Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Prayer for the DeVidal's

THEOparadox advisor Chris DeVidal has been in the hospital with his 6 month old daughter this week. Please join us in praying for Chris and his family. Here is an encouraging note he sent this morning . . .

My daughter Shiloh had open heart surgery Thursday to repair an ASD and VSD. Interestingly, that was her six month birthday.

The delight was having immense peace almost the whole time (Phil 4:6-7). Not that I was promised a smiling outcome, in fact I told my Dad I got the impression it wasn't going to turn out well. Glad that impression was wrong, and glad for the presence of the Maker of the Universe and King of Kings during it all. My weakest moment was seeing her taken away, not sure if I'd see her alive again, but even that was helped knowing that "My flesh and my heart [and my little girl's heart] may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion
forever." (Psalm 73:26 ESV)

Staff has had a tough time keeping her still. She wants to fight! Nurse said, "goodness girl, you laugh at sedation!" and another nurse nicknamed her "wild child." Well, when you're six months old you just
don't understand :-)

This morning they will remove her breathing tube and possibly some other support. The critical issue for her now is infection, so please continue to pray that she will not contract any kind of virus or infection. 
There must have been (not exaggerating) three hundred (more people) praying for Shiloh. Blessed be God! The prayers of the saints are like sweet smelling incense to our Lord (Revelation 5:8). Thanks be to God for a great outcome, and for His presence during the difficulty.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Paradox Wars - Anderson Vs. Crampton

Three years ago, Dr. James Anderson published an excellent book, Paradox in Christian Theology, which makes the following claims:
"First, that the orthodox doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation are paradoxical (in the sense that they appear to be logically inconsistent); and secondly, that it can be rational for a Christian to believe those doctrines, their paradoxicality notwithstanding."

This gets the THEOparadox stamp of approval. In fact, this was THEOparadox before there was a THEOparadox. Just as I began to write this blog, I was thrilled (and, initially, a little disappointed) to discover that someone very scholarly had "beaten me to the punch." [See illustration below . . . had some fun with PhotoShop]

Dr. Gary Crampton has recently responded to the book with a review/refutation hereThis review amalgamates the very best anti-paradox arguments of the amazingly anti-paradox followers of Gordon H. Clark. They basically feel that there is no such thing as theological paradox, and it's something along the lines of heresy to say there is.

Sean Gerety overstated the significance of the Crampton review here. Over 100 comments on this post!

Dr. Anderson has now replied to Crampton's criticisms with a short blog post here and a detailed, 16-page counter-refutation here. Included in both places is a very helpful evaluation of Gordon H. Clark's supposedly "orthodox yet non-paradoxical" approach to the Incarnation - revealing, ironically, that Clark's version is both illogical and incoherent.


Crampton     Anderson
5       10

Crampton     Anderson
3       10

Crampton     Anderson
2       10

Crampton     Anderson
6       10

Friday, March 05, 2010

Real Theology and the Fall of Man

"Remember, real theology takes the real fall really seriously. If you have a defective understanding of the depravity of man then it is easier to believe that man can, by acts of his unaided obedience and will, both seek after God and do that which pleases Him. The Bible flatly and emphatically denies this."

-Tony Hayling (Source)

Believe what God says about man's sinfulness, and you'll find you desperately need a cross, and a gracious God who sends His Son to die upon it, and then raises Him from the dead. Orthodox theology begins to leave the building when we stop taking seriously what God says about our sin and His holiness.

Brian McLaren has recently written a book in which he describes the fall as "a coming-of age story” which gives us “the first stage of ascent as human beings progress from the life of hunter-gatherers to the life of agriculturalists and beyond.” Well, that's a different sort of twist than Moses (or God) ever had in mind, I'm sure. This would explain McLaren's complete abandonment of any belief in the Gospel of grace. There's no need for grace if the fall was a step "up." McLaren declares that the orthodox answers aren't satisfying or sufficient, and then he offers us this as a better alternative?

On a more encouraging note, you may find Bob Gonzales' new book, Where Sin Abounds, to be refreshing. Gonzales uses a series of exegetical cameos to trace the spread of sin in the book of Genesis. You can read a review of the book here.

Friends, let us take the real fall really seriously, and let us cling to the cross as we sense the effect of that fall on our own hearts and minds.

Romans 5:20-21 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Piper Paradox - Unconditional is the Ground of Conditional

Yesterday John Piper posted an interesting bit of insight about the paradox of Moses' prayer in Exodus 33:13. 

Here's a link:

One of the things I appreciate most about Piper is his willingness to take ALL of the Biblical data at full face value, without removing anything to make it more "logical." He also has a good ability to philosophically work through possible explanations to make sense of the difficulties.

If I have found favor in Your sight, 

please show me now Your ways, 

that I may know You, 

in order to find favor in Your sight.
Exodus 33:13