Monday, December 16, 2013

All Around the Web - December 16, 2013

The Gospel Coalition - You Asked: How Can Jesus Not Know But Still Be Divine?
So when we come to Jesus' words in Matthew 24:36 (and Mark 13:32), we should avoid two opposite errors. On the one hand, we should avoid reading too much into this passage. We would be ill-advised to build an entire model of the incarnation upon a single verse of Scripture or even upon a single Christological theme found in Scripture. It seems to me that this is the kind of mistake made by proponents of kenotic Christology. The kenotic theory of the incarnation takes its name from the Greek word for "empty" (kenao) in Philippians 2:7: "But he emptied himself taking the form of a servant." According to the kenotic theory, God the Son had to surrender certain divine attributes (or at least the exercise of those attributes) in order to become incarnate and thus live a genuinely human life. So the kenotic theory has a ready answer to the question of Jesus' ignorance of the "day and hour": the Son simply gave up his omniscience (or at least any functional access to his omniscience) when he became incarnate.

Well-meaning Christians can disagree on this point, but in my estimation the kenotic theory falters on several fronts, both biblical and theological, which we don't have space to explore here. In brief, I would simply suggest that divinity is not the sort of thing that can be turned on and off, surrendered and reclaimed. Classic Christian theism has argued (rightly, I believe) that God possesses all of his attributes necessarily, not contingently. It is not enough to say that God is omniscient. He is also necessarily omniscient; as the most perfect being, he cannot be otherwise. So if Christ is truly God the Son—one of the three persons in the Holy Trinity—then he simply cannot give up his divine omniscience.

On the other hand, we should also avoid reading too little out of this passage. Unfortunately, some patristic and medieval interpreters made the mistake of explaining this difficult verse by effectively explaining it away. One common interpretation maintained that the Son did not know the day and the hour only in the sense that he did not intend to reveal it to the disciples. So Augustine writes, "He is ignorant of this in the special sense of making others ignorant. He did not know it in their presence in such a way as to be prepared to reveal it to them at that time." In a similar fashion, Thomas Aquinas writes, "He is said, therefore, not to know the day and the hour of the judgment, for that he does not make it known, since, on being asked by the apostles (Acts 1:7), he was unwilling to reveal it." Thomas goes on claim that the Father's knowledge of the day and hour, which is clearly affirmed in Matthew 24:36, strongly implies the Son's knowledge as well, given the intimate relationship between Father and Son. And, for Thomas, this knowledge inheres not simply in the divine nature of the Son but also in his human nature. So when the Son claims that he does not know the timing of his second coming, we simply cannot take his words at face value as if they implied any real ignorance on his part. But surely such a tortuous reading the text is exegetically unsatisfying. It requires us to interpret Jesus' words against the grain of their apparent meaning.

WORLD Magazine - Signs and Wonders: Rockwell’s return, plus more on the Driscoll dust-up
| More from the Driscoll dust up.
Driscoll developments. Last week I told you that radio host Janet Mefferd accused megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll of plagiarism in an on-air interview. Developments continue. Ingrid Schluetter, a part-time researcher and show-booker for Mefferd, resigned in protest over the situation. In a blog post, she said, “All I can share is that there is an evangelical celebrity machine that is more powerful than anyone realizes. You may not go up against the machine. That is all. Mark Driscoll clearly plagiarized, and those who could have underscored the seriousness of it and demanded accountability did not. That is the reality of the evangelical industrial complex.” Driscoll has so far not made any public statements on the controversy, but his publisher, Tyndale House, issued a statement that read in part:  “Tyndale House takes any accusation of plagiarism seriously and has therefore conducted a thorough in-house review of the original material and sources provided by the author. After this review we feel confident that the content in question has been properly cited in the printed book and conforms to market standards.”

Grace and Truth - Why Does He Look at Pornography
Escapism and Fantasy-ism
Fear of Rejection

Real Clear Politics - 60 Minutes: Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell On 2005 Battle In Afghanistan He Alone Survived | I post this because it amazes me how the war in Afghanistan receives no attention while the two wars in the Bush administration were the leading stories every day.

Denver Post - Colorado baker's faith an issue in gay wedding cake case

A Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony is defending his decision.

An attorney for Masterpiece Cakeshop in suburban Denver says the baker has a right not to spread a message with which he disagrees.

But a lawyer representing a gay couple argued that the baker's faith doesn't give him a right to discriminate.

An administrative judge in Colorado's Civil Rights Commission heard the case Wednesday morning.
A ruling is expected later this week.

The bakery owner faces a $500 fine if the judge rules he illegally discriminated against the couple.

New Spiderman trailer.

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