Who Owes Me Three Dollars?

December 30, 2006

I finished the fall semester at school. It was ver…

Filed under: Uncategorized — ineedsheetmusic @ 12:50 am

I finished the fall semester at school.
It was very grueling because of my weak paper writing skills. On the plus side, though, I met some new friends. That is the bonus I get for being on the 10 year plan. I meet triple the number of classmates than the normal student.

Here is a snapshot of my Christian mind class in list format:

Three covenants
1) Covenant of redemption
2) Covenant of works
3) Covenant of grace

Three speech act aspects
1) locution
2) illocution
3) perlocution

Three kinds of knowledge WRT God:
1) univocal – Our knowledge is identical to God’s knowledge – this one is not possible
2) analogical – Knowledge of what God is like, but not what he is
3) equivocal – No intersection of our knowledge with God’s is possible – (we’re not that bad off)

Three things God is:
1) Principium Essendi
2) Principium Cogniscendi
3) Principium Loquendi

Three states of man:
1) posse non peccare -Adam (trans: posse = possible; peccare = to sin)
2) non posse non peccare – us in this present age
3) non posse peccare – us in the consummation age

Three ladders of human ascent to attain the beatific vision: (if you are doing these, stop)
1) mysticism
2) theological speculation
3) merit

Three things you must do to be a theologian (from Luther)
1) Study
2) Pray
3) Suffer

Four models for understanding how theology works
1) cognitive-propositionalist
2) experiential-expressivist
3) cultural-linguistic
4) canonical-linguistic

Three views on apologetics (philosophies of knowledge):
1. Classical (Rationalism)
2. Evidentialist (Empiricism)
3. Presuppositionalist (Covenantal)

Four approaches to scriptural hermeneutics
1) Covenantal-Eschatalogical
2) Text-Sense
3) Authorial Discourse
4) Narrative

Four anxieties
1) Ancient age – anxiety over death
2) Medieval age – anxiety over guilt
3) Modern age – anxiety over meaninglessness
4) Postmodern age – anxiety over truthlessness

Collection of duos:
1) Creator vs. creature
2) ontological vs. ethical
3) overcoming estrangement vs. meeting a stranger
4) under-realized eschatology vs. over-realized eschatology
5) theology of glory vs. theology of the cross
6) seeing vs. hearing
7) law vs. gospel



  1. So how do these various lists relate to “Christian mind”? I thought that topic has to do with integration of faith and knowledge (as cf. IVCF circles). And is there a “right answer” for any of those multiple choice lists?

    Comment by Barb — December 31, 2006 @ 2:59 am

  2. Wow. Thanks for coming back.

    The class is actually an intro to Systematic Theology – i.e. Prolegomena. So, metaphysics – or ontology comes up. So does epistemology. So does a doctrine of God, a doctrine of revelation, scripture and so on. He just calls the class Christian Mind. The next class in the series is called Modern Mind.

    Speech act theory is a good way of understanding the trinity. God [locution] speaks the son [illocution] and the son is made intelligible (scripture) and irresistible (regeneration) by the Spirit [perlocution].

    The four models for understanding how theology works and the four approaches to scriptural hermeneutics are all held by somebody. So it’s not right or wrong but which work better.

    The three approaches to apologetics are all fine. It’s just that people who use just one of them are going to have problems. Although the pre-supp approach is the most indispensible of the three.

    The univocal, analogical and equivocal knowledge distinctions are crucial. If you think God’s communication in scripture gives us univocal knowledge you’re getting off on the wrong foot. Likewise, an equivocal approach which says there is no communication is also failed. The analogical approach, which many don’t like (they like thinking they have univocal knowledge with God) is the only way to approach scripture and make sense out of it.

    It’s in the duos where you find not just interesting pairs, but some actual dualisms that battle it out. The creator creature distinction is at the bottom of everything here.

    Not taking into account the creator creature distinction leads to climbing the Platonic ladder (and by the way, to thinking we have univocal knowledge of God). This worldview leads to three faulty and damaging approaches (building on sand, as it were, and not on rock): Theology of Glory, over-realized eschatology, the idea of personal relationship with God dominated by the liberal notion of overcoming estrangement – as if we are spirit beings just like God.

    Therefore the ethical divide should get the upper hand over ontological scale of being approach. Meeting a stranger is the reformed covenantal view to relating rightly to God where overcoming estrangement is the modern evangelical/Platonic worldview.

    Neither under or over realized eschatology is any good. Theology of glory is the hallmark of both Roman Catholicism and modern Platonic evangelicalism. This goes hand in hand with an over-realized eschatology.

    Theology of the cross is our only way of relating, because only the creator can take on flesh (and not the other way around). Therefore if we really want to see God we only get to see God bleeding with flies buzzing around his head and fecal matter dripping down his legs. Our attempts to climb into God’s throne room ontologically are embarrassing. Lest this view (the flies and all) yield to an under-realized eschatology, the resurrection points to a future (a bit of now and a bit more of not-yet) where we will at least not have to worry about faith. For the time being we only can relate by hearing and responding to his covenantal summons – and we must eschew the hope of seeing God.

    Read Covenant and Eschatology by Horton.

    Had I been steeped in Reformed Theology prior to Feb 2000, I am convinced my searing pain and utter faith collapse wouldn’t have been nearly as devastating.

    Comment by Bruce S — December 31, 2006 @ 4:19 am

  3. Are you going to take Modern Mind next?
    Did you know that Abraham (about whom I am teaching SS for three months) was an early already-not yet individual? See chap 15 and God’s telling him he would “surely know” Israel’s next 400-year future but would die himself in shalom.
    I loaned Horton’s book to my own Mark Steiner (dad of Andrew and Meghan, our honoraries…)who had drooled over it while perusing our library shelves. He teaching rhetoric–primarily rhetoric of evanglicals–at Regent (a very difficult place he is now trying to leave)and evidently some of Horton’s ideas ground Mark’s work in theology. He’d like to get a sem degree himself some year.
    See you in ten days. (I tried to post a version of this a couple of days ago from dad’s computer and it didn’t work. WE’ll see if this one does.)

    Comment by Sister — January 5, 2007 @ 1:39 pm

  4. I will peruse Gen 15 in light of your observations.

    I will be taking Modern Mind this spring. I was going to drop it and switch to Pauline Epistles since Modern Mind is only required for the MDiv program (see latest post).

    I am glad you have a friend who has drooled on the cover of your Horton book. The book is really outstanding.

    Comment by Bruce S — January 6, 2007 @ 6:08 am

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