Friday, March 30, 2018

Monarchy of God the Father—God the Father as the cause/source of the Son of God and the Holy Spirit: three valuable resources

It was the writings of a number of Eastern Orthodox theologians which prompted me to begin an in depth study into the important doctrine of the Monarchy of God the Father. I started with the pre-Nicene and Nicene Church Fathers, and then (of course) the pre-Augustinian CFs who defended the Nicene Creed (325 A.D.). Of late, I have focused on Augustine's elucidations on God the Father as the cause/source of the Son and Holy Spirit.

As I continue my studies into the Monarchy of God the Father, I wanted to bring to the attention of my readers three important contributions which are germane to this topic. The first is a website ran by Andrew Davis:

Andrew is a cogent contributor in the comboxes of my recent threads on Augustine. His site has a number of threads on the Monarchy of God the Father, defenses of the Nicene Creed, and exposés on 'modern' forms of modalism and 'semi-modalism'.

The second is a dissertation by James Paul Krueger:

From the opening introduction of the dissertation we read:

One of the widespread contemporary approaches to the Trinity repudiates “mere monotheism” and emphasizes the community of the Persons as three separate centers of action. Within some versions of this “social Trinitarianism,” the unique role of the God the Father as source of the godhead is marginalized or obscured. The views of Jürgen Moltmann and Wolfhart Pannenberg on God the Father bring this problem into focus, as they diminish the “monarchy” of the Father as unfitting because as traditionally understood it lacks reciprocity. Instead, they envision alternative modes of explaining the unity, stressing the original threeness and describing divine unity as an eschatological achievement. After linking the Father’s diminished place in these approaches with the problem of divine unity, this study examines the theology of God the Father in Augustine and Bonaventure to clarify how the concept of the Father as unique source can provide a solution to this pressing problem in contemporary systematic theology.

And the third is a master's thesis by Elizabeth Klein:

The following is from the abstract of the thesis:

This thesis examines the concept of God as Father in the thinking of two Patristic authors: Athanasius (c. 293-373) and Gregory of Nazianzus (c. 329-390). Since God is called Father frequently in the New Testament both Athanasius and Gregory see the name as fundamental to understanding the nature of the intradivine life, as well as God’s relationship to humankind. The reliance of Patristic authors on the language of Father and Son brings relational language to the fore of Christological and trinitarian discussions of the 4th and 5th centuries. In this thesis, I endeavour to demonstrate the centrality of the fatherhood of God in the thinking of Athanasius and Gregory of Nazianzus, and to connect their thinking on this topic to larger theological questions of the period.

I recommend the above resources to those folk who share my interest in the Monarchy of God Father.


Grace and peace,


Monday, March 26, 2018

Jesus and the Cross - How the cross became Christianity’s most popular symbol

Earlier today, the Biblical Archaeology Society published an article in their 'Bible History Daily' section that caught my eye:

Jesus and the Cross - How the cross became Christianity’s most popular symbol

From the second paragraph of the contribution we read:

Scholars believe that the first surviving public image of Jesus's crucifixion was on the fifth-century wooden doors of the Basilica of Santa Sabina, which is located on the Aventine Hill in Rome. Since it took approximately 400 years for Jesus’s crucifixion to become an acceptable public image, scholars have traditionally believed that this means the cross did not originally function as a symbol for Christians.

Grace and peace,


Friday, March 16, 2018

Shocking news concerning a son of the controversial KJV only advocate Dr. Peter S. Ruckman

Earlier today, I learned of the tragic murder-suicide event involving a son and grandsons of the controversial KJV only advocate Dr. Peter S. Ruckman, via David Cloud's, Friday Church News Notes (link).

I became aware of Dr. Ruckman (link) when I began my studies into Biblical textual criticism in the early 1980s. He was the author of dozens of books (Amazon; Bible Baptist Bookstore), many of which focused on textual criticism and the 'Kings James Only' movement (link).

Dr. Ruckman became one the most controversial figures in the textual criticism debate. Though I believe that some of his conclusions concerning textual criticism are flawed, I also maintain that a number are valid. Unfortunately, most critics of Dr. Ruckman are unable to separate his style of writing—non-academic, ostentatious—from its core content; and their critiques are often filled with ad hominem attacks.

Anyway, this post is not intended to be an in depth presentation of my views on Biblical textual criticism; but rather, it is meant inform folk of the sad event related by Dr. Cloud.

Grace and peace,