Friday, August 13, 2010

Demons as Fallen Angles?

Robin Parry over at Theological Scribbles has an interesting summary of a paper from Dale Martin on the history of demonology, tracing it through the Septuagint and New Testament and showing that the view that demons are fallen angels does not appear in a fully articulated form until Tertullian (2nd/3rd centurty AD).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Torrance on Knowing God as Sinful People

In the preface to Theological Science, Torrance shares the following personal reflection on knowing God as a sinner:
If I may be allowed to speak personally for a moment, I find the presence of God bearing upon my existence and thought so powerfully that I cannot but be convinced of His overwhelming reality and rationality. To doubt the existence of God would be an act of sheer irrationality, for it would mean that my reason had become unhinged from its bond with real being. Yet in knowing God I am deeply aware that my relation to Him has been damaged, that disorder has resulted in my mind, and that it is I who obstruct knowledge of God by getting in between Him and myself, as it were. But I am also aware that His presence presses unrelentingly upon me through the disorder of my mind, for He will not let Himself be thwarted by it, challenging and repairing it, and requiring of me on my part to yield my thoughts to His healing and controlling revelation.
It is only in knowing God that we know we are sinners, that our prideful habits of thinking are the reason we are not able to know God on our own mental power, and thus that we know God only because of the power of his grace.

(PS - The artist that drew this picture of Torrance is HOT!)

Monday, August 9, 2010


"If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men" 1 Cor 15:19.

Does this verse call into question the kind of preaching which addresses itself from beginning to end to those problems we're having with our spouse, kids, job, drug habit, porn addiction, indictment for murder, etc? Of course I see the need to address these concerns in preaching the gospel; Christ's triumph over death certainly has implications for those things we deal with while alive that make us want to die. But our teaching on these day-to-day topics needs to be always and everywhere explicitly tied to our future hope; otherwise all we have is over-hyped advice on how to feel better that usually just doesn't work. As Paul goes on to say,

"If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die" 1 Cor 15:32.