Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Our regeneration: "objective redemption subjectively applied"

"In (the) great redeeming process two stages are to be distinguished. First come those acts of God which have a universal and objective significance, being aimed at the production of an organic center for the new order of things. After this had been accomplished, there follows a second stage during which this objective redemption is subjectively applied to individuals. In both the stages the supernatural element is present, though in the former, owing to its objective character, it appears more distinctly than in the latter. The whole series of redeeming acts, culminating in the incarnation and atoning work of the Mediator and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, bears the signature of the miraculous on its very face. But the supernatural, though not objectively controllable, is none the less present during the later stage in each case where an individual soul is regenerated.

"Revelation as such, however, is not co-extensive with this whole process in both its stages. Its history is limited to the former half, that is, it accompanies in its progress the gradual unfolding of the central and objective salvation of God, and no sooner is the latter accomplished than revelation also has run its course and its voice ceases to speak.

"The reason for this is obvious. The revelation of God being not subjective and individual in its nature, but objective and addressed to the human race as a whole, it is but natural that this revelation should be embedded in the channels of the great objective history of redemption and extend no further than this. In point of fact, we see that, when the finished salvation worked out among Israel is stripped of its particularistic form to extend to all nations, at the same moment the completed oracles of God are given to the human race as a whole to be henceforth subjectively studied and appropriated. It is as unreasonable to expect revelations after the close of the Apostolic age as it would be to think that the great saving facts of that period can be indefinitely increased and repeated." Geerhardus Vos, "The Idea of Biblical Theology as a Science and as a Theological Discipline"


Great Googly Moogly! said...

Nice post. I wish more "Christians" understood the nature and scope of "the revelation of God"; then maybe, there would be less Kim Clements, Kenneth Copelands, Paul Crouch's, etc., in the world.

So many people want a new word when the existing "revelation" of God is sufficient to accomplish His goal in salvation history and the individual human heart/life. As much as I blame the WOF leaders, if we "Christians" didn't feed them they would simply go away. We're not satisfied with the God of the Scripture, so we seek a new "word"...a word that feeds our own selfish desires. And this is antithetical to the Gospel and the Spirit's work in the heart of the regenerate. The objective redemption that is subjectively applied to the individual will recognize this for what it is--the feeding of the flesh which, by the work of the Spirit (according to the completed "revelation"), is being crucified throughout the life of the true Child of God.

Thanks for continuing to bring Vos' insights to us.