I am excited to back behind the Heidelmic again and judging from the discussions I am seeing in print and online it looks like it is none too soon. James Dolezal has published an important new book, All That Is In God: Evangelical Theology and the Challenge of Classical Theism (Grand Rapids: RHB, 2017). This is an important book if only because it re-states the ecumenical and biblical doctrine of God at a time when evangelical and Reformed theologians are experimenting with it in dangerous ways. Just this last week or so has seen the publication of a strongly-worded critique of this volume by a self-identified Reformed theologian who has proposed significant revisions to the ecumenical and Reformed doctrine of God. Keith Mathison of Reformation Bible College has written a very helpful response to that critique in defense of the ecumenical and Reformed doctrine of God. All this is important because some in the Reformed world are speaking of God in a way that seems to suggest that when he enters into covenant with us, he may be said to take on “covenantal” properties or become mutable or changeable. Others are suggesting that he is not simple (one thing). This is about the basic problem of what some theologians have called “God talk.” We know from Scripture itself that Scripture uses figures of speech. Scripture expects us to be able to recognize when it is using figures of speech. To refuse to do so, on the pretense of being faithful to Scripture is to plunge the church into biblicism, and the heresies of Socinianism, and even the anthropomorphite heresy. So, these are not matters of mere theory and academic speculation. They go right to the heart of the Christian faith as confessed in the ecumenical creeds and Reformed confessions. In this episode we look at the covenant of redemption (pactum salutis) to see how it helps us to understand the Trinity and related questions about the so-called “eternal subordination” of the Son.
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Thank you. Very helpful. I’ll try to work some of this in my Gospel of John sermon series.