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Set 3: Doctrine of God Part 2: From OT to NT TH01 Introduction to Theology Term III 2011-12 Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

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Presentation on theme: "Set 3: Doctrine of God Part 2: From OT to NT TH01 Introduction to Theology Term III 2011-12 Pittsburgh Theological Seminary."— Presentation transcript:

1 Set 3: Doctrine of God Part 2: From OT to NT TH01 Introduction to Theology Term III Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

2 Continuity OT to NT “The God of Jesus is none other than the God of Jewish faith, according to the witness of the OT. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob…. the God whom Israel confesses in the shema of Deut. 6:4 (Mark 12:29)” W. Pannenberg, ST vol.I, 260

3 Deut 6: 4-5: "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” Mark 12:29:-30: Jesus answered, "The first is, `Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.'"

4 At the same time …a big difference The difference is centered on the relationship between “God” and Jesus Christ –On the one hand…this is a uniquely intimate relationship bordering on identity –On the other hand, there is a profoundly disturbing distinction bordering on opposition

5 Jesus Christ and God: Oneness and Otherness Unity and Distinction: one and yet distinguishable Same and yet Different Close and yet Opposed First, look at unity, then distinction Then ask: how to hold them together

6 Unity or Oneness: A Uniquely Intimate Relationship Most frequent in John's gospel. For example, John 10:30: “I and the Father are one."

7 And: "All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him." Matt 11:27

8 Even here, some distinction… Mark 1:11: And a voice came from heaven, "Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased." 12: The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. Mark 9:7: And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, "This is my beloved Son; listen to him."

9 Sub-Point 1 under Unity: Jesus’ Use of “Abba” or “father” Implies both unity and distinction: Unity: “My father” Distinction: very notion implies otherness or contrast: “Son” and “Father”

10 Hosea 11:1: When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. 2: The more I called them, the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Ba'als, and burning incense to idols. 3: Yet it was I who taught E'phraim to walk, I took them up in my arms; but they did not know that I healed them. 4: I led them with cords of compassion, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one, who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them.

11 Isaiah 63:16: For thou art our Father, though Abraham does not know us and Israel does not acknowledge us; thou, O LORD, art our Father, our Redeemer from of old is thy name.

12 Isaiah 64:8-9: Yet, O LORD, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou art our potter; we are all the work of thy hand. 9: Be not exceedingly angry, O LORD, and remember not iniquity for ever. Behold, consider, we are all thy people.

13 Summary: Jesus’ Use of “Abba” Not without precedent Appears to have used it typically Probably unique as a name for God, a way of addressing God in prayer Speaks of “my father,” “your father,” and “Our Father…”

14 Sub-Point 2: Jesus as “Son of God” – Begotten and the Question of the Virgin Birth Luke 1:35: The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

15 Only begotten John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only [begotten] Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. [RSV] 1 John 4:9: In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only [begotten] Son into the world, so that we might live through him. [RSV]

16 However… Romans 1:4 and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

17 Return to Main Theme: Unity and yet Distinction 2 Cor. 5:21: For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

18 Romans 8:32: “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?”

19 Gal 3:13: Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us -- for it is written, "Cursed be every one who hangs on a tree" -- 14: that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

20 2 Cor 5:21: For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. In context…

21 2 Cor 5:15: And he died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. 16: From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once regarded Christ from a human point of view, we regard him thus no longer. 17: Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. 18: All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19: that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20: So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21: For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

22 Mark 15: 34: And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "E'lo-i, E'lo-i, la'ma sabach-tha'ni?" which means, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" 35: And some of the bystanders hearing it said, "Behold, he is calling Eli'jah." 36: And one ran and, filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, "Wait, let us see whether Eli'jah will come to take him down." 37: And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last.

23 Hebrews 5:7: In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear. 8: Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him,…”

24 Texts that put this together: Binitarian Formulas 1 Cor 8:5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth -- as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords" -- 6: yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

25 Comparison: Deut 6: 4-5: "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might... 1 Cor 8:6: yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

26 Trinitarian Formulas Matt 28:19: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit Pretty unusual in the NT Narrative Approaches…such as

27 1 Peter 1:1: Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2: chosen and destined by God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. 3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…

28 Philippians 2:6: who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7: but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8: And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. 9: Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, 10: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11: and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

29 Key Questions… How is Jesus Christ related to “God” the “Father”? How are they alike? Are they indistinguishable one? How are they distinct? Are they separate beings? How is the Holy Spirit related, alike, and distinct? Jesus prays to God, but Jesus is prayed to…

30 Even before the end of the NT period, and with growing intensity thereafter, the early church began to wrestle with questions about the relationship between God and Christ Are they one? If so, in what way are they one? How can we confess their oneness? Are they two or distinct? If so, how can we describe that without falling into nonsense, polytheism, or logical contradiction? Oh…and what about the Holy Spirit?

31 “Apologists” For example, Justin Martyr God is one. God has spoken, and Christ is God’s Logos or Word –Dependent upon John 1 –Not very clear what God’s “Word” actually is

32 Monarchianism One Arche or Principle or Source Several versions of monarchianism, not very consistent among them… –“Dynamic Monarchianism” or Adoptionism: Christ is “adopted” as Son of God; not a pre-existent Son but “made to be the Son” –Is this found in the NT? –Sabellius (Sabellianism): God is One but active in three modes or three activities: creation, redemption, and sanctification.


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