Tuesday, February 11, 2014


For this next session of my discipleship class, part of the assignment was to continue to read Wayne Grudem's "Systematic Theology". We were to focus on God's "Communicable Attributes" and on the "Trinity". Not to seem as though I am diminishing learning about the attributes of God, the portion I found most helpful was on the Trinity, as it is a most foundational doctrine that we must be absolutely clear on when it come to the Christian faith. Through this chapter, Grudem weaves the Scriptural support, starting in the Old Testament and sealing the truth of the Trinity with the New Testament.

He points out the plurality in which God speaks at the creation of man and when He says "now, let us make man in our image." Grudem shows that this can only be showing the plurality that is found in the Godhead. He quashes the notion that it was merely God speaking in the royal "we" sense, for that was not a manner in which kings spoke in ancient biblical times. He even shows that Proverbs 8:30-31 is a rough picture of there being "plurality" to God, a point that I have never considered. Grudem makes the case that when it is speaking of "Wisdom" it is actually speaking of Christ because that proverb attributes a more divine personification aspect to wisdom when it is speaks of it being the mechanism if you will, of creation, something that the proverbs never do in any other regard when speaking of wisdom. So in that I found a very valuable nugget when it comes to defending the Trinity.

Grudem does a beautiful job of making this doctrine as understandable as possible, (even though it is impossible to completely grasp it at the same time.)But of all the sections in this chapter I especially appreciated his treatment of the controversies that have been addressed through Church history when it comes to the doctrine of the Trinity or the nature therein. So often we fail to comprehend the battles that have raged within the church over doctrine, yet without those battles back then it begs the question, what would the church believe now? There are those who wish for us to forget what has been fought over and they will say "those men of old just liked to squabble over minor details." Others just choose out of laziness to not even bother to find out the purposes of those ancient counsels. This brings to mind the old saying, "those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it." Though that saying is not Scripture, it is an axiom of the highest order.

Now, in a perfect Church this would not need to be said, but it appears that there are many who cast themselves as pastor, who have failed to heed the words of Paul Romans 16:17 "I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them."
Why do I bring that up? Because today we have prominent evangelical leaders offering their hands in fellowship to a man who denies the Trinity (T.D. Jakes) all in the name of "unity". Or worse yet men like Joel Osteen who has confessed that he believes that Mormons are part of Christianity because they believe in "Jesus", (a Jesus who is the spirit brother of Lucifer mind you.) This would not sit well with our dear brother Athanasius who faced opposition from all sides in the Arian controversy, even from the Emperor himself. When all called for peace and unity, Athanasius stood firm to the teachings past down by the Church. He "squabbled" to ensure one phrase was put in to the Nicene Creed, the phrase "begotten, not made." He would not rest until that was put in, for it would help sound the death-knell to the Arian heresy later in the Counsel of Constantinople.

The ancients understood what was at stake and through it they clarified, not invented, but clarified what had always been taught when it came to the nature of the Godhead. Oh, if only we would learn from the past we would not open our doors to fellowship with those who have reintroduced long condemned heresy.

This is no new discovery, the Bible is crammed with warnings about those teaching falsely and how we are to treat them. Obviously, we must give a defense of our faith and pray that the Spirit would bring said false teachers to repentance, but if we deal with these false teachings gingerly we are failing to remember the purpose of the weapons we have been given, which Paul tells us in 2Cor 10, "For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ."

I must be clear, I am not advocating the smashing of the person, but of the "lofty ideas" and "strongholds", anything that sets itself up against God or lies about God.

My final thoughts for this post is, what this "Systematic Theology" has done so far (beyond my own expectations) is help begin to sharpen the blurred lines that have left me almost afraid to say what I believed, because I had no solid understanding of the "why" of my beliefs. I encourage any who may find themselves in the same situation to pick up this book. Though it is still just one man's study of Scripture, I foresee my understanding of historical Christian doctrine becoming ever more tempered as my class unfolds.

Until next time.

In all things the glory be to God 

John the Lesser.


  1. Wonderful insight brother! What a joy to grow into deeper understanding of who God is, how He has made Himself known, and what that means for us. Ultimately, it isn't about us at all, is it! Rather, it is about Him in every way. I look forward to your on-going reflections. Peace be with you!

  2. You are such a historical egghead. But awesome that the book is helping bring forth little nuggets of ah-ha moments.