Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The Trinity, the Deity of Christ, and Prayer
Our Tuesday men’s group is still working our way through Robert Reymond’s A New Systematic Theology. Yesterday we were in the chapter on the Trinity. Reymond’s approach is not to begin with elaborate theological or philosophical arguments for the Trinity. Instead, he begins with the Biblical revelation. His reason: “The evidence for the Trinity, then, since the deity and personal subsistence of the Father may be viewed as a given, is just the Biblical evidence for the deity of Jesus Christ and the personal subsistence of God the Holy Spirit” (p. 211).
Reymond, therefore, offers an extensive survey of the Biblical evidence for the deity of Christ as a proof for the Trinity. I was struck by his discussion of the presentation of Jesus in the NT as hearing and answering prayer (pp. 232-233). Jesus declares he will hear and answer the prayers of his disciples:
John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
This is “an implicit claim to deity” (p. 233). Furthermore, Reymond points to instances in the NT of prayer being addressed to Jesus (Acts 1:24; 7:59; 9:10-17; 2 Corinthians 12:8; 1 Thessalonians 3:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:16) which “bear out the literalness with which the disciples understood Jesus’ promise, and reflect the immediacy on their part of the recognition of his divinity” (p. 233).