Hebrews 7:25 Jesus Christ of All Dominion

26 04 2013

jesus compassion


“Consequently he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25 (NRSV)

Currently I’m working on a further foray into Molinism and the Lutheran Confessions.  The Molinist approach to soteriology addresses the subjects of God’s sovereignty, omnipresence and omnipotence in a bit more depth than the Confessions, but doesn’t contradict the Confessions in any way that I can discern, at least not so far.  I’m not a theologian, so I have to trust and pray as I dig, as well as engage in critical thought.  Faith does not require one to check one’s brain at the door, but to be open to being informed and enlightened by the Holy Spirit in study and prayer.


I am consistently put in awe of the omnipotence and omnipresence of God.  I know that it’s hard to wrap one’s consciousness around God being everywhere, in and through everything, at all places and times, at the same time.  Yet Scripture upholds the completely pervasive totality of God.  I don’t claim to understand the mechanics of the cosmos- I’m baffled at any sort of higher math beyond basic accounting, percentages and ratios.  I  understand the mechanics of the Creator even less than I understand the mechanics behind His creation.  Yet I have faith that He is Who He says He is, and that He continually makes intercession for fallible and fallen sinners like me.

Then Job answered the Lord: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you declare to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you;therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:1-6 (NRSV)

In literature and drama there is a device called deus ex machina: literally, “the god in the machine,” which writers use to save their characters from impossible situations.  The Indiana Jones movies make use of this device quite frequently- someone makes an impossible save at the very last moment, and saves the hero from certain death.

milling machine

Old machinery is fascinating to look at, but as far as there being any sort of sentient entities living in them (though the concept of malevolent, sentient machines makes for a good horror novel, i.e. Stephen King’s Christine) I’m not buying it.

Yet God is thoroughly present in and through His creation (and by proxy one would even have to include man-made machinery) which makes the reality of evil even more difficult to understand.  God is God, but He doesn’t always move in with that last minute save like in the Indiana Jones movies- at least not in the physical world that we can see in these temporary bodies. He left the apostle Paul with a thorn in his side, and Paul didn’t understand that either.

Yet God is the One in control.  Especially when we don’t understand.

We get a little bit of insight into the incredible scope of God’s involvement with creation on the most intimate levels in His discourse with Job. (Job 38-42)

God asks Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (Job 38:4)  Of course, Job wasn’t anywhere around, because he hadn’t been created yet.  I know I question God (and I do it often) but there are many times He answers me in the same way He answered Job:  “Where were you?  Who are you to criticize Me?”


I don’t think God has a problem with us asking questions, but just as He expected of Job, we have to be prepared for answers we may not like or that we may not understand.  We are compelled to seek understanding, but also to embrace the mystery at the same time.

The Gospel of John explains the Who behind creation and the infinite dominion of Christ most eloquently:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” John 1:1-5 (NRSV)


Christianity 101, Intro to the Lutheran Confessions, and the Sovereignty of God

12 03 2013


I am nothing more than an obscure private individual.  This being said, I have a particular world view and a very specific view of theology.  If my observations are helpful to others, fine.  Feel free to comment, expound on anything or present a different perspective.  We can always agree to disagree.

First and foremost, I am a Christian.   I understand and interpret Christian faith as a confessional Lutheran, (which actually gives quite me a bit of latitude,) however, one can certainly be a Christian without being a confessional Lutheran.  At one point in my life I almost became a Southern Baptist because of their emphasis on Bible study. While I differ with the Baptist groups on the means of grace and also on the role of the believer in coming to faith, they do know Scripture.  I’ve learned much about God and faith from traditions that are different than my own.

A Christian is someone who believes the statements of the Apostle’s Creed, which is basically a synopsis of “What do Christians believe?”  that is derived from Scripture:

apostle's creed

I’m not going to tell anyone that to be a Christian means to be an ascetic.  Asceticism is more of a feature of non-Christian religions, all of which (in different forms) require believers to earn their way to rewards.  The way of Jesus is one of grace and of surrendering to Him.   I’m not putting on a hair shirt, and I don’t expect anyone else to either, unless God calls them to it.  If a person is called to be an ascetic for the sake of Christ, or to wear a hair shirt, that’s fine with me, but unless God calls me to an austere lifestyle or to wear itchy clothes, I’m not going to join you.  There are no brownie points to be earned in Jesus’ economy.

I don’t believe that the physical body is evil, nor do I believe that material things are inherently bad.  God made creation good.  God created the world and everything in it to serve and glorify Him.  Humanity brought sin into the equation. Humans are completely depraved, and through our sin creation has become corrupt, but God wins.  As the Teacher of Ecclesiates (Solomon) teaches,

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;  a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.” Ecclesiates 3:1-8 (NRSV)

There’s a time and a place for everything.  So don’t expect me to be a prude. I have a sense of humor and I do use it.

The Lutheran Confessions are a collection of statements of Christian faith that were written largely in response to what Martin Luther and other Reformers saw as errors going on within the Catholic Church.   I was raised in the Catholic Church, but I cannot in spiritual and intellectual honesty be a Catholic because I don’t agree 100% with the Roman Catholic Church. Agreeing 100% with their rules- is one of their rules.  The modern Catholic Church has actually taken up with some of the Reformers’ suggestions, such as saying Mass in the language of the people and giving them access to Scripture, so confessional Lutherans and Roman Catholics aren’t quite as far apart today as we would have been in the 1520s. However, there are some doctrines and teachings in Roman Catholicism that are not Biblical and can lead to a great deal of confusion regarding the grace of God and our salvation.

I also believe that God is 100% sovereign, meaning that He is everywhere in every time and place at the same time (omnipresent) and that He knows everything that has happened, is happening or will happen (omniscient.)  We don’t have access to all that knowledge.  Our minds and bodies are finite.  We can only occupy one space in one point in time, so our perspective is limited.  God is limitless, and that’s about as close as I can get to explaining the nature and scope of God.

As a finite and flawed human being there are questions I can’t answer, but questions are part of faith.   So is being wrong at times.

Far Side God _1

God can take our questions, our doubt and even our anger.  He is with us in and through it all.  Jesus came to earth and became the substitutionary sacrifice who redeems us and saves us from the death we have earned from our sins.

Sola Dei Gloria.  To God be the glory.