Archive for January, 2012
Parchment and Pen just published a new blog post in response to an interview with T. D. Jakes via the Elephant Room. For those of you who are unaware, Jakes has long been identified as a Modalist, which is an unorthodox and destructive theological view concerning God. Modalism teaches that God is one and that the Father, Son, and Spirit are roles in redemptive history of the one God. For the Modalist, the Father, Son, and Spirit are NOT three distinct and eternally existing persons. Orthodox Trinitarianism describes God as one God who eternally exists as three persons.
As you read the article, you’ll notice that Jakes states that he does not particularly like the term “persons” in the Orthodox description. He is not alone in this – Calvin and Barth apparently didn’t “favorite” the term either. However, his preference for the term “manifestations” is – in my opinion – terribly unhelpful. Yet, Jakes does claim a distinction between the Father and the Son. For example, he does believe that the Father died on the cross (patripassianism), according to the interview.
It may be that Jakes has taken a step toward orthodoxy here; it was encouraging to hear him say that reading the Bible caused him to shift his view of God. However, some of his comments still make me a bit uncomfortable. Let me just say it this way, when it comes to the Trinity, there are some things that you can say and there are some things that you can’t say. Take a look at the blog post on Parchment and Pen and the interview with the Elephant Room.
Martin Luther writes on the topic of human will in his response to Erasmus’, who here criticizes Luther for not attributing any weight to “learned men,” men “acquainted with the Sacred Writings,” “most holy martyrs,” many who were “renowned for miracles”:
“You assert the power of free will and the human cause; but no miracle was ever seen or heard of, as proceeding from God, in support of a doctrine of the human cause, only in support of the doctrines of the divine cause” (66).
Erasmus attempted to call out Luther for ignoring the teaching of free will by those whom Erasmus considered approved men down through the ages of the Church . . . that is, aside from Wycliffe, Laurentius Villa, and Augustine. Luther, of course, had no problem not being identified with certain men of the Church arguing that he would rather be identified with only a few and ultimately only with Christ. Further, he turned things back to the conversation at hand – the nature of the human will. He addressed the works employed by Erasmus to approve the aforementioned men, and Luther employed these to articulate a point in favor of the divine will and opposed to the idea of a free human will.
Interesting use of apologetic rhetoric – from both Martin Luther and Erasmus.