Jul 31, 2010
“If understood properly, the biblical text will change you as much as it will change the lives of the people in your congregation. As you learn new ways to love and serve god, you can share those ideas with your congregation and help them grow. A pastor needs to dig deeply into the biblical text so that he can lead his congregation into those depths. Scripture becomes a well that energizes both pastor and congregation. Sheep only follow a shepherd as far as a shepherd can lead them, and your love and depth of understanding of Scripture will either exhilarate your congregation, or they will grow bored with its shallowness.”
Paul D. Wegner, Using Old Testament Hebrew in Preaching: A Guide for Students and Pastors (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2009), 84.
Jul 30, 2010
Jul 29, 2010
“Through the prophets the invisible God becomes audible. Without their voice a biblical theology is impossible. Their luminous words bring the kingdom of God to earth by penetrating the human heart. The prophets interpret Israel's history, explaining its failures as due to her covenant infidelity and her sure destiny as due to God’s covenant fidelity. Israel's destiny to save the nations is not just the end of the journey; it is the point of the journey.”
Bruce Waltke with Charles Yu, An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical, and Thematic Approach (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009), 805.
Jul 28, 2010
"One cannot separate Jeremiah's personal experiences from his message. God's gracious, firm guidance of his own life nurtured his confidence in the grace of God to transform Israel's future. Jeremiah's own pilgrimage of judgment and grace became a paradigm which conveyed the character and will of the living God to Israel and beyond. If total obedience to the Lord of covenant grace is major lesson of scripture, no one in the Old testament taught it better than Jeremiah."
William Sanford LaSor, David Allan Hubbard, and Frederic William Bush, Old Testament Survey, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 19963), 352.
Jul 27, 2010
Daniel Fredericks, commenting on Ecclesiastes 3:1-22 remarks:
"The warp of time and its role in God’s providence has left perplexing questions, perhaps temporarily, perhaps eternally. Yet after all of his afflicted study of the world and all its matters, Qoheleth is able to utter the words of ultimate, comprehensive faith – God has made everything beautiful in its own time! This is the greatest statement of divine providence in the whole of Scripture. It is the theorem from which the believer’s hope is derived that all things work together for good for those who love God (Rom. 8:28). It is a statement far beyond describing God as a divine pragmatist, a distant, cosmic manager who at best manipulates energy and matter to assert his prerogatives within his unlimited power. Instead, it glorifies God as an artistic designer, who enjoys a proactive and interactive relationship with his creation, particularly with those he expects to reflect the same attributes – human beings."
Jul 26, 2010
"The symbolism in Revelation and other NT prophetic-apocalyptic passages falls into three categories. First, some symbolism is explained in the book, e.g., the seven stars=the seven churches, Rev 1:20; the great dragon=the Devil, Satan (12:9). Second, some symbolism unexplained in the NT text is paralleled by Old Testament imagery, e.g., the tree of life, 2:7; 22:2/Gen 2:9; the four horsemen, Rev 6:1–8/Zech 6:1–8. Third, some unexplained NT symbols find parallels in extra-biblical sources, whether Jewish or pagan, e.g., the great white throne of Rev 20:11/1 En. 18:8; the seals on the book, Rev 6 part of the Roman practice of sealing a will was that the seal be broken only by a rightful heir."
William J. Larkin, Greek is Great Gain: A Method for Exegesis and Exposition (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2008), 133.
Jul 25, 2010
As Alister McGrath states:
"We need more than a good religious teacher.
"Throughout our long history, we have had lots of religious teachers. What good is one more? If Jesus is simply a man, he shares the common human problem - sin, suffering and death. If Jesus is just a human being, like us, then he is not the solution to the human problem. What we need is someone who will change the human situation, not just tell us more about it. The Christian assertion that Jesus is God incarnate tells us that God has come into the world and become involved with it. It changes our understanding of what God is like. It forces us to give up silly or inadequate views of God - like God being totally distant and remote, and unconcerned for his world. It forces us to give up inadequate views of Jesus - like Jesus being just a good religious teacher."
Alister McGrath, Explaining Your Faith (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995), 62.