Nov 13, 2010

The Longest Walk

“The longest walk that any preacher takes is the one from his study to the steps of his pulpit. Arrogance is no longer present. There will be no thought of any personal achievement which may have brought him to this hour. The authentic preacher comes to the pulpit unsure if the bones can live. He can only respond to the question by saying, ‘Lord God, thou knowest!’" 

H. Beecher Hicks, “Bones, Sinews, Flesh and Blood coming to Life,” in Inside the Sermon, ed. Richard Allen Bodey (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990), 116.

Nov 12, 2010

The Theology of Chronicles

“It is easy for modern readers to get lost in the repetitiveness of Chronicles’s lists and genealogies and fail to appreciate its theological nature. But Chronicles is, above all, a theological work. The interest in presenting a theological interpretation of history somewhat different from that already available in the Deuteronomistic History is what drove the Chronicler to write this work in the first place. There are four widely recognized theological emphases in Chronicles. They are: Davidic-Solomonic kingship, the temple, ‘all Israel,’ and divine retribution and reward.”

Steven L. McKenzie, 1-2 Chronicles, Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries (Nashville: Abingdon, 2004), 47.

Nov 11, 2010

Judgment as a Theme in the Gospel of John

See Steven Coxhead's post on judgment as a theme in the Gospel of John.

Upcoming: Journal for the Study of Paul and His Letters

See this announcement of a new journal published through Eisenbrauns focusing on Paul and his letters. According to the announcement,

"The JSPL will present cutting-edge research for scholars, teachers, postgraduate students, and advanced undergraduates related specifically to study of the Apostle Paul and cognate areas. It is proposed that the many and diverse aspects of Pauline studies be represented and promoted by the journal. The purpose of the journal is to advance discussion on these areas of Pauline research. As such we invite submissions on the above mentioned topics that make a significant and original contribution to the field of Pauline studies." 

Hebrews 1:1-3

God has spoken.[1] Here the author both indicates the continuity of divine revelation through the ages and also the contrast between the Old Testament prophets and Jesus.[2] This contrast involves at least three points of comparison: (1). “long ago” vs. “last days;” (2). “in the prophets” (plural) vs. “in a Son” (singular); 3. “many portions and ways” vs. “in a Son (qualitatively).” Furthermore, the first three verses introduce three functions of Christ (prophet [1:2]; priest [1:3]; king [1:3]), which, will be emphasized later in the book. Additionally, this introductory section functions as a precursor to the discussion on angels, since angels were regarded as mediators of divine revelation, namely the Mosaic Law.

[1] Morris notes that, “It is significant that the subject of the first verb is ‘God,’ for God is constantly before the author; he uses the word sixty-eight times, an average of about once every seventy-three words all through his epistle. Few NT books speak of God so often” (Leon Morris, “Hebrews” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, vol 12., ed. Frank E. Gaebelein [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981], 12).

[2] “Hebrews gathers all its leading ideas around two great themes, revelation and redemption, the word of God and the work of Christ” (Raymond Brown, The Message of Hebrews, Bible Speaks Today [Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity, 1982], 17).

Nov 10, 2010

Mark Goodacre Articles

Mark Goodacre has posted three of his recent articles at his blog. Check it out here.

Nov 8, 2010

Preaching and the Two-Edged Sword

"It took me a little while as a preacher to appreciate the significance of the fact that God’s Word is a two-edged sword. It wounds the listener, in order to heal him; but it also wounds the preacher. I believe this is the ultimate explanation for many of the mysterious experiences we have in preaching. At times we are elated, yet the people seem not to share that elation. At other times, even while we speak we are inwardly weeping over our failures, and confessing ‘I am a man of unclean lips.’ Yet so often we discover that on such occasions God spoke with great grace and power. No one else knew what we were going through (except perhaps a fellow preacher who recognized some of the telltale signs!). Or, more accurately, no one beside the Lord. He knew, because he was speaking to us through his Word, as well as through us to others. In this intimate way, the Lord teaches us that while ours is the responsibility rightly to handle the Word of God in preparation and exposition, yet it remains the Spirit’s sword, and not ours."

Sinclair B. Ferguson, “Communion with God through Preaching,” in Inside the Sermon, ed. Richard Allen Bodey (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990), 83. 


Nov 7, 2010

The Contribution of James

Arguably the greatest contribution that the Epistle of James makes to the Scriptures is its insistence that faith and practice are inseparably linked. James also shatters the idea that one can separate secular practice from spiritual piety. Furthermore, the wisdom elements in James have been long recognized. Verse for verse, no book in the New Testament can match James’ pithiness.