Category Archives: Theology

“A harmony of thanksgiving will arise from all creation” Gregory of Nyssa on the salvation of all creation

Excerpt from Gregory of Nyssa’s Great Catechism (II,25-26): That Deity should be born in our nature, ought not reasonably to present any strangeness to the minds of those who do not take too narrow a view of things. For who, when he takes a survey of the universe, is so simple as not to believe … Continue reading “A harmony of thanksgiving will arise from all creation” Gregory of Nyssa on the salvation of all creation

Pierre Cuppe: Heaven Open to All Men (1743)

Central to Cuppe’s argument is the distinction between the “earthly man”, Adam, and “the heavenly man”, Christ. Both represent humanity in its entirety. Antichrist is nothing but humanity considered in its sinful state without God. Every human person, considered as the offspring of Adam can be called the “Antichrist”, Cuppe explains. But considered in the light of the redeemer every human person is the new man, reconciled to God.

Athanasius on the purpose of the incarnation: “This He did out of sheer love for us, so that in His death all might die, and the law of death thereby be abolished”

This He did out of sheer love for us, so that in His death all might die, and the law of death thereby be abolished because, having fulfilled in His body that for which it was appointed, it was thereafter voided of its power for men. This He did that He might turn again to incorruption men who had turned back to corruption, and make them alive through death by the appropriation of His body and by the grace of His resurrection. Thus He would make death to disappear from them as utterly as straw from fire.

What does it mean to be “born again”? T.F. Torrance on regeneration with Christ

“During my first week of office as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland when I presided at the Assembly’s Gaelic Service, a Highlander asked me when I had been born again. I still recall his face when I told him I had been born again when Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary and rose again from the virgin tomb, the first-born of the dead.”

Recovering the Primitive Baptist doctrine of ‘Justification From Eternity’ in a non-particularistic framework

The debate about the time of justification is far from just being a matter of speculation. It is relevant for practical theology, as it raises questions for mission and evangelism: Is preaching imperative for saving people or is it rather the joyful revelation of something which is already true about our existence?

James Relly: The Great Salvation Contemplated, epistle IV

“When I hear God himself promise a blessing to mankind, my mind immediately conceives of somewhat very different from a curse: but if men are not blessed with eternal life, it is easily proved, that all other blessings, so called, terminate in a curse. When I hear it promised, that this blessing should be in Christ, I readily conclude, that it is not in man: and can therefore conceive, how men may be blessed in Christ, though they may be ignorant of it in themselves.”

Every Eye Will See Him (Rev. 1:7)

What does it mean that every eye will see Him? God is now quickening His first fruit company of sons who see His coming and who are beholding the appearing of His life within. To behold or to see signifies a knowing and understanding. Rest assured that in the finality of God’s plan for the ages, every eye will be opened to understand and know Jesus Christ as Lord.

My eyes have seen your salvation!

The salvation of God is there whether we see it or not. But when we see it, seeing brings joy – if it doesn’t, it’s not the salvation of God that we see. The sight of God’s salvation does not leave us unaltered. Seeing God’s salvation means taking part here and now in what Jesus is doing for the whole world.

James Relly: The Great Salvation Contemplated, epistle I+II

“There are but few individuals, so crucified to system, so detached from party, as to see and confess this truth much less can they perceive, how those doctrines, so seemingly contradictory, and opposite to each other, should yet be one in Christ, and preaching the same salvation, in the same language. Yet in this light I view them, and hope to speak intelligibly of the matter.”

Jesus and the sign of the prophet Jonah

When Jesus talks about the sign of the prophet Jonah, it is not so much about us, but first of all about Jesus. The story of Jonah is a story about the cross and resurrection of Christ. It is Jesus who is to experience the uttermost darkness at the bottom of death, he who is about to go through a radical spiritual crisis in order to experience salvation.

Who are Jesus’ flock? Notes for a sermon on sheep

To belong to the flock of Christ – to be a part of his church – means to confess that he is one with the Father and that all and everything has been put into his hands. This also means to have a hope that is larger than a particular and narrow hope for the elect only. This larger hope is exactly what distinguishes the church from the pharisees of Jesus’ time and indeed all religious elites who want to narrow down the gospel.

Athanasius on eternal election

Nor in any other way was it fitting that our life should be founded, but in the Lord who is before the ages, and through whom the ages were brought to be; that, since it was in Him, we too might be able to inherit that everlasting life.

The woman with the alabaster jar

This is what the story of the woman with alabaster jar reminds us: That the kingdom of God explodes all our narrow concerns and ideas of justice. Instead we are to look to Jesus as the woman did. When we do that we are ready to help the poor, who are always with us in the kingdom. The justice of the kingdom of God does not exclude worldly justice, but includes it and brings it all into a much wider perspective.

What does it mean that Jesus fulfilled “all righteousness” when he was baptized?

What does it mean that Jesus fulfilled “all righteousness” when he was baptized? Jesus’ whole life, his ministry, beginning from his baptism by John in the Jordan until his suffering and death on the cross, is the “baptism” that fulfills all righteousness.

Just as all died with him on the cross (2 Cor 5:15), all were baptized with him in Jordan.

Charles Spurgeon’s Ambivalent View on Justification

If “it is God that justifieth,” Rom. 8:33, and if the act of justification lies solely in God “estimating, accounting, and constituting” a sinner as righteous, then Spurgeon must be wrong in asserting that justification is a transient act, for these are all terms that denote an action of the divine mind, and consequently an action that is immanent and eternal.

Karl Barth on the universality of the atonement and the particularity of the work of the Spirit

In the first volume of the fourth part of his Church Dogmatics Karl Barth argued that the atonement was true and real for all human beings as a result of the work of Jesus Christ. The difference between Christians and non-Christians, is that Christians are those who have heard the Gospel, and as a result know that the atonement is real for them also. This is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Jürgen Moltmann: The Coming of God

Jürgen Moltmann (1926-) is a German Reformed theologian and Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at the University of Tübingen. In his book The Coming of God Moltmann deals extensively with Christian eschatology. “True hope must be universal, because its healing future embraces every individual and the whole universe. If we were to surrender hope for as much as one single creature, for us God would not be God.” – Jürgen Moltmann

What’s the scriptural basis for calling all people “God’s people”?

By Jack Gillespie. “Well, of course, there aren’t any verses that come right out and say, “all people are now God’s people because of the work of Christ.” If there were, the conversation would be over. But I see it throughout the New Testament (and even suggested in the Old Testament) in the same way some people see Jesus “on every page of the Bible” or the way Paul saw Christ as the rock that Moses struck.”

Exceptions to God’s love? A thought on violence and salvation, Anabaptists, Yoder, Barth and Luther

Note: This is a repost of a post from In the Lutheran Augsburg Confession (CA) the so-called Anabaptists were condemned not just for their baptist practices but also for their views on eschatology, soteriology and ethics. First there is the Anabaptist rejection of violence. The Lutherans condemned the Anabaptists for teaching the necessity of … Continue reading Exceptions to God’s love? A thought on violence and salvation, Anabaptists, Yoder, Barth and Luther

Charles Slagle: The Good News of Christ’s Total Victory

“Christ bought us ALL back by His own blood shed at Calvary. He came to earth for this purpose: to destroy the devil’s deceptive works and to save that which was lost. Eventually our Lord will fulfill His sure purpose and inherit ALL He paid for.”–Charles Slagle

Elhanan Winchester: The Outcasts Comforted – Sermon on Universal Restoration (1782)

“One will say, God loves all his creatures without exception, that he is good to all and his tender mercies are over all his works. Another will maintain that all the objects of his love must finally come to the enjoyment of himself; and that his mercy endureth forever and cannot fail. We heartily believe both these testimonies. One will assert that Christ died for all, tasted death for everyone; the other, that Christ shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied, and that all for whom his blood was shed shall be cleansed thereby. All this we steadfastly believe.”

The Schizophrenic Gospel? Christian and Anti-Christian Paradoxes

In the schizophrenic gospel, God is both darkness and light. In the Christian gospel, there is no darkness in God (1 John 1:5), but God’s light reveals, contradicts and convicts our darkness. The so-called double-bind theory was developed by Gregory Bateson in the 1950s as an explanation for schizophrenia. It explains how a certain kind … Continue reading The Schizophrenic Gospel? Christian and Anti-Christian Paradoxes

In our darkness

For God darkness is as light. Through his own dying Christ has overpowered our enemy, death, and turned darkness into light. This is why he can now take each and every one of your darkest sorrows and worries, and turn them into blinding lights.

More thoughts behind the website: Doing theology in the light of the gospel of infinite grace

The purpose of this website is not to teach soteriological universalism as a ‘theological doctrine’, but to help deconstruct and reconstruct  traditional concepts such as salvation, damnation, election, predestination, divine judgment and so on. God is free to have or not to have mercy on whom he wills (Rom. 9:18), and so we cannot make … Continue reading More thoughts behind the website: Doing theology in the light of the gospel of infinite grace

The sheep and the goats (Matt. 25:31-46)

From J.W. Hanson’s Bible Threatenings Explained. Matt. 25:46 is the great proof text of the doctrine of endless punishment: “These shall go away into everlasting punishment, and the righteous into life eternal.” That the popular view of this language is incorrect is evident, because those punished are those who have not been good to the … Continue reading The sheep and the goats (Matt. 25:31-46)

Hell (Gehenna) in the Bible

From J.W. Hanson’s Bible Threatenings Explained. “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell (Gehenna).” (Matt. 10:28) “But I will forewarn you whom you shall fear: Fear him which, after he hath … Continue reading Hell (Gehenna) in the Bible

Joseph E. Kirk: The eons of the Bible

“God’s purpose in creating man, and God’s purpose of the eons are inseparably related. Many are unfamiliar with this important subject because the facts have been concealed by incorrect and misleading translations of the Bible from the original languages into English.”–Joseph E. Kirk