Monday, February 04, 2013

Atonement In God's Love (MPhil)

Caneletto, Capriccio River Landscape With A Column
Caneletto, Warick Castle, The East Front
Caneletto, Alnwick Castle
Boston Bar, BC-Google Images

As I noted on my Facebook Status update February 2 as 'great tragedy' (something along the lines of who cares in light of other problems of evil in life), that being the discrepancy between what I view as Google Blogger's own accurate Blogger blog (s) statistics and those of Stats Counter, that grew last week. There is also a large difference with Site Meter as well, although not as large. Blogger's statistics keep track of simply the number of pageviews and do not provide locations so that would be perfect for lurkers that would like to 'spy' on me, or simply read my work and go unnoticed as in providing me with no possibility of deducing location and person. Although now with internet service providers many pageviews simply list a provider and the location is from the server and not always where the pageview/person is from and so similar ISP addresses will provide clues of whom the person might possibly, and that is, might possibly be, with that internet service provider. On the other hand, certain persons trying to assist me in my internet web ministry, that perhaps may also think I am 'Kool' may possibly want me to know without directly communicating with me that he/she is providing me with pageviews and that became much more difficult this last week. But that would be out of his or her control.

I suppose sometimes we may just have to go back to old fashioned ways of communicating...

As I was reminded by a message the other day and I have kept in mind for years.

On the Status update I estimate on the February 2 approximately 16% of my Blogger statistics were actually being counted that week by Stats Counter. This past Sunday, just ended, it is difficult to compare because Blogger for whatever reason does not seem to keep track of my statistics on Vancouver, Pacific Time, but some other Time Zone not listed. Stats Counter and Site Meter at least can be set to Vancouver, Pacific Time, but any way, perhaps approximately the same amount are being counted, maybe 25%, being optimistic.

At the beginning of the week I was a little discouraged, I thought it a very bad week, which would be more likely the case more with the other blog, but when this blog had the same statistics and certain things with numbers were not occurring as far a pageviews, I realized that the numbers were way down because Stats Counter had missed the boat, as I compared them to Blogger which were typical to that of recent.

Well, Stats Counter is free, and you have heard the saying, 'You get what you pay for'.

Overall, I think their service is 'A' ish grade.

Thank you for the support.

I actually just received the final statistics from Sunday via Blogger and compared them to Stats Counter from February 3, 2013.

Stats Counter counted approximately 12%...


2003 The Problem of Evil: Anglican and Baptist Perspectives: MPhil thesis, Bangor University

ERICKSON, MILLARD (1994) Christian Theology, Grand Rapids, Baker Book House.

WOODS, B.W. (1974) Christians in Pain, Grand Rapids, Baker Book House.

8. God’s Love

It must be stated that Woods believed that the suffering and discipline involved in this world filled with evil, came from a loving God who cared for his human creation. This is a Biblical concept, as God’s purposes include a great care for his creation. Erickson noted that God demonstrated his love to humanity through his atoning work:
If you and I are having and argument on the bank of a stream, and you fall into the water and are in danger of drowning, and I, at great danger to my life, leap into the water to rescue you, my action will be regarded as a demonstration of love. But if you are standing safely on the bank of the stream, and I say, "See how much I love you!" and leap into the water and begin to thrash around, my action will not move you to love me or forgive me or be reconciled to me. You will more likely conclude that I am emotionally and mentally unstable.

So it is with the atonement. The death of Christ is a beautiful demonstration of God’s love and thus a powerful incentive to us to abandon our hostility towards God and respond in repentance and faith to the offer of grace. But it is effective as a demonstration of love precisely because we were lost and God cared enough about our condition to offer his Son as a sacrifice. Erickson (1994: 820).

Using Erickson’s thought, it can be concluded that God does not ask for discipline and sacrifice and then not perform these things himself. God is a being beyond physical suffering and sin, yet he comprehends these things and chose to intervene in history and participate in the atonement of humanity. Christ, as the God-man, disciplined himself and obeyed the Father to the point of death, even when he could have easily destroyed the Romans and Jews who were executing him. This demonstrated that God in Christ disciplined himself to complete a task that was humbling and difficult. Christ, as God, allowed his own creation to treat him terribly, yet he completed his required task to save humanity, and this surely demonstrated that he loved and cared for people.

God, through Christ, sacrificed because he was good, but at the same time because he loved humanity. In all human suffering he has always been present, he has defeated evil through his atoning work and this shall be culminated with the resurrection. Presently he desires that people seek him out when suffering.

Now does the divine Christ’s suffering as man mean that God within the Trinity understands evil and suffering in greater measure than before the atoning work? I personally think not, as I hold firmly to God having infinite knowledge and understanding, but the work of Christ supplies God with a superior method in which to relate with, and atone for his human creation. The pre-incarnate Christ was spirit, but Christ took a body for himself as well. God’s essential nature has not been changed, yet the Son of God had taken for himself an additional human nature and thus he was capable of dying and atoning for sinful humanity as both God and man. This could not have taken place without the incarnation.

This additional human nature allows Christ as a member of the human race to be its human restorer, as after the resurrection humanity will be like him with a perfect body and nature. Christ as a resurrected human being now has personal human experience with the problem of evil, as he has suffered himself and is an excellent mediator between God and humankind. He not only has understanding of humanity’s pain, but has personally suffered that pain, and can relate that to people in love.

Thank you, Mark..

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