I thought I’d tidy up a few loose ends left by the last two posts. One thing that has never seemed quite credible to me, in the Patristic expressions of the Ransom theory, is simply the suggestion that Satan was outwitted and blindsided by the death of Christ. Origen, Gregory of Nyssa and Augustine all spoke of God deceiving Satan (justly, as the arch-deceiver), the latter even using the analogy of Jesus as bait in an animal trap (an image to which Gregory the Theologian objected).
But Satan was a bright guy: did he really have no inkling, up to the Passion, of what was going on? After all, the devil knows his Bible better than any of us, and in hindsight, at least, we may see how much OT prophecy relates to the effectual, and salvific, suffering of Messiah. Continue reading
I ended my last post with the conclusion of the writer to the Hebrews’ exposition of Psalm 8, which introduces Satan into the picture of man’s temporary subordination to the angels, and his glorification by the work of Christ. The mention suggests that Satan has particular relevance to the relationship between mankind, angels and divine glory:
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
This piece arises from the line of thought I laid out here, which in turn lies within the view I’ve been developing of the significance of Eden in the meta-narrative of the Pentateuch and the whole Bible. See here, here, here, here and here. Continue reading
Whilst natural theology is a hot topic at The Hump, Eddie Robinson’s recent pieces here and here regarding the BioLogos thread mentioning natural theology, in connection with Lutheranism, prompted me to do a rapid, and of course, incomplete survey of the Church Fathers on this subject. Continue reading
Over on BioLogos, George Murphy has responded to my previous post here on the Hump. As I have no posting privileges at BioLogos, I will have to engage Dr. Murphy from my position here. This is an awkward arrangement, but it will serve for the moment. I add, however, that Dr. Murphy is free to sign up here on the Hump as a commenter and respond directly, free of charge, to this post or to any others in the future; I’m sure that his interests sufficiently overlap with the Hump’s that he would be a valuable addition to not just this but other conversations here. Continue reading
Over at BioLogos, Joshua Swamidass has started a new discussion, entitled “The Lutheran Option”. In it, Joshua makes the point that the Lutheran voice has rarely been heard in origins debates in the USA, and calls for a more balanced discussion in which characteristically Lutheran theological emphases are heard, alongside the more commonly heard Calvinist/Reformed and “Wesleyan” points of view. Continue reading
You know that thing where you can claim to have all-but met someone because you met someone who has? In that way, I’ve met the Queen because my brother shook hands with her royal glove. Well, yesterday the wife and I met, in this indirect way, the celebrated David Attenborough – whose programmes I first watched back in in 1959 – via the intermediary of a new fossil Jurassic ichthyosaur, on which he has just had a documentary broadcast. Continue reading
On two occasions in the last week, BBC radio scientific programmes have claimed to offer “evolutionary explanations” for observed human phenomena, though admittedly one might (memory is hazy) have been a food programme interviewing a scientist. Continue reading
Scholar Michael Heiser has made it his business, in books, blogs and YouTube clips, to rehabilitate the supernatural beings who are, in fact, prominent in both Scriptural Testaments, but who are usually airbrushed out by that wonderful ability we have for selective inattention to what the Bible actually says. Continue reading
In my last post, on occasionalism, I alluded to the recent suggestion that the universe is a “simulation” in the context of the defensiveness people feel over the importance of the secondary causes in our world being “real”:
The more powerful objection against occasionalism, it seems to me, is the vague idea that if, in the end, there is no solid basis to physical reality, then God is making us live in a world of illusion. Hence the feelings resonating around the recent suggestion that the universe is a “simulation” in which we are living.