The Father does and says all He does by His Son?

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pgwolv

Puritan Board Freshman
Dear PB

I am reading an interesting book (written by a local, hence South African, preacher), titled "The Wonder of Jesus in the Old Testament," given to me by a friend, whom I am not sure is reformed.

I understand the view that the Angel of the Lord may be/probably is Jesus. What I am uncertain about is the fact that this author states that, in ALL instances where God "manifested" Himself in some way, shape, or form in the OT, it was via Jesus (except, of course, where the Spirit of God is mentioned).

E.g., "Everything God the Father does and says, He does and says by His Son. Thus, as He rules over His hosts, He rules over them by His Son, Jesus Christ. Therefore we can call Jesus "LORD of hosts" too." And, "We know that it was Jesus who appeared to (Solomon) twice, because Jesus was the Spokesman, bringing messages from God to him. During the first appearance, Jesus came to him in a dream. Solomon then asked for wisdom and received it. During the second appearance, Jesus warned Solomon to remain faithful to Him."

He also, for example, asserts that it was Jesus who "walked" in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the morning and spoke with Adam and Eve.

This seems a foreign concept to me. Is there sound exegesis to such assertions? Are there other known instances in modern times or in history where this was asserted and discussed? Or is the Bible not clear enough on the Trinity to be certain either way?

Any help would be appreciated!
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
I understand the view that the Angel of the Lord may be/probably is Jesus. What I am uncertain about is the fact that this author states that, in ALL instances where God "manifested" Himself in some way, shape, or form in the OT, it was via Jesus (except, of course, where the Spirit of God is mentioned).

It was a common Patristic view and I probably lean towards it. Jude says Jesus led the people out of Egypt and then destroyed the unbelievers, so it is biblical. I'm hesitant, though, to say that ALL instances are x, simply because I haven't examined every single one.
 

pgwolv

Puritan Board Freshman
It was a common Patristic view and I probably lean towards it.
Any examples, perhaps?
Jude says Jesus led the people out of Egypt and then destroyed the unbelievers, so it is biblical.
Yes, I am aware of some of the NT text illuminating the OT text in this way.

I'm hesitant, though, to say that ALL instances are x, simply because I haven't examined every single one.
This is my issue, though. Is there any Biblical basis to say that ALL instances of God's manifestation in the OT was via Jesus?

Thanks for replying.

Perhaps someone here has done an in-depth study on the topic or can point me to suitable resources.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
Your book sounds just like this book, which I loved reading. We gave out a lot of copies a few years back as Christmas presents. ( Don't flame me lol, I know its really Nimrod the Sun God resurrecting three days after he dies on Dec 22. But its a great excuse to give away books).


Whether or not a person agrees with this exegesis, the author is certainly within the Reformed Camp., as is Sinclair Ferguson.


"Dr. David Murray is Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, and recently also became Pastor of the Free Reformed Church in Grand Rapids."

With deceptive ease Dr. David Murray brings his readers on to the Road to Emmaus for a few hours of conversation about Jesus and the Old Testament. With an enviable grace and simplicity he teaches us how to read the Old Testament as Christians. Jesus on Every Page is a book on Christ-centered biblical interpretation that doesn’t involve complex grammatical, rhetorical, or hermeneutical complexities that cause the ordinary Christian (and pastor for that matter) to glaze over and despair. Rather, as a most agreeable companion, Professor Murray walks along- side us and points out the most important landmarks we need to notice if we are to make our way through the Old Testament for ourselves and see how it points to Christ. Far from talking down to us from the lofty heights of technical Old Testament scholarship (although he is familiar with them), he tells us that he once sat where most of us sit. But then, as a quality teacher, he is able to help us learn what he himself has so obviously done. Here, then, is an ideal primer for beginners, a great refresher course for anyone who has got lost in the woods attempting to read Scripture the Emmaus Road way, and a wonderful reminder to us all that it was Jesus himself who taught us that he is at the heart of the entire Bible, and not just the righthand side of it!

SINCLAIR B. FERGUSON, Redeemer Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas
 

pgwolv

Puritan Board Freshman
Your book sounds just like this book, which I loved reading. We gave out a lot of copies a few years back as Christmas presents. ( Don't flame me lol, I know its really Nimrod the Sun God resurrecting three days after he dies on Dec 22. But its a great excuse to give away books).


Whether or not a person agrees with this exegesis, the author is certainly within the Reformed Camp., as is Sinclair Ferguson.


"Dr. David Murray is Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, and recently also became Pastor of the Free Reformed Church in Grand Rapids."

With deceptive ease Dr. David Murray brings his readers on to the Road to Emmaus for a few hours of conversation about Jesus and the Old Testament. With an enviable grace and simplicity he teaches us how to read the Old Testament as Christians. Jesus on Every Page is a book on Christ-centered biblical interpretation that doesn’t involve complex grammatical, rhetorical, or hermeneutical complexities that cause the ordinary Christian (and pastor for that matter) to glaze over and despair. Rather, as a most agreeable companion, Professor Murray walks along- side us and points out the most important landmarks we need to notice if we are to make our way through the Old Testament for ourselves and see how it points to Christ. Far from talking down to us from the lofty heights of technical Old Testament scholarship (although he is familiar with them), he tells us that he once sat where most of us sit. But then, as a quality teacher, he is able to help us learn what he himself has so obviously done. Here, then, is an ideal primer for beginners, a great refresher course for anyone who has got lost in the woods attempting to read Scripture the Emmaus Road way, and a wonderful reminder to us all that it was Jesus himself who taught us that he is at the heart of the entire Bible, and not just the righthand side of it!

SINCLAIR B. FERGUSON, Redeemer Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas
Certainly I am not questioning the author as to his general credentials. Maybe I just had a wrong idea in my head, e.g., that God "walking" in the garden of Eden, and His presence there, was that of the Father or the whole Trinity rather than that of Christ. I also had that image of God in the Holy of Holies; however, I am open to realign my views where they are unscriptural.
 

Timmay

Puritan Board Freshman
I’ve thought since that the Son is the mediator between God and Man, if it He whom man always interacts with. Seems to fit with Jesus’ words that no one has seen the Father and a role of a mediator.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Ethan

Puritan Board Freshman
I haven’t read it but Dr. Poythress has a work on Theophany that would be worth digging into. You can access his books for free on his website, Frame-Poythress.org.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
We have good scriptural evidence to say that many of the Old Testament theophanies were not just appearances of God but were instances where the Son specifically was present. To conclude from this that we see a pattern, and that all Old Testament theophanies probably were the Son, is a sensible conclusion—especially in light of what the New Testament teaches us about the Son's role as mediator, and how theophanies in the New Testament (appearances to Paul, to John on Patmos, the Transfiguration) very clearly are Jesus. Even the coming age of eternal life with God is often spoken of as a life of being with Jesus specifically (John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; Revelation 7:17), so that it is not much of a stretch to think that the original nearness to God in the garden was also a life spent in fellowship with the Son. We have reason to suspect that this might be the way things are done within the Godhead, or that this is part of God's plan to glorify the Son who would suffer and reign, or something along those lines.

I stop short of saying definitively that all Old Testament theophanies absolutely must be appearances of the Son specifically, but I have no problem saying there's good reason to think it likely. I'd also have no problem learning from a scholar who is less wishy-washy than me and asserts that truth more firmly. There are many excellent scholars who do that.

Also, remember that to know the Son is to know the Father (John 14:7). There ways in which the whole question doesn't matter. If you've seen the Son (or will see the Son) you've seen God and nothing else could be better. God is not holding himself back, or anything like that.
 

lynnie

Puritan Board Graduate
Certainly I am not questioning the author as to his general credentials. Maybe I just had a wrong idea in my head, e.g., that God "walking" in the garden of Eden, and His presence there, was that of the Father or the whole Trinity rather than that of Christ. I also had that image of God in the Holy of Holies; however, I am open to realign my views where they are unscriptural.
I will just tell you my experience. There are more theologically astute people here than me when it comes to the trinity and separating the father and son's workings and how we think of them. Col 2:9, The fullness of the Godhead bodily dwelleth in my Lord etc. I would not exactly call you wrong if you are inaccurate.

Some years ago I got the book linked above. I had been married 35 or more years. My husband went to Westminster Seminary and we both loved theology, read it and talked about it. And by that point in marriage, unlike the early years, I thought I was past getting upset with him for stupid reasons ( I started out quite stupid lol).

So he walks in the room, I am reading, and I say " Did you know that when God talked to Adam in the garden it was Jesus???". I wasn't sure I believed it. He says " Of course". I said " Why didn't you ever tell me that?" He says " Well I thought everybody knows that. I learned that back in Seminary."

I got so upset. I mean I felt like he left me in the dark for 35 years on this whole entire crucial understanding of Jesus manifesting between God and man in the OT. It took me a while to get over it. He had a higher respect for my theological exposure than was justified and I came to appreciate his regard for me. But it was a big big big deal for me at the time. I have discovered since that practically everybody thinks like you do, ie, the Father where it is Jesus. There may be many people here who do not agree with Murray and would say you are correct. You certainly are not alone.

At least give the subject a chance. I found it to be one of the most joy producing doctrines I have ever experienced. Reading the OT has a whole new beauty when you see Jesus in it.

I never read Poythress on this but his book sounds similar. Draft before he published it: https://frame-poythress.org/ebooks/the-shadow-of-Christ-in-the-law-of-moses/
 

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
By the time you put all the evidences together - as the other posters in this thread are doing, you seem to reach the conclusion that the Son of God has been the "face" of the Godhead to man.

Consider that John's gospel reveals that Isaiah's vision of God in Isaiah 6 was the preincarnate Son of God:
John 12:41 - "These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him."

Given the gravity and glory of Isaiah 6:1, that carries a tremendous weight which would bear the burden of the assertion that the OT manifestations of God were the Son of God revealing God to us.

Especially coupled with John 1:18 - "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." The Son's role is the revealing or declaring of God to us. So it makes sense that God's interactions with man always came through the sole Mediator of God and man - Jesus Christ.

And, of course, John 14:9 - "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?"

It is a great topic of discussion for sure. And of course, glorifying the Son, glorifies the Father so we need not fear robbing glory from God in this view.

"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" Philippians 2:8–11.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I generally agree.... but...not ALL manifestations are the Son. God spoke with an audible voice from heaven. This was the Father. The Holy Spirit was manifest as a dove. Maybe there are other examples. And of course these are NT examples and not from the OT. But yes, in general, we need to see the Pre-incarnate Son throughout the Old Testament. But what of the NT? Any advice?
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
And of course, glorifying the Son, glorifies the Father so we need not fear robbing glory from God in this view.
Amen! One of my favorite quotes from Owen is where he takes this a step further. He writes that when we glorify the Son we aren't only glorifying the Father as well; we are acting like the Father: “Nothing renders us so like unto God as our love unto Jesus Christ, for he is the principle object of his love; in him doth his soul rest, in him he is always well pleased.” The Father delights to glorify the Son, so we are like the Father when that is our delight too.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Amen! One of my favorite quotes from Owen is where he takes this a step further. He writes that when we glorify the Son we aren't only glorifying the Father as well; we are acting like the Father: “Nothing renders us so like unto God as our love unto Jesus Christ, for he is the principle object of his love; in him doth his soul rest, in him he is always well pleased.” The Father delights to glorify the Son, so we are like the Father when that is our delight too.
Wow!
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
God spoke with an audible voice from heaven. This was the Father.
At Jesus' baptism, yes. But perhaps not everywhere there is a voice. Consider the voice from the burning bush, where the Lord is also called an "angel" (Acts 7:30). This brings to mind the divine angel/messenger mentioned often in Exodus and later, and seemingly identified by Malachi as also being the Messiah (Malachi 3:1). So was the voice Moses heard the voice of the Son? What then of the Lawgiver Moses later spent thirty days with on that same mountain? Or what about the voice Abraham heard at Moriah (also a voice "from heaven" but again also "the angel of the Lord" in Genesis 22:11)? It all makes a fascinating discussion.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
At Jesus' baptism, yes. But perhaps not everywhere there is a voice. Consider the voice from the burning bush, where the Lord is also called an "angel" (Acts 7:30). This brings to mind the divine angel/messenger mentioned often in Exodus and later, and seemingly identified by Malachi as also being the Messiah (Malachi 3:1). So was the voice Moses heard the voice of the Son? What then of the Lawgiver Moses later spent thirty days with on that same mountain? Or what about the voice Abraham heard at Moriah (also a voice "from heaven" but again also "the angel of the Lord" in Genesis 22:11)? It all makes a fascinating discussion.
Yes, I have always thought that the appearance to Moses was the Pre-incarnate Son.

Is it correct to say that the Angel of the Lord is the Pre-incarnate Son of God...but that the Son does not merely only appear as the Angel of the Lord but manifests in other ways besides being just the Angel of the Lord in the OT?

I was fascinated to learn of the Son leading the armies to take the Promised Land and that set me off to explore this issue more deeply.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
Is it correct to say that the Angel of the Lord is the Pre-incarnate Son of God...but that the Son does not merely only appear as the Angel of the Lord but manifests in other ways besides being just the Angel of the Lord in the OT?
I think so, yes, with the understanding that with "angel" sometimes you have the Divine Angel, at other times a created angel, and at still other times a human messenger ("angel" and "messenger" being the same Hebrew word). So when the "angel" gets mentioned, it takes context to figure out whether or not it is the Divine Angel. I've been told we can't assume there's some linguistic indication either in the Hebrew or in our English translations that lets us know with certainty what kind of angel it is (as in "the angel of the LORD" vs. "an angel from God"), since there isn't always consistency among either the biblical writers or translators. So context is our guide, and we should acknowledge that some of this is sometimes guesswork.
 

Ed Walsh

Puritan Board Senior
I understand the view that the Angel of the Lord may be/probably is Jesus. What I am uncertain about is the fact that this author states that, in ALL instances where God "manifested" Himself in some way, shape, or form in the OT, it was via Jesus (except, of course, where the Spirit of God is mentioned).

What you are uncertain about is exactly the thing I have come to believe strongly. Recently while reading Job when the Lord, following Elihu's excellent lead, takes charge in chapter 38 with the words, "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me," I found myself liking God more than ever before. The thought that this was Jesus speaking stole my heart and sent it heavenward. I learned as much about Jesus that day as I have from the Sermon on the Mount.

Jesus has from the very beginning by God's man on the scene overseeing the entire project of creation. Is this not clearly taught in the first five verses of John?

That's all I will say for now. But sit back and take a few minutes to learn more about the Lord of the universe by His own words to Job.

The Lord continues where we left off above, saying, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (Job 38:2‭-‬7)

Here are my very favorite verses from Job. With these, I fell hopelessly in love with the Master.

"Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, And make her nest on high? She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, Upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place. From thence she seeketh the prey, And her eyes behold afar off. Her young ones also suck up blood: And where the slain are, there is she." (Job 39:27‭-‬30)

What a man. With something like a deep growl, I repeated over and over, "I like Him, I like everything about Him, I really like Him, etc."
 

TheInquirer

Puritan Board Sophomore
Here's another point to consider - The doctrine of circumincession states, as well as Jesus' words in the Gospel of John, that the persons indwell one another. Jesus also told Philip that any who have seen Him has also seen the Father (John 14:9) and then proceeds to talk about mutual indwelling. In the Daniel 8 vision, the Ancient of Days and the Son of Man are presented as different persons yet in Revelation some of the descriptions of Jesus match the Ancient of Days.

Additionally, I think the references saying no one has seen God mean seeing Him in His actual substance and being. Any visual manifestation of God is not the actual being and substance of God (which is invisible) but merely a manifestation or representation typically designed to communicate some aspect of the divine nature (i.e. God is not a burning bush, old guy on a throne, pillar of fire, or humanlike angel).

I have a hard time seeing that it is exclusively the Son that is seen in theophanies but the mysteries of God are deep and I hold my view lightly.
 

pgwolv

Puritan Board Freshman
I haven’t read it but Dr. Poythress has a work on Theophany that would be worth digging into. You can access his books for free on his website, Frame-Poythress.org.
Thank you, I will definitely look at it
 

pgwolv

Puritan Board Freshman
We have good scriptural evidence to say that many of the Old Testament theophanies were not just appearances of God but were instances where the Son specifically was present. To conclude from this that we see a pattern, and that all Old Testament theophanies probably were the Son, is a sensible conclusion—especially in light of what the New Testament teaches us about the Son's role as mediator, and how theophanies in the New Testament (appearances to Paul, to John on Patmos, the Transfiguration) very clearly are Jesus. Even the coming age of eternal life with God is often spoken of as a life of being with Jesus specifically (John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; Revelation 7:17), so that it is not much of a stretch to think that the original nearness to God in the garden was also a life spent in fellowship with the Son. We have reason to suspect that this might be the way things are done within the Godhead, or that this is part of God's plan to glorify the Son who would suffer and reign, or something along those lines.

I stop short of saying definitively that all Old Testament theophanies absolutely must be appearances of the Son specifically, but I have no problem saying there's good reason to think it likely. I'd also have no problem learning from a scholar who is less wishy-washy than me and asserts that truth more firmly. There are many excellent scholars who do that.

Also, remember that to know the Son is to know the Father (John 14:7). There ways in which the whole question doesn't matter. If you've seen the Son (or will see the Son) you've seen God and nothing else could be better. God is not holding himself back, or anything like that.
Thank you, this is helpful, especially thinking about what Christ said about Him and the Father
 

pgwolv

Puritan Board Freshman
I will just tell you my experience. There are more theologically astute people here than me when it comes to the trinity and separating the father and son's workings and how we think of them. Col 2:9, The fullness of the Godhead bodily dwelleth in my Lord etc. I would not exactly call you wrong if you are inaccurate.

Some years ago I got the book linked above. I had been married 35 or more years. My husband went to Westminster Seminary and we both loved theology, read it and talked about it. And by that point in marriage, unlike the early years, I thought I was past getting upset with him for stupid reasons ( I started out quite stupid lol).

So he walks in the room, I am reading, and I say " Did you know that when God talked to Adam in the garden it was Jesus???". I wasn't sure I believed it. He says " Of course". I said " Why didn't you ever tell me that?" He says " Well I thought everybody knows that. I learned that back in Seminary."

I got so upset. I mean I felt like he left me in the dark for 35 years on this whole entire crucial understanding of Jesus manifesting between God and man in the OT. It took me a while to get over it. He had a higher respect for my theological exposure than was justified and I came to appreciate his regard for me. But it was a big big big deal for me at the time. I have discovered since that practically everybody thinks like you do, ie, the Father where it is Jesus. There may be many people here who do not agree with Murray and would say you are correct. You certainly are not alone.

At least give the subject a chance. I found it to be one of the most joy producing doctrines I have ever experienced. Reading the OT has a whole new beauty when you see Jesus in it.

I never read Poythress on this but his book sounds similar. Draft before he published it: https://frame-poythress.org/ebooks/the-shadow-of-Christ-in-the-law-of-moses/
It is a blessing to have spouses that are really helps met for us!
 

pgwolv

Puritan Board Freshman
By the time you put all the evidences together - as the other posters in this thread are doing, you seem to reach the conclusion that the Son of God has been the "face" of the Godhead to man.

Consider that John's gospel reveals that Isaiah's vision of God in Isaiah 6 was the preincarnate Son of God:
John 12:41 - "These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him."

Given the gravity and glory of Isaiah 6:1, that carries a tremendous weight which would bear the burden of the assertion that the OT manifestations of God were the Son of God revealing God to us.

Especially coupled with John 1:18 - "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." The Son's role is the revealing or declaring of God to us. So it makes sense that God's interactions with man always came through the sole Mediator of God and man - Jesus Christ.

And, of course, John 14:9 - "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?"

It is a great topic of discussion for sure. And of course, glorifying the Son, glorifies the Father so we need not fear robbing glory from God in this view.

"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" Philippians 2:8–11.
Thank you very much for your insights!
 

pgwolv

Puritan Board Freshman
Amen! One of my favorite quotes from Owen is where he takes this a step further. He writes that when we glorify the Son we aren't only glorifying the Father as well; we are acting like the Father: “Nothing renders us so like unto God as our love unto Jesus Christ, for he is the principle object of his love; in him doth his soul rest, in him he is always well pleased.” The Father delights to glorify the Son, so we are like the Father when that is our delight too.
Wonderful thought! The Puritans really could plumb the depths of the Word; may the Holy Spirit teach me to do the same.
 

pgwolv

Puritan Board Freshman
Jesus has from the very beginning by God's man on the scene overseeing the entire project of creation. Is this not clearly taught in the first five verses of John?
I will meditate on this, this week. Thank you for the prompt.
That's all I will say for now. But sit back and take a few minutes to learn more about the Lord of the universe by His own words to Job.

The Lord continues where we left off above, saying, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (Job 38:2‭-‬7)

Here are my very favorite verses from Job. With these, I fell hopelessly in love with the Master.

"Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, And make her nest on high? She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, Upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place. From thence she seeketh the prey, And her eyes behold afar off. Her young ones also suck up blood: And where the slain are, there is she." (Job 39:27‭-‬30)

What a man. With something like a deep growl, I repeated over and over, "I like Him, I like everything about Him, I really like Him, etc."
Job is also one of my favourite books in the Bible, if one can be said to have such. One of the verses that stay with me is Job 19:25-27
 

pgwolv

Puritan Board Freshman
Here's another point to consider - The doctrine of circumincession states, as well as Jesus' words in the Gospel of John, that the persons indwell one another. Jesus also told Philip that any who have seen Him has also seen the Father (John 14:9) and then proceeds to talk about mutual indwelling. In the Daniel 8 vision, the Ancient of Days and the Son of Man are presented as different persons yet in Revelation some of the descriptions of Jesus match the Ancient of Days.

Additionally, I think the references saying no one has seen God mean seeing Him in His actual substance and being. Any visual manifestation of God is not the actual being and substance of God (which is invisible) but merely a manifestation or representation typically designed to communicate some aspect of the divine nature (i.e. God is not a burning bush, old guy on a throne, pillar of fire, or humanlike angel).

I have a hard time seeing that it is exclusively the Son that is seen in theophanies but the mysteries of God are deep and I hold my view lightly.
This is also the view I have held to (also lightly). I am keen to study the verses quoted in the replies and to look at what Poythress has to say. Anything to learn more about my God and Saviour!
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
There are several issues combined together. One is that the theophanies are the pre-incarnate Christ. That's one issue and to which I am probably committed. The other issue is that the Father does (must?) all he does by the Son. That needs glossing.
 

pgwolv

Puritan Board Freshman
There are several issues combined together. One is that the theophanies are the pre-incarnate Christ. That's one issue and to which I am probably committed. The other issue is that the Father does (must?) all he does by the Son. That needs glossing.
Would you please expand a bit on the second issue?
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
The phrase "God must do all by his Son" is ambiguous. It could mean as Classical Trinitarianism has always meant, that all the external works of the Trinity undivided. That's fine. Or it could mean that God can only act by his Son.
 

alexandermsmith

Puritan Board Junior
Luther makes basically the same point in his Treatise on the Last Words of David (a wonderful book recently reprinted by Gospel Standard Trust Publications). The treatise is concerned with locating Christ in the Old Testament and Luther goes through various passages, comparing them with the NT, to illustrate how consistent and clear the Trinitarian teaching is throughout all Scripture. Here he is speaking on the work of the Trinity in Creation, specifically locating the Second Person in Creation:

Referencing John 1:1-3 and then Genesis 1 Luther says 'Thus, you hear Moses exactly agreeing with John, that in the very beginning of the creation "was the (LOGOS or) Word", by whom God made or created all things, by speaking...so that, where there is the Person speaking, there, of necessity, must be also understood the LOGOS or Word...And, therefore, the LOGOS or Word was 'with him' when he spoke (for without a LOGOS nothing can be spoken), 'by' whom God made all things; as John 1 clearly sets if forth.' p.81, emphasis added.

'For here again Moses is ready at hand as a witness, plainly declaring that all things were made by God speaking; that is, by the LOGOS or the Word of God. And so is David also: "By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made." (Psalm 33:6)...And although Moses does not express the name of the Son of God, or write Christ in those very letters and characters, yet he truly expresses and confesses this same LOGOS, or Word of God speaking, by whom all things were made. Wherein he plainly signifies that in the Godhead the Person speaking (that is, whose the LOGOS is) is one. And the Person who is the LOGOS, or the Word that is spoken, is another." pp. 112-113

Luther also talks about the voice of the Father at the Baptism of Christ. Here he says we must of necessity say that the voice is the Father and we cannot say it is the Son or the Spirit (though he doesn't say it explicitly I assume the reason is that Scripture specifically identifies the voice as the Father in distinction to the Spirit/dove and the Son/human nature). But we can also say that each creature (the voice, the human nature of Christ standing in the Jordan and the dove) is God because each Person is God. He also makes the point that although each creature can only be distinguished as one particular Person, they are all the work of the Trinity working in concert because 'the works of the Trinity are indivisible'. So although the voice is said to be the Father only, it is not created by the Father only but by all three Persons.

It's a very good book. Well worth reading.
 
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