Oct 22, 2011

Five Kinds of Fools

Richard Mayhue notes that Scripture identifies five kinds of fools.

1. The fool who rejects God (Pss 14:1; 53:1)
2. The fool who rejects the cross of Christ (1 Cor 1:18)
3. The fool who disobeys God’s Word with respect to salvation (Matt 7:26–27)
4. The fool who fails to believe all of God’s Word (Luke 24:25)
5. The “fool” who lives wholeheartedly for Christ’s sake (1 Cor 4:10).

What kind of fool are you?

Richard Mayhue, Practicing Proverbs: Wise Living for Foolish Times (Ross-Shire: Christian Focus, 2003), 62–64.

Oct 21, 2011

The Dead in 1 Thessalonians 4:13

Phillip Long has an interesting post on the identity of the dead in Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4:13. He suggests that the dead are not believers generally but martyrs particularly. I remain a bit skeptical in light of several factors. (1) don't see anything in the immediate context that suggests persecution or martyrdom. (2) The comparison to "the rest of men who have no hope" would suggest to me a broader audience than just martyrs. Furthermore, I wonder how the argument would work in light of the fact that Christians were not the only martyrs in the ancient world. (3) Explicit vindication language  is absent unless you take the going first as vindication language. This is possible, but if so, very subtle. In any case, I would encourage you to check out Phillip's post here.

Oct 20, 2011

Preaching Deuteronomy

"Deuteronomy stands as the theological heart-beat of the Old Testament. But preaching Deuteronomy today, reading the ancient manner of its rhetoric, the difficult and sometimes confusing laws, the antiquated agricultural or societal specifics, seems a great challenge. But whatever the complexities that arise, the importance of Deuteronomy as preserved and given "for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come" (1 Cor 10:11) ought to be recovered in Christian pulpits. We stand having seen the grace of God in ways more profound than that generation standing on the cusp of Canaan, or the first readers and then every generation who heard the sermons re-preached at the great and joyous feasts of Israel. No Christian preacher can ignore or should ignore that fact. Placed within the Christian liturgy, the fact cannot be ignored or missed. Yhwh, who saved his people from the hand of Og and Bashan, went even further and saved them from the power of sin and death. The one who held his people in his strong and tender hands as a father carrying a child Deut 1:31), out of grace and pity, stretched out the same hands upon a cross for his children's salvation."

Joshua Moon, "Preaching Deuteronomy as Christian Scripture," Southeastern Theological Review 2 (2011): 50-1.

Oct 19, 2011

Varner on Psalm 22

See this brief post by William Varner on Psalm 22.

Oct 18, 2011

Top Ten Preaching Mistakes

Another excellent post from David Murray here.

Oct 17, 2011

Studying the Hebrew Bible

See this post related to studying the Hebrew Bible.

HT: John Byron

Eisenbrauns' SBL in October Sale

Those who are not going to make it to this year's Society of Biblical Literature meeting or those who would rather not deal with the hassles of getting their purchases home might be interested in this sale.

Free Zondervan Bible Atlas Images

Carl Rasmussen, the author of the recently revised and excellent Zondervan Atlas of the Bible is uploading the images from the Atlas. You can read about it here and you can see the images from the chapter entitled "The Geography of Israel and Jordan" here.

The Destructiion of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

"In the year 1009, al-Hakim, the Caliph of Egypt, ordered the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem destroyed. Workmen obeyed; and Yahia ibn Sa`id, an Islamic historian, wrote: "...the holy deed commenced on Tuesday, the fifth day before the end of the month of Safar of the year 400 of the Egira." Converting from the Muslim calendar would place the destruction on or about this day, October 17, 1009." Read the rest here.

Oct 16, 2011

Preaching the David Story

Concerning preaching the David Story in the Old Testament, David Firth argues that,

“The best option for an expository series is one where the preacher works more or less systematically through the whole of I Samuel 16–1 Kings 2, though an 'edited highhghts' package might work for some. Many congregations could struggle to have a sustained treatment of such a lengthy text, and it might be appropriate to consider presenting David's story within four separate ‘chunks.’ These would more or less follow the source analysis many scholars offer for David's story, though many regard them simply as appropriate division points within the narrative rather than as discrete sources. In addition, the exact boundaries of these sections are open to some dispute, but the divisions offered here offer a coherent structure for a sermon series even if other divisions might also work” (p. 6).

Firth’s four suggested “chunks” include (pp. 6–8):

1. 1 Samuel 16:1–2—Samuel 2:4

2. 2 Samuel 2:5—8:17
3. 2 Samuel 9—20
4. 2 Samuel 21—24 and 1 Kings 1:1—2:11.

For details read David Firth’s article “Preaching the David Story,” Southeastern Theological Review 2 (2011): 1–10.