Theology Proper in the 1689: 7-Part Series [AUDIO] by Cam Porter

lbc1689Pastor Cameron Porter, of Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack, B.C. Canada, gave a seven part Study in Theology Proper [RSS]. That is, a study in Chapter 2: Of God and the Holy Trinity, from the Second London Baptist Confession (2LCF) 1677/1689:

Of God and the Holy Trinity (2LCF 2.1-3)

Part 1… This session focuses on an introduction to theology proper, then moves into a look at Divine Singularity, and then the “Divine Omni-perfections“.

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Of God and the Holy Trinity (2LCF 2.1-2)

Part 2… This session finishes the look at Divine Omnipotence from the previous session, then continues with Divine Omnipresence, and omniscience.

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Of God and the Holy Trinity (2LCF 2.3)

Part 3… This session focuses paragraph 3 – the Doctrine of the Trinity. We went through some introductory material and then began looking at the doctrine summarily contained in the first statement, and the unity and equality upheld in the second. We began to look at the personal distinctions near the end of the study, and will continue with this next time.

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Of God and the Holy Trinity (2.1-3)

Part 4 finishes looking at the personal distinctions in the Trinity.

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Divine Simplicity – Of God and the Holy Trinity (2.1-3)

Part 5 gets into the doctrine of Divine Simplicity.

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Divine Simplicity 2 – Of God and the Holy Trinity (2.1-3)

Part 6 finished looking at the doctrine of Divine Simplicity.

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Divine Impassibility (2LCF 2.1)

The Doctrine of Divine Impassibility (that God is “without passions”), affirmed by the Christian church for almost two millennia, has in the last century been maligned, or in the least watered down, so as to conceive of a God who either suffers along with His people, or who, in some way, “has an emotional life” of ever-changing reactions and interactions with His people.

This brief study seeks to present and uphold the Classical (Biblical and confessional) view of Impassibility – that God does not properly have passions and/or emotions (if these are understood as “to suffer, or undergo”, “to be excited, disturbed, or moved”) since He is the infinite, eternal, and unchanging God “with whom there is no variation, nor shadow of turning” (James 1:17). Far from being a doctrine that presents God as cold, detached, and apathetic the classical view of divine impassibility upholds the God who has condescended to reveal Himself as the unchanging God who is “most absolute” and “most loving”, who is so purely actual in His love for His people that He can not be increased or diminished in the plenitude of His infinite love.

As sinful creatures, saved by amazing and victorious grace, we need the unchanging God of impassibility as the refuge for our weak and weary souls. God does not have “an emotional life”. We have emotional lives, and we need the God who doesn’t to be our ever-present help in time of need.

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cam porter-02Cameron Porter was born in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada and raised in Abbotsford – a city just 45 kilometers away. After 26 years of living in unbelief – a stranger to the grace and knowledge of Christ – God saved him in the summer of 2002.

Immediately following conversion, and with a desire to get involved in gospel ministry, he began to read as much as he could about his newly granted faith. In 2005, after a few stops along the way, Cameron arrived at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack, bringing his family under the faithful preaching of Pastor Jim Butler. Cameron joined the ministerial training program, started by Pastor Butler, and became a member of FGBC in 2006.

After three years of studying various theological disciplines under Pastor Butler’s instruction and mentorship, Cameron was ordained an elder of Free Grace Baptist Church in January 0f 2008. He is currently enrolled in the distance learning program at Whitefield Theological Seminary, seeking to eventually complete the Master of Divinity program.

Cameron is happily married to his wife Tracy, and has been blessed with three children.

Does God Change in the Incarnation? Spurgeon Answers [Quote & Sermon Audio]

Pastor Erik Raymond points out a quote from Spurgeon that is, “especially helpful in considering the immutability of God (the fact that he does not change) even in light of the incarnation of Christ“:

Charles Spurgeon
Charles Spurgeon

All creatures change. Man, especially as to his body, is always undergoing revolution. Very probably there is not a single particle in my body which was in it a few years ago. This frame has been worn away by activity, its atoms have been removed by friction, fresh particles of matter have in the mean time constantly accrued to my body, and so it has been replenished; but its substance is altered.

The fabric of which this world is made is ever passing away; like a stream of water, drops are running away and others are following after, keeping the river still full, but always changing in its elements.

But God is perpetually the same. He is not composed of any substance or material, but is spirit—pure, essential, and ethereal spirit—and therefore he is immutable. He remains everlastingly the same. There are no furrows on his eternal brow. No age hath palsied him; no years have marked him with the mementoes of their flight; he sees ages pass, but with him it is ever now. He is the great I AM—the Great Unchangeable.

Mark you, his essence did not undergo a change when it became united with the manhood. When Christ in past years did gird himself with mortal clay, the essence of his divinity was not changed; flesh did not become God, nor did God become flesh by a real actual change of nature; the two were united in hypostatical union, but the Godhead was still the same. It was the same when he was a babe in the manger, as it was when he stretched the curtains of heaven; it was the same God that hung upon the cross, and whose blood flowed down in a purple river, the self-same God that holds the world upon his everlasting shoulders, and bears in his hands the keys of death and hell.

He never has been changed in his essence, not even by his incarnation; he remains everlastingly, eternally, the one unchanging God, the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither the shadow of a change.

Here is the entire sermon (his first preached at New Park Street Chapel, Southwark).

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The Immutability of God [Geoff Thomas]

Immutability  Malachi 3

Geoff ThomasFrom the Intro:

We live in a world of change. The weather and the seasons change; the moon waxes and wanes; the planets change their positions in the sky. The public concept of morality has changed. It is no longer shocking to live together before marriage. Fashions change; postmen wear shorts. Hairstyles change, popular music changes, the foods we eat have changed. We had a former student visit us last week-end. He hadn’t been to Aberystwyth for 35 years. ‘Aberystwyth has changed,’ he said. The university buildings on the hill have changed, as well as the hospital in the town. After the great storm six months ago how the promenade has changed. The harbour has changed greatly from 35 years ago. Town landmarks like Seilo and Tabernacle and Woolworths have disappeared. Aberystwyth has changed, and all of us are changing. We are growing older and our hair is whiter, and our eyesight is poorer, and our hearing weaker and we walk more slowly and our shoulders are rounder. We sing in the hymn ‘Abide with me’ those words, ‘Change and decay in all around I see.’

 

But God is perpetually the same. He never changes. His being, and nature, and perfections can’t be altered. Nothing can be added to the infinite God and nothing can be taken from him. What God is today he always was. What God is today he shall always be. He is immutable; that is his state, and he is eternal; that is the measure of his state. It is essential that God is unchangeable. Without it he could not be God. This is one of the excellencies of God which distinguishes him from all his creatures. It distinguishes him from the angels. Yes, they are as sinless as he is, but they are not omnipotent and there was a time when they were not. They began; they changed from nothingness to something; God never began. He is from eternity to eternity, changeless in his attributes and purposes and character. He is everlastingly, ‘the Father of lights with whom there is no varableness, neither shadow of turning’ (James 1:17)…

Outline:

  1. IN WHAT DIVINE PERFECTIONS DOES GOD REMAIN THE SAME?
    1. God is the same in his being.
    2. God is the same in his attributes.
    3. God is the same in his plans.
    4. God is the same in his promises.
  2. WHAT OF THE BIBLE TELLING US THAT ‘GOD CHANGED HIS MIND’?
    1. First, I am referring to Jonah chapters 3 and 4
    2. Second, I am referring to the death of Hezekiah.
  3. SO JACOB’S DESCENDANTS WILL NOT BE DESTROYED.
    1. Jacob was an elect son of God.
    2. Jacob had great privileges.
    3. Jacob passed through special trials.
    4. Jacob was not a perfect man.
    5. Jacob was a man of prayer.

Read “The Immutability of God” [28 min. readout]

Video snippets from yesterday’s “Open Theism Debate” between James White & Bob Enyart

open theism debate

Alpha & Omega Ministries:

As we await the full video footage from Denver a member of the audience posted clips of the cross examinations last night. Enjoy.

Bob Enyart Cross Examines James White:

James White Cross Examines Bob Enyart:

James White’s Closing Remarks:


 

In case you missed it, here is James White’s Video Message for Bob Enyart Prior to Our Debate in Denver:


 

Update: On the July 11, 2014 Dividing Line James White gives his post-debate report starting at the 15:56 minute mark:

Audio:

Video:

Particular Voices [Roundup] on God’s Affections, Passivity, Immutability, Simplicity, & Impassibility

by Benjamin Keach
by Benjamin Keach

Sam Renihan:

For those interested in some historical perspective on the way that the Particular Baptists and other 17th century theologians spoke of these issues, reference the following:

Young, restless… no longer reformed? Austin Fischer & James White on Unbelievable Radio [Audio]

New Old CalvinismUnbelievable:

Austin Fischer embraced ‘New Calvinism’ as a teenager, after being influenced by its popular proponents. But he recently abandoned it when he found he was unable to worship God as truly just, good and loving. Calvinist theologian James White (old, rested and still reformed) challenges Austin about his journey and his theology. 

MP3:

james white mic

“I’m old, I’ve never been restless, and I’m still Reformed.”

– James White

Find out more:

james-v-fischer

For Austin Fischer, click here. For James White, click here.

If you enjoyed this programme then you may also enjoy listening to:

Update 1:30pm: James White: Two Sermons in Response to Austin Fischer

Passivity and Suffering [Sam Renihan]

What does the Confession mean when it says God is immutable? Does it mean God is utterly impassible? Can God suffer? What do these terms mean? Sam Renihan writes:

God is simple. He is all that he is in one pure simple act. He cannot suffer in either sense because he cannot be perfected, nor can he be diminished. God has no parts. You can’t add him up or subtract him. God has no passions. He does not have emotions that can be acted upon or provoked by the creature. The creature can neither increase God’s love nor decrease his wrath. God’s love and wrath are effected, that is, they come from him to the creature. They are not affected, produced by the creature’s action upon God. As creatures we change in our relation to God, and his works upon us our [sic] various, but God never changes. We can go to him and trust that at all times he is perfectly loving in the fullest sense (beyond creaturely comprehension).

Check out the original post for some added material from John Norton and Samuel Bolton: Passivity and Suffering | Particular Voices.

The Immutability of God – Spurgeon [Quote & Audio]

classic-spurgeon-sermons-the-immutability-of-god-illustrated-editionIn yesterday’s podcast Dr. Nettles mentioned a quote from the then 21-year old Spurgeon which  J. I. Packer’s used to open up his book Knowing God:

On January 7, 1855, the minister of New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, England, opened his morning sermon as follows:

 

It has been said by someone that “the proper study of mankind is man.” I will not oppose the idea, but I believe it is equally true that the proper study of God’s elect is God; the proper study of a Christian is the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father.

 

There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned in its infinity. Other subjects we can compass and grapple with; in them we feel a kind of self-content, and go our way with the thought, “Behold I am wise.” But when we come to this master science, finding that our plumbline cannot sound its depth, and that our eagle eye cannot see its height, we turn away with the thought that vain man would be wise, but he is like a wild ass’s colt; and with solemn exclamation, “I am but of yesterday, and know nothing.” No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God….

 

But while the subject humbles the mind, it also expands it. He who often thinks of God, will have a larger mind than the man who simply plods around this narrow globe…. The most excellent study for expanding the soul, is the science of Christ, and Him crucified, and the knowledge of the Godhead in the glorious Trinity. Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing so magnify the whole soul of man, as a devout, earnest, continued investigation of the great subject of the Deity.

 

And, whilst humbling and expanding, this subject is eminently consolatory. Oh, there is, in contemplating Christ, a balm for every wound; in musing on the Father, there is a quietus for every grief; and in the influence of the Holy Ghost, there is a balsam for every sore. Would you lose your sorrow? Would you drown your cares? Then go, plunge yourself in the Godhead’s deepest sea; be lost in his immensity; and you shall come forth as from a couch of rest, refreshed and invigorated. I know nothing which can so comfort the soul; so calm the swelling billows of sorrow and grief; so speak peace to the winds of trial, as a devout musing upon the subject of the Godhead. It is to that subject that I invite you this morning.

Here is the entire sermon (his first preached at New Park Street Chapel, Southwark).

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