If Jesus had not died also for the very worst sins, he need not have bothered to die at all. [3/11/07]
The Cross in combination with the Resurrection, Ascension, Pentecost, and Destruction of Jerusalem is meant as the summary explanation of “how the world works” in the hands of God. If this Story gets garbled (as indeed it has been at the hands of many a theologian), life won’t seem to quite square with the Gospel. Sometimes the disparity, dissonance, disjunction, or disconnect becomes severe. This is a high price to pay for remaining attached even to only a “slightly different” gospel that, in the end, simply does not line up with Scripture as it stands. [3/13/07]
In the final analysis, the actual truth about the so-called “Atonement” has a “monolithic oneness” about it that attests immeasurably to its validity and sweeps away the fragmented theories of contenders….while salvaging the solid gems and jewels of truth, but now integrated into a coherent image. [3/17/07]
Jesus’ own special moment in the spotlight was on the cross. Here, in resolute, tried and true faithfulness, he alone bore the brunt of human wrath and Satanic fury. Even the Father turned away from him (although not in wrath, by any means!)…
But then came his resurrection, when the Father was spotlighted uniquely, in righteousness, by raising the Son from the dead. Thus, the respective roles of each have their proper turn in the limelight of the unfolding panorama of the grand Proclamation of God’s always coming Kingdom.
And the Holy Spirit? We all know that Pentecost was the special moment where the galactic tidal wave of God’s own Spirit finally hit planet earth…because of what the Son and the Father had covenantally fulfilled in concert. [3/27/07]
The Crucifying of the Just One triggered a compensatory EXPLOSION OF GRACIOUSNESS that spread the fallout of divine debris over the entire planet to settle like manna and feed all nations. [02/26/07]
God has this knack of transmuting the adverse and negative, i.e., evil, elements in our experience into good. This is the ultimate lesson of the “Crossurrection” events. God TRANSMUTED THE DROSS OF THE CROSS INTO THE PURE GOLD OF THE RESURRECTION so that we would take hope in a similar outcome from our own “furnace” or “crucible” experiences. God has the Midas touch when it comes to the gross dross of our afflictions, which so severely try us. Let us stay expectant and not lose faith. [3/07/07]
“No good deed will go unpunished,” because there is a Devil; but no undeserved punishment will go unrequited, because there is a God. [02/08/07]
To teach that Jesus, the Son, had to “intervene” between the Father and sinners in order to render God “propitious” ironically dishonors the Father’s own predisposition to forgive sins instead of revealing that predisposition, as we should expect the Son to do. Indeed, quite the contrary, Jesus paid the heavy price to prove how his Father felt even toward his enemies and tormentors. This truth is seriously compromised and muffled by a penal atonement rationale, to the untold loss of the Truth and its consolations. [02/13/07]
At the Cross, Jesus achieved a beautiful deed of family love simultaneously for his Father in Heaven and his brethren on earth. At the Resurrection, God reciprocated by fulfilling a justifying act of love simultaneously for His agelong, only-born Son and his whole prospective family of adopted children. These were matching acts of graciousness. [02/14/07]
In God’s economy, the greater the sacrifice, the greater the winnings, i.e., the overcompensating award. [02/02/07]
A God who can atone for sins by restoring a Victim from, and overcompensating him for, their evil effects is surely capable of pardoning them gratuitously without exacting full retribution for them, whenever He wishes to! His Proclamation emphatically teaches that He wants to do so whenever there is a change of mind coupled with trust. Moreover, this indicates a very different kind of necessity for the Cross than our traditions have passed along—one that hinges on its purpose to demonstrate what God is willing and more than willing to work for each one of us as well! This is a mighty “objective” exhibit with a compelling “moral influence” well beyond the range and scope of hapless traditional atonement “theories” to effect hitherto. Indeed, there is nothing theoretical about this Explanation. This is the real McCoy.
Furthermore, such a stunning demonstration argues much, much more than a somewhat passively defensive posture of “allowing” or “permitting” or “making possible” or “enabling” divine forgiveness; IT ENABLED GOING ON THE OFFENSIVE WITH A TORRENTIAL DOWNPOUR OF GRACIOUSNESS FROM GOD’S THRONE THAT STUFFS US WITH THE POSITIVE BENEFACTIONS OF MESSIAH’S OWN JUST AWARD! And although none of this is imaginary, yet it does certainly stretch our imaginations to grasp and securely embrace it from day to day amid the “boring” and bland, the blue and blustery circumstances of workaday duties and routines. But part of the deal is the Holy Spirit to “help our infirmities” and accompany us over the hurdles that seem to slow our progress, whereas actually they toughen our muscles and tone us up. Let’s rejoice! The joy of the Lord is our strength! [02/04/07]
“Only the grace of God” got Jesus through his crucifixion and out the other side! It is precisely because God’s graciousness and non-stop favor got him through his ordeal that we too can take courage in our own trials. That’s how the cross of Messiah works in our consciousness: always in tandem with his resurrection that proved that God was and ever had been totally pleased with His only-born Son’s faithfully obedient and submissive attitude and outward demeanor—his every thought, word, and deed—lifelong! He thereby won for us sinners a torrential downpour of graciousness and pardon. [01/31/07]
For a single brilliant, fleeting moment, Martin Luther appeared to capture the joyous, exuberant reality of God’s righteousness as His saving justice. But the first flush of that dawning realization was rapidly quenched in a flurry of scholastic backpedaling and the cold illogic of “penal substitution.” Yet Luther’s first impression was correct and its “corrections” are doomed. The systematizers got re-entangled in Augustinian and Anselmian snares and even did them one better by plugging loopholes. The result was even more monolithic and monstrous. [01/31/07]
The central point of Philippians chapter two is that Messiah Jesus, “belonging in a form of God, deems it not exploiting to be equal with God, nevertheless…humbles himself, becoming obedient….” In other words, while sitting on the throne of God in divine good form, the Son agreed to become permanently subject and obedient to his Father’s desire (although he had desires of his own that he might have fulfilled otherwise) in order that he might receive the exaltation and glory that only his Father could give him, as a demonstration and example to mankind of the extraordinary value that God places on obedience, plus the great graciousness that He rewards it with. This is the proper path of sonship with the rewards that follow it, all displayed openly on the historical stage of human events. Now it’s our turn to show our stuff by walking in his footprints.
The evidence that this is the main point of Philippians two is found in verse 12 and following: “So that, my beloved, just as you always obey…with fear and trembling, be elaborating your own salvation, for it is God who is operating in you [just as He did in Messiah!] to be desiring as well as to be operating for the sake of His delight” (Philippians 2:12-13), just as, by His powerful Wholesome Spirit, He did in Jesus! It’s all right there! He set the pace! He’s the Forerunner, our Champion, not our “substitute.” Of course he did on our behalf what only an Only-born of God could do, yet precisely SO THAT we would follow, imitating and emulating him, doing, in amazing fact, “even greater works” than he! That’s our noble legacy and high destiny! HE SHOWED US HOW TO OBEY, YES. BUT EVEN MORE, BY HIS UNIQUE (BECAUSE COMPLETELY FLAWLESS) OBEDIENCE HE ALSO WON ON OUR BEHALF THE SUPERABUNDANT AWARD OF THE SPIRIT OF WHOLESOMSNESS AND (therefore) OF LIFE, IN ORDER TO MAKE OUR OWN “COPYCAT” OBEDIENCE POWERFULLY POSSIBLE! To be sure, there is power in his blood for the simple reason that the Spirit of power was rightfully shed abroad in answer to its wrongful shedding. [01/28/07]
[Karl] Barth makes favourable reference to [Edward] Irving’s doctrine in Church Dogmatice I/2 p. 154. — Colin Gunton, “Two Dogmas Revisited: Edward Irving’s Christology,” in Scottish Journal of Theology, Vol. 41 (1988), 359-76 [p. 365, footnote 14]. [01/28/07]
If, as Edward Irving affirmed, the Messiah’s priestly office derives from his resurrection (even as his prophetical office derives from his baptism), thus enabling him only thereafter to immerse others in the Holy Spirit, then this must be because the atoning work of our Chief Priest also derives from the cleansing power released at his resurrection, bringing into existence for the very first time an OVERCOMPENSATING SUPERABUNDANCE OF THE SPIRIT OF GRACIOUSNESS AS THE PROPERLY JUST REPAYMENT FOR THE UNJUSTIFIED BRUTALITY OF HIS CROSS. [01/28/07]