the eternal Father only through the eternal Son in the eternal Spirit. Ephesians 2:18

3. The Trinity is integral to revelation. If the Father does not send the Spirit to testify of the Son, we would not know who He is. John 14:26

4. The Trinity is integral to creation. The Father willed creation; the Word (Son) spoke creation; the Spirit formed creation. Genesis 1:1-3

Conclusion: If the Trinity--the one God existing eternally in the three persons of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit--is integral to creation, revelation, salvation and the Great Commission, then the doctrine of the Trinity is non-negotiable, is it not?

February 10, 2011

Fullerism as Opposed to Calvinism

A. Chadwick Mauldin has accomplished the rare feat of having a ThM thesis published as a book. Due to this rarity, two glowing endorsements from Baptist studies professors at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, and a foreword written by a major Baptist historian from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, Mauldin's book obviously deserves attention. If you have any interest in Baptist identity, Calvinism, and missiology, you will want to read this. My own endorsement follows:
With this important book, a young and rising scholar, Chadwick Mauldin, enters the intense conversation about Baptists and Calvinism with a novel yet stunningly accurate thesis. Andrew Fuller is the theological giant who led the Baptists to inaugurate the modern missions movement and it is his theological principles that define contemporary Baptists more adequately than the undeniable yet mitigated principles of the Genevan Reformer, John Calvin. This book will set the debates regarding Baptist identity on a new and proper track.

For more information about Fullerism as Opposed to Calvinism: A Historical and Theological Comparison of the Missiology of Andrew Fuller and John Calvin, see here and here.

February 1, 2011

The Church ~ A Bride, A Building, A Body

SBC Life Focus on Doctrine

It is common to describe relationships, such as that between two lovers, through similes and metaphors. For instance, one may say to a beloved, "I miss you like the flower misses the rain." Or, "Our love is forever in bloom." In referring to a flower, the speaker does not literally mean the two lovers have petals, anthers, and stamens. The point in the first statement, a simile, is that the lover longs for the beloved; the point in the second, a metaphor, is that their love is constantly experiencing new life. Such images are not intended for scientific detail. Rather, they evoke profound truths individual words are unable to convey on their own.

Biblical metaphors allow us to understand more clearly the mysteries of God. For example, when Paul spoke of the relationship between a husband and wife, his purpose was to reveal a deeper "mystery" (see the Ephesians discussion below). The relationship a husband has with his wife is supposed to model a spiritual truth concerning Christ and His church.

This is only one of the metaphors Scripture uses to describe the church. There are nearly one hundred such images in the New Testament, images that reveal the church for what it is theologically. Three of the more significant metaphors reveal that the church's relationship with God is one of utmost proximity. In the metaphors of the church as a bride, a building, and a body, we learn that our life as a community of disciples proceeds from within the life of the God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three metaphors unfold the mystery of Christ's intimate relationship with His beloved church.

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