Sep 20, 2008

Preaching or Reporting?

Peter Mead has a good word concerning the difference between preaching and reporting.

The preacher is not a reporter of facts found during their research. The preacher is called to speak to the listeners from God’s Word. The Bible is not exhibit A. It is the source of the message for us, today. The Bible doesn’t sit off to one side and get pointed at during the presentation, it sits in the hand of the preacher as the source and driver of the message for us.
Read his entire post here.

Woodhouse on the Interpretation and Exposition of Old Testament Narrative

I have been listening to John Woodhouse’s six lectures on the interpretation and exposition of Old Testament narrative delivered for the Charles Simeon Trust. Woodhouse is Principal of Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia.

Thanks to Justin Taylor for pointing out that these are available free online (see links below).

Sep 19, 2008

Bovon on Luke and the Law

According to François Bovon, "
Luke is a witness for that Hellenistic form of Christianity, which, following Paul, placed itself beyond the strict adherence to the Law. If Luke nevertheless emphasizes that the apostles and other witnesses practiced the Jewish Law, this is the reaction of a historian emphasizing the historical roots of the Christian faith, not a theologian who demands such behavior for every Christian"

Luke 1: A Commentary on the Gospel of Luke 1:1-9:50, Hermeneia, ed. Helmut Koester (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2002), 10.

Sep 18, 2008

What is an Evangelical?

The 9.17.08 edition of the Church Leader's Intelligence Report contained the following bit (apparently from The Christian Post 9.04.08).

Ellison research asked adult Americans to explain what an "evangelical Christian" is. 18% said it is a Christian who tries to spread his or her faith. 9% said it is a Christian particularly devoted or zealous about their faith (but not to the point of fanaticism) and totally sold-out to their beliefs. Other responses:

8%: Focused strongly on the Bible, believing in the Bible as God's inerrant word allowing it to guide their lives.
8%: Saved by Christ, saved by grace, believe in a born-again experience, and believe in eternal life through Christ, among other theological definitions.
6%: Conservative, ultra-conservative or radical right, anti-homosexual, Republican, highly involved in politics, etc.
5%: Fanatical about their beliefs.
4%: Closed-minded about religion.
3%: Focus on money rather than God.
3%: Want to impose their beliefs or standards on others.

2% gave a dramatically off-base theological definition. Researchers stressed almost half of Americans cannot give a definition of "evangelical" that has any substance to it.

Original Languages, Literal Meaning, and Preaching

Peter Mead has provided a good reminder of the potential problems associated with stating "this word originally meant" in preaching and teaching. Read Peter's remarks

Sep 17, 2008

The Relationship Between Philemon and Onesimus

Michael Bird has a nice post on the relationship between Philemon and Onesimus. Read it

Sep 16, 2008

The Gospel Cannot Be a Product That The Church Sells

Justin Buzzard has
highlighted the following quote taken from David Wells' The Courage to Be Protestant.

" likely is it, outside of the intervention of God through the Holy Spirit, that we will identify our needs as those arising from our rebellion against God? No, the product we will seek naturally will not be the gospel. It will be therapy of some kind, a technique for life, perhaps a way of connecting more deeply with our own spiritual selves on our own terms, terms that require no repentance and no redemption. It will not be the gospel. The gospel cannot be a product that the church sells because there are no consumers for it. When we find consumers, we will find that what they are interested in in buying, on their own terms, is not the gospel."

Sep 15, 2008

The Spirit in Acts

See Jim Hamilton's discussion on "The Spirit of God in the Mission of God: Acts." Here is a snippet.

In the book of Acts we see the church baptized in the Spirit, filled with power by the Spirit (usually resulting in proclamation), and we see hints of the church enjoying the indwelling of the Spirit. One of the perennial questions facing interpreters is the relationship between the events narrated in John 20 and Acts 2. In John 20, Jesus breathes on his disciples and tells them to receive the Holy Spirit. In Acts 2 the Spirit comes on the disciples dramatically in power. In my view, these are two different accounts of the Spirit coming at different times and in different ways. In John 20 the disciples receive the indwelling Spirit. In Acts 2 they are baptized in the Spirit. There is no more conflict between John 20 and Acts 2 than there is between the baptism in the Spirit in Acts 2 and the church being filled with the Spirit in Acts 4:31.
Read the rest of the post here.

Academic References

Nijay Gupta has some helpful advice on choosing and usin academic references. Read it

Sep 14, 2008

Köstenberger on Some Recent Scholarship Regarding 1 Timothy 2:12

See Andreas Köstenberger’s response to Philip Payne's critique of his essay on 1 Timothy 2:12. Read it

Redemption and the Exodus

In a chapter in which the author discusses Jewish concepts of redemption, David Daube states,“Let us note that, from the first, the liberation from Egypt meant much more than a liberation from physical sufferings. From the first, the Exodus included Mt. Sinai. It meant, therefore, salvation both in the physical and the spiritual sense.”

David Daube, The New Testament and Rabbinic Judaism (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1998), 271.