Creation and Analogy

Peter Leithart writes about creation and analogy on the Trinity House website:

God created everything to communicate of Himself. That is the nature and purpose of everything created. If that is what created things are, and if God is the Creator who knows and governs His universe, then created things are designed to speak of Him.


[…] When we begin from the Bible’s own assumptions about creation, and the implicit view of language that follows from creation, we expect to discover analogies between uncreated and created relations. Of course, they are not the same, and we need to specify the disanalogies along the way. But if we follow the lead of a Bible that speaks of God anthropomorphically, we should should not let the disanalogies frighten us into silence. Because human relations – king and people, father and child, husband and wife, brother and brother, friend and friend – do not reveal the Trinity exhaustively. But they are designed to reveal the communion of the Triune Persons, and to reveal them truthfully.

Read the rest here.


Murray on Unity

But while spurious unity is to be condemned, the lack of unity among churches of Christ which profess the faith in its purity is a patent violation of the unity of the body of Christ, and of that unity which the prayer of our Lord requires us to promote. We cannot escape from the implications for us by resorting to the notion of the invisible church. The body of Christ is not an invisible entity, and the prayer of Jesus was directed to the end that the world might believe. The unity prayed for was one that would bear witness to the world, and therefore belonged to the realm of the observable. The implications for visible confession and witness are unavoidable.

– John Murray, “The Nature and Unity of the Church”

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Transformation Through Text

“God in his infinite wisdom decided to give us a book, a very long book, and not a portrait or an aphorism. God reveals himself in his image, Jesus, but we come to know that image by reading, and that takes time. God wants to transform us into the image of his image, and one of the key ways he does that is by leading us through the text. If we short-circuit that process by getting to the practical application, we are not going to be transformed in the ways God wants us to be transformed. ‘Get to the point’ will not do because part of the point is to lead us through the labyrinth of the text itself. There is treasure at the center of the labyrinth, but with texts, the journey really is as important as the destination. ‘Get to the point, man’ is the slogan of the liberal theologian; it is a demand for the kernel without the annoying distraction of the husky twists and turns of the text itself.

We cannot get the meaning of a text without taking time. And as the text takes time, the meanings of earlier texts shift with the introduction of later texts. The meanings of the text emerge through the time of reading.

-Peter Leithart, Deep Exegesis: The Mystery of Reading Scripture.

Bound By So Many Favors

Calvin’s Prayer ending his lecture on Jeremiah 10:1-6:

Grant, Almighty God, that since thou hast made heaven and earth for our sake, and hast testified by thy servant Moses, that the sun, as well as the moon, to which foolish heathens ascribe divinity, are to be serviceable to us, and that we are to use them as though they were our servants,- O grant that we may, by thy so many blessings, have our minds raised upwards and contemplate thy true glory, so that we may faithfully worship thee only, and surrender ourselves so entirely to thee, that while we enjoy the benefits derived from all the stars, and also from the earth, we may know that we are bound to thee by so many favours, in order that we may be more and more roused to attend to what is just and right, and thus endeavour to glorify on earth thy name, that we may at length enjoy that blessed glory which has been provided for us by Christ Jesus our Lord. -Amen.

-John Calvin, Commentaries on the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah and Lamentations.

Calvin on Bringing Down Haughtiness

It is God that worketh. This is the true engine for bringing down all haughtiness- this the sword for putting an end to all pride, when we are taught that we are utterly nothing, and can do nothing, except through the grace of God alone. I mean supernatural grace, which comes forth from the spirit of regeneration. For, considered as men, we already are, and live and move in God (Acts xvii. 28.) But Paul reasons here as to a kind of movement different from that universal one…

John Calvin, on Philippians 2.13

Exaltation of Jesus as Divine Affirmation

“It is the affirmation, by God the Father, that the incarnation and death of Jesus really was the revelation of the divine love in action. In giving to Jesus the title kurios, and in granting him a share in that glory which, according to Isaiah, no one other than Israel’s God is allowed to share, God the Father is as it were endorsing that interpretation of divine equality which, according to v. 6, the Son adopted. Christ’s exaltation and divine honor are the public recognition that what was accomplished in his obedience and death was the outworking of the very character of God, the revelation of divine love.”

-N.T. Wright, on the exaltation of Christ in Philippians 2.