Sunday, February 25, 2007

Iustitia Dei Part 3: Medieval Period

"From its beginning to its end, the medieval period saw justification as involving a real change in the sinner - an understanding which precludes any distinction between iustification and regeneratio. The processus iustificationis includes regeneration or renewal as one of its integral elements, making any such distinction intensely problematic. The notional distinciton that came to emerge in the sixteenth century between iustificatio and regeneratio (or sanctificatio) provides one of the best ways of distingushing between Catholic and Protestant understanding of jusification, making the Reformers' discontinunity with the earlier western theological tradition."

-pg 71-72 Iustiitia Dei by Alister McGrath

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Frame Reviews Wright's "The Last Word"

John Frame has written a review on N.T. Wright's book, "The Last Word", and concludes that:

"Wright is right to say that God’s word, and specifically Scripture, is more than doctrines and commands. But if inspiration confers divine authorship, and if God’s word is true speech, then it becomes very important, within the context of the kingdom narrative, to believe God’s doctrines and to obey God’s commands. Indeed, as Wright notes, the very nature of narrative poses the question of whether the events described “really happened:” that is, what should we believe about them, and how should we act in response. But then narrative itself implies doctrines to be believed and commandments to obey.

That is what the Bible wars are about. One can believe everything Wright says about the narrative context of biblical authority and still ask responsibly whether the words of Scripture are God’s words to us. Wright’s book does not speak helpfully to this question, nor does it succeed (if this was Wright’s purpose) in persuading us not to ask it. So, like the worship books mentioned earlier, The Last Word does not discuss what is most relevant to the controversy. It proposes a context, but a context is not enough. Two people who accept Wright’s proposal may nevertheless differ radically on the question of whether the Bible is the word of God.

Many of us would like to get away from the debates of the liberal/fundamentalist controversy. But if Scripture is God’s very word, then we cannot be indifferent to its doctrinal and ethical authority, or silent against attacks on that authority. Wright has done some great work in defending the truth of Scripture, and it is evident in the present volume that he has scant regard for the scholarship of enlightenment skeptics like those of the Jesus Seminar. So he has himself entered into the Bible wars. But are these wars merely contests to see who is the better scholar, or is the word of God itself at issue? If the latter, much more must be said and done."

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Iustitia Dei Part 2

Augustine of Hippo view of justification:

"Justification is therefore essentially a "making right", a restoration of every facet of the relationship between God and humanity, the rectitude of which constitues iustitia. Iustitia is not conceived primarily in legal or forensic categories, but transcends them, encompassing the 'right-wissing' of the God-human relationship in its many aspects: the relationship of God to humankind, of humans to their fellows, and of humans to their environment. Justification is about 'making just'-establishing the recitiude of the created order to according to the divine intention. Although it is clear that justification has legal and moral ramifications, given the wide scope o f Augustine's concept of iustitia, it is not primarily a legal or moral concept" [1]

[1] pg 51 of Iustitia Dei by Alister McGrath

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Golden One Arm and Mark Cuban

Gilbert Arenas continues to talk about his "Golden One Arm" against DeShawn Stevenson. You guys can catch the video below of the $20,000 bet in acton below. (Also check-out Cuban's rant about D.Wade)

Iustitia Dei Part 1

"For the first 350 years of the history of the church, its teaching on justification was inchoate and ill-defined. There had never been a serious controversy over the matter, such as those which had so stimulated the development of Christology over the period. The patristic inexactiude and occassional apparent naivety on the question merely reflects the absence of a controversy which would force more precise definition of the terms used. If the first centuries of the western theological tradition appear be characterised by a "work-righteousness' approach to justification, it must be emphasised that this was quite innocent of the overtones which would later be associated with it" [1]

[1] pg 38 of "Iustitia Dei" by Alister McGrath

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Wright on Being a Christian

"Made for spirituality, we wallow in introspection. Made for joy, we settle for pleasure. Made for justice, we clamor for vengenance. Made for relationship, we insist on our own way. Made for beauty, we are satisfied with sentiment. But new creation has already begun. The sun has begun to rise. Christians are called to leave behind, in the tomb of Jesus Christ, all that belongs to the brokeness and incompleteness of the present world. It is time, in the power of the Spirit, to take up our proper role, our fully human role, as agents, heralds, and stewards of the new day that is dawning. That, quite simply, is what it means to be Christians: to follow Jesus Christ into the new world, God's new world, which he has thrown open before us"

- NT. Wright from "Simply Christian" pg 237

Friday, February 02, 2007

Gary Haugen and International Justice Mission

Gary Haugen of International Justice Mission is speaking at First Presbyterian Church of Houston on Feb. 11,2007 (Sunday). It should be really good. Below is a preview of IJM in action.