Today’s question: “I follow what you are saying about the error of saying that there are three ‘centers of consciousness’ in God’s Triune nature, and how that would involve a denial of the unity and simplicity of the Divine Being and ultimately involve tritheism. However, isn’t that different from affirming three subsistent consciousnesses, or three self-conscious Persons within the nature of God? Would not a denial of that involve the opposite error of modalism? I am concerned that in our right concern to flee from tritheism, we are not seeing an implicit embrace of modalism.”
Today’s question: “Is the task of exegesis limited to discovering the author’s original intention, or can meaning somehow overflow intention? If so, in what way? What guardrails are in place that would enable us to recognize certain readings as off-limits? A common text referenced in these discussions is Matthew 2:15’s usage of Hosea 11:1, so I’d be interested to hear your take on that as well.”
In this episode of the Theopolis Podcast, Peter Leithart and I discuss the readings for Pentecost Sunday: Acts 2:1-21, Ezekiel 37:1-14, and John 15:26—6:15.
You can follow the Theopolis podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, and on most podcast apps. You can read show notes over on the Theopolis podcast website. You can also see past episodes I have contributed to by clicking the ‘Theopolis’ link in the bar above.
Today I answer a question about the classical doctrine of the Trinity. There is much that I’d love to say more clearly or carefully than I do in this video, or to elaborate upon further, so feel free to send me follow-up questions in the comments here or over on Curious Cat.
The following video is an answer to a Curious Cat question, an over-ambitious attempt to answer a huge question that deserves detailed analysis off the top of my head. Continue to leave your questions in the comments on this blog, over on Curious Cat, or you can email me if you have my address.
The second installment in my daily answers to questions…
Bible Gateway have just posted an interview with me about Echoes of Exodus. Within it, I discuss various topics that the book covers, among some other things.
What are some similarities between the story of 1 Samuel 1-2 and the opening chapters of Luke and Acts?
Alastair J. Roberts: At the beginning of Luke, as at the beginning of 1 Samuel, we see a woman whose womb is opened by the Lord. As in the book of Exodus, the great stories of the establishment of the kingdom of Israel and the establishment of the kingdom of heaven begin with women at the foreground of the narrative frame. We see prayer at the temple (Luke 1:10; compare 1 Samuel 1:8-18) and a priest who lacks spiritual perception, associated with dulled physical faculties (Luke 1:20; compare 1 Samuel 1:12-14, 3:3). We see the gift of a Nazirite son (Luke 1:15; compare 1 Samuel 1:11). We see a powerful declaration of praise by the woman whose womb had been opened (Luke 1:46-55; compare 1 Samuel 2:1-10), followed by descriptions of their children’s growth (Luke 1:80; 2:40, 52; compare 1 Samuel 2:21; 3:19) and of portentous events in their early childhood (Luke 2:41-52; compare 1 Samuel 3:1-18). Early in Luke’s narrative, we also see a woman named Anna (Hannah), who is constantly in prayer in the temple (2:36-38). Acts also begins with prayer in the temple (1:14; compare Luke 24:53). The tongues-speaking of the Christians at Pentecost is mistaken for drunken speech (Acts 2:13), much as Hannah’s prayer is in 1 Samuel 1:12-14.
As God is establishing a new kingdom in the Gospels, it should not surprise us that it involves the appearance of themes that remind us of the establishment of the original kingdom of Israel.
Read the entire interview here. See further material relating to Echoes of Exodus here.