Worldview Everlasting Greek Tuesday takes on Matt 18.
As Pastor Fisk said in his video, not all of Forde’s stuff is palatable. However, that does not mean we refrain from reading him and seeking to glean something valuable from him. As we should with all theologians, we chew on the “meat” – that which edifies, and we spit out the “bones” – everything else that does not edify. How do we know the difference between the “meat” and the “bones”? Test them against the Scriptures and the Confessions of the Church (Book of Concord,
“Where God Meets Man” is one of Forde’s works that discusses the Theology of the Cross. I cannot recall everything he says in this book, but the section you refer to “The View of the Atonement” is some pretty good stuff to chew on.
When I reread this all I could say was, “Wow!” I believe Forde hits the nail on the head in this section concerning the Three Views (Theories) of the Atonement, or in his case, the View (Theory) of the Atonement. Although no one can ever master being a Theologian of the Cross, Forde certainly has a great deal of experience in the art of its application throughout the theological disciplines.
As Forde states, he does not want simply to talk about the Theology of the Cross as a theory, but to do what he can for the Theology of the Cross to be actualized in the life of the Christian. When it comes to the Views of Atonement, he is determined that the cross and Christ’s “It is finished” takes center stage. Everything is to be subject to the cross. There death is the way to life. There is no other way. Jesus is the one in whom we are made one with God again and that happens in more than one theory of the atonement, in fact he seems to argue that all theories are valuable in actualizing the Theology of the Cross. As Forde explains, “Jesus ‘satisfied the wrath of God,’ or ‘bears the curse of the law,’ or ‘suffers the punishment’ at the same time as he ‘wins the victory’ over the demons and death. It is all of
a piece. Indeed, since his life, death and resurrection are ours, it is quite possible also to speak of him as our ‘example.’” (Forde, “Where God Meets Man” p.44:2)
For further study Francis Pieper’s Dogmatics addresses these theories of the atonement systematically and lays a solid foundation on which to build and understand in greater depth Forde’s position. If you’re able to get your hands on them they are a valuable resource.
So, in this section of “Where God Meets Man” you can, as before said, chew on it and gain some insight into the Theories of the Atonement. But do not become complacent in your study. Keep up being critical of all you read. Examine, question and discuss with others the various doctrines of the Church, in order to text the orthodoxy of others and yourself. All theologians become great by: 1.) reading, learning and praying God’s Word and the Church’s doctrine – Her confession; 2.) meditating on God’s Word (which includes studying the doctrine of the Church) and chewing on the meat and spiting out the bones; 3.) suffering under the cross of Christ battling the devil, world, and your own sinful flesh.
God be with you through Jesus Christ as you study His Holy Word and the Confessions.
Rev. Dustin L. Anderson, Pastor
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
I feel very sorry for your friends. Please comfort them as they struggle with this situation. They are not alone. The housing market has become a real nightmare for many people.
But you want to know about theology. I’m going to speak quite frankly about this kind of thinking, but you need to address your friends with more delicacy.
To be blunt: your friends have fallen prey to a popular form of soft-mysticism. They did not know it. As you say, “everyone is doing it,” especially those who are otherwise good Christians. You will not be popular for challenging this practice. Trust me. It is deep seated in the lives of many Christians (even Lutherans). But if people are open-minded students of Scripture, they will discover that “looking for signs in the form of feelings” is never commanded or encouraged.
This practice assumes that God regularly speaks to us apart from His Word, and that this speaking comes to us in the form of feelings. Even if an apparition were to appear to them, Scripture says more about testing such things than seeking them.
The even harder questions are: How does this practice of trying to divine “God’s will” differ from any other form of divination, mysticism or even magic (tarot cards, tea leaves, looking to the stars, and the like)? How is this any different than testing God (see Ex. 17:7, Deut. 6:16, Psalm 78:18 – 31, Is. 7:10 – 12, Luke 14:12)?
What Scripture does teach us clearly is that we can thank God for blessings, call upon Him in trouble, and trust in Him without wavering. He does guide and take care of us. The Christian way to make a decision is to weigh that decision according to God’s revealed will in the Law. Will I be serving my neighbor, taking care of my family, and/or serving God? Does God encourage my action? If so, do it, and trust in God.
Christians are going to be faced with trials and temptations — now *that’s* a promise from Scripture. Christians have lost money, lost homes, been the victims of natural disasters, made poor decisions, and every Christian has eventually died. Even so, God’s revealed promises to us are true even on our worst day such as, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).
If you want to help your friends, point them to a passage like Hebrews 12-13. What is the conclusion of this passage? That God will make life easy or that he will direct our actions through feelings? No. But no matter what happens in this life, we do have a great high priest in Christ. Through Christ, we will be blessed in the world to come. “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come” (Heb. 13:14). God is leading us when he reveals our need for Christ, and when His Spirit shows us that we have all that we need in Christ. …not when we “feel good” about buying a car, a house, or getting a job.
Rev. Robert O. Riebau
Feel free to invite your friends with you to the Divine Service where they may hear the Gospel and receive the free gift of the forgiveness of Christ. You may also want to introduce them to the pastor and suggest they talk with him that they may be reassured of God’s love for them.
Matthew Lorfeld, Pastor
Messiah Lutheran Church
La Crescent, MN
Worldview Everlasting AskdaPastor2.0 takes on a question about the Seventh Day Adventist teaching on the Sabbath.
Excursus on Seventh-Day Adventism
Central to Adventist eschatology is Christ’s second advent. According to Adventist teaching, Christ entered into the holy place of the heavenly temple on Good Friday and remained there for eighteen centuries to plead His blood on behalf of sinners. In 1844 (2,300 “prophetic days” or years after 457 B.C.–Dan. 8:14), Christ entered the heavenly holy of holies to begin investigating the conduct of believers an “investigative judgment” which will last until His second advent. When people die, they become non-existent in body and soul until this second coming. Just before Christ returns, those who were responsible for His trial and crucifixion (Rev. 1:7) and the faithful members of the Adventist denomination who died after 1844 (Rev. 14:13) will be raised to see Him come. At His return Christ will destroy the beast, the false prophet, and the wicked who made war against God and His people at Armageddon (Rev. 16:12-16; 19:11-21). Satan will have the sins of the world placed upon him as a “scapegoat” and will be consigned to a desolate earth for 1000 years (Rev. 20:1-3). At the same time, all believers who died before 1844 and all non- Adventist believers who died after 1844 will be raised (Rev. 20:4-6). All believers who are still alive will be transformed, and both groups will go to heaven to rule with Christ 1000 years. During this period, Christ and the believers will rule for the purpose of investigating the lives of the unbelievers and determining the amount of suffering they will have to experience. After the millennium the wicked will be raised, they will suffer in various degrees on earth, and they will be gathered by Satan for a final assault on the heavenly Jerusalem which has just descended (Rev. 20:7-9). Following this, God will annihilate Satan, his evil angels, and all the wicked. Christ and all believers will then live forever on the new earth.
The LCMS on Seventh Day Adventism:
PDF to go with it:
More Issues, Etc on Apocalypitc Literature:
70 AD and Stuff: