What Did He Just Say?

Rev. Jonathan Edwards, a leader of the Great A...

Jonathan Edwards: America's greatest theologian Image via Wikipedia

I just started reading the book Think:  The Life of the Mind and the Love of God by John Piper and so far, as is to be expected when one reads a Piper book, is pretty academic and mind-exploding!  In chapter 2 Piper is extolling his love of Jonathan Edwards and his musings on the Trinitarian God.  This quote from Edwards comes from his paper “An Essay on the Trinity” and it is simply too good to not share.  I had to read it a couple times before I totally understood it, but it seems to me the most complete and robust explanation of the Trinity and how each Person relates to the Other.

This I suppose to be the blessed Trinity that we read of in the Holy Scriptures.  The Father is the deity subsisting in the prime, unoriginated and most absolute manner, or the deity in its direct existence.  The Son is the deity generated by God’s understanding, or having an idea of Himself and subsisting in that idea.  The Holy Ghost is the deity subsisting in act, or the divine essence flowing out and breathed forth in God’s infinite love to delight in Himself.  And I believe the whole Divine essence does truly and distinctly subsist both in the Divine idea and Divine love, and that each of them are properly distinct persons.

That totally blew my mind!  And it gets even crazier because on the next page Piper includes another excerpt from Edwards’ paper on how the Trinity glorifies itself and delights in itself.

God is glorified withing Himself these two ways: (1) By appearing…to Himself in His own perfect idea [of Himself], or in His Son, who is the brightness of His glory. (2) By enjoying and delighting in Himself, by flowing forth in infinite…delight towards Himself, or in his Holy Spirit.

…So God glorifies Himself toward the creatures also in two ways: (1) By appearing to…their understanding. (2) In communicating Himself to their hearts, and in their rejoicing and delighting in, and enjoying, the manifestations which He makes of Himself…God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in.  When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified  than if they only see it.  His glory is then received by the whole soul, both by the understanding and by the heart.

God made the world that He might communicate, and the creature receive, His glory; and that it might [be] received both by the mind and heart.  He that testifies his idea of God’s glory [doesn’t] glorify God so much as he that testifies also his approbation of it and his delight in it.

So there it is.  A rather complete and robust exegesis on the doctrine of the Trinity in less than 200 words!  I didn’t think that existed!  Just some food for thought since I don’t have time to write any more.



Radical love

Jesus said in Luke 6:32, “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners love those who love them.”  The difference between human love and divine love is so incredible that it’s hard for us to fathom how to love people divinely.  It is so contrary to our nature to love those who act wickedly towards us because our love has conditions attached to it.  In order for us to love someone we have to see them as worthy of our love.   This usually requires them to be nice, gracious, or merciful to us, or we might like their personality, ect…The point is, in order for us to love someone, they must act, think, or behave favorably toward us first.  We are so fickle about who we choose to love and not love that we forget Jesus’ words in this passage that we ought to love everyone, even those who don’t love us.  Forget the conditionals upon which we base our love, which by the way is here today and gone tomorrow, and start to love people the way God loves people.  If God based His love on similar conditions that require us to act or think affectionately towards Him God would love absolutely no one  on the planet.  That, however, is not the case because we have verses in the Bible that tell us things about God such as “God is love” (among other things).  The love that Jesus speaks about in Luke 6 is love for all men and women as fellow image-bearers of God and love that softens their hearts to show them the Gospel.  Regardless of how people treat us and say of us we are called to replicate God’s love to our fellow humans.  Every human who is lost is exactly where we were before God grabbed a hold of us and we need to help them see the light of the Gospel by showing them God’s love the same way we were shown God’s love and won over our hearts.  The love of God is radical in human terms and needs to be spread by His ambassadors on this planet.  Our lost brothers and sisters are in desperate need of experiencing God’s radical love to save their souls.  I pray that the Holy Spirit would strengthen you to be a herald of God’s love and the Gospel to the multitude of lost souls out there.  Preach the Word!

coffee, bagels, prophecy, and LeBron James

Ah, I remembered that I have a blog again! lol.  I gotta stop taking three month breaks without announcing it first.  But anyway, that’s over and today is July 9, 2010.  I’m starting the day off right with two cups of coffee and a bagel.  Working from home is the shiznatt!  I know it’s going to be tough to stay focused and concentrated at home but it’s definitely a  lot better than driving to Severna Park or Marriottsville every day.  That’s the beauty of Aflac, you work for yourself and you make your own schedule.  But of course common sense comes in to play, if I don’t work, I make less money.  So working hard is definitely important, especially when I’m just getting my business off the ground.  But enough of that.

Last night was the first night of my 416 class.  I’m taking the “No greater love” class with Pastor Matt.  The class is focusing on the love of God towards us.  As P. Matt so truthfully said last night, “The love of God is the least doubted attribute of God, but it is also the least understood.”  I find that true in my life too because since I was a kid in Sunday school I’ve been told that God loves me and all the red, black, yellow, green, and white people (affirmative action much?).  But WHY?  Why does God love me and all these other crazy people?  Since becoming a Christian, I’ve learned that all people are incredibly wicked and sinful.  If God is so irreproachably holy and must punish sinners, than how on His good green earth can He possible love anyone of us?  Again, P. Matt wisely answered that question, “God loves us to glorify His Name, for His Name’s sake.”  The Westminster Confession of Faith says the following about man, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever” (just ask John Piper to expound on that a little).  The whole universe’s existence is to glorify God and magnify His Name.  Humans are not created to make much of each other, but to make much of God who created them.  The whole of creation is meant to give glory to God and magnify His Name.  So following suit, God loves us because He is saying something marvelous about Himself that He wants us to remember so we can glorify Him and magnify His Name.

I’m sure you’ve heard it said that “God loves you just the way you are”.  Well that’s not exactly true.  God hates sin and thus He hates sinners.  While the previous quote usually has good intentions, what it really should read is, “God loves you better than you are!”  God knows that you’re a wicked sinner who consciously rebells against Him everyday, but He sent His own Son to die and atone for your sins in order that you might experientially know the love He has for you, so that you will glorify Him and magnify His Name.  The answer to the question of WHY?, is BECAUSE God is so passionate about His own glory that He gives to us His most prized and precious gift, Himself, so that we might know that He is God and understand all of His attributes and understand the pleasure of the worship of a good and holy god.  It’s all about giving God the glory that He is due!

Now I’ll put my two cents in on the latest news in the sports world.  LeBron James is now a member of the Miami Heat.  Let me just be the first, or maybe the 1,849,562,359,000th , to say that the Heat will NOT win the NBA championship this year!  The Washington Wizards will!  John Wall…that is all.  And also, the Netherlands will beat Spain in the World Cup final on Sunday.  What does a stupid octopus know anyway?!