Eternal God and God in time (Paul Helm)

March 10, 2014Doctrine of God, Paul Helm

In some of my previous posts I have pointed out the strong tendency to think of God “dualistically.” In the work of Rob Lister, for example, God is both impassible and impassioned. This builds on what Bruce Ware says of God, that we must understand God’s relation to time as comprising both his atemporal existence … Read More

The Message of Ecclesiastes: Living Presently (Paul Helm)

January 2, 2014Paul Helm

The book of Ecclesiastes, which hardly anyone reads nowadays, if they ever did, is part of the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament, along with Psalms, Proverbs and the Song of Solomon. There are two main reasons why no one or hardly anyone reads it, I think. One is that despite its inclusion in the … Read More

Calvin’s Two Liberties (Paul Helm)

November 4, 2013Church, John Calvin, Paul Helm

An observant reader of John Calvin’s Institutes will have noticed that the Reformer discusses the interesting and important question of Christian liberty in two places. The first is in Chapter 19 of Book III, appropriately entitled ‘Of Christian Liberty’, where he is dealing with soteriology and is at this point concerned with the consequences of … Read More

God, both Impassible and Impassioned (Paul Helm)

September 3, 2013Doctrine of God, Paul Helm

We saw in the earlier post that Rob Lister in his newly-published God is Impassible and Impassioned: Towards a Theology of Divine Emotion (Crossway/Apollos), adopts a “duality model” of the divine nature and activities. God apart from creation is timelessly eternal, but upon creating the universe he “enters” our universe and becomes temporal, in the … Read More

Can God be both outside time and in time? – Part 1 (Paul Helm)

August 13, 2013Paul Helm, Reviews

Can God be both outside time and in time? This question arises from the reading of a new book by Rob Lister, God is Impassible and Impassioned: Towards a Theology of Divine Emotion (Crossway/Apollos). The book is well-informed regarding the historical positions on God’s passibility and impassibility, and is well written. Anyone interested in systematic … Read More

John Calvin and rebellion against the government

July 4, 2013John Calvin, Paul Helm

I’ve heard it said that John Calvin was not in favor of rebellion against the government, and that it was John Locke to whom would-be rebels looked to justify Christian rebellion, as we might call it. For a recent example of this view see here.  But I think the matter is a bit more complicated than … Read More

Thomas Ridgley on the Trinity

April 11, 2013Paul Helm, Puritans, Trinity

By Paul Helm– The period of English history in which Thomas Ridgley lived is generally regarded as inglorious from a religious and theological point of view. The Puritan aspirations were punctured by the Act of Uniformity, and the political and theological reaction to Puritanism accelerated its decline. 1662-1689 was a period of severe discrimination and … Read More

Calvin on the Temporary Christian

February 15, 2013Assurance, Calvinism, John Calvin, Paul Helm, Perseverance

Paul Helm– Calvin’s treatment of faith, permanent and temporary, has features that make it strikingly similar to Augustine’s discussion of perseverance. So it is interesting that though he quotes Augustine many times in connection with God’s imparting of his grace he does not refer to him explicitly on perseverance in the Institutes. Though it seems … Read More