D.A. Carson:"The difficult doctrine of the love of God&

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Reena Wilms

Puritan Board Freshman
I was reading through : D.A. Carson - "The difficult doctrine of the love of God". And as far as i know he is reformed, but when i was reading through the next part of his book, i was surprised what he wrote about John 3:16, that would would not only for the leceted : read ;

"God's salvific stance toward his fallen world. God so loved the world
that he gave his Son (John 3:16). I know that some try to take kosmos
("world") here to refer to the elect. But that really will not do. All the
evidence of the usage of the word in John's Gospel is against the
suggestion. True, world in John does not so much refer to bigness as to
badness. In John's vocabulary, world is primarily the moral order in
willful and culpable rebellion against God. In John 3:16 God's love in
sending the Lord Jesus is to be admired not because it is extended to so
big a thing as the world, but to so bad a thing; not to so many people, as
to such wicked people. Nevertheless elsewhere John can speak of "the whole
world" (1 John 2:2), thus bringing bigness and badness together. More
importantly, in Johannine theology the disciples themselves once belonged
to the world but were drawn out of it (e.g., John 15:19). On this axis,
God's love for the world cannot be collapsed into his love for the elect.

Your vieuws please !

Ralph
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
I'm not sure I would go that far. I think the emphasis John was trying to make was that Jews [i:ba1ded3b4a]and[/i:ba1ded3b4a] Gentiles are part of God's plan of redemption, not just the Jews (like many Jews thought).
 

Reena Wilms

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks puritan sailor,

Iam asking this because, D.A Carson says :

" I know that some try to take kosmos
("world" here to refer to the elect. But that really WILL NOT DO. All the
evidence of the usage of the word in John's Gospel is against the
suggestion. "

I thought always (from a reformed vieuw), that world in John 3:16, means the elected, as John Owen, Turritan en A.W Pink explains it.

Ralph
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
The word "world" is NOT the issue (its like a red herring in this hermeneutical attempt).

Here is an exceprt from a paper:

The author of this love is God. The grammar is literally, "so loved God..."[7] The word, "Ou[twj" (houtos) is the emphatically[8] used "so" of the verse.[9] It is not a general love, but an emphatic love[10], of which there is none higher than this.[11] The "so" stresses[12] the aorist tense of the verb "hvga,phsen." "So" acts as an adverb in this instance, connected vitally as a preceding intensive particle to the verb "love". As an adverb, it denotes the "degree of intensity" of the verb to be stated. As is often noted, the phrase as a whole ("For, God so loved the world") is a clause attached to a subordinate result clause ("that He gave..."). This is important since it causes the phrase to stand on its own, except for the connection between the last verse and the word "for." As with most constructions in the Greek language, the sentence could literally be ripped apart and the words themselves strewn upon the floor. But because word endings are the key to helping us understand the construction, even if we did jumble the words around, the meaning would still be the same. The meaning, then, is quite straight forward in the Greek - not only did God love the world, but He intensely loved the world which is emphatically seen in use of the often neglected adverb Ou[twj.

The particular use of the word "hvga,phsen" (love), is to love something in particular or to "delight in the object".[13] The "love" spoken of here by the Saviour cannot be a lesser love than that which God loves his elect. The aorist active indicative of "agapao" is the word so common in the Gospels for the highest form of love. It is used here as often in the writings of John (14:23; 17:23; 1 John 3:1; 4:10). It is used of God's love for his elect (2 Thess. 2:16; Rom. 5:8; Eph. 2:4).[14] If this love in John 3:16 is "so" great as to be towards the whole world, this would cause the love of God to the whole world to be greater than the love He has for His elect. But the Savior states, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13) If this is true, then the love which is spoken of in John 3:16 is the greatest love.[15] Thus, if this is true, and no greater love can be exemplified than this love which causes one to lay one's life down for his friends, then the "world," of necessity, is universally saved since God "so loves" it. This is certainly not true. It is true, though, that the love which is stated here is the greatest love God ever had, but it is for His elect.[16]

Here is where the whole article is:
http://www.apuritansmind.com/Arminianism/McMahonExegesisOfJohn3_16.htm
 

Reena Wilms

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks webmaster for your study on this subject. I have to take some time o go through it to understand it.

But still my question is, what about that articel of D.A Carson, is he right ?

Ralph
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
Please remember the overall thesis of Carson's book... he is saying that there are 5 (if I remember) distinct ways in which God "loves" and we need to try to keep in mind this full-orbed truth if we are to keep from having a lopsided theology...
 

heartoflesh

Puritan Board Junior
I think "world" as in "this fallen world" makes more sense, and goes better with what Webmaster posted. It highlights better exactly what kind of love this was.

I would also add that the "who" of this verse is clarified very plainly---those who believe.

Rick

[Edited on 2-16-2004 by Rick Larson]
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
I do not think Carson, on this passage, has considered everything to be considered. As John Owen points out (as does Turretin) the key to understanding the passage is not "world" but how "so" and "gave" in their respective contexts work. God "gave his Son for the "World", and thus, what does it mean in the OT to "give a sacrifice? He "so loved" not just "loved." What does this mean in the overall context of his Love to the elect? Could then "the world" be all of mankind, or would it have some other meaning? This is where theological and exegetical reflection take place.
 

heartoflesh

Puritan Board Junior
I don't think Carson is trying to give a full-orbed exegesis of this passage, but only to describe what "world" refers to in the passage.
 
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