Nice summary of what prevenient grace (the grace that "comes before") does. Salvation is the result of God's grace, but humanity has a part in it as a response to God's initiative. Our freedom is only possible because it is a restored freedom. But, and this is where Wesleyanism differs from Calvinism/Augustinianism, all humanity is given that grace. In other words, unlimited grace rather than apportioned grace.
Thursday, May 05, 2016
Tuesday, May 03, 2016
Grace is, in Wesley’s vision, what undergirds all of life. As Thomas Langford says about Wesley’s theology, “Grace is God’s active and continuous presence. Definitively expressed in Jesus Christ, grace covers the entirety of life: It creates, redeems, sustains, sanctifies, and glorifies.” Because of grace, Wesley can conceive of the Christian faith as having a certain purpose, or end, toward which everything points: “True religion is right tempers towards God and man. It is...gratitude and benevolence; gratitude to our Creator and supreme Benefactor, and benevolence to our fellow-creatures. In other words, it is the loving God with all our heart, and our neighbour as ourselves.”— Reading the Way to Heaven, page 53
Monday, May 02, 2016
That's the final post from this delightful little book. I highly recommend it; it's written in such a way that just about anyone can understand it—and loaded with excellent insight.
Me: Okay, so let me get this straight. A preprogrammed robotic human is breaking into my home with a gun. Any attempt to stop him without using violence is taken off the table, despite the fact that nonviolent attempts to apprehend bad people with guns does actually work in the real world. And in your “real world” scenario, I have quick access to a loaded gun in the house which happens to be no threat to my four children. I’m a pretty good shot but not that good of a shot. God exists in this scenario, but despite the fact that this God typically answers prayer, for this scenario, the heavenly phone’s off the hook. And this cyborg would rather kill me and my family rather than walk with $300,000. And this is somehow your real world?<idle musing>
NRA: Yes, yes, that’s the scenario. What would you do?
Me: I would pinch myself because I must be in a dream. Your supposed “real life” scenario is not the real world at all. It’s a world where Jesus is still in the tomb, prayer doesn’t work, a deistic god stands off in the distance, and the deception of power has clouded your Christian thinking. But my world, the real world, has a crucified Lamb, an empty tomb, and direct access to the heavenly throne which is more effective than 10 tons of C-4.
I don’t live in a theoretical world; I live in a world turned upside down by a God who justifies the ungodly and calls us to love our enemies.
Amen and amen! Why is it that we have to cordon off God in these discussions? It's as if he doesn't really exist in our daily lives. Of course, maybe he doesn't for some people. I call those people practicing atheists...
Friday, April 29, 2016
Thursday, April 28, 2016
We might possibly wish to raise the discussion a notch and transpose this image into the philosophical categories of being. In that mode the sea represents non-being, literally no-thing. Read this way, the world in itself tends towards non-being, but God, through his Logos, is investing it with the powers of existence. God’s ongoing ordering of the sea then speaks of the world’s moment-by-moment dependence on God.— The Biblical Cosmos, page 202 (emphasis original)
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
1. A case of actual distress in which a man, on account of the difficult circumstances he is in, addresses himself to a god in an emotional way.
2. A wish arising from the existing situation. The circumstances, however, are not so extreme as to occasion great emotion in the prayer uttered.
3. A general wish, which does not usually originate from the existing situation. In this case, the human being does not ask for a single definite action, but for a repetition of actions, or for a lasting state.—The Greek Imperative, page 99
It all a matter of perspective, isn't it? We think the center is the most important, but they didn't. The most important place was where God was/is. That's still true, but we don't acknowledge it...