Aug 7, 2010

Hays on 1 Corinthians 13

Here are two more quotes from Richard Hays.

“The purpose of chapter 13 is to portray love as the sine qua non of the Christian life and to insist that love must govern the exercise of all the gifts of the Spirit. Paul’s lyrical prose in this unit has encouraged many readers to take it out of context as a lovely meditation on the nature of love; nevertheless, the many verbal and conceptual links between 1 Corinthians 13 and the rest of the letter show that this chapter is not a hymn or an independently composed oration on love. Within 1 Corinthians it serves a clear argumentative purpose: Paul is trying to reform the Corinthians’ understanding and practice of spiritual manifestations in worship.”

. . .

“Two common misunderstandings of the chapter must be set aside in the beginning. First, Paul does not write about love in order to debunk tongues and other spiritual gifts. His point is not that love should supersede spiritual gifts but that it should govern their use in the church- as chapter 14 will clearly demonstrate. Love is not merely a feeling or an attitude; rather, “love” is the generic name for specific actions of patient and costly service to others. If we attend closely to what Paul actually says in this chapter, all sweetly sentimental notions of love will be dispelled and replaced by a rigorous vision of love that rejoices in the truth and bears all suffering in the name of Jesus Christ.”

Richard B. Hays, First Corinthians, Interpretation (Louisville: John Knox, 1997), 221, 222.

Aug 6, 2010

Hays on 1 Corinthians 12

Not everything that presents itself as “spiritual” is consonant with the gospel. As “spirituality” becomes a buzzword in shopping –mall bookstores, Christians would do well to question which voices are really inspired by the Spirit of God and which seek to lead us astray to idols (v. 2). The simple criterion set forth by Paul in verse 3 is a good place to begin the discernment process. Those who confess that Jesus is Lord are speaking under the influence of the Holy Spirit; those who deny his lordship are not speaking by the Spirit of God. Of course, this simple criterion will not resolve all questions, but it may at least awaken our congregations to the need for critical discernment.”

. . .

“The danger in the church today, on the other hand, is that we will slide imperceptibly into a generic, self-indulgent religiosity in which anything that comes to us under the guise of “religion” will be uncritically embraced. The simple confession “Jesus is Lord” remains the Spirit-inspired watchword that separates the work of the Holy Spirit from the work of deceiving spirits. At the same time, this confession unites the church at the most basic level. In the midst of serious disagreements within the church, we must recognize that all those who share the confession of Jesus’ lordship are our brothers and sisters to whom we are bound by the one Spirit.”

Richard B. Hays,
First Corinthians, Interpretation (Louisville: John Knox, 1997), 218.

Aug 4, 2010

How Do You Choose What Books to Read?

See Kevin DeYoung's answer to this question
here. Personally, my reading is usually dictated by either my research or what I am preaching or teaching. I miss casual reading.

Aug 3, 2010

A True Prophet

"A true prophet of I AM must be an Israelite who represents God's holy covenant mediated at Sinai (Deut. 13:1–5) and accurately foretells the immediate future (Deut. 18:14­–22). If he satisfies these three criteria, the people of God can trust him to lead them in the way that leads to heaven (Isa. 41:21–29)."

Bruce Waltke with Charles Yu, An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical, and Thematic Approach (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009), 808.

Aug 2, 2010

Dividing Old Testament Narratives

Richard Pratt provides some helpful advice on getting a handle on larger Old Testament narratives. He suggests that,

“‘Divide and conquer’ is an effective strategy. If a job is too big to do all at once, we can still accomplish it one step at a time. The same is true for interpreting Old Testament stories. Most texts are far too complex for us to handle everything at once."

Pratt goes on to identify three clues to know where you can properly divide a text.
1. Shifts in time.
2. Changes in setting
3. Changes in narrative mode

Richard L. Pratt, Jr., He Gave Us Stories: The Bible Student’s Guide to Interpreting Old Testament Narratives (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R, 1990), 152–57.

Aug 1, 2010

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Go here and use the coupon code AUG2010.

Culture and Scripture

“‘Interpretation’ involves understanding three relationships between Scripture and culture. First, we need to understand how verbal communication is influenced by culture so we can communicate Scripture’s truth in a relevant way. Second, we need to understand where Scripture stands in judgment of the culture and is correction to wrong thinking and behavior. Third, we need to understand the deep needs and longings of our culture so we can capture the significance of the ‘good news’ of Scripture which can speak to those needs and longings.”

William J. Larkin, Greek is Great Gain: A Method for Exegesis and Exposition (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2008), 230.