You hear of how Jesus, comes from the line of David and Jesse and Boaz (remember the Ruth story) and Judah and Jacob and Isaac and Abraham back in time to Noah, and back further all the way to Adam, and then you hear that Last verse, and it hits you!
Have you ever read over or skipped the genealogies in the Scriptures? It’s easy to do. I just read Luke 3 this morning (as part of the Reading Plan I developed for 2022), and it ends with the Genealogy of Christ…and for some reason I was captivated, and I got excited as I started hearing the names…then I got to the last verse, and I was so touched (even though I knew it was coming). Do you know what I’m talking about? If not, don’t cheat by going there now. Read on.
I think the fact that I read the Whole Chapter, and didn’t just read the Genealogy helped me to get into the story.
I heard about John the Baptist, and I was transported into the time, and his calling Israel to repentance after such a dry spiritual dry spell in the land. And then came the expectation of the people regarding this wild man in the wilderness.—“Is He the one?!”
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By Michael J. Kruger — 1 year ago
Written by Michael J. Kruger |
Thursday, September 8, 2022
The solas basically argue against idolatry, legalism, humanism, pluralism, and pride. And those things need to be battled in every generation. It is precisely here that we see how Christianity is unique among all the religions in the world. The solas show us that Christianity does not look like a religion that any human being would have made up. And that is a reason to think that it just might be from God after all.
“What is Reformed theology?” This is the question I get asked all the time. Especially since I teach at a school called Reformed Theological Seminary!
While there are many ways to answer that question, I have found that the 5 Solas of the Reformation provide one of the best summaries of what it means to be Reformed: sola scriptura (Scripture alone), solus Christus (Christ alone), sola fide (faith alone), sola gratia (grace alone), and soli Deo gloria (glory to God alone).
Since the 5 Solas are borne out of the Protestant Reformation, then it would not be surprising to know that, in many ways, they reflect the circumstances of the time period in which they were formulated. Each of the solas are a response to what the Reformers saw as problematic in the Roman Catholic church of their day.
As an example, sola scriptura—the affirmation that the Scriptures are the highest and only infallible authority—is an obvious response to the Roman Catholic claim that the church (and church tradition) should be seen as equally authoritative as Scripture.
But here’s the thing. Some misunderstand the 5 Solas as merely a response to Roman Catholicism and nothing more. In other words, they are viewed as a time-bound, historically conditioned set of affirmations that are largely applicable to an era that is long gone.
It is precisely here that I want to offer a bit of pushback. Let me suggest that the 5 Solas are much more than a response to Catholicism. On the contrary, they are a response to the universal tendencies of fallen human hearts everywhere. Put differently, the 5 Solas are inherently counter-cultural. They run contrary to the average human intuition about the way life (and religion) ought to be.
Let me explain:
1. Sola Scriptura. As noted, sola scriptura obviously was designed to counter Roman Catholic claims about church tradition.
By Mitch Chase — 8 months ago
Judas kissed the Son, but not the way Psalm 2:12 envisioned. His kiss was deceptive, insidious, wicked. The imagery of the Psalm 2 kiss was never to be disconnected from a heart of trust and submission. The kiss of Judas was rebellious and thus an act of disobedience. In Psalm 2:1–2, people were described as plotting together against the Anointed One. And Judas was numbered among them. He’d agreed to kiss the Son, but only as a ploy, an identifying signal.
In the second psalm of the Bible’s inspired hymnbook, the wicked receive fair warning about the Lord’s righteous indignation if they continue their defiance. What the raging nations and plotting peoples should do is submit to the Lord’s authority instead of trying to cast it off (Ps. 2:1–3).
The rebellious leaders should be terrified by God’s wrath and by his installation of the Messiah, whose reign will overcome his enemies (Ps. 2:5–6, 9). They don’t fear the Lord, but they should. They don’t serve him, but they should. The psalmist says, “Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling” (2:10–11).
The psalmist gives a closing command in the closing verse of Psalm 2: “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (2:12). Kiss the Son.
The Son in verse 12 is God’s Son (v. 7), and he’s the same figure as the Anointed One (v. 2) and God’s King (v. 6). To kiss the Son is an act expressing allegiance, deference, submission. This isn’t a polite greeting between relatives or friends after a time of undesired distance.
By Donald Fairburn — 2 years ago
the Nicene Creed clearly identifies each of the divine persons, shows that they are equal to one another, and emphasizes that for us and for our salvation, the Son came down from heaven through the incarnation. At the same time, the bishops at Chalcedon were under intense pressure from the emperor to produce a new creed, because he wanted to be able to call himself a new Constantine, presiding over the writing of a creed as Constantine had done at Nicaea in 325. The bishops also recognized that they needed more specificity than the Nicene Creed gave about how to understand Christ as both divine and human. As a result, they decided to write not a creed, but a “definition.”
The first thing one should notice from the title of this post is that the document produced at the Council of Chalcedon in October 451 was not a “creed”; it was a “definition.”
A creed, properly speaking, is not a statement of what Christians believe about our faith. (That would be a “confession.”) Instead, a creed is a pledge of allegiance to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Creeds answer the question, “In whom do you believe?” more than the question “What do you believe?”
Creeds were originally intended for liturgical use, as the people of God affirmed their allegiance to the persons of the Trinity prior to baptism or the celebration of the Eucharist. In contrast, a definition is a commentary on a creed, designed to give more terminological precision to the content of that creed.
The Council of Chalcedon
At the Council of Chalcedon (the Fourth Ecumenical Council in the Greco-Roman world), the bishops who assembled were firmly convinced that the Nicene Creed was sufficient to affirm their faith in God, his Son, and his Spirit.
They were right: the Nicene Creed clearly identifies each of the divine persons, shows that they are equal to one another, and emphasizes that for us and for our salvation, the Son came down from heaven through the incarnation. At the same time, the bishops at Chalcedon were under intense pressure from the emperor to produce a new creed, because he wanted to be able to call himself a new Constantine, presiding over the writing of a creed as Constantine had done at Nicaea in 325. The bishops also recognized that they needed more specificity than the Nicene Creed gave about how to understand Christ as both divine and human. As a result, they decided to write not a creed, but a “definition.”