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October 20, 2010


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Roger Olson had the right answer to the question of the nature of Christ--he said, "He was fully divine, and he was fully human--like us in everything except for sin." That's the Biblical answer. Funny that it was some Adventists on the panel that were nervous about leaving it there.

The question about who was the Father of Jesus doesn't quite come across in the summary. Knight had said, "Mary was Jesus' mother and the Holy Spirit was his father." That lead the questioner to ask, "Which is it? Was the Father the Father of Jesus or was the Spirit the Father?" And Knight defended his statement based on the Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary. Well, that's very sloppy Trinitarianism. Stop, George, and think! Jesus' called the Father, "Father," for a reason. He didn't call the Holy Spirit, "Father." Yes, the Holy Spirit was involved, as the basic formula of Trinitarian theology states, "Omnia opera Trinitatis ad extra sunt indivisa." That is, all the outwardly directed actions of the Trinity are indivisible--all the actions separate from their relationships with one another. Thus, you can't say the Father was the Creator, the Son the Redeemer, the Spirit the Sanctifier--that's modalism. All are involved in each of those activities, according to their proper role. So all three were involved in the incarnation--the Father sent the Son, the Son was sent, and the Spirit was the instrumentality by which the Father sent the Son.

It seems to me that Adventists really aren't yet comfortable with Trinitarian language. Oh, we've fled from Arianism, realizing that's not an option. But some flirt with Tritheism (envisioning God as a committee of interchangeable members--seen, I think, in the denial by some theologians of the eternal generation of the Son).

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