Funny Parody

Here is a funny parody of Amazing Grace, entitled “Arminian Grace.” ht: Noldorin Calvinist.

2 Peter 3:9

Here is a great film on the passage, doing some great exegesis on the passage. Enjoy.

Difficult Bible Passages, part 1- 2 Peter 1:4

Here is the text in Greek:

 δι’ ὧν τὰ τίμια καὶ μέγιστα ἡμῖν ἐπαγγέλματα δεδώρηται, ἵνα διὰ τούτων γένησθε θείας κοινωνοὶ φύσεως, ἀποφυγόντες τῆς ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ ἐν ἐπιθυμίᾳ φθορᾶς.

And here is the English translation (ESV): “by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.”

The phrase in question, of course, is that phrase “become partakers of the divine nature.” This makes us extremely uncomfortable if we have a healthy view of the Creator-creature distinction. Are we becoming God? The answer is that Scripture must interpret Scripture, and we must be careful in the text itself.

There are two benefits described in this verse, one positive and one negative. The positive benefit is the partaking of the divine nature. The negative benefit is the escape from corruption (Davids, pg 174). The timing of these two benefits is important to note. “May become” is future tense. That happens at the earliest at death, and could actually have reference to the time-point of resurrection. The escape from corruption is an aorist tense participle. Its relation to the main verb is that of action having been completed before the time-point of the action of the main verb. In other words, by the time we become partakers of the divine nature, we will have escaped the corruption that is in the world.

I believe that the phrase “partaker of the divine nature” harkens back to Genesis and its phrase “be like God.” Adam and Eve were created like God. They lost that image in the Fall. See this post for my interpretation of Genesis 3:22, an important linch-pin in this argument. Having now become “not like God,” we are here promised that we will one day become again “like God.” In what way will we be like God? It will not be by some swallowing up into the Divine essence. Rather, the negative benefit helps us understand the nature of our partaking. If the negative benefit is escape from corruption, then the partaking must also be morally related. Being free from sin, we will have the same purity of morals that God has. This is confirmed when we look at the context of verse 3, which says “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” We will truly have godliness then. It is a case of the already-not yet. We already have godliness in justification. However, our godliness is not yet consummated at the end of the sanctification process. When that happens, we will truly be like God. Peter here means what Paul means in 2 Corinthians 13:14- “the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.” Our communion with God will be so close that it can be said to participate in God’s pure, spotless nature.

One danger in interpreting this passage needs to be noted. The corruption spoken of in verse 4 is not equal to physical reality. We are not talking about Platonism here, where the material world is bad, and only the spiritual world is good. We are talking rather about what Paul calls the flesh, the sin nature that makes war in our bodies. That is the corruption which we escape when we shake off this mortal coil.