We honestly have very little idea what Jesus Christ looked like. We worship Him as the visible image of the invisible Father, and yet we do not know what that visible image looks like. What kind of visible image is that? We know what the paintings of Him look like, and they generally all have something in common with one another, but the fact remains that if you ever passed Jesus Christ on a crowded city street, you would have no idea that you had done so.
Nevertheless, we all still think of Him as a recognizable figure. But He is only “recognizable” because of the various forms of shorthand shifts we have come up with that prevent us from recognizing Him properly. And so what do I mean by “properly?”
I mean the way God intended for us to recognize Him—in and through the proclamation of the gospel. We are supposed to see the face of Jesus Christ in and through the declaration of what Scripture describes as good news—gospel truth. This is where we are supposed to find the only authorized portrait of Jesus.
This is a profound truth, and Doug illustrates it with a long list of other profound truths (in over 5000 words). For me, however, he has failed to tie it all together. What is the significance of the face of Jesus Christ? Could the reason we have no description of his looks be the fact that He has more than one face?
Rachel Held Evans is a writer who likes the challenge of “asking tough questions about Christianity in the context of the Bible Belt” while consulting the howling void of modern culture for the answers. That is indeed a challenge. She takes Christians to task for referring to the de-Christianizing of Christmas as “persecution”, offering a helpful chart.
A Guest Post by Chris Oswald, a pastor in the St. Louis, Missouri area
Gospel Proximity: Credo- and Paedobaptism and Pneumatological Signage
In the shadow of a tall bookshelf containing all 144,000 Douglas Wilson books, next to the covenantal family sing-a-long piano which held the covenantal tea set on a covenantal doily, I sat on a covenantal couch trying to explain our credo-baptist position to some dear Christian friends who wished to join our church without getting wet.
Any discussion of women’s ordination will obviously revolve around the direct Pauline statements on the subject, and we will certainly spend the lion’s share of our space there. However, the Pauline instructions were not delivered in a vacuum and when he makes his appeals outside his immediate situation, he makes those appeals to the Old Testament, ground his appeals in both the history recorded there and the law given there.
Doug Wilson sees evidence for the classification of “Covenant children” in 1 Corinthians 7:14.
“For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy” (1 Cor. 7:14).
The Corinthians had wanted to know whether unbelief on the part of a spouse was in itself grounds for divorce. Paul has replied no, provided that the unbelieving partner is pleased to be together with the Christian in a marriage as biblically defined. If the only thing that is wrong is the spouse’s failure to believe in Christ, then the couple should still remain together.
Alastair Roberts has some wise things to say about rational public debate on important issues being hampered by the new culture of “tolerance.” Of special interest to me are his observations concerning the nature of the recent spat involving Doug Wilson, Jared Wilson and Rachel Held Evans. I have had similar experiences in online discussions. I’m relying on and presenting facts and somehow the other side is irate that facts are being presented. And the fact-free, vitriolic, ad hominem comebacks would make my hair curl if I had any.
My people—infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, your guides mislead you and they have swallowed up the course of your paths.
Doug Wilson has a great little book with the title, Why Ministers Must Be Men. He demonstrates from Scripture that ministers must be not only male but manly, that is, courageous and self-sacrificial, ruling out both misogyny and machismo in the process. I believe we can also find evidence for his case in the very structure of the Bible. The proof boils down to the question, “What is a man in the created order?” That is, what is a man physically, and what is he to be in the very process of things?