...thoughts expressed here are not necessarily final.

February 21, 2005 We had communion last night at church

After teaching on Luke 22-23 the past couple of Sundays, it was especially meaningful. these words came to me as we partook..

I Remember

I remember the body broken
I remember the words spoken
I remember the blood you shed
I remember the day you bled
I remember how you drank the cup
I remember how you were then lifted up
I remember your sacrifice,
Remember how you paid the awful price.
I fall down on my knees
As I remember all of these
And the tomb in which you laid
And I count the cost you paid
So I will take this cup
I will take this bread
And when I take it up
My spirit will be fed
I will do what you said we should do
And I do it in remembrance of you.
I do it in remembrance of you.

Anthony Foster
Sunday, January 20, 2005

White, puffed communion bread. Yum.

* Made of flour and vegetable shortening.
* Additive Free!
* Sealed minutes after baking for freshness.
* 1/2" square.
* 500 pieces per box.

Does this ever occur to you? We have lost the sense of the unity of eating from one loaf. We have rationed to the blessing cup to ourselves to the rate of once a quarter. I know it's unsanitary, but I sure would like to go back to passing the loaf like I remember as a kid. Or even slicing it up and passing it around.

February 22, 2005 Prayer Request

Terri Schiavo's feeding tube could be pulled today; her supporters request prayer CLEARWATER, Fla. (BP)--On the eve of the day Terri Schiavošs husband has said he will again begin the process of starving his wife to death, David Gibbs III, attorney for Terrišs parents, remained somewhat confident in the legal system Monday, fielding a flurry of motions and decisions in reaction to a surprise move by Judge George Greer to delay a hearing in his court until Wednesday. But Schiavo's husband, Michael Schiavo, may try and have her feeding tube removed today. Read More...

G-Men Question Man of God About Sermon on Abortion

A pastor of a small southern Illinois church has been subjected to a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe after delivering a pro-life Memorial Day sermon comparing aborted babies to casualties of war. Randy Steele, pastor of Southwest Christian Church in Mount Vernon, Illinois, says he was interviewed by Federal agents after a parishioner accused him of advocating violence during a sermon six months earlier. In the sermon in question, Steel drew a comparison between the number of American soldiers who have died in battle with the number of abortions performed since the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States. After comparing the number of people who have died in wars with the vast multitudes that have died through "legal" abortions since 1973, Steele had stated that pro-life America is now engaged in "a different type of war that is being fought under the presupposition of freedom." According to a Baptist Press (BP) report, the Illinois minister believes someone in the church the day of that sermon may have misunderstood his "different type of war" remark, misconstruing it to mean that he was actually calling his congregation to physical war against abortion clinics. However, Steele says when the federal agents looked at his sermon notes, they saw that no threats had been issued.

The Song of a Passionate Heart

Something keeps calling us:
Familiar and yet far away;
Something that we cannot name.
Things the soul can’t even say.
We’re filled with a vague longing
A hunger that will not relent
a 'wanting' for something undisclosed
An unidentified sense of discontent,

You don't know what it is you want,
'but it fairly makes your heart ache,
you know want it oh so much.
But you don’t know what it will take
Take me into the flame, into the light
Out of the darkness, out of the night
Marvelous saviour, wonderful guide
Light up my life till in glory I hide.

The wanting draws us on and on,
With promises to satisfy
Will happiness lie just ahead,
Or will we be filled with a restless lie?
The lie that keeps us on the move.
Yet in time when we arrive
Looking for that living proof
We cannot rest to save our lives

You don't know what it is you want,
But it fairly makes your heart ache,
You know want it oh so much.
But you don’t know what it will take
Take me into the flame, into the light
Out of the darkness, out of the night
Marvelous saviour, wonderful guide
Light up my life till in glory I hide.

January 21, 2005
Anthony Foster

I’d like to get comments and feedback...

...on a minority view on creation that was advanced by Jonathan Edwards and more recently held by the late John Gerstner. While I am not attempting to defend something to which I do not subscribe, when a mind like Edwards speaks it is worth giving a hearing in my opinion. I would like to more fully understand how to refute the view if it does not hold water. I don’t think Frame addresses it sufficiently.

Any other reasons beyond what I have alluded to (it denies God’s immutability) that anyone can raise?

John Frame briefly alludes to Edwards and Gerstner’s view that creation is creatio de Deo in The Doctrine of God, page 299.

He dismisses it as problematic because of its evocations of pantheistic emanationism. Actually Gerstner is careful to demand that pantheism cannot BE and advances his case against creatio ex nihilo only after saying this. It seems to (at least) place the locus of mystery at a point other than creatio ex nihilo does. The Edwardsian line (see “The End of Creation”) is that Creatio ex nihilo does logical violence to the doctrine of God’s infinity and omnipresence.

It seems to me that creatio de Deo does the same amount of violence to the Doctrine of God’s immutability.

The delimma from that perspective is as follows:

The first part of the dilemma of creatio ex nihilo is that, according to the Edwardsian line, it is an absurd concept (Frame admits there is a problem but assigns it to mystery) Something cannot come from nothing, else it was not nothing. Creatio ex nihilo says nothing positive, only refutes the negatives- no creation from previously existing reality and no emanation from the divine essence.

The second part of the purported dilemma follows;

1. God is all being- infinite,omnipresent, the source of all things- there is no other being that can exist beyond him.
2. If being is created that is other than His being, He is not longer infinite, all being, but rather finite- this cannot be, even if he is said to be 99.999 percent infinite that is a logical contradiction.
3. Therefore all created being must be a modification of His infinite, absolute, divine being.

This seems to spell pantheism, which Gerstner definitely claimed to refute. He assigns how this can be to mystery. Indeed this seems to be very different from Manichaeism, but still a form of emanation.

Gerstner goes on to posit that pantheism CANNOT be true and creatio ex nihilo CANNOT be true then Creation de deo MUST be true. That conclusion would seem to be a non sequitur, in my opinion.

The following Biblical warrant for the position are also posited: note the “in Him” and “Through Him”

Colossians 1:16For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him.
17He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Acts 17:28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we also are His children.'

So, would seem to me that if there was, as Gerstner puts it, in some way, a modification in the Divine being, God is not Immutable. That is not possible.
I must confess that as hard as Edwards is to comprehend at times with his dangling participles and fuzzy antecedents, I love his writings. I am not so sure that Gerstner accurately interpreted Edwards’ notion of Creatio de Deo.

Another line of discussion...

Edwards goes off on another tangent that seems to deny the freedom of God.
An apparent consequence is that God must create a world to display his glory. it isn't "possible for him to be hindered in the exercise of his goodness and his other perfections in their proper effect." (End of Creation, 1765; Edwards 1957-, vol. 8, 447)

Hence, this world is the best possible worlds, according to Edwards.
Whatcha think?


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From the personal weblog of Anthony Foster @http://anthonyfoster.com/blog/