"The God of Calvinism" – Chapter 1

Louis Ruggiero’s book, “The God of Calvinism,” begins with a chapter on the Trinity. The stated purpose is “to establish common ground between Calvinists and non-Calvinists as a solid foundation and common frame of reference for further reasoned discussion.” (p. 3) Much of the chapter is not particularly controversial.

Perhaps the only remarkable point to comment on is Mr. Ruggiero’s claim that the following is a one of “two critical points” that it is “important to understand”:

According to John 1:18, John 6:46 and Colossians 1:15 it was the LORD, the pre-incarnate Word of God, who is Christ, who spoke and interacted with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. And it has always been this same person of God who has communicated with and reached out to humanity.

First of all, none of the passages in question mention the garden of Eden, and none of them suggest that it is always and only the person of Christ who have reached out to and communicated to God’s people.

Here are the verses.

John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

John 6:46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Perhaps we could go back and forth about what these verses imply if we had only these verses. However, if we compare Scripture with Scripture we see that they must not imply that every communication from God to man has been specifically through the person of Christ.

Recall:

Matthew 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

And in case you imagine that this was not the Father, recall that Peter tells us:

2 Peter 1:17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Moreover, there is more reason to think that the Father was communicating to Adam in the garden. Recall that when Adam sinned God pronounced a curse on the serpent, on the woman, and on Adam, but with some hope for us in there.

Genesis 3:14-15
And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Notice that “her seed” is expressed referred to in the third person. This suggests that it is not the same person as the speaker. From this, as from the other examples, we may infer that it was God the Father (or perhaps God the Holy Spirit) who spoke to Adam in the garden.

Even if I’m mistaken, it’s unclear why Mr. Ruggiero thinks that this inference is “critical,” but perhaps we’ll discover the reason for its alleged criticality as we proceed through the book.

-TurretinFan

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