Tuesday, June 26, 2007

2 Peter 1:4 "Through these..."

"...he has given us his very great and precious promises," verse 4a (RSV)

"Through these" : to what is "these" referring ?

Looking at the preceding verse it must be through a) "our knowledge of Him" who has called us by a calling which he has effectuated by b) "his own glory" and c) "excellence" (hence the plural "through these").

Picking up on this idea of God's glory and excellence which is explicitly stated or implied in Romans 1 as being the attributes of God's revelation of Himself in the Creation, we further conclude that this God is a God who a) calls and b) makes promises.

Perhaps nature does not teach us this about the God who stands behind it or perhaps man has become too blind and dull to perceive it since the Fall.

So now man needs in addition to natural revelation the special revelation of the Bible - a dual form of revelation technically referred to as duplex cognitio dei.

This fits very well with Peter's argument since he goes on to dwell on this point in verses 16 to 21 of the same chapter .

Peter mentions his experience of Jesus' transfiguration for epistemological reasons. However, Jesus himself speaks of his crucifixion and death as a demonstration of God's glory and as being glorified (see John 13:30-32 .)

I might perhaps have more to say on this in a future post, God willing.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

2 Peter 1:3 : "His divine power...."

"... has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness" verse 3a (RSV)

This is an interesting beginning to an interesting and complex section of the Bible.

"Divine power" is "theios dunamis" in the original Greek. This is an echo to Romans 1:20 which speaks of "His eternal power and Godhead" where we have the Greek words "dunamis" and "Theiotes" where it speaks of these things being "clearly seen" in Creation and "understood".

All true "seeing" and "understanding" involves some acknowledgement of the Deity or "divine power" or at the very least we see that they are closely linked. That connection should become more open as we look further in the passage which continues as follows "

"... through the knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and excellence" verse 3b (RSV)

It is a knowledge of Him who works in glory and excellence as we see in the Creation. We will see in 2 Peter 1 the explanation that a right alignment of the person to that knowledge of God (sensus divinitatis) leads to certain consequences or outcomes.

In Romans 1, we see the converse, namely that the failure to be rightly aligned to that knowledge also leads to a different set of consequences and outcomes which are enumerated in Romans 1:21-32.

Just as that list in Romans 1 is a catalogue of "ungodliness" so in 2 Peter 1 being rightly related to the knowledge of God leads to "all things that pertain to life and godliness".

For this and other reasons which I will be touching on I find comparing and contrasting Romans 1 and 2 Peter 1 so compelling and powerful.

Let us continue with our comparing and contrasting these two sections of God's word.

Of course, in 2 Peter it's not just "godliness" but "life and godliness". It's not just about knowledge. We don't need another religion. What we need is LIFE and that is exactly what " Peter 1 is about. Echos of it are in Romans 1:17, the introductory verse to the rest of the chapter and indeed the whole of Romans, where the Gospel is not just information, knowledge, but is LIFE giving.

Romans 1:17 is also significant in that here the Apostle is quoting from Habakkuk 2:4. Why that is so will become clearer when we come to consider 2 Peter 1:6.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

U.S. now threatening Turkey

Well the U.S. has taken to threatening Turkey now.

See HERE fo the CNN news report.

It's all about Turkey's impending foray into northern Iraq to attack PKK bases.

Turkey's politicians have historically suffered from chronically limited vision especially in the area of foreign relations. So the military option is the politically lazy means of trying to solve social and ethnic problems which of course only make them worse.

Therefore, the U.S. position in standing against this impending action by Turkey is morally, politically and intellectually correct.

The real question, however, is how far the U.S. is willing to put its' money where its' mouth is on this one.

The Kurds are undoubtedly full of confidence and arrogance now that Uncle Sam is their protective Uncle. But that will last only as long as the U.S. has the stomach to remain in the region as an occupying force.

(I have the feeling none of the Iraqi locals will soon be turning into pliant and accomodating subjects).

And so when it is time for the U.S. to go, the Kurds will find they have no other friends in the region -- none, nada. They never did. That is why they have been a stateless people until now. And, that is what they have to think about.

Meanwhile, time is on the side of Turkey if Turkey can be patient and play its' cards right.