Thursday, December 15, 2011

Paper: The Submission, Authority and Glory of the Son

Just received back a paper. The paper is entitled The Submission, Authority and Glory of the Son. I would like to share the amended copy here with one caveat.

The caveat is this: My chosen pericope is John 5:19-30. The pericope is indeed large (and thus not a proper exegetical paper), but in my opinion to limit the size of the pericope is not an option, otherwise one would lose the structure of the passage. Sure, I could limit it to a few verses (e.g. vv. 19-25 - my original pericope), but what you would get is technical exposition of the passage without the flow of the passage. I guess biblical theologians could do it, but I personally can't conceive of writing a paper on a passage which I don't consider a full pericope.

Here's the introduction of the paper:

From the time of the early church, the relations between the members of the Trinity have been a topic of controversy. The word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible. Neither is the word “consubstantial” and other such terms which are used in the Nicene creeds and other such symbols of orthodoxy like the Athanasian Creed found in it. The Church has to wrestle with the teachings of Scripture which do not directly and explicitly teach on the theological issues they were facing, and through logical discussions and controversies find a way to reconcile the truths of Scripture, navigating the minefield of myriad heresies.

The passage of John 5:19-30 is an important passage to consider as we dwell on such issues, especially as the high Christology in John was instrumental in shaping the Church’s doctrines. Avoiding as we must the inappropriate application of the Creator-creature distinction in denying the knowability of God—“a reluctance to recognize that God’s revelation in human history tells us anything about who he is eternally” —especially as seen in mysticism which denies that we can positively know anything about God’s essence, we must acknowledge that we can know God inasmuch as He reveals Himself in Scripture. What then does this passage contribute to our understanding of the relation between the Father and the Son?

[more]

6 comments:

Ron Krumpos said...

We cannot rationally conceive of divine essence, but we can have conscious awareness of being in it.

E=mc², Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, is probably the best known scientific equation. In my free ebook on comparative mysticism, I revised it to help better understand the relationship between divine Essence (Love, Grace, Spirit), matter (mass/energy: visible/dark) and consciousness (f(x) raised to its greatest power). Unlike the speed of light, which is a constant, there are no exact measurements for consciousness. In this hypothetical formula, basic consciousness may be of insects, to the second power of animals and to the third power the rational mind of humans. The fourth power is suprarational consciousness of mystics, when they intuit the divine essence in perceived matter. This was a convenient analogy, but there cannot be a divine formula.

(quoted from "the greatest achievement in life," my free ebook on comparative mysticism)

PuritanReformed said...

and your point with respects to the paper is?

Ron Krumpos said...

Sorry, I was responding to his comment "especially as seen in mysticism which denies that we can positively know anything about God’s essence. I should have pressed "more" to read the rest of the paper.

For a fascinating (and better) exegesis I recommend "The Gospel of John in the Light of Indian Mysticism," by Ravi Ravindra (published by Inner Traditions 1990, 2004).

PuritanReformed said...

Whether it is better has to be proven. What the title itself shows is a denial of the primacy of Scripture. I doubt a syncretistic reading is actually derived from the text of Scripture itself.

Ron Krumpos said...

Here are some reviews of that book by Dr. Ravindra:

“Catches the tone and spirit of St. John and this gospel’s profound coherence with other traditions, particularly the Hindu tradition in India and of course the Bhagavad Gita.”
--Father Thomas Berry, coauthor of The Universe Story

“A dazzlingly brilliant spiritual and cross-cultural study of the most mystical of the books of the Bible, the Gospel of John. Few will finish this book unchanged, either intellectually or spiritually.”
--,Robert Ellwood author of The Cross and the Grail

“Shows the benefits that cross-cultural perspectives can bring, helping readers to see with the heart as well as the head. . . . The best study of St. John’s Gospel that I have found.”
--James George, Parabola

PuritanReformed said...

@Ron:

well, I don't recognize any of these people as authorities. Their endorsements mean nothing to me, just as an endorsement by Hitler of a book on the history of the Jews holds absolutely no weight to me.