Monthly Archives: November 2013

Wrinkly Theology > Ironed Theology

Compelling but short observation made by Thomas J. Davis, who is reflecting on Luther’s theology of the Lord’s Supper: “But too much real insight is lost if wrinkles are simply ironed out of theology” (This Is My Body: The Presence of Christ in Reformation Thought, 108).

It is a great observation, and Davis’ verbiage is premier. Theology is oftentimes constructed in a two-dimensional fashion, which gives theology a flattened-ironed-bland-boring and merely-propositional feel. But if Theology has wrinkles, e.g., pesky loci that refuse to be ironed flat, that refuse to fit well under this or that Trinitarian sub-heading, etc., then such wrinkly-nuances make for a three-dimensional(ish) theology. So, a Wrinkly Theology presents the doctrine of the knowledge of God, and the creation that is derivative, as a topological(ish)-tapestry.

Wrinkly Theology is like a great work of art: you can walk back and forth and around it; you can change your point of view and perspective; yet, from every new vantage point, you realize something new – some light-explosion-within-a-diamond like intricacy you hadn’t noticed before. But an Ironed Theology (a flattened-two-dimensional/merely-propositional theology) has no such spark, no intricacy, no ebb-and-flow Holy Spirit jet-stream. Wrinkly Theology is something that can provide shape and posture to your life. Ironed Theology is too over-simplistic to meaningfully describe the fecundity of life.

Wrinkly Theology, indeed. Oodelally!


“When I was in junior high I even had a picture of Jesus hanging on my wall right next to the poster of Michael Jordan. In some ways that is a visual example of how I would define my relationship with Jesus at the time. I was a fan of Jesus, like I was a fan of Mike. I had memorized his records and knew his stats, but I did not know him” (Kyle Idleman, Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus, 46).

God Condescends

“In relating to us, the triune God creates the means by which he condescends to us. He takes on human language, meaning, experience, and even flesh (supremely in Christ) in order to faithfully maintain his covenant with us; and he does all of this while remaining fully and completely God” (K. Scott Oliphint, Covenantal Apologetics: Principles and Practice in Defense of Our Faith, 96).

Regarding the condescension of God, John Calvin drew a correlation between how a nurse who speaks baby-talk with an infant and how God lisps in speaking to us – God condescends “far beneath his loftiness” in order to accommodate himself to us.


“Spiritual warfare calls us to be watchful because Satan’s chief means of destroying people is through deception (Gen. 3:1-5, 13; John 8:44; 2 Cor. 11:3; 1 Tim. 2:14; Rev. 12:9)” (Joel R. Beeke & Mark Jones, A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life, 194).

Following Jesus

“If you read through the four Gospels that tell of Christ’s life, you’ll find that Jesus says “Believe in me” about five times. But care to guess how many times Jesus said “Follow me”? About twenty times. Now I’m not saying that following is more important that believing. What I am saying is that the two are firmly connected. They are the heart and lungs of faith. One can’t live without the other. If you try and separate the message of follow from the message of believe, belief dies in the process. Our churches will continue to be full of fans until we break down the dichotomy between following and believing. Following is part of believing. To truly believe is to follow” (Kyle Idleman, Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus, 32-33).

Frigid Teaching

“For nothing is more frigid than a teacher who shows his philosophy only in words: this is to act the part not of a teacher, but of a hypocrite” (St. Chrysostom, Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles, Homily I. NPNF1 11:4).

Frigid teaching is the worst, indeed. Yowsers!

Feminine Faith – Strength of Character

“In marriage, it takes a lot of strength of character to be a helpmate as the Bible describes it and not bail on the marriage. But you’re not doing it alone or in your own strength. Never forget that the encouragement, correction, submission, honor, respect, and appreciation that you give your husband each day are lavishly supplied by the One who is also your helper!” (Carolyn McCulley, Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World, 90).

WCF. IV. Of Creation – 1. Q & A

Blogging through and answering the questions from G. I. Williamson’s The Westminster Confession of Faith for Study Classes for personal review and comprehension.

WCF. IV. Of Creation – 1.

1. Who created the world?

The true God created the world – the world derives its existence from the Triune Lord. According to Genesis 1:1, “The world is created, not self-existent, and it is God, the true God, who caused it to be” (53).

2. What are the basic points of dogma held by “modern science”?

Modern science teaches the world is “self-existent or eternal . . . that it does not have a derived existence . . . that the present form of the world is the result of a process of selection controlled, not by God, but by the ‘principle’ of ‘the survival of the fittest’ . . . that there is no ‘ultimate’ reason for it” (53). This also was axiom at back Greek-pagan-thought. Heraclitus (c. 500 B.C.) was a Greek philosopher, and, regarding reality, he said, “Neither has any god nor any human made this cosmos, rather it always was and is and will be” (frag. 30). Also, Heraclitus was admired by Cynics, Stoics, and, of course, Nietzsche (see Archetypes of Wisdom: An Introduction to Philosophy, 64).

3. Is there any proof for the theory of evolution? Why?

Williamson calls evolution a “theory” and a “dogma” that has been believed and accepted for over a century, but “there is still not one iota of “proof” that it is true” [italics original] (54). There can be no “proof” for the theory of evolution because . . . see answer below for Question 4.

4. What is truth?

“Truth is simply that which really is. There is only one truth, because there is only one reality. Therefore, if the Scriptures are true, they merely tell us what really is (or was, or will yet be). When by investigation men also discover what really is in the world of nature, they simply grasp another aspect of the same total truth” (54).

5. Where is truth found?

Truth is found in the “book of life” (the Bible) and the “book of nature” – both have been authored by God.

6. What are some common false assumptions of those who accept modern scientific dogma?

That modern science can deduce truth from observing only the “book of nature”. Truth is what really is . . . thus, you cannot deduce truth from the raw facts of nature alone. Truth involves both the thing and God’s revelation (God’s Word) regarding the thing. In addition to this, there are any number of false assumptions related to production of fossils, assumptions regarding vast stretches of time (i.e., “billions-and-billions-of-years-ago”), etc.

7. State concisely your reply to each of these false assumptions.

I prefer not to. If you address the epistemological presuppositions at back false assumptions, then you don’t need to address each of the false assumptions.

8. What is your view of the “days” of Genesis 1?

These are 24-hour periods of time. I believe Genesis 1 is a historical narrative of a one-week-sequence of time.

9. Is the Hebrew term for “day” always used to denote a twenty-four hour period?

No, it is not. As any Lexicon will show.

10. Is there any good reason not to believe that God created the world in six twenty-four hour days? if so, state them.

No – there are no good reasons. The reasoning is always driven by an insipid-and-mildew Gnosticism, so it de facto cannot be good reasoning for a Christian.

Singing-and-Praying the Songs of Jesus

“Why . . . can Christians pray the Psalms? According to the ancient church, it is because it was always the Messiah at the head of his people who prayed them; in Augustine’s fine phrase, it was always “the total Christ,” the totus Christus, Christ as the head and his folk as the body, who gathered in the temple with these hymns and lamentations” (Robert W. Jenson, Canon and Creed, 23).