Archive for July, 2020

Those Who Have Joined the Great Cloud of Witnesses

July 21, 20

Nabeel Qureshi, R.C. Sproul, Billy Graham, Norman Geisler, Larry Hurtado, Steve Hays of Triablogue, Ravi Zacharias, and now J.I. Packer. Many

God may have called them home because they had accomplished His purposes for them in this life:

For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers – Acts 13:36

But, it could also be because God wants to spare them from bad things to come, and hence granted them the Bible’s Merdeka ’57:

The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace; they rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness. – Isaiah 57:1-2

That leaves us with the question: What terrible sights are we going to witness that they were spared from witnessing firthand?

Acts 17 – A Passage Used by Three of My Belief Systematics

July 17, 20

vv26-27 are used by Molinism with regard to God (via Middle Knowledge) setting up the optimal conditions of the universe that would lead to the maximal number of people who freely accept Christ; and is also used for the related concept of Transworld Damnation, whereby those who are unsaved in the actual world would have freely rejected the Gospel no matter what time and place they could have lived in. and

v4 is used by Provisionism to show that persuasion is part of evangelizing (rather than a mysterious, irresistible working of God); and v27 is used to show that God wants everyone to seek and even find Him. and

vv26-31 are part of the Divine Council Worldview (DCW) popularized by Dr Michael Heiser, specifically how the nations are allotted to spiritual rulers – a view shared by both Jews (Deuteronomy 32:8, Psalm 82) and Greeks (Plato’s Critias). See the section from 20:40 of my video for this particular focus.

The Trinity as Father, His Self-Knowledge, & The Love They Share

July 13, 20

A PDF of an interesting, unpublished essay by Jonathan Edwards where he speculates that the Son is The Father’s perfect knowledge of Himself that is so infinite that it manifests as a full person in its own right. And the perfect love between Father and Son is so infinite that it too manifests as a full person in its own right, the Holy Spirit.,%20Jonathan%20-%20An%20Unpublished%20Essay%20on%20the%20Tr.pdf

It’s neat in that it explains why there are Three, and not just One or Two or more than Three. And why they are named Father, Son and Spirit and have their particular attributes (e.g. the Son is the Logos and Wisdom, and the Spirit is less prominent).

Click to access Edwards,%20Jonathan%20-%20An%20Unpublished%20Essay%20on%20the%20Tr.pdf

Click to access Edwards,%20Jonathan%20-%20An%20Unpublished%20Essay%20on%20the%20Tr.pdf

The Father is the Deity subsisting in the prime, un-originated and most absolute manner, or the Deity in its direct existence. The Son is the Deity generated by God’s understanding, or having an idea of Himself and subsisting in that idea. The Holy Ghost is the Deity subsisting in act, or the Divine essence flowing out and breathed forth in God’s Infinite love to and delight in Himself. And I believe the whole Divine essence does truly and distinctly subsist both in the Divine idea and Divine love, and that each of them are properly distinct Persons.

Inconsistent Secular Renaming of Calendar Year Markers

July 9, 20

I continue to use A.D. & B.C. as a matter of principle. None of this C.E. & B.C.E. half-hearted obscurationist nonsense, the date is still fixed to the same event – changing the terminology does nothing!

If secularists were consistent they would also rename the days of the week from Tyr’s Day, (W)Odin’s Day, Thor’s Day, Freya Day and Saturn Day.

And the months of the year from Janus-ary, Mars-ch, Aphrodite-il, Maia-y, Juno and Augustus (burn incense to the god-emperor!).

And of course, the majority of celestial objects – a tiny sampling being Venus, Mars, Neptune, Orion and Andromeda. And don’t even start on ‘Mother Gaia’!

(Oh, but those things aren’t to do with Christianity, so it’s fine to leave them untouched.)

Subsets of Condemnation & Justification

July 9, 20

I found it interesting and enlightening how he exegetes Romans 5:18-19 in terms of subsets:

Romans 5:12 and Universalism: Applying My Take on Romans 5:12 to the Problem

18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

The one act of Adam that affected all actually led to a subset of many. All were put under the curse of death and, theoretically, all would sin; not all do, though, because they don’t all get to live. The many who do sin are then rightly called sinners.

The one act of Jesus affects all IN THEORY but actually leads to a subset of many. All could have eternal life and justification, but not all do. Why take it this way? Because it resolves what looks like a contradiction in Paul. In verse 18 Paul says what Jesus did “leads to justification and life for all humanity, but then he turns around and limits it (creates a subset) in the next verse: “so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” My proposal has Paul make sense here and not appear schizophrenic.


Speaking of which, the above link is a subset of his series on Romans 5:12 and infant salvation:

Why the Angel of the LORD is Jesus, and Why Both are God

July 1, 20

Brief notes follow. If you have an hour plus to spare, I go deeper into the whole issue here:

Further to the debate about the Angel of the LORD between Anthony Rogers and a Unitarian (, I summarize briefly the reasons why I identify the Angel of the LORD and Jesus as the member of the Holy Trinity known as The Son:

1) The Angel of the LORD is the LORD God (Exodus 3:2-6). Jesus is Lord and God (John 20:28). But the LORD God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4, note that ‘one’ here is ‘echad’ which can mean ‘compound unity’).

2) Despite being the LORD, the Angel of the LORD can converse with The LORD as a distinct individual (Zechariah 1:12-13). Despite being God, Jesus converses with God the Father (John 11:41-42).

3) The Angel of the LORD can forgive sins (Zechariah 3:1-5). Jesus can forgive sins (Luke 5:20-25). But as the outraged leaders protested, only God is the one who forgives sins (Isaiah 43:1,25).

4) The Angel of the LORD is the one who brought the Israelites out of Egypt (Judges 2:1). Jesus is the one who saved the people out of Egypt (Jude 1:5). The LORD is the one who brings the Israelites out of Egypt (Exodus 6:6).

5) Related to the above: The LORD, the Angel of His presence, and His Holy Spirit are three identified as one (Isaiah 63:7-10). The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three identified by one name (Matthew 28:19). The LORD, the Angel of the LORD and the spirit also appear in a passage linked to crucifixion (Zechariah 12:8-10).

6) The Angel of the LORD’s name is Wonderful (Judges 13:18). Jesus as the promised Messiah is called Wonderful (Isaiah 9:6). No other person in the Bible has this name or description except God (e.g. Exodus 15:11; Psalm 78:12).

7) Whoever sees the LORD will die (Exodus 33:19-20). Yet despite being God, the Angel of the LORD could be seen by people without them dying – to their surprise (Genesis 32:24,30 ref: Hosea 12:3-5; Judges 6:21-23; Judges 13:21-23). No one has ever seen God, but Jesus makes Him known (John 1:18) as the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15).

8) The Angel of the LORD bears a sword (Numbers 22:22-23) and commands the armies of the LORD (Joshua 5:13-15). Jesus the Word of God bears a sword and leads the armies of heaven (Revelation 19:11-16).

9) The Angel of the LORD accepts worship (Joshua 5:14-15 ref: Exodus 3:5). Jesus accepts worship (Matthew 14:31-33). Worship is due only to God (Exodus 34:13; Matthew 4:10), which is why ordinary men (Acts 10:25-26; Acts 14:11-15) and angels (Revelation 19:9-10; Revelation 22:8-9) refuse worship.

10) The Angel of the covenant will be preceded by a lesser messenger (Malachi 3:1). Jesus was preceded by John the Baptist and the text explicitly references the Old Testament passage (Mark 1:2-4).

11) And finally: While the Father and the Holy Spirit can be seen acting in both the Old and New Testaments, the Angel of the LORD is only found in the Old Testament – and then is not found in the New Testament, but Jesus is.

Also at around 55:00 of that debate, Anthony Rogers has an interesting rebuttal to using the Law or Agency without citing any positive evidence to dismiss the Angel of YHWH as just another created being.

If one applies the same standard consistently, even The Father can be assumed to not really be the Creator God. Any passages where He makes claims to being so can be dismissed as just the Law of Agency. In fact this is similar to the Gnostic belief that God is not in fact the ultimate creator deity, but merely an intermediary between this world and the true ultimate creator.
Hence, the Law of Agency requires some positive evidence before it can be applied to the Angel of YHWH – and there is none. Instead, all the many occasions where the Angel of YHWH identifies Himself or is identified as YHWH should be taken to mean that He is, indeed, YHWH – not merely some agent representing YHWH.

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