02 March 2011

Ecclesiology #5- Means Theology, a review

I have been in the process of trying to clean up some of the older posts. Back in June and July I laid out some of my initial ideas. I explained this a few posts back.

In light of the present discussion regarding Means, the following posts may or may not be helpful.

I wrote them quickly and didn't always explain my terms. I assumed quite a bit from the reader. Some of you will be familiar enough to benefit, others may end up being quite lost. If you're interested and you find yourself confused over a term or a name, email me and I'll explain.

I know I'm completely losing some of you on these theological points but as always I'm trying to challenge. If you don't agree that's fine, but thinking about these things will only enrich your Bible reading. And if you don't agree it will help you to understand why some people believe as they do and perhaps even help you to argue against people like me. I hope that's not the case but I'm certainly willing to take the risk.

Here are a few relevant posts that I've cleaned up. Again, it's all pretty much the same idea, but perhaps explained a different way, it may resonate in a way the recent posts have not.








Anonymous said...

May I say that this site is one of the very best I have see and 98.9% of the time I agree with Proto’s views/stance. The overall scope of this site is so huge and so important I almost think I am nitpicking to even say anything……. but in the spirit of love, may I argue?

Also with his knowledge and vocabulary it will be VERY elementary by comparison…….but I am compelled to disagree and state the “rest of the story” as it were. LOL well, an opposing view any way.

We can see that Proto holds to the Reformed stand on children in the covenant which he sees as one point of continuity while at the same time he does embrace the discontinuity.

I want to take the discontinuity a bit farther than he as far as children and the covenant.

I Cor 1:20 tells us all promises and covenants are now fulfilled in Christ. This is new.

One of the first things Christ did was to “replace” if one accepts that word, the patriarchal fathers with 12 new ones……now called Apostles. Something new.

We see in the “snapshot” of the church in Rev. that the gates are named for the patriarchs; as we do know salvation did indeed come from the Jews but the whole foundation rests upon the Chief Cornerstone and the Apostles.

Christ enjoins us to not put new wine in old bottles as well as not to mix new and old fabric…..these things don’t work. I know Proto takes this as affirmation for discontinuity but I take it even farther. It is all new. As Proto states the signs that were bloody have now been changed to the bloodless supper and baptism. This is surely quite new.

Then we know in Numbers a man was stoned under the law for picking up a piece of wood for a fire, as per the law. Christ defends his disciples when on the Sabbath they were picking corn……He declares Himself Lord of the Sabbath. This coupled with Mt 3-5 and the above parable regarding new wine.…..Christ is bringing in startling changes.

It was OK under Moses to divorce…..He changes that back to what God first intended. These things were staggering to the Jews. More of the new.

We see in John 1 that power is given to some to become the sons of God (12) and John further explains that these sons of God have nothing to do with bloodlines or families; neither are they born by the sheer will of a human but they are born of God.

According to John 3:8 we have absolutely NO indicators as to where the Spirit will blow. We can’t say “my family” has priority or is more likely because we are in covenant…..that is of the old wine. We surely want to say this because of our children and grandchildren but I don’t believe we can. It is no longer tribal nor ethnic. This is new.

I know Peter’s confession/profession of faith in Mt 16 has been debated and debated but one thing seems clear……at least to me, that Christ intended to build his church/called out ones on the foundation of Peter’s confession. It would seem again salvation has nothing to do with bloodlines or will, but on an individual’s confession of faith.

In Mt 10:34 Christ tells us one’s foes will actually be in his own house……there is turmoil when light and dark inhabit one dwelling. Lk 8:21 Christ seems to brush aside his mother and brothers but He was teaching us that our spiritual brothers and sisters are our real family One must despise one’s earthly family in comparison to Christ……and of course, that would include his body.

I concur with Proto that God given signs are not about us; as well as I agree that the baptism is the covenant sign. I agree we can not see hearts ergo there is a visible church composed of the sons of God and many tares, who will not be revealed until Christ’s return.

It does seem though that we can not carry over many things from the old covenant/law. The only real constant is love God and love our neighbor. It seems all things are new and all is superior. Moses gave the law but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Protoprotestant said...

Thanks mrsjimp for your comments.

I think the majority of people who read here would probably agree with you rather than me, but I have to try.

I agree with the discontinuity between Moses and Christ. (old and new)

And while Abraham was chronologically speaking part of the Old....theologically I think Paul labours to prove that the Abrahamic covenant was a prototype of the New. Since there's chronological overlap with Moses, there's also overlap in terms of the administration. But the Abrahamic Covenant itself is directly tied to the New. The Mosaic period is a paranthesis.

The Dispies are correct, there is a parenthesis. They think it's the Church Age. It's not the New Covenant, it was the whole period of the Mosaic Law.

That's why we get all those interesting dynamics where there seems to be unity...but there's also discontinuity.

The people of God expanded from be a family to a nation to the whole world. The outward promise was always made to believers and their children and I think the New Testament clearly reiterates that. There's nothing to indicate that's changed.

Yes we must be Born Again....that's actually Old Testament as Christ pointed out to Nicodemus.

It's OT in light of Abraham which weaves it way through and alongside of Moses.

When you take Moses alone versus Christ....there's the sharp discontinuity. On that point we fully agree. I don't want to look to the Law or any of the Mosaic forms and try and apply them to the Church.

But the core of the Abrahamic promise....we would agree that applies. I think the promise functionally includes children and I think the NT backs that up. That's where we disagree.

Children are clearly part of the NT Church. Paul addresses them in Ephesians 6 etc...

Even many Baptists will grant that in substance. They acknowledge their kids are part of the Covenant-life. All I'm saying is...to make it official in terms of means and administration they are entitled to the signs just as they've always been. It doesn't mean they're absolutely 100% saved....my baptism doesn't guarantee that either. It doesn't mean they're part of some sort of Christendom. It just means they're part of the Church, part of the Covenant people of God. They have to repent and believe daily like the rest of us.

I know you disagree, but your position I believe is much better than what is found in typical Baptist theolgy.

Well I'll stop there. Feel free to fire back. Like I said, I would imagine the majority of readers are more likely to agree with you.

Thanks for your comments. Keep them coming...