We met on Sunday night for our tenth Foundations session - we've looked at a lot so far, from the doctrine of the Trinity, to the ministry of Christ. This time, we were starting a five-part series on 'soteriology' - our theology of salvation! What an amazing subject. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound...
In this, our first session, we we were looking at the very fact that God has chosen to be a Saviour God - he didn't have to, no one forced him. He was under no compulsion. He graciously, sovereignly decided to save us. This is otherwise known as the doctrine of Election. Now, in the words of Karl Barth (a famous theologian of the 20th Century), election has cast a dark shadow for many. It has stoked controversy and outrage. But - as we established on Sunday - this needn't be the case.
Election is at the heart of all theology - God has freely chosen to be a Creator God, a known God, a worshipped God, etc. Election is at the heart of the Triune life of God - the Father chose the Son from all eternity to work out his purposes by the Spirit. Election is at the heart of the Gospel - God chose the historical Israel, and God has chosen his Bride. We dishonour God when we ignore election, or when we treat it as some insignificant off-cut. After all, when the authors of Scripture discuss it, it's not as a 'matter of controversy but as a theme for worship'! [J.I. Packer]
Find below a few things. First, the notes from Sunday's session - expanded to include more details and several appendices. Second, the medley of worship that we opened our session with. And third, the modern adaptation of Francis Thompson's Hound of Heaven, which we finished with.
"[So] many are the Saviour's achievements that follow from his Incarnation, that to try to number them is like gazing at the open sea and trying to count the waves. ... [Everything] about it is marvellous, and wherever a man turns his gaze he sees the Godhead of the Word, and is smitten with awe" [Athanasius - De Inc. VIII.54]
What a joy-filled time we had last night! Truly, God loves his Word, and the Spirit delighted in making us delight in him. We were studying the doctrine of the Incarnation - this awesome truth that the God of all Creation added to himself a human nature, and dwelled amongst us. If you were to go back, the tiny Christ child wouldn't have glowed. There would have been nothing about his appearance that set him apart. And yet, if were to hold this vulnerable little infant in your arms, he would have in the same moment been holding you - your atoms, your flesh, even your very being.
What an amazing doctrine! (Who says theology has to be dry...?!)
Below you can find a few things:  the Getty song we played last night, Joy Has Dawned;  a full set of notes (with lyrics to the Getty song AND a bunch of extra material, including an appendix looking at how heretical groups deny the truth of John 1:1c), and  the other song we play - Totally God, Totally Man by Sovereign Grace Music.
Welcome to the Theology That Sings blog. Here you'll find news of upcoming events, as well as notes and notices.