Saturday, June 6, 2009

Bailey's Beatitudes

Part 2- The Beatitudes

I'm at peace with Bailey on his exegesis here.

My wife and I were blessed to be at Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church last summer- to hear Pastor Fry preach on the Beatitudes. His exegesis was essentially the same- that, 'the beatitudes are descriptive of the Christian not prescriptive of the Christian'.

Some comments on Bailey's continuing Federal Vision however (81):

"The person who keeps the law, follows the accepted standards of the community and has an admirable life will be respected and thereby satisfied by the community [italics in the original]".

Does anyone here believe it is possible to keep the law? Is anyone here truly satisfied by the community?

To be fair, this may be Bailey suggesting a popular (?) misunderstanding. In fact, it appears he may have been setting up a straw man argument when he follows this with:
"But if righteousness describes a relationship granted as a gift of God that brings peace, then only God can satisfy the longing for that righteousness and the approval or disapproval of the community is irrelevant".

He could certainly have written this better. A little more bravery is appropriate. At least have put the "if" in italics as well.

He then follows these statements with, "We are not righteous to please our peers but to show gratitude to God and maintain our relationship with him".
Seems to me that we are righteous because His Holy Spirit dwells in us. That the Holy Spirit maintains our relationship with Him because He is inseparable from Him. Indeed we show gratitude, but could not without His Spirit. It's a case of an intertrinitarion love fest. A love fest that we are hugely privileged to witness.

This seems to be another weak area for Bailey- pneumatology. As with the theopneustos discussed in previous posts. Gordon Fee could give him a good tune-up there.

May Bailey rise to the occasion for a tune-up. Even this old dog needs a tune-up now and then :)

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