How can we REALLY Know that God has Spoken?

This is the text of an academic paper I recently presented at the Northeastern Seminary theology conference (Participation in God’s Mission, featuring Michael Gorman).

This paper arose from my own search for solid ground underneath the Christian faith. In other words, if Christianity is true, shouldn’t we be able to dig down to some ultimate foundational truth that cannot be undermined? The answer is…

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Revelation and Knowledge Bridged in Proverbs: the Confident Cruciform Life
The cruciform life begins, for each Christian, by the authoritative call of God. That call, which comes through hearing his word, is radical in its implications, absolute in authority, and transformative. It is predicated on the superior authority of God’s self-revelation through redemptive history. This divine authority does not confront us as first of all a proposition to be studied, or to be accepted by some degree of probability, or even as the conclusion to a complex syllogism. Notice there is no philosophical defense of the existence of God in Genesis 1:1, but rather a naked assertion of his being (“In the beginning, God. . .”). Jesus’ radical call to discipleship comes from that same assumed authority.
To heed the call, and to follow Christ is to put oneself at peril. Human nature is bent toward self-preservation, yet the example and commandments of Jesus bend us away from self toward God and others, even to the embracing of dangerous enemies. If we are to obey Jesus, forsaking even “house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands” (Mark 10:29), then we must have a solid confidence in the preeminent authority of God’s self-revelation. Continue reading

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It’s not Right that Humankind Dies: Tuesdays with Uncle Athanasius

Human beings are a creature of God – His highest creation in fact, as we are made in His image. Athanasius spends a great deal of energy in his magnum opus On the Incarnation of the Word discussing our relation to God as being made in His image. He sees much of God’s motive in sending His Son to redeem us in the fact that it would not have been proper for His creatures bearing His image to waste away into nothingness because of corruption.

While Athanasius’s categories are underdeveloped, and some of his theology a bit wonky, I can look past that a lot easier (as a fourth-century man), than anyone who in this twenty-first century is still underdeveloped and wonky. Read Athanasius with charity – I post his glorious words every Tuesday. Please subscribe to this blog if you have been blessed by any of these posts.

Athanasius 5, Heretics 0

Athanasius 5, Heretics 0

Uncle Ath?

Yes, kids?

Do you think it’s OK for humanity to die off in their sin and corruption? If the whole race is eliminated, wouldn’t that be what we deserve?

Well…

…what possible profit could it be to God Himself, Who made men, if when made they did not worship Him, but regarded others as their makers?

This would be tantamount to His having made them for others and not for Himself. Even an earthly king, though he is only a man, does not allow lands that he has colonized to pass into other hands or to desert to other rulers, but sends letters and friends and even visits them himself to recall them to their allegiance, rather than allow His work to be undone.

How much more, then, will God be patient and painstaking with His creatures, that they be not led astray from Him to the service of those that are not, and that all the more because such error means for them sheer ruin, and because it is not right that those who had once shared His Image should be destroyed.

Tender words of a warrior-Christian. My favorite uncle.

Thanks for reading,

-Justin