The Word of God . . . moved as Man among men

One of the great benefits of working on campus at Southwestern Seminary is that I get to interact with various professors outside of the standard classroom setting. Indeed, it has been my experience that the conversations that take place in the hallways are often the most beneficial. After a recent conversation regarding the Incarnation, it was suggested that I read Athanasius’ On the Incarnation.

Within days of reading Athanasius’ work, I was given the opportunity to lecture on the union of the two natures of Christ. In that lecture, my goal was not only to teach the truth of this doctrine, but also to help the students realize its profound importance. The Incarnation is not an abstract, arbitrary discussion akin to the number of angels dancing on the the point of a pencil. The Incarnation is the hope of man. Our very salvation hinges on the Incarnation.

Below is an excerpt shared with the class.

Ikone_Athanasius_von_AlexandriaThe Saviour of us all, the Word of God, in His great love took to Himself a body and moved as Man among men, meeting their senses, so to speak, half way. he became Himself an object for the senses, so that those who were seeking God in sensible things might apprehend the Father through the works which He, the Word of God, did in the body. Human and human-minded as men were, therefore, to whichever side they looked in the sensible world they found themselves taught the truth. Were they awe-stricken by creation? They beheld it confessing Christ as Lord. Did their minds tend to regard men as Gods? The uniqueness of the Saviour’s works marked Him, alone of men, as Son of God. Were they drawn to evil spirits? They saw them driven out by the Lord and learned that the evil spirits were not gods at all. Were they inclined to hero-worship and the cult of the dead? Then the fact that the Saviour had risen from the dead showed them how false these other deities were, and that the Word of the Father is the one true Lord, the Lord even of death. For this reason was He both born and manifested as Man, for this he died and rose, in order that, eclipsing by His works all other human deeds, He might recall men from all the paths of error to know the Father.
St Athanasius, On the Incarnation

The Bible is the foundation of the Church

J_Gresham_Machen_2The Bible is not a ladder; it is a foundation. It is buttressed, indeed, by experience; if you have the present Christ, then you know that the Bible account is true. But if the Bible were false, your faith would go. You cannot, therefore, be indifferent to biblical criticism. Let us not deceive ourselves. The Bible is the foundation of the Church. Undermine that foundation and the Church will fall. Two conceptions of Christianity are struggling for the ascendancy; the question that we have been discussing is part of a still larger problem. The Bible against the modern preacher. . . . The Church is in perplexity. She is trying to compromise. God grant that she may choose aright. God grant she may decide for the Bible!

J. Gresham Machen, “History and Faith

Spurgeon’s Thoughts on Caring for your Voice in Cooler Weather

6a00d83452063969e2010535c5b521970bTake care of your throat by never wrapping it up tightly. From personal experience I venture with some diffidence to give this piece of advice. If any of you possess delightfully warm woolen comforters, with which there may be associated the most tender remembrances of mother or sister, treasure them—treasure them in the bottom of your trunk, but do not expose them to any vulgar use by wrapping them round your necks. If any brother wants to die of influenza let him wear a warm scarf round his neck, and then one of these nights he will forget it, and catch such a cold as will last him the rest of his natural life. You seldom see a sailor wrap his neck up. No, he always keeps it bare and exposed, and has a turn-down collar, and if he has a tie at all, it is but a small one loosely tied, so that the wind can blog all round his neck. In this philosophy I am a firm believer, having never deviated from it for these fourteen years, and having before that time been frequently troubled with colds, but very seldom since. If you feel that you want something else, why, then grow your beards! A habit most natural, scriptural, manly, and beneficial. One of our brethren, now present, has for years found this of great service. He was compelled to leave England on account of the loss of his voice, but he has become as strong as Samson now that his locks are unshorn.

Charles H. Spurgeon, Lectures to my Students

Francis Schaeffer and the Watershed of the Evangelical World

francis_schaeffer

There is the danger of evangelicalism becoming less than evangelical, of its not really holding to the Bible as being without error in all that it affirms. We are then left with the victory of the existential methodology under the name of evangelicalism. Holding to a strong view of Scripture or not holding to it is the watershed of the evangelical world.
Francis A. Schaeffer, No Final Conflict: The Bible Without Error in All that It Affirms