"Nothing more impressive than an intellectual and spiritual approach to seeking truth and a willingness to embrace it unconditionally."

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Christian Claim

As Christians we do not claim moral superiority to our non- believing friends. In fact, we claim just the opposite. Our Christianity confesses that we are frail and flawed; all the while confessing that there is hope in Jesus Christ.

We confess to the world our solidarity with their moral plight: "We are men of like passions as ye are." We struggle with the same issues you struggle with. We have the same sexual, ethical and moral temptations that you have; however, we have two very different philosophical interpretations of sin.

The non-believer views his temptations as validation for his depravity; "this is who I am." The Christian says: my temptation is pulling me toward who I am in fallen Adam, but the gospel declares who I was created to be in Christ from before the foundation of the world.

That is the reason that I must be born again. My first birth puts me in fallen Adam, but the second birth puts me in the risen Christ. Some say, "I cannot change the way I was born.". It is true that you cannot, but through the Gospel you can have a new birth, and become a new creation in Christ.

So my church attendance is not a declaration of perfection, but a declaration of my need of a Savior. Often non-believers, under the guise of seeking to discredit Christianity, when they observe our flawed humanity mock saying, "you are supposed to be a Christian." Our response is: No, I am a Christian, and the failure you just observed is why I am. I refuse to accept my weakness as terminal.

In reality they are not seeking to discredit Christianity, they are seeking to justify, and therefore accept their own depravity. The good news is, you don't have to settle, the gospel still works.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Bondage of the Will: Point of Interest 3

Erasmus: "But the Papal laws should still in charity be borne with and kept, for it may be that eternal salvation through the Word of God will yet prove compatible with the word's peace without any disturbance."


Luther: "The prince of this world does not permit the laws of the Pope and his pontiffs to be kept in liberty; his intention is to entangle and bind consciences... as for your fear that persons of vicious inclination will abuse this liberty, this must be thought of as one of the disturbances aforementioned, part of the temporal leprosy that we must bear and the malady that we must endure. But it must not be held so important as to warrant the removal of the Word of God in order to restrain their abuse of it. "



Luther to Erasmus:"The same circumspection appears in your next bit of advice, that wrong decisions made in councils should not be publicly acknowledged , lest the grounds for denying the authority of the fathers should thereby by given. This, of course, is exactly what the Pope wanted you to say! He finds it sweeter hearing that the Gospel itself; he will be most ungrateful if he does not honor you in return with a cardinal's hat, plus all the attendant revenues."



The Bondage of the Will, pg. 93-94, 96

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Bondage of the Will: Point of Interest 2

All of you debaters and debate fans will love the following quote. And for those of you who like civil debates, but lack the constitution for the argument style of Marvin Hicks, you will find that Marvin Hicks was not quite so bad after all.

Luther to Erasmus: "...your book, by comparison, struck me as so worthless and poor that my heart went out to you for having defiled your lovely flow of language with such vile stuff. I thought it outrageous to convey material of so low a quality in the trappings of such rare eloquence; it is like using gold or silver dishes to carry garden rubbish or dung."

Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will, pg. 63

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Bondage of the Will: Point of Interest 1

"His unflagging polemic against the abuse of reason has often been construed as an insult on the very idea of rational coherence in theology, whereas-in fact it is aimed only at the ideal of rational autonomy and self-sufficiency in theology-the ideal of philosophers and scholastic theologians , to find out and know God by the use of their own unaided reason. It was in her capacity as the prompter and agent of 'natural' theology that mistress reason was in Luther's eyes the devil's whore; for natural theology is, he held, blasphemous in principle, and bankrupt in practice. Blasphemous in principle, because it seeks to snatch from God a knowledge of himself which is not His gift, but man's achievement-a triumph of human brain-power; thus it would feed man's pride, and exalt him above his Creator, as one who could know God at pleasure, whether or not God willed to be known by him." (Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will, Translated By J.I. Packer & O.R. Johnston, pg. 45-46)

I had plenty comments to make about this excerpt from the book, however I decided to leave this portion to your own private meditation.

Stott on How and Why Christians Should Debate Each Other

From John Stott’s book, Christ the Controversialist (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1970).

On what Christians should do when they disagree with each other:

The proper activity of professing Christians who disagree with one another is neither to ignore, nor to conceal, nor even to minimize their differences, but to debate them. (p. 22)

On why we should speak the truth in love, not being truthless in love or loveless in truth:

We seem in our generation to have moved a long way from this vehement zeal for the truth which Christ and his apostles displayed. But if we loved the glory of God more, and if we cared more for the eternal good of the souls of men, we would not refuse to engage in necessary controversy, when the truth of the gospel is at stake. The apostolic command is clear. We are “to maintain the truth in love,” being neither truthless in our love, nor loveless in our truth, but holding the two in balance. (p. 19)

On the difference between a “tolerant mind” and a “tolerant spirit”:

We need to distinguish between the tolerant mind and the tolerant spirit. Tolerant in spirit a Christian should always be, loving, understanding, forgiving and forbearing others, making allowances for them, and giving them the benefit of the doubt, for true love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” [1 Cor. 13:7]. But how can we be tolerant in mind of what God has plainly revealed to be either evil or erroneous? (p. 8)

I think Stott would have liked something G. K. Chesterton once said: ““The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid” (The Autobiography, vol. 16 of The Collected Works of G. K. Chesterton [San Francisco: Ignatius, 1988], 212).

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2010/02/10/stott-on-how-and-why-christians-should-debate-each-other/

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fact Check #1: Was Egyptian Bondage 430 Years?

I thought the following article was interesting. On of the most common mistakes made by preachers is preaching that the Jews were in slavery to the Egyptians for 400+ years. We have all made the mistake, including myself.

"Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, etc. - The statement in this verse is allowed on all hands to be extremely difficult, and therefore the passage stands in especial need of illustration. “That the descendants of Israel did not dwell 430 years in Egypt,” says Dr. Kennicott, “may be easily proved, and has often been demonstrated. Some therefore imagine that by Egypt here both it and Canaan are to be understood. But this greater latitude of place will not solve the difficulty, since the Israelites, including Israel their father, did not sojourn 430 years in both countries previous to their departure from Egypt. Others, sensible of the still remaining deficiency, would not only have Egypt in the text to signify it and Canaan, but by a figure more comprehensive would have the children of Israel to mean Israel’s children, and Israel their father, and Isaac the father of Israel, and part of the life of Abraham, the father of Isaac.

“Thus indeed,” says Dr. Kennicott, “we arrive at the exact sum, and by this method of reckoning we might arrive at any thing but truth, which we may presume was never thus conveyed by an inspired writer.” But can the difficulty be removed without having recourse to such absurd shifts? Certainly it can. The Samaritan Pentateuch, in all its manuscripts and printed copies, reads the place thus: -

Umoshab beney Yishrael veabotham asher yashebu baarets Cenaan, ubaarets mitsraim sheloshim shanah vearba meoth shanah.

“Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, and of their fathers, which they sojourned in the land of Canaan and in the land of Egypt, was 430 years.” This same sum is given by St. Paul, Gal_3:17, who reckons from the promise made to Abraham, when God commanded him to go to Canaan, to the giving of the law, which soon followed the departure from Egypt; and this chronology of the apostle is concordant with the Samaritan Pentateuch, which, by preserving the two passages, they and their fathers, and in the land of Canaan, which are lost out of the present copies of the Hebrew text, has rescued this passage from all obscurity and contradiction.

It may be necessary to observe that the Alexandrian copy of the Septuagint has the same reading as that in the Samaritan. The Samaritan Pentateuch is allowed by many learned men to exhibit the most correct copy of the five books of Moses; and the Alexandrian copy of the Septuagint must also be allowed to be one of the most authentic as well as most ancient copies of this version which we possess. As to St. Paul, no man will dispute the authenticity of his statement; and thus in the mouth of these three most respectable witnesses the whole account is indubitably established.

That these three witnesses have the truth, the chronology itself proves: for from Abraham’s entry into Canaan to the birth of Isaac was 25 years, Gen_12:4; 17:1-21; Isaac was 60 years old at the birth of Jacob, Gen_25:26; and Jacob was 130 at his going down into Egypt, Gen_47:9; which three sums make 215 years. And then Jacob and his children having continued in Egypt 215 years more, the whole sum of 430 years is regularly completed. See Kennicott’s Dissertation on the Hebrew Text."

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible, Retrieved from E-Sword 08.08.11

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Covenant and Consummation: How the Marriage Covenant is Confirmed


Of the many debatable aspects of marriage, one of the most hotly debated is when a person is fully married: 1. Covenant only? 2. Sexual union only? 3. Covenant and sexual union? I will contend for the third view. The marriage is not confirmed until the couple has been united.[1]

There are two reasons why I do not believe that covenant alone constitutes marriage: 1. If covenant alone constitutes marriage, the bible would not have made a distinction between espousal and marriage. 2. There would have been no need for the “evidence of virginity,”[2] or for the man and the women to “come together”[3] as “one flesh.”[4] This dual view of what constitutes a marriage is consistent in both the Old and New Testaments.

COVENANT ONLY:

The view that marriage is covenant only has no biblical support. It was at betrothal/espousal that the two parties entered covenant;[5] however, the bible makes a clear distinction between espousal and marriage.[6] The bible does use the term wife in reference to the betrothed or espoused; however, there is a difference between the espoused wife[7] and the married wife.[8] The terms married and betrothed/espoused are not synonymous. Married never refers to betrothal/espousal. Covenant only, is espousal, not marriage.

CONSUMATION ONLY:

Consummation or sexual union only is fornication, because it is outside of covenant. While marriage is not covenant only, covenant is an essential part of marriage.[9] The New Testament term for sexual union is “one flesh,” and is fornication outside of marriage.[10]

COVENANT AND CONSUMMATION:

As we have seen: covenant only is espousal only, and not marriage; but consummation only is fornication, not marriage. So, we are going to show in this section that both covenant and consummation is what constitutes a marriage.

In the taking of Rebekah to be Isaac’s wife, she was covenanted to be his wife in Genesis 24:50-51;[11] she received her dowry in Genesis 24:53;[12] yet she did not become his wife until he took her into the tent (Genesis 24:67).[13] John Gill says it was in the tent that Isaac, “consummated the marriage, first contracted by his servant, then confirmed by himself, and now finished:”[14] So, sexual union was necessary to consummate and confirm the covenant.

In the case of Joseph and marry we find this distinction between the covenanted espoused wife, and the consummated married wife. Joseph was her “husband,”[15] and she was his “wife,”[16] because they had entered the legally binding covenant of espousal/betrothal.[17] Yet, they were not married, because they had not “came together”[18] as one flesh, and Joseph “knew here not.”[19]

It should be abundantly clear that it takes both covenant and consummation to fully confirm a marriage. All it takes is a cursory reading of Deuteronomy 22 to see that until the marriage has been sexually consummated that the covenant has not been confirmed.[20]


[1] Sexual union

[2] Deuteronomy 22:13-21 ESV: “If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then hates her 14 and accuses her of misconduct and brings a bad name upon her, saying, 'I took this woman, and when I came near her, I did not find in her evidence of virginity,' 15 then the father of the young woman and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of her virginity to the elders of the city in the gate. 16 And the father of the young woman shall say to the elders, 'I gave my daughter to this man to marry, and he hates her; 17 and behold, he has accused her of misconduct, saying, "I did not find in your daughter evidence of virginity." And yet this is the evidence of my daughter's virginity.' And they shall spread the cloak before the elders of the city. 18 Then the elders of that city shall take the man and whip him, 19 and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the father of the young woman, because he has brought a bad name upon a virgin of Israel. And she shall be his wife. He may not divorce her all his days. 20 But if the thing is true, that evidence of virginity was not found in the young woman, 21 then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done an outrageous thing in Israel by whoring in her father's house. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.”

[3] Matthew 1:18 ESV:Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.”

[4] Matthew 19:5-6 ESV: “and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

[5] “Espouse” Easton’s Bible Dictionary, Retrieved from E-Sword 08.04.11: “The espousal was a ceremony of betrothing, a formal agreement between the parties then coming under obligation for the purpose of marriage.”

Betroth” Easton’s Bible Dictionary, Retrieved from E-Sword 08.04.11: “From the time of betrothal the woman was regarded as the lawful wife of the man to whom she was betrothed (Deu_28:30; Jdg_14:2, Jdg_14:8; Mat_1:18-21).

[6] Deuteronomy 24:1 KJV: When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.” Here in this verse the KJV say, “taken a wife AND married her.”

Deuteronomy 22:22-23 KJV: “If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel. 23 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;”

[7] Matthew 1:18-20 KJV: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.”

[8] Isaiah 54:1 KJV: “Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.”

[9] Malachi 2:14 ESV: “But you say, "Why does he not?" Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.”

I want to point out here that marriage is never defined is scripture as a vow. So, it is a false premise when the regulations that the bible places on vows are placed on marriage. Marriage is a covenant, and not a vow. Covenants are conditional.

[10] 1 Corinthians 6:16-18 KJV: “What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.”

[11] Genesis 24:50-51 ESV: “Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, "The thing has come from the LORD; we cannot speak to you bad or good. 51 Behold, Rebekah is before you; take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master's son, as the LORD has spoken."”

[12] Genesis 24:53 ESV: And the servant brought out jewelry of silver and of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave to her brother and to her mother costly ornaments.”

[13] Genesis 24:67 ESV: “Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother and took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.”

[14] John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible, Retrieved from E-Sword 08.04.11

[15] Matthew 1:19 ESV: “And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.”

[16] Matthew 1:20 ESV: “But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”

[17] Matthew 1:18 ESV: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.”

[18] Ibid

[19] Matthew 1:24-25 ESV: “When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.”

[20] See footnote 2

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Incarnation and the Permanency of the Son


The theme of this symposium is the incarnation. The term incarnation is defined as: “the act of manifesting or state of being manifested in bodily form, esp human form,[1] or the “assumption of human form or nature.[2] The term incarnation is not confined to theological use. However, in the theological context the incarnation is the event in which the one true God of the Old Testament was manifest in the flesh in the New Testament for purpose of redemption.[3]

I will not attempt to give an extended and nuanced definition of the nature Son’s relationship to the Father during the incarnation, as the purpose of my paper is to demonstrate the duration of the incarnation. Suffice it to say, that the Oneness view of the incarnation differs from the Trinitarian view of the incarnation in the following way: the Trinitarian view of the incarnation is that Son of God, the second person in the Godhead, was manifest in the flesh; whereas the Oneness view of the incarnation says that the Father was manifest in the flesh, flowing out of himself as the Son.


THE INCARNATION AND THE SON

The term Son, as it relates to the Son of God, is a distinctly incarnational term. Luke 1:35 clearly makes this point:

“And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35 KJV


The Greek, διό[4] (dio; therefore), makes the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, and the subsequent conception, the basis for calling the holy thing that was born of Mary the Son of God. This interpretation of Luke 1:35 is not just a Oneness Pentecostal attempt at denying the Trinity. This view has been held by many notable Trinitarians, some of whom deny the doctrine of “eternal generation” or “eternal sonship.

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, although a proponent of eternal generation, recognizes the import of the language in Luke 1:35 when they say: We must neither think of a double Sonship, as some do, harshly and without all ground, nor deny what is here plainly expressed, the connection between His human birth and His proper personal Sonship.”[5]

Noted Trinitarians that espoused the “incarnational son” view of that Trinity are Adam Clarke (Methodist),[6] Albert Barnes (Presbyterian),[7] and Dr. Walter Martin (Baptist), [8] founder of Christian Research Institute (CRI). However, since Marin’s death and succession by Hank Hannegraaff, CRI has amended its official position to “eternal sonship.”[9] Also, John Macarthur was a proponent of “incarnational sonship” until his recent recant.[10] So, you can see, “incarnational Sonship” is not a concept that is exclusive to Oneness Pentecostals.

THE SON AND THE RESURRECTION

God assuming human form and nature is where actual[11] Sonship began. Assuming the term “Son” is inextricably connected to the incarnation, then as long as Christ has what he assumed in the incarnation, then He may properly be called “Son.”[12] There is a small group among Oneness Pentecostals who deny the present Sonship of Jesus Christ. Bishop S.C. Johnson, of Philadelphia, PA, formed a sect with this teaching as one of its heresies.

The scriptures, however, are clear that the Sonship of Jesus extends beyond the resurrection; in fact, there is a dimension to His Sonship that can only be fully realized by the resurrection. Paul states this in Romans 1:4: “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: The resurrection does not eradicate his Sonship, it more powerfully declares it!

Jesus is the Son of God post resurrection, because the humanity that He took on in the incarnation was raised in the resurrection. To deny the Sonship of Christ post resurrection, is to deny the Son was raised from the dead. For further reading on this concept I invite you to read John 20:21-31.[13]

THE SON AND THE ASCENSION

Not only was Jesus the Son of God post resurrection, Jesus is the Son of God post ascension; Jesus is the Son of God in heaven right now.

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” Hebrews 4:14 KJV

This verse clearly teaches that the one that is passed into the heavens, is Jesus the Son of God. Further proof that Jesus’ Sonship extends beyond the ascension is in the Apostle’s constant affirmation that Jesus “is” the Son of God.

“And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” Acts 8:37 KJV

“And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.” Acts 9:20 KJV

“Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” 1 John 4:15 KJV

“Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:5 KJV

Two things that the above verses have in common are: 1. Each of them are after Jesus’ ascension. 2. Each of them proclaims that Jesus “is,” present tense, the Son of God. There is no indication from the Apostles that Jesus, post ascension, ceased to be the Son of God; rather, to the contrary they constantly affirm his continued and abiding Sonship.

THE SON AND ETERNITY

Not only does the sonship extend past the resurrection and the ascension, it also extends everlastingly.

“And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: 4 And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.” Revelation 22:3-4 KJV


The throne of God and of the Lamb will continue into the age where there is “no more curse.” This will only be realized in the consummation of all things. God and the Lamb are described as “him” and “he:” God and the Lamb have one face and one name. The lamb, who is the Son of God, will forever be the face of the Father. The Son is God’s everlasting self revelation.

Finally, Paul demonstrates the everlasting sonship of Christ in 1 Corinthians 15:

“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” 1 Corinthians 15:24-28 KJV


This is often the proof text of Oneness Pentecostals to demonstrate that the Sonship will cease; however, it proves just the opposite. The obvious time frame discussed in this text is “the end” and beyond (vs. 24). Verse 28 says, “when all things shall be subdued unto him (Father), then the Son also himself shall be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. I conclude with a question about this text: “How can the Son be subject to the Father if he does not exist?” Jesus is the everlasting Son of God.



[1] "incarnation." Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. 10 Jul. 2011. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/incarnation>.

[2] "incarnation." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 10 Jul. 2011. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/incarnation>.

[3] John 1:1-3; 2 Corinthians 5:19; 1Timothy 3:16

[4] Joseph H. Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1977, pg. 152. Therefore is from the Greek, dio,“on account of.”

James Strong, “For which cause.”

It is “on account of” the Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary and causing conception that her child was to be called the Son of God. The title “Son of God” has inextricable causal connection to conception of the man Jesus in the womb of Mary. This is the very moment in which the incarnation was realized. Therefore the term “Son,” as it pertains to the Son of God, necessitates incarnation.

[5] E-Sword, version 9.5.1, Retrieved 07.10.11: “That Christ is the Son of God in His divine and eternal nature is clear from all the New Testament; yet here we see that Sonship efflorescing into human and palpable manifestation by His being born, through “the power of the Highest,” an Infant of days. We must neither think of a double Sonship, as some do, harshly and without all ground, nor deny what is here plainly expressed, the connection between His human birth and His proper personal Sonship.”

[6] E-Sword, version 9.5.1, Retrieved 07.10.11: His comments on Luke 1:35: “We may plainly perceive here, that the angel does not give the appellation of Son of God to the Divine nature of Christ; but to that holy person or thing, το ἁγιον, which was to be born of the virgin, by the energy of the Holy Spirit. The Divine nature could not be born of the virgin; the human nature was born of her. The Divine nature had no beginning; it was God manifested in the flesh, 1Ti_3:16; it was that Word which being in the beginning (from eternity) with God, Joh_1:2, was afterwards made flesh, (became manifest in human nature), and tabernacled among us, Joh_1:14. Of this Divine nature the angel does not particularly speak here, but of the tabernacle or shrine which God was now preparing for it, viz. the holy thing that was to be born of the virgin. Two natures must ever be distinguished in Christ: the human nature, in reference to which he is the Son of God and inferior to him, Mar_13:32; Joh_5:19; Joh_14:28, and the Divine nature which was from eternity, and equal to God, Joh_1:1; Joh_10:30; Rom_9:5; Col_1:16-18. It is true, that to Jesus the Christ, as he appeared among men, every characteristic of the Divine nature is sometimes attributed, without appearing to make any distinction between the Divine and human natures; but is there any part of the Scriptures in which it is plainly said that the Divine nature of Jesus was the Son of God? Here, I trust, I may be permitted to say, with all due respect for those who differ from me, that the doctrine of the eternal Sonship of Christ is, in my opinion, anti-scriptural, and highly dangerous. This doctrine I reject for the following reasons: - 1st. I have not been able to find any express declaration in the Scriptures concerning it. 2dly. If Christ be the Son of God as to his Divine nature, then he cannot be eternal; for son implies a father; and father implies, in reference to son, precedency in time, if not in nature too. Father and son imply the idea of generation; and generation implies a time in which it was effected, and time also antecedent to such generation. 3dly. If Christ be the Son of God, as to his Divine nature, then the Father is of necessity prior, consequently superior to him. 4thly. Again, if this Divine nature were begotten of the Father, then it must be in time; i.e. there was a period in which it did not exist, and a period when it began to exist. This destroys the eternity of our blessed Lord, and robs him at once of his Godhead. 5thly. To say that he was begotten from all eternity, is, in my opinion, absurd; and the phrase eternal Son is a positive self-contradiction... This doctrine of the eternal Sonship destroys the deity of Christ; now, if his deity be taken away, the whole Gospel scheme of redemption is ruined...The very use of this phrase is both absurd and dangerous; therefore let all those who value Jesus and their salvation abide by the Scriptures. This doctrine of the eternal Sonship, as it has been lately explained in many a pamphlet, and many a paper in magazines, I must and do consider as an awful heresy, and mere sheer Arianism; which, in many cases, has terminated in Socinianism, and that in Deism. From such heterodoxies, and their abetters, may God save his Church! Amen!”

[7] “This is spoken in reference to the human nature of Christ, and this passage proves, beyond controversy, that “one” reason why Jesus was called the Son of God was because he was begotten in a supernatural manner.”

[8] The Bible clearly teaches, then, that Jesus Christ before His incarnation was the eternal Word, Wisdom, or Logos, of God…and further, that Jesus Christ is not called by Scripture the “eternal Son,” the error passed on from Origen under the title “eternal generation,” but rather He is the Living Word of God…Let us fix these things in our minds then: (a) the doctrine of “eternal generation” or the eternal Sonship of Christ, which springs from the Roman Catholic doctrine first conceived by Origen in A.D. 230, is a theory which opened the door theologically to the Arian and Sabellian heresies which today still plague the Christian Church in the realms of Christology.
(b) The Scripture nowhere calls Jesus Christ the eternal Son of God, and He is never called Son at all prior to the incarnation, except in prophetic passages in the Old Testament…
(d) Many heresies have seized upon the confusion created by the illogical “eternal Sonship” or “eternal generation” theory of Roman Catholic theology, unfortunately carried over to some aspects of Protestant theology.”
(Walter Martin, The Kingdom of the Cults, pp. 102, 103—1977; pp. 116, 117—1985; pp. 169, 170—1997 rev., updated, expanded anniversary ed., Hank Hanegraaff, general editor [with minor additions and deletions]; pp. 138, 139—2003 rev., updated, expanded ed., Ravi Zacharias, general editor [with minor additions and deletions].)

[9] Hank Hannegraaff, http://www.equip.org/site/beliefs. 07.11.11 Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, who took upon Himself human flesh through the miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary.

[11] I used the word actual, instead of literal, for my friend, Bro. Nance. J

[12] Although the sonship of Christ is much more nuanced than what I am presenting here, the narrow definition that I am using is sufficient to make my claim.

[13]But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. 30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. John 20:24-31 KJV