Friday, July 29, 2011

Why Was Humanity Created? Justin Taylor, Barnhouse, Satan, 1 John and R.B. Thieme, Jr.

At the Between Two Worlds blog Justin Taylor has a post titled, “Sin” in 1 John. The entire post, itself, was not so much of interest to me but one of the verses cited which brought something to mind. So in response to the article I posted a comment at his blog which I now re-post here to reflect my thoughts and expand upon them further:

“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John3:8b)
In light of the Reformed Teacher Donald Barnhouse and his treatment of the relationship between humanity’s purpose, that of Christ and the Angelic (specifically Satan) conflict in his book The Invisible War, this verse stands out as a testimony to such work. It is also stated in the Bible that our Lord came to seek and save those who are lost with reference to humanity but with reference to Satan, Jesus’ work within humanity was to destroy Satan. The begged question:

Why was humanity’s creation and our Lord’s work in the hypostatic union essential to destroying Satan?
Barnhouse takes us there in his work which, outside Reformed circles, has been furthered by some Evangelical Teachers. I believe Reformed Teachers are doing themselves a bit of a disservice to ignore this work and denying themselves and their students more complete answers about God, man and the Satanic Rebellion and the purpose of our existence.
Again, think about what is being said in 1 John 3:8b, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” And then ask yourself, why couldn’t the works of the devil have been destroyed without us? Some might respond with, “Well it could have but God chose otherwise”. Okay, but then this begs the immediate question, why did he choose humanity?

Of course this is addressed in Barnhouse’s book but as well by R.B. Thieme, Jr. (a rather greatly misunderstood theologian by some now with the Lord) in his Creation, Chaos and Restoration book (along with other works by Thieme and additional Evangelical Teachers). I simply wonder why this remains so untouched by those in certain Reformed circles seeing that it is Barnhouse, the father of Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals (which, by the way, is nothing in the way of its own description...that is, a conglomeration of like-minded but denominationally different theologians...rather, as it stands now by way of its council, it is a bed of men who are singularly minded about Neo-Calvinism and Neo-Reformed theology)  who wrote this and rather, ironically, the men who now sit on the council of Alliance are stupefied when discussion of this topic takes place.

Do yourself a favor, read these recommended works when you have time. 


wisdomknowledge said...

Hi Alex,

This is an excellent post. Thank you! The problem of Christian theodicy (evil in the world) cannot be properly addressed without reference to the Angelic Conflict.

I want to add another resource to your list. Dr. Robert Dean (a student of R.B. Thieme, Jr's) does an excellent study of the Angelic Conflict in his study of 1 John (to download mp3 files for the 1 John study click here). He covers the topic in seven one hour lessons:

• 1st-John-032 Angelic Conflict I: Origins
• 1st-John-033 Angelic Conflict II: Fall of Satan
• 1st-John-034 Angelic Conflict III: Demons, Satanic Challenge, Satanic Thinking
• 1st-John-035 Angelic Conflict IV: Why the Human Race?
• 1st-John-036 Angelic Conflict V: Attack of Demonism; Demon-Possession
• 1st-John-037 Angelic Conflict VI
• 1st-John-038 Angelic Conflict VII: Resisting The Devil

Once again thank you for posting on this important subject!


Alex Guggenheim said...

Great to hear from you and über thanks for the link to the Robert Dean material to which I will avail myself. I am happy to see that I did not identify and ask the question in vain, "why the human race" in response to the context of 1 John. Thanks again.