Apr 11, 2009

1 Corinthians 15:20–28: A Christian Approach to History

Tim Chester has posted on 1 Corinthians 15:20–28: a Christian approach to history. Tim notes that Garry Williams suggests that 1 Cor 15:20–28 tells us six things about history.

1. There is a centre to human history - the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The resurrection is the beginning of the new age in history.
2. There is a order in human history. History is ordered according to God’s purposes.
3. There is an inevitability to human history. The first resurrection leads inexorably to the final resurrection.
4. There is a goal to human history - the total rule of God over creation.
5. There is a conflict in human history. 1 Corinthians speaks of enemies.
6. There are uncertainties in human history from our perspective. Paul twice speaks of ‘whenever’. This means there is a provisionality to our history telling. We cannot exhaustively know what God was doing in historical and personal events. We must attempt this, but we must do so provisionally.

Article 21 of the Belgic Confession

I was blessed by reading the following excerpt
here from article 21 of the sixteenth century Belgic Confession.

We believe that Jesus Christ is that consummate High Priest, established in eternity with an oath according to the Melchizedekian order, and that He presented His very self in our name in the presence of the Father for the placation of His wrath with full satisfaction, placing His very self upon the altar of the cross and pouring out His blood for the purgation of our sins, just as the Prophets had predicted it would happen.

For it is written, “the castigation of our peace was placed on the Son of God,” and “we are healed by his wounds.” Again, “He Himself was led to death as a lamb,” and He was “numbered among sinners” and condemned as a criminal by Pontius Pilate, even though he had previously declared Him innocent.

Therefore, He paid, “for what He had not stolen,” and the just suffered for the unjust, both in His soul and body, so while sensing the awe-striking debt for our sins, He sweated blood and water and He even finally cried out, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” And He endured all these things for the remission of our sins.

For this reason, we rightly say with blessed Paul “we know nothing whatsoever, except Jesus Christ and Him crucified,” in fact, “we consider all things as excrement on account of the excellence of the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, ” so that he who is in His wounds finds every kind of consolation.

And so nothing is necessary lest we would hope for or think up for ourselves any other reckonings with which we can be reconciled to God besides this one and only complete oblation, by which all believers, who are sanctified, are consecrated and perfected unto eternity. And moreover this is the reason why He Himself was called by the Angel, “Jesus,” that is, “Savior, because He is going to save His people from their sins.”

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:

Jacques Cazeaux
La contre-épopée du désert: Essai sur Exode-Lévitique Nombres
Reviewed by Philippe Guillaume

Craig A. Evans and Emanuel Tov, eds.
Exploring the Origins of the Bible: Canon Formation in Historical, Literary, and Theological Perspective
Reviewed by Everett Ferguson

Travis L. Frampton
Spinoza and the Rise of Historical Criticism of the Bible
Reviewed by Seán P. Kealy

John Goldingay
The Message of Isaiah 40-55: A Literary-Theological Commentary
Reviewed by Francis Landy

Robert P. Gordon, ed.
The God of Israel
Reviewed by Bruce A. Power

Daniel M. Gurtner and John Nolland, eds.
Built upon the Rock: Studies in the Gospel of Matthew
Reviewed by J. Christopher Edwards

Norman C. Habel and Peter Trudinger, eds.
Exploring Ecological Hermeneutics
Reviewed by Johan Buitendag

Justin K. Hardin
Galatians and the Imperial Cult: A Critical Analysis of the First-Century Social Context of Paul's Letter
Reviewed by Wilhelm Pratscher

John Jarick
2 Chronicles
Reviewed by Louis C. Jonker

Leonid Kogan, Natalia Koslova, Sergey Loesov, and Sergei Tishchenko, eds.
Babel und Bibel 3: Annual of Ancient Near Eastern, Old Testament and Semitic Studies
Reviewed by Lena-Sofia Tiemeyer

Larry J. Kreitzer
Reviewed by Torrey Seland

Carmel McCarthy, ed.
Biblia Hebraica Quinta: Deuteronomy
Reviewed by Mark McEntire

Jacob Neusner and Alan J. Avery-Peck, eds.
Encyclopedia of Religious and Philosophical Writings in Late Antiquity: Pagan, Judaic, Christian
Reviewed by Mark D. Nanos

Mikeal C. Parsons
Body and Character in Luke and Acts: The Subversion of Physiognomy in Early Christianity
Reviewed by Glenn E. Snyder

Ephraim Radner
Reviewed by Leigh Trevaskis

Patrick E. Spencer
Rhetorical Texture and Narrative Trajectories of the Lukan Galilean Ministry Speeches: Hermeneutical Appropriation by Authorial Readers of Luke-Acts
Reviewed by Stephan Witetschek

David Andrew Thomas
Revelation 19 in Historical and Mythological Context
Reviewed by David L. Barr

Steven J. Voris
Preaching Parables: A Metaphorical Interfaith Approach
Reviewed by Ernest van Eck

Apr 10, 2009

Expository Preaching Workshop Audio

Free audio of the 2009 Expository Preaching Workshop sponsored by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is available here. Here are the titles of the sessions.

David Platt – For the Glory of God: Theological Foundations for Text-Driven Preaching
Calvin Pearson – The Day that Preaching Died
Steven Smith – Expository Preaching and the Nature of the Church
George Harris – Tips for Effective Sermon Preparation
Jerry Vines – Text-Driven Preaching - Preaching Jonah
David Platt – For the Sake of the Nations
Jerry Vines – Jonah
David Allen – Preaching the Difficult Passages of Scripture - Heb 6:1-6
Paige Patterson – The Gospel in Prepositional Phrases

In particular, I would commend David Allen's talk on Hebrews 6. His view of this warning passage is also my view.

Apr 9, 2009

The Authorship of Revelation

Alan Bandy has
posted on the authorship of Revelation. He concludes that the author is John the son of Zebedee/John the Apostle. This is my view as well. Check it out.

Quote of the Day

Richard Pervo, notes:

"The fundamental problem of Acts is the validity of the gentile mission. Everything else is prelude and excursus, sideshow and background."

Richard I Pervo, Acts: A Commentary, Hermeneia, ed. Helmut Koester (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2009), 264.

Apr 8, 2009

A Skeptics Guide to the Passover

Some might be interested in this article from Slate Magazine entitled "A Skeptics Guide to the Passover: Scientific Explanations for the Parting of the Red Sea, the 10 Plagues, and the Burning Bush." I don'y typically find such explanations all that convincing but have a look.

Headcoverings, Worship, and 1 Corinthians 11

Matthew Malcolm has a nice post
here on headcoverings, worship, and 1 Corinthians 11.

The Jesus Tomb Unmasked

Todd Bolin has
posted an announcement that Expedition Bible has just released The Jesus Tomb Unmasked. The movie deals with many of the falsehoods
unmasked and distortions that were part of the recent “discovery” of the so-called "Jesus tomb." I have not watched it, but I have been told that it is well done. Todd also notes that the DVD can be purchased from Amazon for $7 (free shipping) and/or watched for free online.

Apr 7, 2009

Ferguson on Baptism in the Early Church

Justin Taylor has noted that "Everett Ferguson's massive new study of baptism in the first five centuries of the church has now been published.
Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries (Eerdmans, 2009; 912 pp; hardcover)." Some readers may recognize Ferguson for his widely used Backgrounds of Early Christianity. See Justin's post for a table of contents

If anyone from Eerdmans reads this blog, feel free to send me a free copy!

List of Top Ten Books on Paul

Ben Blackwell has posted a list of top ten books on Paul written in the last ten years.

Blackwell's list (chronologically):
Dunn, J. D. G., The Theology of Paul the Apostle. 1998.
Engberg-Pedersen, Troels, Paul and the Stoics. 2000.
Gorman, M. J., Cruciformity: Paul’s Narrative Spirituality of the Cross. 2001.
Schreiner, T. R., Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ: A Pauline Theology. 2001.
Carson, D. A., P. T. O’Brien, and M. A. Seifrid, Justification and Variegated Nomism. 2001, 2004.
Longenecker, Bruce W. ed. Narrative Dynamics in Paul: A Critical Assessment. 2002.
Hurtado, L. W., Lord Jesus Christ: Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity. 2003.
Sampley, J. P., Paul in the Greco-Roman World: A Handbook. 2003.
Watson, Francis, Paul and the Hermeneutics of Faith. 2004.
Campbell, D. A., The Quest for Paul’s Gospel: A Suggested Strategy. 2005.
Schnelle, Udo, Apostle Paul: His Life and Theology. 2005.
Jewett, Robert, Romans: A Commentary. 2007.
Childs, Brevard, The Church’s Guide to Reading Paul: The Canonical Shaping of the Pauline Corpus. 2008.

Recommended by others:
Justin Meggitt, Paul, Poverty, and Survival
Todd Still and David Horrell, eds, After the First Urban Christians (Forthcoming late 2009)
Gordon Fee, Pauline Christology
Barclay and Gathercole, Divine and Human Agency
Ross Wagner, Heralds of the Good News
Terrance Donaldson, Paul and the Gentiles: Remapping
Francis Watson, Paul, Judaism and the Geniles: Beyond the New Perspectative
Simon Gathercole, Where is Boasting Peter
Stuhlmacher, Revisiting Paul’s Doctrine of Justification
Todd Still, Jesus and Paul Reconnected
Alain Badiou, St. Paul: The Foundations of Universalism

Apr 6, 2009

A Review of Perspectives on the Ending of Mark

Black, David Alan et al. Perspectives on the Ending of Mark. Edited by David Alan Black. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2008.

(Thanks to Jim Baird at Broadman & Holman for the review copy.)

Perspectives consists of five essays, three which reject the authenticity of the longer ending of Mark (Wallace, Elliott), two that affirm its authenticity (Black, Robins
on), and a summary essay from Bock, who also sides with the non-authentic position. The essays are the fruit of a conference held April 13–14, 2007 at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, NC) entitled “The Last Twelve Verses of Mark: Original or Not.”

The essays in general are informative and well-written. Even when the authors are dogmatic in their assertions, and t
hey often are, the tone remains irenic. This book is a good example of how equally competent scholars can draw from the same pool of evidence and come to diametrically opposite conclusions in a way which is both rigorous and Christian. The essays provide a helpful way for those interested in the issue of the ending of Mark to learn more than briefer treatments in introductions/surveys, commentaries, and study Bibles. For such readers I would suggest beginning by scanning Bock’s summary chapter (although it is at the end of the book), before undertaking the rest of the essays. Bock does an excellent job of pointing out areas of agreement, differences in method, and the like.

For anyone interested in the book, you can access a sample chapter of the book here.

"Wasting Your Time in Preaching"

See this helpful reminder by Larry Moyer on the importance of application and suggestions on how to do it.

Apr 5, 2009

The Pig an Unclean Animal (Leviticus 11)

See this
post on the Koinonia blog on the pig as an unclean animal (e.g., Lev 11).