Quote: Louis Berkhof on the Deity of Jesus

Quote for 3/10/16. Today’s quote is theologically potent. Berkhof summarizes the biblical case for the deity of Jesus. This flies in the face of cults like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and religions like Islam. These groups claim to respect and believe the Bible… until you open it up.

We find that Scripture (1) explicitly asserts the deity of the Son in such passages as John 1:1; 20:28; Rom. 9:5; Phil. 2:6; Tit. 2:13; 1 John 5:20; (2) applies divine names to Him, Isa. 9:6; 40:3; Jer. 23:5, 6; Joel 2:32 (comp. Acts 2:21); 1 Tim. 3:16; (3) ascribes to Him divine attributes, such as eternal existence, Isa. 9:6; John 1:1, 2; Rev. 1:8; 22:13, omnipresence, Matt. 18:20; 28:20; John 3:13, omniscience, John 2:24, 25; 21:17; Rev. 2:23, omnipotence. Isa. 9:6; Phil. 3:21; Rev. 1:8, immutability, Heb. 1:10–12; 13:8, and in general every attribute belonging to the Father, Col. 2:9; (4) speaks of Him as doing divine works, as creation, John 1:3, 10; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2, 10, providence, Luke 10:22; John 3:35; 17:2; Eph. 1:22; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3, the forgiveness of sins, Matt. 9:2–7; Mark 2:7–10; Col. 3:13, resurrection and judgment, Matt. 25:31, 32; John 5:19–29; Acts 10:42; 17:31; Phil. 3:21; 2 Tim. 4:1, the final dissolution and renewal of all things, Heb. 1:10–12; Phil. 3:21; Rev. 21:5, and (5) accords Him divine honour, John 5:22, 23; 14:1; 1 Cor. 15:19; 2 Cor. 13:13; Heb. 1:6; Matt. 28:19.

L. Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans publishing co., 1938), 94–95.

Of course the context of these passages will inform and justify their inclusion in this quote. Happy reading!

Quote: John Calvin on Astrology/Horoscopes

Quote for 3/9/16. John Calvin cautions all Christians against putting stock in the idea that heavenly bodies have control over our circumstances. This quote is taken from his discussion of God’s providence:

In this way, and in no other, can the immoderate and superstitious fears, excited by the dangers to which we are exposed, be calmed or subdued. I say superstitious fears. For such they are, as often as the dangers threatened by any created objects inspire us with such terror, that we tremble as if they had in themselves a power to hurt us, or could hurt at random or by chance; or as if we had not in God a sufficient protection against them. For example, Jeremiah forbids the children of God “to be dismayed at the signs of heaven, as the heathen are dismayed at them,” (Jer. 10:2.) He does not, indeed, condemn every kind of fear. But as unbelievers transfer the government of the world from God to the stars, imagining that happiness or misery depends on their decrees or presages, and not on the Divine will, the consequence is, that their fear, which ought to have reference to him only, is diverted to stars and comets. Let him, therefore, who would beware of such unbelief, always bear in mind, that there is no random power, or agency, or motion in the creatures, who are so governed by the secret counsel of God, that nothing happens but what he has knowingly and willingly decreed.

John Calvin and Henry Beveridge, Institutes of the Christian Religion, vol. 1 (Edinburgh: The Calvin Translation Society, 1845), 235.

This is certainly applicable to the modern notion of horoscopes. We have no warrant to worry (or “fear”) what the newspaper tells us in our horoscope. It goes against the teaching of God’s providence to draw hope or fear harm from those who so blatantly deny he is the providential ruler of the universe.

The Holy Spirit Speaks in Acts 11:12

And the Spirit told me to go with them, making no distinction. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house.

In support of the biblical doctrine of the trinity it can be seen in Acts 11:12 that the Holy Spirit evidences personality by speaking to Peter.

In this passage Peter is recounting an earlier event where the Holy Spirit was identified as the one speaking to him.

Jesus and the Holy Spirit are Identified as Distinct Persons in Acts 10:38

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

In support of the biblical doctrine that the persons of the trinity are distinct from one another we find Peter speaking of both Jesus and the Holy Spirit as distinct persons.

This is in contrast to heretical teachings such as Modalism (which teaches that only one divine person exists who expresses himself at different times in different modes).

Jesus is called “God” in Acts 10:28

And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.

In support of the biblical doctrine that Jesus Christ has a divine nature he is called “God” by Peter in Acts 10:28.

For context note that Peter references an earlier encounter where Jesus shows him that he should not call any person common that God has made clean (Acts 10:9-15, note that New Testament writers frequently use “Lord” to identify Jesus).

The Holy Spirit Speaks in Acts 10:19

And while Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are looking for you.

In support of the biblical doctrine of the trinity it can be seen in Acts 10:19 that the Holy Spirit evidences personality by speaking to Peter.

This event is mentioned later by Peter where he, again, notes that the Holy Spirit was the specific person speaking.

Brief Thought on Ash Wednesday

Jesus taught his followers not to make a public spectacle of their giving (Matthew 6:1).
Jesus taught his followers not to make a public spectacle of their prayers (Matthew 6:5).
Jesus taught his followers not to make a public spectacle of their fasting (Matthew 6:16).

See a pattern?

How proud do you think he is of everyone who has dirt on their face today, making a public spectacle of their repentance?

All of those things are good things, but making a public spectacle of them is an issue of pride and immaturity (and for some, an unbiblical obsession with errant tradition). Wash your face off and let the world see the effects of your repentance as you live your life.

Welcome all…again

This is, now, the 3rd incarnation of this website. If you have been directed here by an older link and were unable to find what you came looking for I sincerely apologize.

I hope to re-create Eye On Apologetics even better than before. Where that will take us, I am not yet sure.

I have an affinity for the discipline of apologetics, the defense of the Christianity against attacks from cults, atheists, other religions, etc. I also enjoy Bible study, theological musing, relating theology to current events in the media.

What you will see posted here is the product of an ongoing investigation. I am not a “professional,” to date I have spent more money that I have made back in my apologetic endeavors (yes, this site has ads in the hope that I can off-set a portion of this investment). Regardless, I trust that God will use my efforts to draw unbelievers to himself, to build up his church, to inform the public on topics which may not be a part of everyday discussion (but should be).

My goal is not to offend. You may have to trust me on this. The nature of apologetics (defense), and her twin sister polemics (attack), often evoke strong emotional responses. Addressing the nitty-gritty details of one’s religious beliefs is a tricky task. Parents don’t tell their kids not to touch a flame because they hate them, quite the contrary. Love inspires such discussion. In the same manner, love must inspire both the defense of Christianity and the demonstration of the shortcomings of all else.

Welcome again. Read on. Comments are disabled (a lesson taken from the 1st incarnation of this site). If you want to contact me, check out the Contact page. I can’t promise a response to everyone, but I will read what you have to say. Who knows, I may use your comments as a springboard for a new post!

~Glenn