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In the Bible genealogies are important. In the very beginning, in the book of Genesis we are given an Adamic genealogy, through which the nations of the world are generated; the most important of which being the line that the Messiah would ultimately come through. As we continue reading Scripture we have further genealogical lineage provided; and it only gets that more particular as it focuses on the line of David. Indeed, in my Bible reading I just read through I Chronicles 1–16; whenever I get to this section in my “read thrus” I kind of shrink back, genealogies aren’t the most exciting things to read. Nevertheless, genealogies have their place, and it is an important place; yet in the Bible genealogies are less about establishing racial connections (as implicit as those are), and more about pointing to the reality, and at that point in salvation-history, of Jesus Christ; the son of David.

I open this way, and say all this to segue into a discussion on race. The recent events in Charlottesville, Virgina are motivating me to delve deeper into this, once again. As such I am continuing to read J. Kameron Carter’s illuminating work: Race: A Theological Account. In his book, Carter engages with various thinkers in his development of a theology of race; one of those thinkers, and right at the beginning of his book (chptr. 2), is the famed Königsberg philosopher, Immanuel Kant. Kant offers a kind of genealogical taxonomy for what it means to be racial (or not) in the modern development of intellectual history. What we will do for the remainder of this post is read along with Carter (at some length) as he develops the intellectual rationales and seminal touchstones for later developments of “whiteness” and racism as that would progress (or digress, as it were) in Western Europe, and finally into North America. We will see, through Carter’s treatment, how the “seedlings” for racism and “whiteness” were all resident, at an intellectual level, within Kant’s own “racist” type of thinking. It is at this point that we might want to say: that whiteness truly is a ‘modern’ concept, and we will see that illustrated as we take a look at Kant’s thought on the matter—thinking of Kant as one of the founding fathers of modernity. Here is Carter (in extenso):

Kant’s 1770 explanation of the coherence of freedom and law is as follows: “The causes lying in the nature of an organic body (plant or animal) that account for specific development are called seeds …, [which] equip … [the organism] through hidden inner measures for all possible future circumstances.” So equipped, the species can maintain itself; despite whatever condition in which it finds itself, the species can flourish. Kant then ties these claims about “seeds” and “natural predispositions” back to the language of race:

Such migration and transplantation may even lead us to believe that new species of animals and plants have arisen, but these apparent new species are really nothing other than deviations and races of the same genus [Abartungen und Rassen von derselben Gattung] whose seeds and natural predispositions have only occasionally developed in different ways in the long course of time.

Now while it is true that the link Kant makes here between deviations and races on the one hand and seeds on the other occurs within the context of examples about animals and plants, it yet has to be recognized that he is setting up an explanation for how this business about seeds and natural predispositions can clarify the question of human racial diversity. But situating the Rassenfrage in the biological sciences, Kant naturalizes the very notion of race—“race has always been with us”—thus granting scientific legitimacy to the category of race.

But just before applying this basic framework to the situation of the human species and to the question of racial diversity, Kant brings in a notion that will occupy him, in many respects, to the end of his career. This is the notion of teleology, though the term itself is not explicitly invoked in “of the Different Human Races.” The notion of a teleological orientation of the species is the touchstone of Kant’s account of the implantation of natural predispositions or seeds within a given species or genus that makes possible the emergence of “deviations and races … in the long course of time.” It is clear to him at least than neither chance nor the mechanistic laws of causality can explain why a species diversifies itself or “occasionally [develops]” in this way and not that, in one way and not another. The inadequacy of mechanism to explain the phenomenon of racial diversification within a species becomes clearer, particularly when (to revert to his own specific examples) the original external stimulus for the development of an additional layer of feathers, say, or a thicker hull around a species of wheat or grain are no longer present, yet these “racial” traits are nevertheless passed on to the subsequent generations within the species. How is this possible? Kant resolves the conundrum of the reproduction of traits even when the external stimulus for its original appearance is gone by saying that the reproductive transmission of these traits points to inner “purposive causes,” a purposiveness that lies within the species itself, and is not attributable merely to external factors. It is this inner purposiveness linked as it is to “seeds” that allows the species to develop in a way “appropriate to the circumstances,” to new and changing circumstances, and that makes those changes fixed and permanent. Kant’s use, then, of examples from the animal kingdom and plant life are illustrations meant to establish a claim to the fixity or permanence of race.

With this organicist framework established, Kant is now prepared to read the situation of the human species in light of it and thus bring the weight of this framework to bear on the question of human racial difference. The human species has been outfitted with “numerous seeds and natural predispositions,” he says, some of which “[have] developed and others held back” so that “we might [be] fitted to [any] particular place in the world.” Thus, it is for the species’ need to occupy the entire globe and be able to survive anywhere on the planet that “solicitous nature” has equipped the species with the seeds of its flourishing. Under the right regional conditions, the various seeds would germinate to yield various races. Kant homes in on air quality and sunlight as the two most important external factors that can stimulate “the generative power” to activate certain seeds to affect the process of raciation. After a considerable period of time, certain seeds “become deeply rooted and [stifle] the other seeds.” The result is that a race emerges. Given the deep rootedness of certain seeds and the stifling of others in the formation of a given race, once a race actually forms, that race will “[resist] further transformation, because the character of the race has become predominate in the reproductive powers.” Hence, Kant says (choosing his words carefully), the external factors of air quality and sunlight “could be responsible for establishing race.”

It is important that Kant only claims that climate and sunlight could be responsible for raciation. For Kant, the climate is a mediate cause, but the immediate cause of raciation lies elsewhere. As Mark Larrimore has put it in his fine analysis of Kant’s theory of race and understanding of the races, for Kant “every race was already prefigured in potentia in the first human beings,” who are “the lineal root genus” of the species. In 1786, Kant published an essay that makes explicit the claim that Adam and Eve of the Genesis stories of creation are this lineal root genus, those in whom every race was figured in potential. What must be attended to is Kant’s understanding of this lineal root genus, in whom the four natural races were in potentia prefigured, as the actual or the immediate agent or cause of raciation. This stem genus is “the original human form” that has given rise to the other races.

Since, however, “we cannot hope to find anywhere in the world an unchanged example of the original human form,” the stem genus, what kinds of judgments then can be made about this now-lost prototype who is “the immediate cause of the origin of [the] different races”? The 1775 version of the race essay, which was the advertisement for a summer course at the University of Königsberg, offers the following answer,

If we ask with which of the present races [Rassen] the first human stock [Menschenstamm] might well have had the greatest similarity [die meiste Ähnlichkeit], we will presumably—although without any prejudice because of the presumptuously greater perfection of its color when compared with that of the others [emphasis added]—pronounce favor on whites. For human beings, whose offspring should be acclimated in all climatic zones, would be most adept for this if they were originally fitted for the temperate climate, because this climate lies within the middle of the most extreme boundaries of the conditions within which human beings should be advised to live. And this is also the region where we—from the most ancient time to the present—find the races of whites [die Rasse der Weißen].

Science can gain knowledge of the prototype only by reading back from its closest present-day approximation, the present-day inhabitants of the most climatically moderate zone of the globe. These people will most resemble the prototype. They will exhibit the least deviation from the original stem genus. This is because they have maintained a global position closest, as the preceding quotation indicates, to “the middle of the most extreme boundaries of the conditions within which human beings should be advised to live.”

By the time of the 1777 essay (“Of the Different Human Races”), Kant is explicit about the global position that lay in media res: it is the zone “between the 31st and 52nd degrees latitude in the old world (which also seems to deserve the name old world because of the peoples that inhabit it). The greatest riches of the earth’s creation are found in this region and this is also where human beings must diverge least from their original form.” Indeed, already in the 1775 course announcement, Kant’s claim is that the inhabitants of this region have a “greater perfection of skin color,” and this is precisely why they us the most about the original stem genus. Which race group occupies this geographical position? According to the course announcement of 1775, it is “the races of whites [die Rasse der Weißen].”

But in the short interim between the 1775 course advertisement and its modification into the 1777 essay, Kant modulated his language in an important way. It is not “die Rasse der Weißen” that occupy the geographical zone of climatic and therefore racial balance. Rather, “we … find [there],” Kant simply says, “white, indeed, brunette inhabitants [weiße, doch brunette Einwohner]. We want, therefore, to assume that this form [Gestalt] is that of the lineal root genus [Stammgattung].” What is important for my argument is that the specific term “race” (Rasse), which Kant consistently applied to the Negroes, Huns, and Hindustanis to explain their origins, has for whites now dropped out. It is not “the races of whites” that occupy this region; they now are only white, brunette inhabitants. Kant completes his argument by suggesting the following scheme of the races in relationship to the lineal root genus:

LINEAL ROOT GENUS:

White of brownish color

First race: Noble blond (northern Europe)

from humid cold

Second race: Copper red (America)

from dry cold

Third race: Black (Senegambia)

from humid heat

Fourth race: Olive-yellow (Asian-Indians)

from dry heat

In contrast to his lengthy account of the origins of Negroes, Huns, and Hindustanis in which he is clear that they are races, Kant refers to whites with terms ranging from Gestalt (form) to Abartung (deviation) to Schlag (kind). As he sees it, whites are a group apart. They are a “race” that is not quite a race, the race that transcends race precisely because of its “developmental progress” (Fortgang) toward perfection. That Kant’s chart refers to the “noble blond” of northern Europe as the first race (Erste Rasse) must not confuse this basic point, for we have already seen that, properly speaking, this group is really an Abartung from the stem genus (Stammgattung). At best they are a special kind of “race.” And even this stem genus of white brunettes, which itself is not a race, is properly speaking only the remnant, we might say, of the stem genus. They are a remnant moving toward raciation, progressing toward becoming a race.

Thus, whiteness is both “now and not yet.” It is a present reality, and yet it is also still moving toward and awaiting its perfection. The teleological end, which is the consummation of all things within the economic, political, and aesthetic—in short, within the structural—reality called “whiteness,” is on the one hand made present and available now in white people and in white “culture.” And on the other hand, it is through these white people and culture that the full reality of whiteness will globally expand to “eschatologically” encompass all things and so bring the world to perfection. As I show below, Christianity as rational religion and Christ as the “personified idea of the good principle” are the guarantee that whiteness, understood not merely and banally as pigment but as a structural-aesthetic order and as a sociopolitical arrangement, can and will be instantiated in the people who continue Christ’s work, the work of Western civilization. Rendering race invisible in all of this, Kant calls this not the work of whiteness but the task of the species as such.[1]

Carter offers more on Kant, but I think (I hope after transcribing all of that!) that I’ve captured the gist of what he’s after in his development of Kant’s theory of race.

Essentially, as we have just seen, Kant works from a kind of linear evolutionary progressivism of what it means to be a human being. He attempts to tie his taxonomy into the prevailing “science” of his day, and so appeals to a kind of evolutionary chain; working from plants to animals to people. And by using the “natural order” as an analogy for how to classify people groups he abstracts the metaphor of ‘seed’ language, and as Carter details, uses that as the symbol by which he begins to talk about distinctions relative to people groups based upon teleology, geographic location, so on and so forth. Finally, as we can see, at least in Carter’s treatment of Kant, what it means to be white turns out to be based upon the determinacy of the teleology or trajectory of nature itself; allowing the ‘purposiveness’ of the seed in this people group to lead them to a physical location on earth (i.e. northern Europe) wherein they can flourish and carry forward the best expression of what it means to be ‘human.’ As Carter, notes: to be human then, is really to be White, at least in Kant’s world. To be White, for Kant, transcends racial classification, and sets Whites up as the standard for what humanity should be; every other class of people that is not White, for Kant, is sub-human, and thus are not as valuable, or not valuable at all relative to what it actually means to be human.

Conclusion

What we have seen in Charlottesville, Virgina, promoted by people like Altright founder, Richard Spencer et al., is really just an embracing and continuation of Kant’s vision of the world. Spencer is actually an “intellectual,” and has been trained in intellectual history; I would not be surprised if he hasn’t come across the type of “idealism” we find in Kant’s theory of race. When you listen to Spencer’s speeches (which I have), and interviews with him, his vision corresponds almost one-for-one with Kant’s. Spencer, also is no dummy, and so he operates in very pragmatic ways. He might not want to dress like a neo-Nazi, or wear a white hood, but he shares the same end goal as them. He appears to be willing to align his movement with the more “street-soldier” mind set of the neo-Nazis and KKK; and even if they are not as “intellectually-sophisticated” as Kant or Spencer their ability to align with each other simply shows how ass backward the whole thing is. It illustrates that intellectual coherence can be as sinister and downright evil as the unbridled and overt hatred and thuggery we see on display among neo-Nazis and the KKK.

In the end, Kant’s vision of Whiteness, I would suggest, has been taken to heart by the social engineers of the modern and industrialized world. His vision, as described by Carter, of seeking to transform economics, politics, and culture at large with the idea of the primacy of Whiteness has largely been concretized in the global world over. I think Kant would be happy to see where the world is at, and where Whiteness stands now in our globalized economy and culture. At the end of the day what Kant never realized, apparently, was just how demonic his ideas on this front actually were, and are, as they are given expression in real life outside the city walls of Königsberg.

[1] J Kameron Carter, Race: A Theological Account (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), loc 1983, 1991, 1999, 2007, 2015, 2024, 2033, 2041, 2048, 2057, 2068, 2077 kindle.

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I have really been struck by what has happened in Charlottesville, Virginia; as I am a sure most of us have been. I personally grew up in an environment where I was typically the minority, or a minority among the minorities who were the majority in my context. For my formative years I grew up in [North] Long Beach, CA which borders Compton, CA; my dad pastored a Baptist church there. As a result of this context, and my love for playing basketball, I spent hours and hours at the park playing street ball; it was at the park where I was almost always the only whiteboy present (indeed that’s what I was called: whiteboy). So at this impressionable age (my high school years and early twenties) this was my reality; I was confronted with race issues in a firsthand kind of way. We lived through the LA riots, and the tensions preceding and following that. I say all this to simply note that I have experience with race issues, albeit “on the street.”

Because of the Charlottesville debacle I have been prompted to once again pick up J. Kameron Carter’s book: Race: A Theological Account. I started it years ago, and just have never finished it; well I plan on finishing it now. As I am getting into it, just towards the end of the first chapter Carter is laying the ground work for the rest of what he accomplishes in this work of his. Part of his development involves detailing Foucault’s analysis on race, power, and human sexuality. Interestingly, as he is doing this he speaks about how Foucault talks about history and counterhistory, and how these two loci are used to identify the masters or the ‘sovereign’ in the narrative of history versus the oppressed or ‘ruled’ class of people. For our purposes, and fitting with the theme of my blog, as a blog that engages with Reformed theology in particular, I found it interesting how Carter develops Foucault’s vision of the Protestant Reformation as counterhistory, and as a movement that was operating in the spirit of modernity, as it protested against the ‘sovereign’ or Roman Catholic church. Here is how Carter treats Foucault here:

One discovers that the story being told in the lectures about the confrontation of counterhistory and history is actually another way of genealogically peering behind the Protestant Reformation and the principle of revolution it inaugurates so as a to view the Reformation not simply as a discrete historical event but, instead, as a religious disposition, a mythical posture, or (as he says in the essay “What Is Enlightenment?”) an “attitude,” the “attitude of modernity [itself] … [in its struggle] with attitudes of ‘countermodernity.’” It is important to observe that for Foucault, the Protestant Reformation, both as historical event and as exemplifying the principle of modernity, operates in this schema according to the analytic of the war of races in its resistance to “the power of kings and the despotism of the church [read: Roman Catholic Church].” The Reformation, in short, displays the attitude of modernity; the attitude of dandysme, of experimentation for the sake of self-realization and artistic self-elaboration; and lastly of “heroic,” rather than merely tragic, existence on the boundary of death so as to finally plunge the stake into the heart of sovereignty.[1]

So obviously since we are working with Foucault, through, Carter, we are getting a sociological account of what the Protestant Reformation was in the slide of history (and ‘counterhistory’). Nevertheless, I find the perspective interesting indeed. I have read other treatments that see the seedlings for modernity in the spirit of the Protestant Reformation, but this is a pretty explicit account of that; and it is something that I think has teeth to it. Of course the only thing I would want to qualify is the Foucauldian idea of ‘self-realization,’ instead, more theologically, I think the Protestant Reformation was more about a Christ-realization, and a return to him as the immediate sovereign over his church rather than the church as the sovereign.

But I think this kind of, if you will, apocalyptic turn to the subject of Christ and its throwing off of an artificial superstructure of authority over the masses is the very kind of “counterhistory” that the church offers over against the polis (‘city of man’) that is ensconced within the darkness of its own heart. Try as society may they have no real “counterhistory,” they might find resonance with the spirit, say of the Protestant Reformation, on a purely sociological understanding, but without the vertical inbreaking power of the resurrection operative in such movements (against racism, among other systemic evils) all we’ll end up with is a kind of dualistic symmetrical Manichean type of struggle we see currently taking place between Altright and Antifa; violence against violence (which is simply an extension and logical conclusion to the ideals driving both sides).

Christians are the only ones who can genuinely offer a counterhistory to the history of man apart from Christ. We can offer them a new history by bearing witness to the inbreaking and coming Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ. Indeed, it is this history that the world has always been ‘purposed’ for in the election of God in Christ; in God’s choice to freely be for us and with us. As I have in my sidebar from David Fergusson “the world was made so that Christ might be born,” as such if there is a counterhistory to be realized it is the one that reverses and recreates, in the resurrection of God in Christ, the violent bloody world we see all around us and in us. The only reality that can and will bring concrete change is the power of God that breaks into the hearts of men and women boys and girls and replaces their hearts of stone with hearts of flesh that pump in and from the living heart of God in Christ with his shed blood; the ‘life is in the blood.’ This might sound like a platitude, but it isn’t, it’s the truth, but I’m afraid it’s a truth that has unfortunately become a platitude indeed for many in the evangelical church (and other churches) in North America.

If we are to bear witness to the power of God, in concrete ways, genuine Christianity will stand in solidarity with the oppressed among us. We will walk as if the Kingdom of God in Christ has come; the Kingdom made up of every tribe, tongue, and nation where all are one in Christ; where there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female. Let God be true and every man a liar. Come quickly Jesus.

[1] J Kameron Carter, Race: A Theological Account (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), loc 1729 kindle.

Jesus is the recapitulation of Israel; or in fact of God’s life itself in the kameronvia historia, according to Patristic theologian Irenaeus. I want to share what Duke Divinity School theologian J Kameron Carter has to say about this in his book Race. I will want to revisit the substance of this at a later date, until then, here is what Carter has written in regard to Irenaeus’ view of how God in Christ “re-does” “re-lives” “re-capitulates” creation, Israel-Mary, and Godself in his lived life for the nations:

In arguing this way, it is as if Irenaeus is saying that the recapitulation of all things in Christ occurs in a concentric feedback loop. Creation itself is a concentrated expression of the love the Father has for the eternal Son through the Holy Spirit. That is, it is a condensed narrative that captures without diluting the rhetorical plotline of the depths of God’s love for the Son, a love that embraces within itself even that which is not God (i.e. creation). In this sense, creation in its own way recapitulates the divine life as the “structure of supreme love.” But then as if even this condensed story were still too prolix, YHWH presents the story of Israel, beginning with the call of Abram-become-Abraham to create ex nihilo a people who before did not exist, as a compendium of the story of creation, which too came into being. And so to grasp the story of Israel is to grasp the story of creation. And finally again, in an effort to contain what yet appears to be too elongated a narrative filled with plot twists, reversals, and surprises, Christ himself “cuts short” the story of Israel into the résumé of his own material body and historical life, only then to have this loop back to the story of creation, but now under the aspect of the second Eve. He is the biography of creation. But in so being, he proves to be God’s own autobiography, God’s writing of Godself.[1]

Rich. Too rich for me to try and engage with at the moment (due to time constraints), but hopefully you grasp some of the point, and see what is going on in the theology of Irenaeus, at least as mediated through Carter’s wit.

[1] J Kameron Carter, Race: A Theological Account, kindle loc. 851.

This won’t be a popular post among some, but I think it hits upon something that needs to be addressed in regard to how the doctrine irenaeus1of election and reprobation (double predestination) has taken shape; as far as its conceptual antecedents.

Greek metaphysics are never far from the development of Christian theology; many of the most notable church Fathers (and Mothers) were Greek (not all of course, we have Latin theologians of the era too, most prominent being Augustine); the trick of course is to reify or repurpose metaphysics in a way where said metaphysics get evangelized with the Gospel, such that their meaning is given determination by God in Christ himself instead of the other way around. I would like to suggest (emphasis upon suggest – since this is merely a blog post written under time constraints) that the classical conception of double predestination, of the kind that we find in classical Calvinism (and Arminianism for that matter) has more to do with a Greek metaphysic that remains more Greek and less Christian. Why would I assert such a thing? Because, there appears to be some analogous relation between the conclusions of classical Gnostic understandings of ‘classes’ of people and classical Calvinist understandings of classes of people (i.e. ‘elect’ and ‘reprobate’)[ I have written about this before in a very reflective state]. And I don’t think this is mistake; I think it comes from a common (but nuanced differently) understanding of God that comes from a philosophical basis rather than a revelational one (of the kind that we find provided by God’s Self revelation and interpretation in Jesus Christ); common that is between Greek Gnostic understanding and classical Calvinist understanding in regard to an socio-anthropological fleshing out of humanity (which is of course also a theological reality).

Like I asserted above this is all at the level of suggestion, but I don’t think unfounded. To help illustrate this let me quote something from theologian J. Kameron Carter as he sketches out church Father, Irenaeus’ understanding of the Ptolemaic Gnosticism that he was engaged with in his day. I hope, at least, that you will get a lineament of what I am talking about in regard to a parallel between Gnostic understanding of election (back in the day), and classical Calvinist and Arminian understanding of the same theological locus (‘election’ and how that gets cashed out anthropologically/sociologically/theologically). Carter writes of Irenaeus’ understanding of Gnosticism in this way:

… As far as Achamoth (or Desire herself), who is of a pneumatic constitution, and for the pneumatic race of humans, they will enter the Pleroma. Desire will be restored to Wisdom (Sophia), and the pneumatics will also enter the pleromatic heavens. Such is their eschatological destiny. And finally, those psychics (who give in to their passions, thus remaining trapped in material existence and weighed down by the body) and the hylics (who have no hope of transcending themselves and aspiring toward supramaterial existence) will go the way of all matter: they will undergo the fires of apocalyptic destruction (AH I.7.5). The material Cosmos will perish, and they along with it. Such is Irenaeus’s account of the Gnostic myth, which when all is said and done is deeply concerned as he interprets their mythology with anthropology and the justification of the superior “race” inside the discourse of Christian theology….[1]

I wonder if this hasn’t confused you more than enlightened you? Basically, Gnostics believed in a dualism; the idea that the material world was evil, and the spiritual world was pure. In general they believed that certain people had the ‘spark’ of divine within them, albeit trapped in this physical material body, and that the only way out was to achieve a special kind of Gnosis or ‘knowledge’ that would finally allow them to escape and return to their divine source or the ‘pleroma’ (which means ‘fullness’ or ‘plenitude’ in classical and Koine Greek). As Carter describes Ireanaeus’ understanding of the Gnostic’s view, he is highlighting how there was a particular class among humanity who indeed had access to this divine spark within themselves in a special way, a ‘spiritual’ way that set them apart from two other classes of people who had no chance whatsoever to overcome their materiality or physicality; unfortunately for these latter two (reprobate) classes they had no determined end other than eternal destruction (something like a concept of ‘hell’).[2]

I wish I could get deeper into this; I have quite a bit more material that I would like to cover, especially to draw out how these kinds of correlations between Greek Gnosticism and their conception of a ‘elite’ class of people fit curiously well with how classical Calvinism (and Arminianism) understands there to be an ‘elect’ class of ‘spiritual’ people who are sensitive to the things of the true God (thus bringing salvation) versus a class of ‘reprobate’ people who are slaves of their ‘fleshy’ physical live realities. [Maybe I am simply engaging in the ‘guilt by association’ fallacy … I don’t really think so]

I would argue that the similarities between these two very different trajectories of thought are a result of a shared theory of revelation, and a commitment to a type of natural theology that implicates, at a methodological level, the way that people can ostensibly ‘know’ metaphysical things. I will have to leave this assertion pretty vague, but if you are read up on such things you’ll understand what I am intimating.

More later.

[1] J. Kameron Carter, Race: A Theological Account, Kindle loc. 548.

[2] See J.N.D. Kelly for further definition of what Gnosticism entails in his book: J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines. Revised Edition (San Francisco: HarperCollins Publishers, 1978), 26.

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Hello my name is Bobby Grow, and I author this blog, The Evangelical Calvinist. Feel free to peruse the posts, and comment at your leisure. I look forward to the exchange we might have here, and hope you are provoked to love Jesus even more as a result. Pax Christi!

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A Little Thomas Torrance

“God loves you so utterly and completely that he has given himself for you in Jesus Christ his beloved Son, and has thereby pledged his very being as God for your salvation. In Jesus Christ God has actualised his unconditional love for you in your human nature in such a once for all way, that he cannot go back upon it without undoing the Incarnation and the Cross and thereby denying himself. Jesus Christ died for you precisely because you are sinful and utterly unworthy of him, and has thereby already made you his own before and apart from your ever believing in him. He has bound you to himself by his love in a way that he will never let you go, for even if you refuse him and damn yourself in hell his love will never cease. Therefore, repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.” -T. F. Torrance, The Mediation of Christ, 94.

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