The Elephant is in Our Room: Athanasius Shakes Hands with Arius in the Southern Baptist Convention

Polemics Report

Is the doctrine of the Trinity something worth standing resolute on anymore in the Southern Baptist Convention? The question, seemingly obvious among the people who turned back the liberal tide and fought for the inerrancy of Scripture 35 years ago, must be asked in the early days of 2014 when one looks at the schedule for the 2014 Empower Conference, an evangelism conference put on by the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC).

Go ahead. Take a minute to look and then come back.

View original post 829 more words

Bethlehem Wasn’t the Beginning

By David Burnette:

nativity-scene1As you reflect on the significance of Christ’s coming this Christmas, allow me to make one suggestion that may actually add to your holiday cheer: Don’t begin in Bethlehem. That may sound scrooge-like, but hear me out.

Bethlehem looms large in our minds during Christmas, and rightfully so. The prophet Micah had predicted centuries earlier that a ruler would hail from this obscure town (Mic 5:2). As King David’s birthplace, Bethlehem would also be the scene of the Messiah’s birth. In that sense, it’s difficult not to think of Bethlehem this time of year.  That’s fine, but don’t forget that the Christmas story was set in motion long before the nativity scene.

Bethlehem wasn’t the beginning.

Jesus spoke of the glory he had with the Father “before the world existed” (Jn 17:5). As the Second Person of the Trinity, He was in communion with the Father and the Spirit from all eternity. We’re even told that the world was created through Him (Jn 1:1; Col 1:16). To be sure, He took on flesh at a point in time, but His role in God’s plan of redemption did not begin in a manger in Bethlehem nearly 2000 years ago. Christ was not thrust on the scene unexpectedly. Out of His own free grace He set His sights on rebellious sinners like you and me before the foundation of the world. The eternal Word became flesh for us and for our salvation (Jn 1:14). This is the infinite grace of the Incarnation. And the nativity scene was our first glimpse.

As you reflect on Christ’s birth this Christmas and as you talk about it with others, be sure to include the little town of Bethlehem. But don’t start there: go back, much further back, and marvel at the One who planned the nativity scene from the beginning in order to rescue us from the judgment we deserve. Marvel at the grace of the Son of God who, as Paul says, “loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20).

Give thanks that in those dark streets of Bethlehem shone the Everlasting Light.

Augustine on the Trinity

300px-Augustine_of_HippoThere are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and each is God, and at the same time all are one God; and each of them is a full substance, and at the same time all are one substance.  The Father is neither the Son nor the Holy Spirit; the Son is neither the Father nor the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son.  But the Father is the Father uniquely; the Son is the Son uniquely; and the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit uniquely.  All three have the same eternity, the same immutability, the same majesty, and the same power.

Daily Roundup

The Journey of Sheep – An interesting insight into how we people are more like sheep than we like to think.

God’s Amazing Grace – Charles Quarles looks at the theology behind John Newton’s hymn.

Preaching the Gospel to Yourself – Just like there is a shelf life on fruit once it is picked from the vine, so it is with us if we don’t stay on The Vine.

The Forgotten Trinity – Dr. James White in a 1 hour teaching series on the Trinity.

An Introduction to the Gospel – A Covenant Theology Primer – Great page from Monergism on Covenant Theology, just in case you don’t know what it is or just want to know more about it.  Also, some good links at the bottom of the page for further study.

1 Corinthians 6 and the Lordship Debate – Good article defining what the debate is and what is at stake.  Even though this debate has been around for 20+ years, it is still relevant.

Quote:

I held my heart back from positively accepting anything, since I was afraid of another fall, and in this condition of suspense I was being all the more killed. – Augustine of Hippo, Confessions