Matt Emerson Profile picture
Dean of Theology, Arts, & Humanities at @obunews. Exec. Dir. @baptistrenewal. @auburnu/@sebts alum. Pursue holiness. Pursue excellence. Pursue obscurity.
Matt McMains Profile picture 1 added to My Authors
Jun 3 7 tweets 2 min read
The primary role of seminaries is to equip those called to vocational ministry. The primary role of Christian undergraduate institutions is to equip those called to a variety of vocations (inc. ministry) w/ a foundational Christian worldview in the context of the liberal arts. These are not the same. We should not pretend that seminaries and Christian undergraduate institutions have exactly the same mission or purpose or student populations, even while in particular denominational contexts they should share the same doctrinal commitments.
Apr 23 8 tweets 2 min read
I chose my words very carefully here. The tradition recognizes that the eternal generation of the Son can be spoken of using language like “authority” (wrt the Father) and “submission,” (wrt the Son) but it is *only* with reference to the ERO, … …not some volitional distinction or difference in attributes btw the persons. There is only one divine will bc there is only one divine essence, the singular divine essence which each divine person equally & fully possesses.
Apr 22 4 tweets 1 min read
The 2LBCF (1689) does not allow for ERAS, Kenotic Christology, &/or other 19th & 20th c. aberrations. FYI.

Same is true mutatis mutandis for WCF, An Orthodox Creed, & many other 16th/17th foundational confessions of faith.

Not to mention the Nicene & Athanasian Creeds. The Son doesn’t volitionally submit to the Father in eternity past. He doesn’t set aside or give up or turn off his divine attributes or privileges at the incarnation. He doesn’t possess or receive less glory than the Father. This is Trinity / Christology 101 until ~1800.
Apr 22 4 tweets 1 min read
The whole point of Nicene Trinitarianism - that is, affirming “homoousios” via & only via the eternal relations of origin & not some other mode of distinction - is that you can’t distinguish the three persons of the one God by any other measure or mechanism & still have one God. To say that you can “affirm Nicaea” & only mean by that a barebones confession of one God in three persons, or even that you affirm “homoousios” but w/out reference to the eternal relations of origin &/or w/reference to some other means of distinguishing the persons, …
Apr 21 4 tweets 1 min read
I say this every year around this time: I joined the SBC in college bc of our commitment to basic Christian orthodoxy, to the exclusivity of Jesus Christ’s atoning work for salvation, to biblical inerrancy, to the Baptist distinctives of credo baptism & local church autonomy, & to missions & evangelism.
Apr 9 8 tweets 4 min read
@ostrachan Since I’ve published & tweeted appreciation of Thomas, and since I’m a young Baptist theologian (the object of another of your tweets on this), I’ll respond. You probably don’t have me in mind but I fit that criteria so here it is nevertheless. @ostrachan I want to embrace the catholic doctrine of the Christian faith throughout space and time, ie Nicene Trinitarianism and Chalcedonian Christology. These creedal & conciliar consensuses are accurate articulations of biblical teaching, …
Mar 8 9 tweets 3 min read
Here’s what Jesus bearing God’s wrath on the cross can’t mean:

1. Jesus was somewhere - spiritually speaking - that God isn’t (God is omnipresent, this impossible). 2. God the Son incarnate was truly separated, in a relational &/or ontological sense, from God the Father (God is one God in three persons, this is impossible).
Mar 6 4 tweets 1 min read
Community/home/C/D/growth groups are not a means of grace. The Word of God proclaimed verbally and visibly - the ministry of Word and sacrament - is. Proceed accordingly. I think regular relational opportunities for encouragement & accountability are important. They are not more important than regular discipleship opportunities geared toward deeper understanding of God’s Word.
Feb 8 15 tweets 3 min read
In ch. 1 of my book on Christ’s descent to the dead, I address some common misconceptions about the relationship between sola scriptura & creedal authority. I started w/ that ch. bc evangelicals often misunderstand &, in some cases, even misrepresent that relationship. 1. Sola scriptura affirms that Scripture alone is the final, supreme authority for Christian faith & practice. Scripture alone is inspired by God and is thus the only inerrant, supremely authoritative, sufficient source of knowledge about God & his works of creation & redemption.
Feb 6 7 tweets 1 min read
One often overlooked (imo) aspect of the pro-Nicenes is their deeply pastoral concern for their own local congregations & parishes. The most imp. theological treatises ever composed were written w/ local congregants & parishoners in mind, & in response to particular ?s from them. It’s way too easy to forget this in the midst of a tech-fueled globalism. We all feel like we have to speak to and for and against the masses. We don’t. Love the Triune God with all your heart and love your neighbor - where God has placed you - as yourself.
Nov 15, 2021 5 tweets 1 min read
The Holy Trinity revealed to us in the person and work of Jesus Christ, God the Son incarnate, is the object & ground of the entire Christian faith. And this one true God is the foundation and source of reality itself.

We *cannot* get our Trinitarian doctrine wrong. Conservative evangelicals, & my fellow SBCers in particular, need to take this much more seriously than we do. The doctrine of the Trinity is not some esoteric, overly philosophical doctrine that has to be checked off before getting to “real life”; the Trinity is life itself!
Nov 14, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
At one point in the episode, @ostrachan says that, tho F&S share “ontological equality…the Father has greater authority.…He [Jesus] will not sit down on the same throne. He’s not going to sit down right beside the Father at the same level. He sits at the Father’s right hand.” In context, Owen makes it clear that he’s not saying this only according to the Son’s humanity but is making the point in relation to the Father’s divine authority over the Son; as the Father sends the Son, so the Father’s throne is different than the Son’s.
Nov 13, 2021 5 tweets 3 min read
I listened to some clips of your podcast yesterday, @ostrachan. I’ve tried to engage you, respectfully & earnestly, both publicly & privately, any number of times during & since 2016. Yet it was again apparent from those clips that you have yet to engage the actual arguments at hand against ERAS & instead wrongly imply that its critics - of whom I am one - are beholden to extra biblical philosophy and departing from Scripture.
Sep 8, 2021 9 tweets 2 min read
Polemics are good and necessary, because Scripture repeatedly calls us to combat false teaching.

But polemics are not the sum total of what it means to theologize. In fact, there are serious dangers to seeing theology entirely as polemics. To name a few:

1. Constant polemicizing fosters an “us vs. them” mentality that sometimes (often?) places fellow Christians in the “them” category.
Aug 2, 2021 14 tweets 2 min read
Augustine’s sermon on Mark 8:5ff. - the multiplication of loaves and fishes - is a masterclass in theologically rich and canonically framed preaching. Some observations:

1. He begins by noting that in preaching the Holy Scriptures he is breaking bread for his hearers; 2. The seven loaves are “the sevenfold operation of the Holy Spirit” (proven from Ps. 119:164; 34:1; Rev. 1:4)

3. The feast eaten by the crowd is / points to the Wedding Feast of the Bridegroom and his Bride (Matt. 22:11; cf. e.g. Rev. 19);
Apr 8, 2021 7 tweets 2 min read
Complementarianism is an embattled theological position on a # of fronts. I do not find any of the following feasible:

1) To equate complementarianism *as a theological position* w/ misogyny is infeasible. That would require you to repudiate 2 millennia of the church. Regarding this first infeasible option, it wrongly equates mistaken appropriations of the position for sinful ends (e.g. oppression & abuse of women) w/ the position itself. It also is incredibly anti-catholic, esp. given the interest in catholicity by some who take this tack.
Apr 8, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
“The only thing that would bring me comfort is seeing him again. Sorry. I'm so tired. It's...It's just like this wave washing over me, again and again. It knocks me down, and when I try to stand up, it just comes for me again. And I...It's just gonna drown me.”

-Wanda All loss is incredibly painful. There is something uniquely terrible about addiction and overdose, though. I lost my brother 3 weeks ago today and I’ve been losing him for 17 years.
Apr 3, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
This erroneous construction is a demonstration of the obverse of the CT piece yesterday.

We can affirm all at once that Jesus is both perfect & fully human.

We can affirm all at once that he suffered injustice & was divinely ordained to suffer & that he gave his life willingly. Also, and again, Jesus suffered *the Triune God’s* wrath, not only the Father’s (as if the divine attributes are able to be parceled out among the persons anyway).
Apr 3, 2021 6 tweets 6 min read
Here’s a thread on what I’ve written/recorded on Holy Saturday.

First, my @ivpacademic book: "He Descended to the Dead": An Evangelical Theology of Holy Saturday… A few @TGC pieces:

Concise Theology Essay -…

Preaching the Descent -…

OT Echoes of Holy Saturday -…
Apr 2, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
While I share the authors’ desire to affirm the full humanity of Jesus, I do not believe “doubt” and “cold feet,” e.g., are proper ways to do so. The Christian tradition gives us better ways of speaking properly about Christ’s solidarity with us.… The same thing is true mutatis mutandis of how contemporary writers treat the cry of dereliction, wherein Jesus experiences “abandonment” and thus is with us in our feelings of isolation etc.
Mar 15, 2021 17 tweets 3 min read
Remember in the 2000s when we emphasized “guard the good deposit” and “pass on sound doctrine”?

It’s obvious now that, while that emphasis is biblical and good, we forgot to emphasize its counterpart - found in the same letters! - regarding divisiveness: “…remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.” 1 Tim. 1:3–4