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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Gordon H. Clark and the Westminster Larger Catechism: Question 37

Question 37

How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?

Christ the Son of God became man, by taking to himself a true body, and a reasonable soul, (John 1:14, Matt. 26:38) being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mary, of her substance, and born of her, (Luke 1:27,31,35,42, Gal. 4:4) yet without sin. (Heb. 4:15, Heb. 7:26)


The Westminster Larger Catechism: With Scripture Proofs. (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

This looks like a good place to mention Gordon H. Clark's view of the trinity and the incarnation of Christ.  In Clark's final book, The Incarnation, he logically and rationally examines the doctrine of the incarnation from a biblical perspective and applies logic to his exegetical examination of the biblical texts and the official creeds in regards to the trinity and the incarnation.  For this reason it is important to also read Clark's book, The Trinity.

According to Dr. Clark, when the Athanasian Creed and the Definition of Chalcedon were formulated by church councils the terminology used for substance, person, subsistence, nature, etc., were formulated the terms were not defined in any meaningful way and therefore there is ambiguity in regards to the doctrine of the incarnation.  The Westminster Larger Catechism agrees with the Definition of Chalcdon that Jesus has a "reasonable human soul."  The Apollinarian heresy said that the soul of Jesus was replaced by the second person of the Godhead, the Logos.  But that would mean that Jesus was not fully human as the Definition asserts.  Clark rightly said that the Definition then goes not to deny that Jesus is fully human because the terms are not defined.

Further, according to Clark, if at any time Jesus laid aside his Deity, then the universe would cease to exist because he upholds all things by the power of his word.  Kenosis is therefore rejected.  As I quoted in another post:

When the Second Person became man, did he retain his divine mind and activities, or did he become a different person by laying aside some of his prerogatives?  I shall not waste time on the extremes of the Kenosis theory; but some of the more orthodox theologians hold that Christ laid aside a number of his trinitarian activities.  If this were the case, we would have difficulty in thinking he was the same person.  But worse than that, there would be cosmic repercussions.  Not only does John say that Christ created the universe, but Hebrews 1:3 declares that Christ upholds all things by the word of his power.  If he ceased doing so, the world would have collapsed the day of his birth.  Would he have recreated it thirty years later?  On this schedule he could not have met the Samaritan woman at the well.  In fact there would have been no wood for a cross on which to crucify him.  Colossians 1:17 enforces this point:  "by him all things hold together," the solar system and even the Roman Empire.  One or more theologians try to avoid these conclusions by the peculiar phrase that Christ on earth laid aside the "independent use" of his divine attributes.  But this ruins the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity because, quite aside from the previous impossibilities, there never were any independent uses of his divine attributes.  

Gordon H. Clark.  (See:  Kenosis).

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