When I Consider Your Heavens…

A reflection on Psalm 8 

English: Pleiades Star Cluster

English: Pleiades Star Cluster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What, I wonder, would David think if he knew what we know now about the universe? I too grew up considering the heavens, and I could see so much more of them then. It is hard to see the stars and the blackness of the sky behind them in Portland. Our nearest neighbors are far away from our corner of the valley and the stars are overwhelming when I return there after having been gone for some time. They explode. They dazzle. If the moon is full and low on the horizon it couldn’t possibly get any bigger.

I have seen documentaries of course, and sermons even, showing the far-flung wonders of the universe. Nebulas and galaxies and black holes and stars that dwarf the stars that dwarf the stars that dwarf our sun. I still prefer the fresh air and the heavy sky of my home, to seeing those wonders on a screen though. It somehow ties it all together, to have the dirt road underfoot, and the frogs in the pond, and lonely, homey light of the house on the hill. It is a good place.

There is so much that is good about life there, with the dirt and the trees and the rivers and the mountains and the family. Life with good, creative work. Helping plants grow and bear fruit. Good, strong relationships with people. It is about more than saving their “souls.” Indeed, God will save the whole thing. I can’t very well imagine what it will be like to share the rule of that new earth, and to gaze at the new heavens, when all is made right. So I will say Maranatha rather than that I desire to depart and be with Christ.

You have made us. You love us. You even made all these wonders for us to rule over. With you! Adam did not do such a good job of ruling things. The second Adam came to rescue us from the mess.

YHWH, my Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Doctrinal Statement: Person of Christ

Who is Jesus Christ? Who is the second person of the Trinity? What is the nature of the relationship between the two? My third and final (for now) doctrinal statement explores the Person of Christ. These are works in progress, but this is what I have thus far.

Person of Christ

Jesus’ life began when he was miraculously conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in Mary, a virgin (Lk. 1:26-35, Matt. 1:23, Isa. 7:14). The baby she carried is the incarnation (Jn. 1:14, Col. 2:9) of the second person of the Godhead, the eternal and pre-existent Word of God (Jn. 1:1-2, 8:58, Heb 1:8). He is called Emmanuel, God with us (Isa. 7:14, Matt. 1:23), and Jesus, YHWH saves (Matt. 1:21). Jesus is one person, but is both fully God and fully man, having a divine and a human nature that are never confused, changed, divided or separated (John 1:1-14; Mark 1:3,8, 11; Col. 2:9). He chose to empty himself of the divine role, lifestyle and prerogatives so that his human nature was not overwhelmed by his divine nature, yet without giving up his divinity (Phil. 2:6-7; Mk. 13:32; Jn. 5:19, 11:15, 21). Jesus himself claimed to be God, the Bible agrees with him in its claims and it describes him as doing things that only God can do such as create and forgive sin (Col. 1:16, Mk. 2:5).

Jesus lived a normal human life experiencing physical, mental, and spiritual growth (Lk. 2:52) and a full range of human emotions. He experienced hunger and thirst (Jn. 4:7, Lk. 24:41), anger and anguish (Mk. 3:5; Matt. 26:37-38), joy and compassion (Lk. 10:21, 7:13), temptation and suffering (Heb. 2:18; Matt. 4:1-10). He lived in obedience to his parents, human traditions and human government (Lk. 2:42, 51; Matt. 17:25-27). He was tempted in every way yet remained perfectly sinless, living as a perfectly Spirit-filled human (Acts 10:38; Heb. 4:15), and as such is our example (Mk. 8:34). He continued in relationship with the Father and Spirit, whose will he followed and on whom he relied for the power of his miracles, respectively (Jn. 6:38; Acts 10:38). He became obedient to both physical (Jn. 19:30; Phil. 2:8) and spiritual death (Matt. 27:46) in obedience to the will of his Father (Matt. 26:39; Jn. 14:31). After his body lay dead in the tomb for three days, he conquered death by being raised from the grave in the same, though glorified body (1 Cor. 15:3-4). After appearing to many people, he ascended to exaltation at the right hand of the Father and will return some day as King (1 Cor. 15:5-7; Acts 1:9-11, 2:33; Phil. 2:10-11).

Your thoughts on the Person of Christ, or on what I’ve written?

Take a look at my first doctrinal statement which explores the doctrine of Revelation and my second doctrinal statement which explores the doctrine of God.

Doctrinal Statements

One of the requirements for my Theology class this semester was to put together a Doctrinal Statement for the different things we covered in class. In this course, we covered   Prolegomena, Revelation, Theology Proper, and Person of Christ.

One of the two of you who read this mentioned you’d like to see them, so I’ll be posting what I’ve done so far in the next couple of days. The final one covering the Person of Christ will have to be finished before I post it.

Please feel free to interact or criticize (constructively would be ideal).