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God died? #28515
Fri Oct 14, 2005 2:05 PM
Fri Oct 14, 2005 2:05 PM
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In a link to the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Q&A regarding the peccability of Christ, (which they deny) the answer goes on to say:
Quote
Similar issues arise, of course, in connection with Jesus’ death. Though Jesus died according to his human nature, his death was the death of the God-man. We can properly say God died.
God Died?


Is this true can we claim that the Son of God died?


Peter

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself. Augustine of Hippo
Re: God died? [Re: Peter] #28516
Sat Oct 15, 2005 8:01 AM
Sat Oct 15, 2005 8:01 AM

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By "we" are you including me, the Lutheran, or just your Reformed brothers? According to Walther, 1st President of the Missouri Synod, true Reformed can't make that claim.

Quote
Justification, Fifth Western District Convention Addison Ill. Beginning May 5, 1859 , 6,III,(P)

Following Zwingli's shameful example, the Reformed sects also destroy the doctrine of justification by their false doctrine on the person of Christ. Like him, they deny to this day that God suffered for us [and] that God's blood was shed for us. Where Scripture expressly testifies to this, they want to see only a rhetorical figure of speech, which says something different from what is meant. Thus one brands the language of Holy Scripture as that of a swindler.

A mere man is said to have died for us on Golgotha . It is inconceivable how a person who claims to be a Christian could arrive at such a godless doctrine, it is true, of course, that God as such cannot die, but Christ, who is true God, could die since He had assumed human nature, so that Godhead and manhood now form one person in Him. A human being's soul as such can, of course, also not die; yet the "whole" human being, consisting of body and soul, dies, and the soul is indeed most affected thereby. So also the most important thing for us is that the One who died for us is true God. If God had not died for us, then no one would be saved. However, whereas we now can sing, to our great comfort in life and in death, “O sorrow dread! God Himself is dead; upon the cross He died," yet this very hymn is an abomination to the true Reformed.

In complete harmony with Zwingli's gross rationalism, according to which he does not seriously believe that Christ was true God and [true] man in one person, Calvin says it wouldn't help anyone if he would simply confront God with Christ, but that God accepts Christ's work as fully sufficient only because of eternal election. In his thinking, too, only a man died. "Christ is God's Son and true God” therefore even now means nothing more to the Reformed Church than that God dwelt in the Lord Jesus in a higher degree than in other people, about as He dwelt with His glory particularly in the temple at Jerusalem. But even if the Reformed say that the whole God dwelt in Jesus, they still speak of a God outside of Him. Thank God, there still are simple souls among the Reformed, who hold that it is meant seriously when also there the words are still used, "Christ is true God and man in one person," and one relies thereon in faith.

If someone were to ask how the truth that there is no God outside of Christ harmonizes with the article on the Trinity, the answer is: There is no difference in the essence of the three persons of the Godhead, which is why it also cannot be divided. Nevertheless, what appears three times in the Trinity, namely the person-hood, occurs only once in Christ. But whoever for that reason still wants to recognize God outside of Christ, eliminates the equality in essence between Son and Father and must accept either several gods or deny the true essence of the complete fullness of the Godhead in Christ [cf. Col. 2:9]. When Christ lay in the crib and hung on the cross, there was no other God than precisely the One in the crib and on the cross.

Of course, one must not bring mathematical computations to bear here. If the mystery of the Trinity would cease being a mystery to us, then we would first have to know what is mean by the words "born" and "proceeding" as used of the persons of the Godhead. And if we are asked in objection how the Godhead could have become so small as to dwell incarnate in the man Jesus, we answer: "No change took place in the Godhead through the personal union with human nature; it did not become smaller thereby, but human nature became larger. Human nature did not assume the divine nature, but the other way around: The divine nature assumed the human nature.

Zwingli would not agree that "the Word became flesh" [John 1:14 ], but held that it should only say that the Word is the flesh that is has become ("das Wort ist gewordeness Fleisch"), i.e., through the incarnation of Christ. He stopped being God, and His deity was, so to speak, transformed in Jesus into humanity (for only so was He said to be able to die), and only after that did He again become great God. So here [in Zwingli] we hear today's heterodox theology ("After-theologie").

Re: God died? #28517
Sat Oct 15, 2005 10:09 AM
Sat Oct 15, 2005 10:09 AM
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In the first chapter of Revelation Jesus explicity refers to Himself as having died. The Bible doesn't give us any more detail past that.


(Latin phrase goes here.)
Re: God died? #28518
Sat Oct 15, 2005 10:23 AM
Sat Oct 15, 2005 10:23 AM
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Virginia
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Speratus,

Interesting you should affirm this language, given that God is immortal, don't you think? Aren't you dividing the two natures of Christ by saying that He was able to die, just like some do by saying that He was able to sin?


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: God died? #28519
Sat Oct 15, 2005 1:36 PM
Sat Oct 15, 2005 1:36 PM
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Posts: 13,471
NH, USA
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Speratus,

Once again, as is typical of the Lutherans, yourself included, the error of not properly distinguishing between the two natures of Christ, i.e., the hypostatic union of the Lord Jesus Christ is revealed. Charles Hodge in his Systematic Theology has a very instructive and biblically sound section on the "Person of Christ", in Vol. II pp. 378-454. He also deals extensively with the Lutheran view and exposes their errors as well on pp. 407-418. But as to the topic at hand, "Did God Die?", Hodge addresses this directly on pp. 392-394. See the attached .pdf document, "Communion of attributes".

In His grace,

Attached Files-Click on Image to view full size.

[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
Re: God died? [Re: CovenantInBlood] #28520
Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:19 PM
Sat Oct 15, 2005 7:19 PM
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Kentucky
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R. C. Sproul once said somewhere that he thinks the line in "And Can It Be" that says "that Thou my God should die for me" should be changed.

Aggree or disagree?


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
Re: God died? [Re: MarieP] #28521
Sat Oct 15, 2005 8:18 PM
Sat Oct 15, 2005 8:18 PM
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Northwest Indiana, USA
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Quote
SemperReformanda said:

R. C. Sproul once said somewhere that he thinks the line in "And Can It Be" that says "that Thou my God should die for me" should be changed.

Aggree or disagree?


I disagree. I think the words of that song beautifully express a deep gratitude to God for providing so great a salvation. Hallelujah!

And Can It Be

Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”


Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
Re: God died? [Re: MarieP] #28522
Sat Oct 15, 2005 8:59 PM
Sat Oct 15, 2005 8:59 PM
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Quote
SemperReformanda said:
R. C. Sproul once said somewhere that he thinks the line in "And Can It Be" that says "that Thou my God should die for me" should be changed.

Aggree or disagree?


Not really, since Jesus Christ, who is our God, did die.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: God died? [Re: MarieP] #28523
Sat Oct 15, 2005 10:11 PM
Sat Oct 15, 2005 10:11 PM
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NH, USA
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I too disagree, but with this stipulation; that before the hymn is sung the preacher should take a little time to explain the relationship which existed in Christ Jesus, He being God and man and that it was the human nature only that died on the cross since God cannot die. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> What a perfect opportunity to teach some Christology and upbuild the saints. A morsel of "meat" is good for the soul. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
Re: God died? [Re: CovenantInBlood] #28524
Sun Oct 16, 2005 12:45 AM
Sun Oct 16, 2005 12:45 AM

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Quote
CovenantInBlood said:
Speratus,

Interesting you should affirm this language, given that God is immortal, don't you think? Aren't you dividing the two natures of Christ by saying that He was able to die, just like some do by saying that He was able to sin?


Scripture shows the divine nature appropriating to itself the purely human attribute of dying (e.g., Acts 3:15, 1 Corinthians 2:8,Romans 8:32, etc.). The divine nature never appropriates to itself an ability to sin. Impecability, unlike mortality, is not a exclusively divine or human attribute (Eph. 1:3-6, Rom. 8:28-30) but is an attribute of both natures of Christ.  

Last edited by speratus; Sun Oct 16, 2005 4:54 AM.
Re: God died? #28525
Sun Oct 16, 2005 4:58 AM
Sun Oct 16, 2005 4:58 AM

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Quote
speratus said:
Scripture shows the divine nature appropriating to itself the purely human attribute of dying (e.g., Acts 3:15, 1 Corinthians 2:8,Romans 8:32, etc.). The divine nature never appropriates to itself an ability to sin. Impecability, unlike mortality, is not a exclusively divine or human attribute (Eph. 1:3-6, Rom. 8:28-30) but is an attribute of both natures of Christ.


So if the Divine nature of Christ died who kept the world from ending. In Hebrews it says:
Heb 1:3 who being the shining splendor of His glory, and the express image of His essence, and upholding all things by the word of His power,

Re: God died? #28526
Sun Oct 16, 2005 6:45 AM
Sun Oct 16, 2005 6:45 AM

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Walther in my above citation answers your objection: ". . . it is true, of course, that God as such cannot die, but Christ, who is true God, could die since He had assumed human nature, so that Godhead and manhood now form one person in Him. A human being's soul as such can, of course, also not die; yet the "whole" human being, consisting of body and soul, dies, and the soul is indeed most affected thereby. So also the most important thing for us is that the One who died for us is true God. If God had not died for us, then no one would be saved."

Let me add that human mortality never becomes a divine property ("God as such can not die"). In personal union, the divine nature appropriates to itself human mortality (i.e., God is man and this man is God).

The death of a mere man, due to its finite nature, would not atone for the sins of a single person. But, be of good cheer! The Word was made flesh (John 1:14). The death of the man Christ Jesus, God's death, is of infinite worth (John 1:29).

Re: God died? #28527
Sun Oct 16, 2005 4:36 PM
Sun Oct 16, 2005 4:36 PM
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Quote
speratus said:
Let me add that human mortality never becomes a divine property ("God as such can not die").


This is no different than what I and others have said with regard to Christ's peccability, and yet we are accused of Nestorianism. "Human peccability never becomes a divine property ('God as such cannot sin')"!

Quote
In personal union, the divine nature appropriates to itself human mortality (i.e., God is man and this man is God).


And this is precisely the problem with your Christology; it is exactly what horrifies you about the position that Christ was peccable, for you confuse the natures of Christ by attributing mortality to His divinity. Little wonder, then, that you should think we attribute peccability to His divinity!


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: God died? #28528
Sun Oct 16, 2005 5:00 PM
Sun Oct 16, 2005 5:00 PM
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See Attachment! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/hello.gif" alt="" />

Attached Files-Click on Image to view full size.

Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: God died? [Re: CovenantInBlood] #28529
Sun Oct 16, 2005 11:27 PM
Sun Oct 16, 2005 11:27 PM

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Quote
CovenantInBlood said:
Quote
speratus said:
Let me add that human mortality never becomes a divine property ("God as such can not die").


This is no different than what I and others have said with regard to Christ's peccability, and yet we are accused of Nestorianism. "Human peccability never becomes a divine property ('God as such cannot sin')"!


I actually agree with your statement in the abstract, "Human peccability never becomes a divine property." And it is equally true that "Human impeccability never becomes a divine property."

Quote
CovenantInBlood said:
Quote
speratus said:
In personal union, the divine nature appropriates to itself human mortality (i.e., God is man and this man is God).


And this is precisely the problem with your Christology; it is exactly what horrifies you about the position that Christ was peccable, for you confuse the natures of Christ by attributing mortality to His divinity.


Mutatable human properties of mortality/immortality and human peccability/impeccability never become divine properties. In the hypostatic union, the divine nature appropriates to itself human mortality not human immortality, peccability, or impeccability.


Quote
CovenantInBlood said:
Little wonder, then, that you should think we attribute peccability to His divinity!


No, I don't think you mean to do that. You have an inconsistant Christology, a Christ with a dual personality. The human nature and the divine nature of Christ have one personality, Impeccability, or else there would be two persons. The divine nature appropriating to itself human mortality does not split the personality of the person.

Last edited by speratus; Mon Oct 17, 2005 5:26 AM.
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