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Showing posts from April, 2020

The Doctrine of the Trinity

Benjamin Warfield defines the Trinity as follows, “There is one only and true God, but in the unity of the Godhead there are three coeternal and coequal Persons, the same in substance but distinct in subsistence.”[1]
Chafer states, “The Trinity is composed of three united Persons without separate existence—so completely united as to form one God. The divine nature subsists in three distinctions—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”[2] Geisler, in giving the meaning of Trinity, he states, “It means that God is a triunity: He is a plurality within unity. God has a plurality of persons and a unity of essence; God is three persons in one nature. There is only one ‘What’ (essence) in God, but there are three ‘Whos’ (persons) in that one What. God has three ‘I’s’ in His one ‘It’—there are three Subjects in one Object.”[3]
The Athanasian Creed clearly sets forth the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, “That we worship one God in trinity and the trinity in unity, neither blending their persons nor dividin…

God’s Attributes

Augustus Strong defines the attributes of God as, “those distinguishing characteristics of the divine nature which are inseparable from the idea of God and which constitute the basis and ground for his various manifestations to his creatures.”[1]
Theologians tend to classify God’s attributes into two categories. Attributes that only God possesses, those that belong to God alone, often referred to as absolute, incommunicable, non-moral, or infinite attributes. The attributes that God does transmit, and that man has to a certain degree, are often referred to as relative, communicable, moral, or personal attributes.
A couple of points need to be made at this stage:
(1) No one attribute should be elevated or exalted over another because doing so could provide a distorted view of God. (2) In order to gain a proper understanding of the nature of God, all His attributes need to be taken together, for by doing this we gain a “complete picture” of God.
Incommunicable Attributes (those belonging to …

The Existence of God - Naturalistic & Biblical Arguments

Charles Ryrie states that traditionally there have been two lines of argument used to demonstrate the existence of God, the naturalistic and the biblical arguments.[1] Here I will evaluate those that fall within both the naturalistic as well as the biblical arguments.
Naturalistic Arguments
Dan Story contends that “it doesn’t take much reflection for us to realize that we exist, and we did not create ourselves. And since that’s true, it’s easy to figure out that something or someone besides ourselves brought us to be. And with a little more reflection, we can also see that the entire universe came to be in one of three possible ways: (1) it created itself; (2) it has always existed, and therefore had no Creator; or (3) it was created by something or someone outside of itself.”[2]
Cosmological Argument A well-established philosophical principle is ex nihilo nihil fit (Latin meaning, “from nothing, nothing comes”). The idea or point of the principle is that you cannot get something out of n…

The Bible - Inspiration, Inerrancy, Canonicity, and its Necessity and Sufficiency

Inspiration
Charles Ryrie defines inspiration as “…God’s superintendence of the human authors so that, using their own individual personalities, they composed and recorded without error His revelation to man in the words of the original autographs.”[1] Benjamin Warfield writes, “Inspiration is, therefore, usually defined as a supernatural influence exerted on the sacred writers by the Spirit of God, by virtue of which their writings are given Divine trustworthiness.”[2] J. Vernon McGee states, “Inspiration guarantees what God has said—that it is reliable, it is accurate, and it is without error.”[3]
Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:16 that “All Scripture is God-breathed…,” meaning, the Bible is inspired. Several points should be noted here concerning inspiration: (1) Inspiration is a supernatural superintendence of the Holy Spirit (superintendence is the Spirit’s supernatural work of inspiration). (2) It relates to the original autographs. (3) It is verbal and plenary. Verbal means that all the B…

The Bible - Its Origin and as Revelation

Origin
To say that the Bible is a unique book would not be in any way overstating the facts. There is no other literary work, whether ancient or modern in the world that can be compared to it. The Bible itself makes specific claims concerning its character and uniqueness. There are about thirty-eight hundred instances in which the Bible states, “God said,” or “Thus says the Lord” (i.e. Ex. 14:1; Lev. 4:1; Isa. 1:10, 24; Ezek. 1:3; etc.). Jeremiah 1:1 tells us, for example, that Jeremiah had received his message directly from God, in 1 Corinthians 14:37, Paul states that the things which he was writing were the Lord’s commands, which is simply another way of saying “Thus says the Lord,” and that is the way it was being received by the believers (1 Thess. 2:13). Peter also believed and taught the divine origin of the Scriptures and the necessity of believers to heed to this divine Word of God (2 Pet. 1:16-21). In fact, according to John, who himself recognized the divine origin of the Bi…

Is the Bible Historically Reliable - The Old Testament

The Old Testament
Four lines of evidence will be considered here. These four lines of evidence will demonstrate that the Old Testament is historically reliable as the New Testament evidence has demonstrated it to be historically reliable.
How We Got It Back in the day, before the printing press was invented, Jewish scribes were responsible for copying the Old Testament manuscripts. The autographs were written on materials such as papyrus, materials that deteriorated fairly quickly. Because of this, Jewish scribes would have to copy and recopy those manuscripts often. In order to insure that the new copies were not corrupted (they knew that they were duplicating God’s Word), extreme measures were adopted to insure integrity in the transmission process. For example, after the copying of a text was complete, they would count every single line, word, syllable, and letter to insure accuracy. Story states, “As a result of their diligence, the Old Testament in our Bible today is virtually iden…