God Ad Extra and Covenantal Condescension

This does not mean, however, that for Junius the identity of archetypal theology with the divine essence of God renders Him incapable of communicating to the created order. God Himself bridges the gap by graciously revealing ectypal theology to His creatures by an act of His free and contingent will ad extra. At the same time, the distinction between archetypal and ectypal theology underscores the fact that human beings do not have direct access to the knowledge of God. Thus, humans are dependent on God’s external self-disclosure. In other words, there is no way of access from man to God, but only from God to man.

...

...the overarching paradigm for understanding the principles and task of theology was the archetypal/ectypal distinction, and the parallel distinction between the essential or ad intra dimension and the contingent or ad extra dimension of divine agency.

 


What Is Eschatology?

Eschatology is “the doctrine of the last things.” It deals with the teaching or belief, that the world-movement, religiously considered, tends towards a definite final goal, beyond which a new order of affairs will be established, frequently with the further implication, that this new order of affairs will not be subject to any further change, but will partake of the static character of the eternal.

 


Calvin on Hosea 1:7, on insane Papists with a false god

When once they are persuaded that they worship God, they are seized by some fascination of Satan, so as to become delighted with all their own dotages, as we see to be the case at this day with the Papists, who are not only insane, but doubly frantic. If any one reproves them and says, that they worship not the true God, they are instantly on fire—“What! does not God accept our worship?”

 

John Calvin Commentary on Hosea 1:7

Ultimate Rational Incomprehensibility

God is incomprehensible to us because he is ultimately rational. It is not because God is irrational that we cannot comprehend him; it is because God is rational, and in the nature of the case, ultimately rational, that we cannot comprehend him. It is not because God is darkness that he is incomprehensible to us, but it is because he is light, and, in the nature of the case, absolute light. God dwelleth in a light that no man can approach unto. We are not blind because of the light of God; it is only in God’s light that we see light.

 

Cornelius Van Til, An Introduction to Systematic Theology (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1979).

Calvin on morality in the 21st century

Owing to the innate self-love by which all are blinded, we most willingly persuade ourselves that we do not possess a single quality which is deserving of hatred; and hence, independent of any countenance from without, general credit is given to the very foolish idea, that man is perfectly sufficient of himself for all the purposes of a good and happy life.

 

Calvin Inst 2.2.2

Grounding in Christological Revelation

I have sought to ground our discussion, first, in that quintessential revelation of God in Christ, as that revelation informs and exegetes the rest of what Scripture tells us about God, and about “God with us.”

 

Oliphint, K. Scott (2011-11-02). God with Us: Divine Condescension and the Attributes of God (p. 279). Crossway.

No License

...as with any other systematic theological tenet, it is only as strong and applicable as Scripture allows. It is never a license for pure logical deduction.

 

Scott Oliphint (2011-11-02). God with Us: Divine Condescension and the Attributes of God (p. 279). Crossway.

Person in the Trinity

All this was worked out in greater detail by Augustine. He does not derive the Trinity from the Father but from the unity of the divine essence, nor does he conceive of it as accidental but rather as an essential characteristic of the divine being. It belongs to God’s very essence to be triune. In that regard personhood is identical with God’s being itself. “For to God it is not one thing to be and another to be a person, but it is altogether the same thing” (De trin., VII, 6). For if being belonged to God in an absolute sense, and personhood in a relative sense, the three persons could not be one being. Each person, therefore, is identical with the entire being and equal to the other two or all three together.

 

Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: God and Creation, Volume 2, p. 303-304

“by faith alone”

Paul does not teach a “faith alone” position, as I have sometimes heard it put. Rather, his is a “by faith alone” position. This is not just a verbal quibble; the “by” is all-important here. The faith by which sinners are justified, as it unites them to Christ and so secures for them all the benefits of salvation there are in him, that faith perseveres to the end and in persevering is never alone. It is, as Luther is reported to have said, “a busy little thing.”

@citation Richard B. Gaffin, By Faith, Not by Sight: Paul and the Order of Salvation (Paternoster, 2006), 105.