The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Are only Christians children of God or is everyone?—my reply


#21

As I understand it… that is closer to the mark; that in terms of Christ and more specifically his obedience “firstborn” indicates the pre-eminent one that is, “highly exulted” (Phil 2:8-9; Heb 5:8), and “begotten” means appointed as in… “You are My Son, TODAY I have begotten YouHeb 1:5; 5:5 i.e., “today” meaning from now on, or henceforth.

Thus not only was Jesus Israel’s MESSIAH (Christ) but subsequently because of obedience was also appointed as the world’s LORD.


#22

I think, Dave and Davo, that those explanations are attempts to avoid the plain meaning of the text I quoted. Consider the first born in your own family. Isn’t he or she the first of your family to come into this world? Who would ever think of explaining the first born of your parents as meaning only that he or she is the inheritor of all that your parents own, or is the “pre-eminent one” of their children.

Davo, I am well aware of the passage to which you referred in Heb 1:5. But why do you underline and capitalize “today” as if the begetting of the Son took place at some later day than the first day that ever existed? I understand the begetting of the Son as the early Christians did, as the first of God’s acts. I think that first event marked the beginning of time. Immediately afterward God created the heavens and the earth THROUGH the Son, and thus the Son was begotten on the first day. That was the “today” in which the writer of Heb 1:5 affirms that the Son was begotten.


#23

Who were those early christians - are you talking about 4th century, or someone much closer to the Apostles? I just am not aware of it being an apostolic teaching. I did read , however, that it was Constantine who insisted that the phrase ‘begotten before all ages’ be a part of the Creed. Do you know if that’s true?

I think the term ‘begotten before all ages’ falls into the same interpretative trap that proponents of John’s gospel, chapter 1, fall into when they try to interpret the first few verses as implying a pre-incarnate Christ.


#24

Ignatius lived from A.D. 30 to A.D. 107. In the letter to the Ephesians that is ascribed to him, it is written in chapter XVIII (the longer recension), that the Son of God was begotten before the ages (although the Ante-Nicene Fathers translation renders the phrase as “begotten before time began” which is not what it says. That is an interpretation). The same expression “begotten before the ages” is also found in the letter to the Antiochians, chapter XIV. It is the opinion of the scholars that the letter to the Ephesians is genuine, but that the letter to the Antiochians is spurious. Some scholars believe that ALL of the letters ascribed to Ignatius are spurious.

Justin Martyr (A.D. 110-165) indicated in the quote below that the Son, the Word, who is called “Christ” was begotten before “the works” of the Father when He created and arranged all things through Christ.

Tertullian (A.D. 145-220) in chapter XIX of his Book 5, “Against Marcion” referred to Christ having been “begotten before every created thing.”
Also in his book “Against Praxeus.” Praxeus taught that the Father Himself came down into the virgin and was Himself born from her.

Tertullian wrote in chapter VII:


#25

Paidion… have you NOT read of this very thing (pre-eminence) in the biblical account of Jacob and Esau??? Esau was Isaac and Rebekah’s firstborn and yet in the scheme of God “the older shall serve the younger”… writ large in Israel’s story is that of ‘the spirit (Jacob) as opposed to the flesh (Esau)’ taking precedence and position as firstborn. So no, there are NO “attempts to avoid the plain meaning of the text”… yet another case of straight-jacketed literalism NOT seeing the woods for the trees, i.e., there is more to the story than the plain front cover.

Why?… because it is indicative of the fact that the Father having sanctioned and set apart the Son into his calling and drawing the demarcation and saying… “this my beloved (read firstborn as that is its essence) son in whom I am well pleased, hear Him
– it is a proclamation of inaugurated authority – something one came into.

All these were said of David (something he came into), and yet ultimately applied to David’s greater Son (something he came into); but nonetheless demonstrate this specific act of appointment.


#26

Paidion, Going back to Genesis, there are a couple of different accounts of creation. According to the second account which starts in Genesis 2:4, the first act of God was the creation of man. Genesis 2:7 says this: "And the Lord formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. From what I understand, this means that we are spiritual beings(heart and mind) in a physical body. We are born into this world through physical means( by our earthly parents), but God gives us spiritual life. Since God is the beginning and the end, I believe we are given the spirit before we are actually born, as Psalm 139:13 says “For you formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.” Jeremiah 1:15 “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” Isaiah also says “The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother, He named me.”


#27

That’s a bit…weird.


#28

Dave, this doesn’t seem strange to me. In fact I tend to agree with this Praxeus guy, whoever he was. If Jesus, who is said to be the second person of the Trinity exactly like God, can be born from a virgin in human form, then why not God the Father Himself? Yes, I believe that God did beget Himself as a human(son).

If Jesus is a separate spiritual Son, the only one begotten of the Father, then who are we? From this view as well as the Trinitarian point of view, it sounds like we are just second hand imitation sons, perhaps a knock-off brand, not made of the real thing.


#29

I like stuff that is weird. It doesn’t mean I necessary agree with it. But if it’s weird, more often than not - I like it. :exclamation: :laughing:

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSHEpyk1VdHGHJJKAk2uLihw0hT6jb7IGhNkHq6Z8jV0Op5zxAI-Jpzyz0

P.S. I think this is a picture, of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. :exclamation: :laughing:


#30

So what? As you have stated, Esau was their firstborn. The fact that Jacob took precedence and position is irrelevant to the fact that Esau was the firstborn. There are MANY accounts in the OT in which “firstborn” means “firstborn”. For example, the firstborn of the Egyptians and their animals were struck down. Or was it the people and animals that had a particular position of importance that were struck down?

I could also state that this is another case of your spiritualizing away the plain meaning of the text. But I won’t. Making mutual accusations serves no useful purpose, and tends only to foster anger—and I refuse to allow anger to occur in myself. “The anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20). The fact is that the Son is affirmed not only to be the firstborn, but the ONLY begotten Son of God—as well as “the ONLY begotten God” in John 1:18. This fact is plain, straightforward, and there is no rational justification for making it say something else.

On the contrary, it is a proclamation of God having accomplished His first act in all of divine history—the begetting of His Son.

No. The word “my” has been added by some translators. Both the King James and the New King James put the word in italics to indicate that they have added it. I don’t know Hebrew, but the Septuagint has it, “καγω πρωτοτοκον θησομαι αυτον.” (And I will place him firstborn). David wasn’t God’s natural firstborn; God’s only begotten Son was—the one who was later born as Jesus. However, besides the usual literal meaning of “firstborn” it may sometimes refer to a position, and this seems to be one example. Since God had rejected Saul from being king of Israel, it seems that He considered David to be the first real king.


#31

I thought you might appreciate Praxeus, LLC. The modalism that he proclaimed pre-dated Trinitarianism by quite a few years. However, several of the early Christian writers wrote against Praxeus, considering him to be a heretic (that is, a person who chose to believe a teaching that differed from the teachings of the apostles). In our day, modalism is taught by the United Pentecostal Church, and by the various branches of the “Apostolic” Church. Modalism is the belief that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not three different divine Individuals, but that there is but one divine Individual called “God” or “Yahweh” or “The LORD” who portrays Himself in three different modes, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I’ve heard preachers in the United Pentecostal Church say that God’s name is “Jesus.”

But some modern Modalists deny that they are Modalists since they think Modalists teach that God can show Himself in only one of these modes at a time. It is true that there was one particular group of Modalists who taught that in the early years, but most of them didn’t.


#32

IMO this is not a second creation account. It is a method of relating a story, and when going to a certain part of that story, beginning there as a point of reference. I am not disagreeing with your position interms of whether or not we are given a spirit before we receive the breath of life- to me it isnt a critical distinction, but I have heard a number of folks use this method in Genesis as if there are “two different” creation stories. It is a literary device for referral in a change of focus- not a separate account. A transition into the telling of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.


#33

IMO this is not a second creation account. It is a method of relating a story, and when going to a certain part of that story, beginning there as a point of reference. I am not disagreeing with your position interms of whether or not we are given a spirit before we receive the breath of life- to me it isnt a critical distinction, but I have heard a number of folks use this method in Genesis as if there are “two different” creation stories. It is a literary device for referral in a change of focus- not a separate account. A transition into the telling of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.


#34

YES… I’m NOT disputing that simplistic fact, that’s a given. I’m looking at HOW such is applied in Scripture apart from its “plain” sense reading; which even you yourself would have to acknowledge.

What are you talking about, you already suggest such further back up the page, where you intimate strongly that I “spiritualize away his meaning” – when what I said actually made perfect sense.

Yes and?? That the Greek text not having the “my” means zip, zero and zilch… it does NOT change the meaning, i.e., that David, by virtue of God’s ownership, thus the “my” of English texts, was made, THAT IS… to “appoint” or “establish” or “ordain” <θήσομαι> thēsomai as “firstborn”.

THIS in no way negates any literal meaning of “firstborn”; it does however show the TYPE/ANTI-TYPE relationship… you don’t have an antitype without the type – which LOGIC dictates that there can be MORE than JUST the base literal (type) meaning to a term.

Again and??… that’s not the point of Psa 89:27 – God established David as his “firstborn”, period, i.e., the one in whom His blessing was promised… just keep reading the following verses. In time David’s greater son would come in whom said promises found fulfilment.

“Stone the crows” Paidion… after all your brouhaha here you are now of convenience agreeing with me – I’ll take what I can get! :laughing:


#35

Paidion, Thanks for thinking of me! :smiley:

Eaglesway, In the first account of creation,God created all things before He created male and female together on the sixth day. However, in the second account, God created man first, before anything else. He then plants a garden and out of the ground makes every tree grow. As God cannot find a comparable helper for Adam, He formed all the beasts, which Adam names, and finally God creates woman. These are definitely two different accounts of creation. I don’t see how they can possibly be considered a continuation of the same story.
I brought this up because Paidion mentioned that the first act of God was the begetting of the Son. Depending on which account of creation one starts from then yes, according to the second account, the first act of God would be the begetting of the Son-Adam(man).