November 30, 2003

I'll take 1-20 for Christmas.

This is funny too.

THE WCF has this to say about that:
The Lord Jesus, in His human nature thus united to the divine, was sanctified, and anointed with the Holy Spirit, above measure, having in Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge;
This seems to rule out much in the way of limitation and imperfection of Jesus' knowledge, even with respect to his human nature. It seems to be phrased to take into account his humanity, as the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are here possessed by the anointing of the Holy Spirit on Jesus the incarnate son. This statement seems uninterested in noting any limitations on the knowledge that Jesus had as a man. He seem rather omniscient.

But perhaps Jesus, in submitting himself to his father's will, only had knowledge in his human nature in so far as the father was pleased to reveal such things to him. That would preserve a boy Jesus who grew in wisdom and didn't necessarily know the position and speed of every charged particle in the universe.

SINCE Jesus had a true human nature, and his knowledge with respect to that human nature was subject to human limitations (whatever it means to speak of "knowledge with respect to a human nature") it seems true that Jesus would have a developing consciousness of his divinity and his divine calling. It seems to be a fairly advanced consciousness, though, knowing enough to call God his Father (without precedent in biblical theology to that point [?])

I wonder if Jesus knowledge with respect to his human nature admits of the possibility or actuality of Jesus having false beliefs about anything. Did Jesus, like many of his contemporaries, believe the sun to go around an immobile earth?

Did Jesus regard the planets as anything other than points of light? Any why are the first examples I might consider those of an astronomical or cosmological nature. Its probably best to say that Jesus beliefs were inerrant, and that this inerrancy i suppose was analogous to the inerrancy that The Spirit granted to the human authors of scripture. But then his inerrancy doesn't have to be a feature of his incarnation, but primarily (or merely?) a reflection of his status as the Prophet who speaks with God (the father) face to face. Well, but that points us to the incarnation too: for the incarnate one, divine and human is as "face to face" as one might get.

But how did information pass between natures, so that the human nature became aware of the information known to the omniscience of the divine nature?

If all these questions are wrong (and they probably are) what does it mean that Jesus grew in wisdom?

November 26, 2003



(Happy Thanksgiving)

November 21, 2003

This is a very clever cartoon. Subtle.

Do you get it?

There's an ambiguity, even in the hidden meaning, I think.

UPDATE: The cartoon is the one appearing Nov 10. If the cartoon URL has moved, you can look at in by selecting from the drop-down box.

The cartoon depicts an outhouse, among other things. I think its an interesting text case for Interpretive Maximalism.

Peter Leithart has been reporting on the papers presented at the meeting of the Evangelical Theological society. This comment caught my eye:
Stanley Grentz presented paper on the imago Dei as a Christological title, and along the way offered some observations on the relation of anthropology and Christology. One of the most revealing things he said was that when imago Dei is confined to anthropology (as it often is in evangelical theology), we end up with an anthropologically controlled Christology rather than a Christologically controlled anthropology. We end up letting the first Adam serve as the model and standard of the Last Adam rather than vice versa. We need to read Gen 1-3 not as pure anthropology, but as the beginnings of Christology, and see that the imago Dei notion is fulfilled in Jesus and the new humanity united with Him. The protology of Gen 1-3 needs to be read from the eschatological perspective of the gospel.
Many problematics of orthodox Reformed Christology would be lessened if we weren't so uneasy with the glorified nature of Christ's humanity. We don't have to attribute, say, Christ's healings to the divine to the exclusion of the human if we better comprehend the eschatology of humanity in the first place.

We probably have Calvin somewhat to blame for this though, since Calvin so strenuously objects to the ideas that there would have been an incarnation apart from the fall and (if I recall) that it is particularly the Son that Adam is created in the image of.

November 19, 2003

The Volokh Conspiracy lets all the people who said 'I told you so' speak. An interesting case on how the ERA (a clause of it adopted by Massachussetts) was part of the basis for the court's overturning of civil heterosexual marriage statutes.

More valid slippery-slopism recounted here.

And naked judicial activism:
As a general principle, I do not accept the philosophy of [the original intent school of constitutional interpretation]. The Massachusetts Constitution was never meant to create dogma that adopts inflexible views of one time to deny lawful rights to those who live in another. The provisions of our Constitution are, and must be, adaptable to changing circumstances and new societal phenomena
Changing circumstances? New phenomena? People have been homosexual since Sodom. Homosexual people have organized to get marriage rights for quite some time. The mere fact that many people are asking for a policy change cannot be a rationalle for disregarding original intent, because the reason that the constitutional provision existed was derived from their original intent

November 18, 2003

The myth of neutrality, exposed. I told you why last year.

After thinking a bit, I wonder if these sorts of controversies make much difference to Lutherans who reject any state involvement in the Gospel. I think it makes somewhat dubious the assumption that state involvement in any kind of gospel message in inherently based on violence. Nobody has ever been executed over creche scenes. People who don't like 'em can just ignore 'em if they want.

[updated on advice of the hierouxor]

November 17, 2003

Charles Hodge agrees with me:
The wicked will be punished on account of their works, and according to their works; the righteous will be rewarded, not on account of, but according to their works. Good works are to them the evidence of their belonging to that class to whom, for Christ's sake, eternal life is graciously awarded; and they are, in some sense and to some extent, the measure of that reward
But Dabney says this:
This last declarative justification will be conditioned on believers' works, (Matt. xxv), and not on their faith, necessarily; because it will be addressed to the fellow-creatures of the saints, who cannot read the heart, and can only know the existence of faith by the fruits.
An interesting consideration of the public nature of the Last Judgement. Its not God simply judging by his own hermetic criteria, mysteriously aquitting vile people for no apparent reason, but the heart of faith's public manifestation in good works is judged, and noone will be able to gainsay it.

November 14, 2003

Hey that whacky Ninth Circuit made a decision conservatives will like! It seems homemade machine guns can't be banned under the Commerce Clause (growing wheat in your backyard still can though.)

Honey, time to fire up my machine shop!

These have been legal for a while now

November 12, 2003

Yes, schools can be heavy handed in how they treat rude and hateful comments. But this tack is kinda pointless
They were my personal private thoughts and I was getting picked on for them.
Duh! Get a paper diary if you want to be private

<coy>Notice anything different?</coy>

November 11, 2003

CALVIN'S Institutes:
What we there read as to his having received power from the Father to forgive sins; as to his quickening whom he will; as to his bestowing righteousness, holiness, and salvation; as to his being appointed judge both of the quick and the dead; as to his being honoured even as the Father, are not peculiar either to his Godhead or his humanity, but applicable to both. In the same way he is called the Light of the world, the good Shepherd, the only Door, the true Vine. With such prerogatives the Son of God was invested on his manifestation in the flesh, and though he possessed the same with the Father before the world was created, still it was not in the same manner or respect; neither could they be attributed to one who was a man and nothing more.
I don't think there is a denial here that "the human nature of Christ shares in God's glory, power, knowledge, or perfection"

Isn't it clear though that there are incommunicable attribute of God? Like being eternal? The humanity of Christ cannot be regarded as eternal, even by reason of the incarnation of the eternal son.

Man, I'm flashing back to 1989 when I used to debat on talk.religion.misc. I haven't recalled how cool I thought Tertullian's "That the Son of God died is to be believed, because it is absurd" in ages. Still is.

November 10, 2003

I went to bed friday night with a bit of pain in my ankle, and woke up barely able to walk. Still ran errands saturday, though the porch project was on hold. Resting and an ankle wrap saturday seemed to make things alright on Sunday, but monday morning some pain was back. At work I stayed at my desk, and rode septa into and home, but that seems to have been too much and now I'm worn out with the pain. (Pain is exhausting).

The ankle wrap makes it worse.

I think this is weight related.


"Mary is the mother of God"

Idea A: This means that Mary is the mother of Jesus, and since Jesus is God, Mary is the mother of God. Now since we confess at the same time that God is eternal, and that the procession of the Son from the Father is something internal to the divine life, when we're talking about Mary being the mother of God were not talking in the same universe of discourse as when we say the Father is the Father of the Son.

But remember, we accept that when the son was incarnate, taking on a human nature, then we could predicate of the whole son any thing we would predicate about God. And since no human being is truly regardable as an independent entity, and it is in the nature of human beings to have mothers and fathers, to be in social relation, to have organs that can be transplanted, etc, then the glorification of the Son's human nature that is casused by the incarnation includes all the things that are predicated of human nature.

So the eternal and infinite God at the same time has a created, finite human mother. Being incarnate means the Son subjects himself to the relation of human son of a human mother, as procreation entails. So we can say the Son is Finite and infinite, he is a creature and the creator, he is limited and not limited.

Idea B: Or its just a manner of speaking.

November 09, 2003

Years ago, shortly after I'd graduated, some friends of mine in the IVCF chapter we were in were out for pizza at a restaurant. They were all in a booth seat facing the dining area, and I was in a chair facing them and the wall.

They started being amused at the flamboyant antics of one of the waiters who I couldn't see. I got annoyed, since I didn't think it was very Christian to make assumptions about someone's genital acts from mere behavior.

I said, "sides, if I had to go on just appearances alone, I'd say you were all gay since none of you are exactly the most masculine guys in the world."

Today I learned that a second of the three other men has taken up homosexuality. (One of them did about 10 years ago)

November 07, 2003

Some very funny stories of very dumb greedy customers are recounted on Acts of Gord. Gord is a video game store owner.

He's also quite the sarcastic wit. I wonder if he really came up with such clever retorts with as much ease as he does here

I'd feel more sorry for the people on welfare who have trouble paying their bills with him if it weren't for the fact that they're buying video games.

Netscape is pretty picky. When you have a <form> inside a <table> construction, anything you type into the form is erased when you hit the Back button.

That's frustrating for users who have just filled in a long list of details, hit some server-side validation, and then have to go back to fix the entry.

The form tag is supposed to be outside the table tag. IE was more forgiving.

Heb 12:4-11: In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
"My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives."
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Is this passage giving us Gospel, or Law?

If Gospel, how is it that it speaks of struggle and reproof, and pain? When gospel is supposed to be only that which "comforts, that offers the favor and grace of God to transgressors of the Law [...] a good and joyful message"?

If Law, how is it that it is addressed to the believing son, as a sign of God's (shall we say it) "fatherly displeasure" in which he seeks the training of his son?

If Law, can anyone argue that in its "proper effects, the person who is feeling its power begins to fume and rage against God. " (CFW Walther), when the text clearly in encouraging the reader to accept the discipline, no matter how unpleasant.

Clearly the text is "gospel", even following the quotes above, but what seems to be denied is the paradox of fatherly displeasure: that discomfort, pain, and reproof for sin are words of comfort and favor and grace, when we apprehend that in Christ, we are Sons along with him loved of the father, and learning obedience in an analogous fashion from the things that we suffer, even suffering brought by our own fleshiness. Or if that is not denied, for surely Lutherans teach that such discipline is from God's love, there seems to be a denial that the Christian may not apprehend "displeasure" or reproof or pain in it. And what should the response to the Love of God be? To the Law, we must always repent and believe the gospel, but when, by God's loving discipline, we have apprehended that we are in need of repentance how can we when this is supposedly "gospel knowledge"?

And for those who think that all criticisms of a doctrinal formulation are an indication that one thinks a doctrine is Satanic, I reject such an idea.

But I learned to live with long ago the idea that my confession might not be entirely felicitous in the way it expresses some truths, or that even there are errors within it that one can sift out without rejecting the whole. If I hadn't learned that I might be much more hostile to those who would nitpick or criticize the WCF. I've got no problem with this formulation though:
God doth continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified: and although they can never fall from the state of justification; yet they may, by their sins, fall under God's fatherly displeasure, and not have the light of His countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance

November 06, 2003

There's a lot of response to an essay by Kim Du Toit on the meaning and demeaning of manhood that instapundit has been covering. The essay itself has some crude language, so you'll have to go to the instapundit link to find the link to Du Toit (that ok, Rich?)

Du Toit catches on to the "stupid guy" meme in advertising which I've noted for a couple of years. I'd forgotten how egregious the Cheerios ad where the mom, in front of the kids, says "dad used to do a lot of stupid stuff before he met me". Instapundit also brought up this fascinating takedown of the Bernstien Bears for its Mom always right/Dad is the problem plotlines.

Dan Mallon was quoted by Instapundit saying
What bothers me more is the way men and fathers are depicted in advertisements. They can't cook, clean, or care for themselves when they're sick.

In my house, I cook and shop. My wife does most of the cleaning as she doesn't like how I do it. We both do laundry, both changed diapers and cared for sick kids.

Imagine putting an advertisement on that showed a woman saying, "Can you balance the checkbook, honey? You know I can't do math."
This moved me to email this to instapundit:
Dan Mallon's comments on the unlikelihood of an ad that shows a woman needing help balancing a checkbook reminded me of a popular sitcom that stunned me with just this plotline.

Life with Bonnie is the most pro-man show headed by a woman I've ever seen. The husband character is a doctor and is very definitely a non-ironic authority figure to his kids and wife as well. One episode began with him giving Bonnie a reaming (firm but fair) for forgetting to make entries in the checkbook. He was clearly portrayed as legitimately angry with her, and she accepted is as a valid criticism and tried to do better.

The show sorta has a Lucy/Ricky vibe to it at times. I'm waiting for feminists to start noticing this show
I'm also morbidly curious as to what Fearsome Pirate thinks about Du Toit.

November 05, 2003

Josh S tries make natural law sound like it doesn't come from Jesus:
When it comes to the coercive forces necessary to keep unbelievers in check, all you have is the Law (meaning the natural law, not the Torah). There's no 'In this Christocracy, Jesus demands that I stone you to death.' Jesus didn't stone anyone to death, idiot.
Natural Law, of course, is as much the expression of the mind of Jesus as anything in the torah. So if we think "natural law" demands jailtime, stoning, or community service, it hard to avoid the conclusion that its not Jesus somehow demanding it.

I thought Jesus was him who fills all in all, including natural law?

The sticking point in all this is the problem of sinful depraved human beings thinking they can make use of something called natural law that they can hermetically seal off from the revelation of God in the whole Bible.

November 04, 2003

An interesting tale of copyright, old magazines, and Hitler's house

If Barlow had his way, the kids of Hitler's photographer would get money from this.

Today we see the violence inherent in the system. The democratic machine system, that is.

The dems all got up yesterday to say how vigilant they would be againstvoter intimidation. Did they possibly hope to set themselves up for a florida-style debacle?

It seem like most of the violence is coming from the Street supporters, though it certainly isn't organized. My wife says the person below is a neighbor of one of her Bible Study members
Katz said that one of his supporters was punched in the mouth at a polling place near the University of Pennsylvania when that supporter asked a Street supporter to stop sticking pro-Street signs on top of pro-Katz signs.

Dr. Frank Cornett got treatment at an emergency room for the laceration. The alleged assailant fled and no immediate arrests were made, police said.
My solution is an eight year term for mayor, then we get somebody new.

Hey if nobody really knows about the Department of Education why can't we get rid of it?

Instead of claiming some kind of law-gospel-law dingus, how about an Exodus-gospel-Deuteronomy construct?


1. Its interesting that all these quotes from Galatians about how the law is "not far" from you are from Deuteronomy.

2. Deuteronomy is our first example of a transfigured law, appropriate for a redeemed people, who are getting the promised inheritance.

3. As Aaron's death lets them get ready to go in, and Moses' death completes the going in, so we, on the other side of Jesus' death, now have a second Instruction to tell us how to live in the inheritance.

4. JBJ said something how the form of the 10 commandments we should use liturgically is the deuteronomic one.

Its never law-gospel-law simplicter anayway. Its Law_1 - Gospel - Law_2

Or is it Law_luther - Gospel - Law_calvin

Law-gospel-law is really obviously wrong when you equate both uses of the term law, making them identical in content and use.

De script shun




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