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Some convictions of mine

The OT is not functionally unitarian

Christian revelation cannot be functionally unitarian

God simply is trinity

Functional unitarianism can in no sense be a preparation for trinitarianism

The oneness of the triune God is nothing like the oneness of the unitarian god.

Trinity is not a nuance

There is no way to shove 'Trinity' in a corner while we discuss 'God'

Whatever 'God' we discuss at that point ceases to be the living God.

Jesus is not the cherry on top - He's the Rock, the Foundation

Jesus cannot be fitted into a pre-existing system but must from the outset define all things.

Jesus is not the Seal of a series of improving revelations - He is THE Word.

There is no concept of mediation which Jesus then fulfils.  There is only The Mediator who mediates. 

Mediation is by definition two-way.  If the Mediator of knowledge is Himself unknown, mediation is not happening.

Knowing Jesus is essential.

'Progress towards Jesus' is not the unifying concept of the bible

Jesus Himself is the unifying Person of the bible.

Strictly the Person of Jesus is the object of saving faith, not the promises.  Christ always comes clothed in the promises, but trust in the clothes doesn't save.

That'll do for now...

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0 thoughts on “Some convictions of mine

  1. bobby grow

    Glen said:

    Jesus Himself is the unifying Person of the bible.

    Agreed, but that does not necessitate that, relative to salvation history, we all have the same intensity of knowledge (I got the idea of intensity from Gunton).

    I don't understand why you think that if there is more 'clarity' given as we meet Jesus in the incarnation that this negates His centrality or person from His pre-incarnate state. Surely He has always been, ontologically, who He is; but that does not mean, epistemically, from 'our' side; that we must fully understand all aspects of His person (until He sees fit). That does not mean who we meet is different, or that there is an equivocation between Him in the OT/NT; but that 'our' perspective changes (we see a glass dimly) per His continued disclosure (you know intensity).

  2. Glen

    Hey Bobby,
    Good to hear from you.

    Two points to clarify:

    1) I don't mind there being progress in clarity throughout the bible. People knew more in Malachi than in Exodus (if they were paying attention!) and more in Galatians than in Malachi. But I think some kind of conscious knowledge of the distinct Person of the Mediator, Christ was essential. It progressed from that Rock, so to speak

    2) I think mediation needs to be a two-way thing or it's not mediation. The Mediator needs to be known as Mediator or else really He's just superfluous. But then (as with 1)) I'm not saying OT saints had to know everything about Christ. But I'd point to things like the Angel of the LORD being known *as* the God of Abraham - the Sent One from the LORD who also *is* LORD.

  3. cath

    Is it helpful to add that conscious knowledge of the distinct Person of the Mediator Christ is itself knowledge of him as he really/ontologically is? or at least as he is in his official capacity as Mediator. It doesn't have to be a particularly detailed, or profound, knowledge, but it has to make contact with the Saviour who he really is. (And 'who he really is' has to fundamentally include the fact that he is a divine person.) It's quite right to say that the OT is not unitarian - it's no small part of the 'fully furnished' aspect of the OT that a plurality of divine persons is certainly revealed there. (?Augustine - the OT relative to the NT is a room fully furnished but dimly lit.)

  4. bobby grow

    Hi cath,

    I don't disagree with what you've stated at all.

    Glen,

    I agree, there certainly is conscious distinction of both the Angel of Yahweh and the Holy Spirit in the OT as Yahweh (of course the Father is there too ;-).

    I think what hangs me up, thus far, Glen, with your view is that you are "apparently" saying that what is explicit disclosure in the NT of the eternal Word in Jesus of Nazareth is self-same explicit in the OT relative to the eternal Word. What you don't seem to be discussing, in all of this, is how you see this disclosure related to the disparity between the Old and New Covenants (per Heb 5ff). Under the Old Covenant we have an "mediated-mediated" ,relationship to Yahweh (i.e. through the Angel of Yahweh, to the Aaronic/Levitic Priests to the people, to the nations, etc.); under the New Covenant we have a 'change introduced' (we have an 'Priest' from a different tribe [Judah]), we are under a 'different' priesthood --- the kind that is immediately-mediated by Christ (I Tim 2:5) in the Holy Spirit.

    So I guess what I am appealing to is the Economic disclosure of God relative to His unfolding salvation history; which is not to deny the 'Ontological' or 'Immanent' nature of God (in fact it is our only point of contact). What I am trying to get at is that 'our' knowledge of God in Christ is corollary to His unfolding of Himself through the history of Israel, into the penultimate 'dispensation' of the church, and finally into the ultimate and consummate beatific vision. And I see a 'movement' from an more implicit understanding of the trinitarian nature of God (in the OC) to (the closer we get to the incarnation) an explicit understanding of God's trinitarian nature as unfolded and disclosed in the 1st advent of Christ.

    So my view does not disagree with you, I don't think. It's just that it seems that I see an implicit/explicit movement taking place here (relative to the nuance of the 'identity' [Messiah] of the Angel of Yahweh); and you seem to be saying that you see an explicit understanding of the 'identity' of the Angel of Yahweh cutting across both 'Covenants'.

    Am I right?

  5. Glen

    Hi Cath - yes "conscious knowledge of the distinct Divine Person of the Mediator" would be even more correct.

  6. Glen

    Hi Bobby,
    So to stick within Hebrews, I'd say that incarnation brings a huge change - Heb 1:1-2: In the OT, God's revelation (which was still in Christ) went through all kinds of mediators - patriarchs, priests, kings, prophets. The LORD just doesn't address His people in Person (except from Sinai and the people say "Enough! Let Moses speak to us.") So in incarnation we have something new unfolding - we have the LORD Jesus Himself addressing the people as His own Prophet.

    More than this (and Heb 8-10 will pick up on this more) we have the Son coming to work salvation before the people as His own Priest. Again this is very new. Previously we've had the Levitical priesthood play-acting priesthood (though I'd say that the godly OT saints looked through the play-acting to the Christ-reality). But now, just as predicted, we have Christ finally fulfilling law (Ps 40) and Priesthood (Ps110) - which are of course intimately linked.

    There is a radical newness to this. But Hebrews keeps presenting it as a predicted, promised, planned future that was consciously trusted in anticipation by the OT saints.

    And the way Hebrews quotes the OT (esp in chs 1-3) presents its authors as consciously being able to distinguish Persons of the Trinity. (But about the Son He says... The Holy Spirit says...).

    And the message of salvation has always been the same - Heb 4:2,6 - the gospel was revealed in both testaments and was to be trusted in both.

    And Moses (for instance) knew and trusted "Christ" (Heb 11:26f) who is the same yesterday, today and forever.

    So is there progress? Yes, massively significant unfolding - an unfolding which is itself part of the gospel. But it was a gospel proclaimed through promises, intermediaries and types in the OT and grasped by the godly. The OT believer - if they were lucky enough to be one of these intermediaries - actually met the pre-incarnate Christ and trusted Him. The ordinary OT believer trusted in Messiah through the promises and types given. What I refuse to give up is conscious knowledge of Christ - Matt 11:27; Col 1:15; John 1:18; John 14:6.

  7. bobby grow

    Glen,

    I think in many ways we really agree, I agree salvation is the same in both Testaments (Gen 15:6; etc.); I do believe that the Angel of Yahweh is the pre-incarnate Christ, and I do believe that the OT is trinitarian in shape, w/o a doubt.

    I guess, for me, I don't feel the need to hold that the OT saints had as much clarity as us (post Christ's 1st advent); but that's not to say that they didn't recognize the Angel of Yahweh as divine, or that they didn't see Him as the mediator of Yahweh --- the OT makes clear that they did.

    So in the end we might be just quibbling ;-).

    In Christ

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