Monday, April 03, 2006

The Love of God in Christ

I've been participating in some discussions on systematic theology and ordered lists of salvation. It is easy to nitpick someone else's systematic theology, but also unfair to offer only criticisms but no new construction. So over the next few posts, I will sketch out a basic systematic theology. The question I have for myself -- and not for the first time -- is what kind of fool would undertake such a monumental task with the limits that I have? And the answer has not changed much: that the size of the task and my limits are plenty of cause for humility, cause which I would always do well to take seriously. It is one thing to begin with humility, but another to use humility as an excuse for not learning and doing what I can. So I have sketched out a very basic systematic theology and hope to contribute more to the conversation than only criticism.

The Fall and The Need for Redemption
The goodness of God and the goodness of creation
The image of God and the fall of man
Why the wages of sin is death

The love of God in our redemption
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit
The Encounter With Christ
Christ: The Power of God for Salvation
Christ: The Author of Faith
Christ: Our Covenant with God
Christ and the Worship of God
Christ and the New Creation within Us
Christ: The Foundation of Baptism
The fellowship of the Holy Spirit

Related Posts (not part of original series)
The stumbling block of the average systematic theology
On the atonement
Does the Athanasian Creed contain a mistake?
God's eternal decrees: The missing decree
Why the true systematic theology must be Christ
The cornerstone of systematic theology
Chosen in Christ
The problem with systematic theology
Ordered list of salvation
Grace and Election founded on Christ
Christ's role in every spiritual blessing
Sacrifice: Death and Redemption
VA Weekly: The Atonement
Omnipotence, Weakness, and the Cross of Christ
Original Sin?
Martin Luther and the Kaiser's Wife (on arguing with Scripture)
Understanding Scripture: Basic standards of interpretation
Comparative Religion: Beginning with Truth and Goodness
Across religions and cultures: Jesus as the shape of hope

One question still needs asking: Do we really need a new systematic theology? I do not know that very much of what I say is genuinely new; on a topic like this I would not even want to say something without precedent. Still, many popular systematic theologies hold such a small place for Christ, or have such a weak doctrine of creation, that it is difficult to be satisfied that they do justice to God. Some people have given up on theology altogether because its spirit has been so far from the spirit of Christ. And in the interest of fairness, it remains for me to make a contribution. May I make it prayerfully.


codepoke said...

This sounds exciting. I pray you grace, and look forward to each post.

I am, however, conflicted now. :-) I have questions about the first post, and don't know what to do with them. I want to see where you are headed, and don't want to bog you down so early in the process. Doing something so large out in public like this will be a challenge, and I want to avoid hindering you.

I'm guessing that you might like to be able to kind of work in peace, so I will take notes and comment less frequently than is my wont.

If I say nothing, be assured I am reading everything.

Weekend Fisher said...

Thanks for reading, and for praying. I really expect I'll alienate a certain percentage of my blogofriends, esp. those who are either Calvinist or Arminian. I mean, you can only say "Calvinism is wrong about 'sovereign grace' and here's why" once before the Calvinists tune out. But that's just the price for calling it like I see it. I just figured it was time I did something more constructive than nitpick other systems.

Take care & God bless

japhy said...

I had recently wondered about the pre-existence of the Trinity (made most clear by the beginning of John's gospel). Because I am not a predestinationist, I believe that God did not create Man for the sole purpose of having Man screw up royally. Rather, I believe that Genesis tells us the story of a creature in which God took favor (for we were created in His image); God's goal for that creature was salvation, the union of each person with God. Therefore, if Man was already in a state of bliss ("paradise") when he first came to know God, why would Jesus the Savior need to exist? That would be God knew we were doomed to fall from grave and need salvation.

And then, why did salvation take so long? Why not just give us Jesus Christ immediately?!

My personal revelation on the matter is due to the language John uses in his gospel: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. Jesus Christ is the Word of God, and as man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God, it is that Word which is our life, our salvation, our redemption.

Christ's existence through (our) time has been as the call to salvation: in the words God spoke to ignite the universe, in the covenant with Abraham, in the covenant with Noah, in the saving of the Israelites from Egypt, in the covenant of His body and blood. Jesus is God incarnate, God in our form, Word made Flesh.

Thus, my (heretical?!) fears were assuaged: Jesus's existence for all time is not a message of doom (that is, that we were doomed to fall into sin) but rather a message of union with God.

ROSS said...


Weekend Fisher said...

Ross, I deleted the little novel you posted. You can put what you want on your own blog. You can't have believed the spiteful spin-doctoring you were doing on the gospels anyway. Healing the sick and feeding the hungry was freeloading because Jesus and his disciples accepted donations and hospitality? And a dozen other things just as distorted ... it's just blindness to what's good.

Now if you're a Satanist ... haven't checked your profile yet ... Taking that little "Satanic" quote that I did leave, Satan didn't make the world; he doesn't have it in him to do more than hate others and love himself. Therefore, there's someone more powerful ...

Lies are Satan's native language. Careful how much of what he says you believe.

Take care & God bless