Christian Racial Reconciliation, “Calvinism,” and the Unbeliever : A Clarification


[The following is yet another clarification added to our series, “What Is & Isn’t Being Said.” And please note, “Calvinism” is in quotes; I believe everything that follows is consistent with a proper understanding of Reformed doctrine.]

One of the possible pitfalls of the Christian argument for racial and ethnic reconciliation (RR), especially among those of the Reformed or Calvinistic tradition (of which I am a member), is the potential implication that only believers, i.e., those in Christ, are included in the scope of sought social equity and justice. Of course, RR advocates acknowledge that all men are created in the very image and likeness of God; that is,

the whole human being is image and likeness of God, in soul and body, in all human faculties, powers, and gifts. Nothing in humanity is excluded from God’s image; it stretches as far as our humanity does and constitutes our humanness. (Herman Bavinck)

But when it comes to the idea of “reconciliation” itself, the argument usually moves from the reconciliation between God and man wrought by Christ on the Cross to reconciliation between man and man premised on the same. In the words of the Apostle,

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Thomas Aquinas on the Obedience of the Son (re: “The Obedience of the Eternal Son,” Part 3)



After questioning the motivation for the essay “The Obedience of the Eternal Son” in my first post, and then justifying my representation of the essay in the second, we are now in a position to enter into the substance of the discussion. But rather than continue with polemics, I have decided to take a piece of advice from Dr. Michael Allen and engage more constructively. (Plus, very few of my readers are even familiar with the essay under consideration as it is not easily linkable.) I do intend to continue questioning the thesis of the so-called “obedience of the eternal Son,” but rather by presenting what I believe to be an accurate representation of the Biblical data, and then comparing several alternate claims, concluding with an assessment of Drs. Swain and Allen’s parrying of the objections of Thomas Joseph White to their thesis.

As the work of Thomas Aquinas is the primary resource for Swain and Allen’s coordination of “the obedience of the eternal Son” with “traditional trinitarian metaphysics in the classical Catholic and Reformed tradition,” I will accordingly present what I perceive to be the Catholic and Reformed tradition as found in Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae.

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