September 2016

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30  


« O Clavis David | Main | Koukl & Shermer on Dec. 30 »

December 21, 2009


You make a comment at the end that the "men with whom He is pleased" are those that have been "reconciled to Christ, the Messiah". However, at the time this is spoken by the angels, no one has been reconciled; Christ obviously hasn't taken our place yet, being just born. I would ask the question again: at the time of Jesus' birth, with whom is God pleased?

Finally someone brings that up. The public misquoting of that verse has been bugging me for a long time. The other thing that has been bothering me that Alistair Begg finally brought to light is the "manger" concept about how Christ has been portrayed as being born in a stable all alone and seemingly rejected. This was not necessarily the case given the custom of the day. Thank you Greg. I always look forward to what you have to say.
J.C. in Wyo

"Peace on earth and good will toward men" is a direct quote from the KJV of the Bible. The Charlie Brown Christmas special may have popularized it but Charles Schultz didn't originate that verse.


God credited Abraham as righteous by his faith in God long before Christ's birth. Nowhere in Christian theology is it suggested that only those who lived after Jesus' Atonement were considered eligible for salvation. So to answer your question, at the time of Jesus' birth, as at all other times and at every time forever, God is pleased with those whom He justifies through their faith in God by virtue of the Atonement of Jesus the Messiah.


Good point! Also the phrase "goodwill toward men" doesn't necessarily indicate an imperative command from the angels for how men ought to treat each other. In fact, the consistent context of the angels' declaration is that they were announcing great news from heaven about the arrival of Messiah. The goodwill they're talking about in that context would be God's favor toward humanity. The "Glory to God" would be because of HIS "goodwill toward man." This is the natural progression of thought in the sentence.

The real problem then is not misquotation, but misinterpretation - missing the context. Shifting from declaring God's favor to commanding men to be nice to each other doesn't make sense out of the context. THIS is the prevalent American error at Christmastime - turning Jesus into Santa Claus!

"Christ obviously hasn't taken our place yet, being just born." Abraham and all before Christ are justified in Christ. Even before "it is finished", the Patriarchs and Prophets had peace with God in Jesus. God has reckoned the things that were not yet as if they were. Sage S. is completely correct.

The comments to this entry are closed.