Boundaries, Inconsistencies and Theological Safe-guarding

If you’ve been reading some recent posts you’ll hopefully have picked up the following

1.       Human theological systems are imperfect – this means there is scope to challenge, reflect and speculate as we seek to improve our descriptions of God and his actions.

2.       We are all likely to make errors however, there are two protections in place against those errors leading to heresy. The first is an intentional thing -we seek to put boundaries around our thinking and discussions to ensure we don’t stray beyond them.

3.       We are also inconsistent. Meaning that we don’t pursue our errors to their logical conclusions Continue reading

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How we talk about God

One of the reasons why there has been some debate between evangelical/reformed theologians about the Doctrine of God is to do with the language we use to talk about God.

We can end up with three types of language. Continue reading

What is the point of a theological argument? (Updated)

A week or so ago, I mentioned some of the challenges relating to theological debate, discussion and disagreement. One challenge I mentioned was this:

“We want to be careful to give matters their proper importance

There are two things to watch out for here. First of all, we need to carefully identify which issues are essential to Christian faith and which are not.  There are some matters that if we get them wrong, we undermine the Gospel. There are other areas that are still a matter of discussion and debate between Christians. Continue reading

The Doctrine of the Fall

God made the world good. The sense we get in Genesis 1 is of “perfection.” By perfection we do not mean in the sense that it was complete but rather that it was fitting for its time. It was incomplete in the sense that humans still had the work of filling and subduing creation and of tending and caring for it.

We see here an eschatological trajectory. As a number of commentators over time have noted, the movement is from a Garden to Garden City. We look forward to a day and a place where God will dwell with all his people (see Rev 21-22). I believe that Revelation 21-22 was always the goal of Creation.

According to John Calvin, this means that sin was both a fall from where we were and a departure from where we are going. Continue reading