Feb 7, 2009

General Revelation

Matt Waymeyer has posted the following excellent outline on general revelation on his

The Definition of General Revelation

General revelation is the universal self-disclosure of God by which He makes Himself known to all people everywhere (Ps 19:1-6; Rom 1:18-23; 2:14-15; Acts 14:17).

The Means of General Revelation

1. God’s Creation (Ps 19:1-6; Rom 1:19-21)

  • the heavens (Ps 19:1-4a)
  • the sun (Ps 19:4b-6)
  • the world (Rom 1:20a)
  • “what has been made” (Rom 1:20b)

2. God’s Provision (Acts 14:17)

  • the provision of rain (Acts 14:17a)
  • the provision of fruitful seasons (Acts 14:17b)
  • the provision of food (Acts 14:17c)

3. Man’s Conscience (Rom 2:14-15)

  • “the Law written in their hearts” (Rom 2:15a)
  • “their conscience bearing witness” (Rom 2:15b)

The Audience of General Revelation

1. All Men without Exception

  • “all the earth” (Ps 19:4a)
  • “to the end of the world” (Ps 19:4b)
  • “nothing is hidden from its heat” (Ps 19:6)

2. All Men without Distinction

  • Jew and Gentile (Rom 2:14-15; Acts 14:17)
  • Righteous and Wicked (Acts 14:17; cf. Matt 5:45)

The Content of General Revelation

1. The Existence of God (Rom 1:19-25)

  • “His divine nature” (20)
  • “they knew God” (21)
  • “the truth of God” (25)

2. The Glory of God (Ps 19:1a; Rom 1:19-23)

  • “the glory of God” (Ps 19:1a)
  • “the glory of the incorruptible God” (Rom 1:23)
  • “that which is known about God” (Rom 1:19)
  • “His invisible attributes” (Rom 1:20)

3. The Power of God (Ps 19:1b; Rom 1:20)

  • “the work of His hands” (Ps 19:1b)
  • “His eternal power” (Rom 1:20)

4. The Goodness of God (Acts 14:17)

  • “He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good”

5. The Law of God (Rom 2:14-15)

  • “the things of the Law” (14)
  • “the work of the Law” (15)

The Outcome of General Revelation

1. The Comprehension of Truth (Rom 1:19-21)

  • what “is known about God is evident within them” (19a)
  • “God made it evident to them” (19b)
  • “they knew God” (21)

2. The Suppression of Truth (Rom 1:18-25)

  • “men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (18)
  • “they did not honor Him as God or give thanks” (21)
  • “they became futile in their speculations” (21b)
  • “their foolish heart was darkened” (21c)
  • “they became fools” (22)
  • “exchanged glory of incorruptible God for image” (23)
  • “exchanged the truth of God for a lie” (25)
  • “worshiped/served creature rather than Creator” (25)

3. The Culpability of Unbelievers (Rom 1:18-23)

  • “so that they are without excuse” (20)

The Limitations of General Revelation

1. Not Detailed in its Content (Ps 19; Rom 1-2; Acts 14:17)

  • the existence of God (Rom 1:19-25)
  • the glory of God (Ps 19:1a; Rom 1:19-23)
  • the power of God (Ps 19:1b; Rom 1:20)
  • the goodness of God (Acts 14:17)
  • the law of God (Rom 2:14-15)

2. Not Salvific in its Effect (Rom 1:20; cf. 10:14)

  • fails to save the unbeliever (1:20; cf. 10:14)
  • renders him “without excuse” before God (1:20)

Mark Dever at the Criswell College

Readers in the Dallas area might be interested in spending an afternoon with Mark Dever. This
free event will be held at the Criswell College on February 11 from 2-4 PM. Further details can be accessed here.

The Faith of Abraham Lincoln

Christian History has posted an article by Mark Noll entitled "The Puzzling Faith of Abraham Lincoln." You can access the article

Feb 6, 2009

Annotated Bibliography on the History of Research on the Book of Hebrews

Brian Small has posted a helpful annotated bibliography on the history of Research on the Book of Hebrews. This bibliography includes both English and German works. You can access the bibliography

Latest Issue of Review of Biblical Literature

The latest issue of Review of Biblical Literature is out. Reviews that may be of interest from a Bible Exposition perspective include:

Armin D. Baum
Der mündliche Faktor und seine Bedeutung für die synoptische Frage: Analogien aus der antiken Literatur, der Experimentalpsychologie, der Oral Poetry-Forschung und dem rabbinischen Traditionswesen
Reviewed by Lars Kierspel

Mark J. Boda and Paul L. Redditt, eds.
Unity and Disunity in Ezra-Nehemiah: Redaction, Rhetoric, and Reader
Reviewed by Andrew E. Steinmann

J. Edward Ellis
Paul and Ancient Views of Sexual Desire: Paul's Sexual Ethics in 1 Thessalonians 4, 1 Corinthians 7 and Romans 1
Reviewed by James W. Aageson

Steven D. Fraade, Aharon Shemesh, and Ruth A. Clements, eds.
Rabbinic Perspectives: Rabbinic Literature and the Dead Sea Scrolls (Proceedings of the Eighth International Symposium of the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature, 7-9 January, 2003)
Reviewed by Moshe J. Bernstein

Susan Gillingham
Psalms through the Centuries: Volume 1
Reviewed by Joachim Vette

Geoffrey W. Grogan
Reviewed by Paul Sanders

Peter Harrison
The Fall of Man and the Foundations of Science
Reviewed by Mark Elliott

Donald E. Hartley
The Wisdom Background and Parabolic Implications of Isaiah 6:9-10 in the Synoptics
Reviewed by Stephen Moyise

Lechion Peter Kimilike
Poverty in the Book of Proverbs: An African Transformational Hermeneutic of Proverbs on Poverty
Reviewed by Philip J. Nel

J. G. McConville
God and Earthly Power: An Old Testament Political Theology, Genesis-Kings
Reviewed by Phillip Camp

Scot McKnight and Joseph B. Modica, eds.
Who Do My Opponents Say That I Am? An Investigation of the Accusations against the Historical Jesus
Reviewed by Samuel Lamerson
Reviewed by Stephan Witetschek

Swindoll on Simplicity in Preaching

Chuck Swindoll in an article on preaching entitled "Simplify" notes:

Simplicity. Economy of words mixed with quality of thought held together by subtlety of expression. Practicing a hard-to-define restraint so that some things are left for the listener or reader to conclude on his own. Clear and precise … yet not overdrawn. Charles Jehlinger, a former director of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, used to instruct all apprentice actors with five wise words of advice: "Mean more than you say."

It has been my observation that we preachers say much too much. Instead of stopping with a concise statement of the forest—explicit and clear—we feel compelled to analyze, philosophize, scrutinize, and moralize over each individual tree … leaving the listener weary, unchallenged, confused, and (worst of all!) bored. Zealous to be ultra-accurate, we unload so much trivia the other person loses the thread of thought, not to mention his patience. Bewildered, he wades through the jungle of needless details, having lost his way as well as his interest. Instead of being excited over the challenge to explore things on his own, lured by the anticipation of discovery, he gulps for air in the undertow of our endless waves of verbiage, clichés, and in-house mumbo jumbo.

He also offers the following advice in bullet point form.

  • Make it clear.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Emphasize the essentials.
  • Forget about impressing.
  • Leave some things unsaid.

Read the entire article here.

Feb 5, 2009

Funny or Helpful??? A Biblical Curse Generator

Some of you might be interested in using this
Biblical Curse Generator next time someone does you wrong!

Thanks to Ben Witherington's blog for pointing this out.

Counting the Ten Commandments

The Logos Blog has posted an Michael Heiser's article from Bible Study Magazine on the different traditions or approaches to counting the ten commandments. The article also contains a helpful chart.
Click the chart to read the article.

Counting the Ten Commandments -- at BibleStudyMagazine.com

Hezekiah's Religious Reforms

Claude Mariottini has a helpful post on Hezekiah's religious reforms recorded in 2 Chronicles 29-31. Read it

Feb 4, 2009

Preaching the Gospel of Mark

Three messages from Thomas G. Long on "Preaching the Gospel of Mark to a Restless Culture" can be found at the Calvin Theological Seminary website. The messages can be accessed
here, here, and here.

Feb 3, 2009

Scholarly Views on the Formation of Ancient Israel

Jin Yang Kim has a nice summary of scholarly views on the formation of ancient Israel. I am closest to the Conquest model and I would take exception to the suggestion that the accounts of the conquest in Joshua and Judges are contradictory. I would rather suggest that they are complimentary. Than being said, Kim's post is a helpful survey of the views. Read the post

Mounce on Translating Metaphors

Bill Mounce has a good post on the challenges of translating metaphors in the Bible. Read this eye-opening post

Feb 2, 2009

Prayer and Political Correctness

Caroline Petrie, a Christian nurse has been suspended for to pray for the recovery of an elderly patient. If you don't believe it you can read the story here.

Ritmeyer on the Antonia Fortress

Leen Ritmeyer has an interesting article on the Antonia Fortress (part of Herod's temple Mount complex). See it

The Need for Holiness

Jake Belder has an insightful challenge on the need for holiness in the church today. Belder writes:

Surveying the horizon of the evangelical landscape, you cannot help but notice that there is a disturbing lack of holiness in the Church—or perhaps conversely, that it is marked by a disturbing degree of self-righteousness. There are probably several reasons for this, but some of the most significant are the Church's unfaithfulness to Scripture and the negligent way in which it has allowed itself to succumb to the values and norms of our culture.


What pains me so much about this is that people in the Church, leaders and laymen alike, don't see it and continue to feed the problem. In a post the other day, I quoted D. A. Carson, who said that while the gospel may have peripheral benefits such as improving your marriage or how you handle your finances, that is not the heart of it. Yet that is what has become of it in the Church today. We turn Jesus into a weak, smiling figure who loves us and gives us some good advice on how to make our lives better.

Read the entire post here.

Joseph's Bones

Jin Yang Kim has an interesting post on the references to Joseph's bones in Genesis 50:25-26; Exodus 13:19; and Joshua 24:32. In essence the references to Joseph's bones are apparently used to tie Genesis through Joshua together through promise-fulfillment. The post is tied Jerome Segal's book
Joseph's Bones which I have not read. Therefore, it is a bit hard to evaluate the merits of the argument. At least two questions also come to mind. What exactly does Segal mean by "promise"? Is this being viewed as an argument for a Hexateuch (the Pentateuch + Joshua)? In any case, you can read the post here.

A Review of The Word Leaps the Gaps (A Festschrift for Richard Hays)

Nijay Gupta has a helpful review of some of the contents of the recent festschrift for Richard Hays entitled
The Word Leaps the Gap (Eerdmans, 2008). You can read it here.

Feb 1, 2009

Commentaries on Isaiah

Keith Mathison Ligonier Ministries has a list and discussion of his top five commentaries on Isaiah at the Ligonier Ministries blog. Creating a list for Isaiah is complicated by the debates concerning Isianic authorship and unity (both of which I affirm) and whether one is willing to accept commentaries that do not hold these more conservative conclusions. Having said that I have little difficulty in accepting Motyer, Oswalt, and Young in the top five. I am less certain about the merits of Mackay (which I have not used) and Webb. It seems to me that commentaries by Gary V. Smith (1–39, NAC), Blenkinsopp (AB), and Childs (OTL) are more deserving in the top five.

I would also add H. G. M. Williamson (ICC), J. D. W. Watts (Word), and Wildberger (Continental)to the runners-up. In any case, the top five Mathison listed are:

1. J. Alec Motyer -- The Prophecy of Isaiah: An Introduction & Commentary
2. John Oswalt -- The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1-39, The Book of Isaiah: Chapters 40-66
3. Edward J. Young -- The Book of Isaiah (New International Commentary on the Old Testament, 1965, 1969, 1972).
4. John L. Mackay -- Isaiah 1-39 (EP Study Commentary, 2008).
5. Barry Webb -- The Message of Isaiah (The Bible Speaks Today, 1997).