Nov 19, 2011

Wisdom as a Way of Doing Things

"Wisdom is not something to do; rather it is a way of doing things. This is borne out by the bewildering variety of human endeavors mentioned in the Old Testament in connection with wisdom."

William E. Mouser, Jr., Walking in Wisdom: Studying the Proverbs of Solomon (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1983), 125.

Nov 18, 2011

Preaching Christ from the Old Testament

"Preaching Christ from the Old Testament means that we preach, not synagogue sermons, but sermons that take account of the full drama of redemption, and its realization in Christ. To see the text in relation to Christ is to see it in its larger context, the context of God's purpose in revelation. We do not ignore the specific message of the text, nor will it do to write an all-purpose Christocentric sermon finale and tag it for weekly use.

"You must preach Christ as the text presents him. If you are tempted to think that most Old Testament texts do not present Christ, reflect on both the unity of Scripture and the fullness of Jesus Christ. Christ is present in the Bible as the Lord and as the Servant."

Edmund P. Clowney, Preaching Christ in All of Scripture (Wheaton: Crossway, 2003), 11.

Nov 17, 2011

Five Crucial Sermon Questions

These are five crucial quiestions for every sermon to raise and answer.

1. What does this text teach about God and his character and ways?
2. What does the text teach about fallen humanity?
3. How does this text point to Christ?
4. What does God want my people to know?
5. What does God want my people to do?

Daniel L. Akin, Bill Curtis, and Stephen Rummage, Engaging Exposition (Nashville: B & H Academic, 2011), 133-34..

Nov 16, 2011

Hagner on Resurrection in the New Testament

Donald Hagner has a good general article on resurrection in the New Testament ("The Resurrection of the Body in the New Testament," Australian Biblical Review 59 [2011], 64-80). Among other things Hagner points out that all the miraculous raisings of the dead in the Bible except for Christ are better called resuscitations. That is, "Those who were raised still belonged to the first creation, and had to die a second time." Hagner of course, is correct. In discussing the difference between resuscitation and resurrection I have found that if you use the term resuscitation, many have the impression that the person was not really dead. On the other hand, resurrection cannot be used for the reason Hagner has noted. So I have coined the term "resusurrection" (at least I have never heard anyone else use it). The idea is that resuscitation is too weak a term since it might convey the idea of something short of death and resurrection too strong because it belongs to the new creation. 

Nov 15, 2011

Witherington on the Role of Faith in Knowing and Teaching the Bible

"If it sounds as if I am suggesting that one has to be a genuine Christian or devout Jew to properly teach, preach, or write about the Bible, I am indeed suggesting that that should be the desideratum. If teaching is going to glorify God, edify the saints, and even educate, intrigue, and influence the lost, then, yes, that is what is most needed. It is true that some non-Christians can put Christians to shame with their biblical knowledge. If we are just talking about understanding biblical texts and ideas, it is indeed possible for a secular person to teach the Bible well at the level of information. But just as it is one thing to know the Bible, another to know the God of the Bible, it is also one thing to know the Bible and another thing to know the Bible is true, and God's Word.

"The Bible is not just intended for information and education. It’s not intended to be just a great piece of literature that merely intrigues or mildly inspires. It's intended for human transformation, and a teacher who cannot help an audience with the latter is handicapped. Indeed, a teacher who has not personally been transformed by the text cannot properly embody it, embrace it, model it, call for emulation of it, and the like. The Jewish or Christian teacher who is constantly coming to grips with the text will be constantly challenged to live it."

Ben Witherington III, Is There a Doctor in the House? An Insider's Story and Advice on Becoming a Biblical Scholar (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011), 125. 

Nov 14, 2011

Themelios 36.3 is Out

The latest edition of Themelios, a 238 page PDF, is now available as as a free download here. Individual articles and features with links are as follows:

  1. D. A. Carson | Editorial: Spiritual Disciplines
  2. Jonathan Gibson | Jonathan Edwards: A Missionary?
  3. Andrew Moody | That All May Honour the Son: Holding Out for a Deeper Christocentrism
  4. Rodney J. Decker | An Evaluation of the 2011 Edition of the New International Version
  5. Melvin Tinker | Friends: The One with Jesus, Martha, and Mary;  An Answer to Kierkegaard
  6. 71 Book Reviews

The New Covenant

I had recently been working through Jeremiah and thinking about the New Covenant when I came across this statement from H. L. Ellison. Unfortunately, Ellison does not further unpack the statement, but that being said, there is a lot here that resonates with me.

It is one thing to say that Jeremiah was not given to see what the new covenant would mean for the world, it is entirely another to say that by Israel and Judah he really meant the Church. So to understand Jer. 31:23–40; 33:14–26 is to make all sane Bible interpretation impossible. On the other hand, we must not fall into the opposite error of supposing that the new covenant will mean something else for ‘all Israel’ than it does for the Church, that saved Israel will be saved in some other way than is the Church. God does not abolish physical Israel, but in saving it transcends it, just as He does not scrap this earth but renews it.”

H. L. Ellison, Men Spake from God: Studies in the Hebrew Prophets (Carlisle: Paternoster, 1968), 92.

Nov 13, 2011

Top 25 Books for Young Theologians

Bruce Ashford has a list of the top twenty-five books (or so) that he believes young theologians should own and read.

Latest Issue of Review of Biblical Literature

The latest issue of Review of Biblical Literature is out. Reviews can be accessed by clicking the links below.

Joseph Blenkinsopp
Creation, Un-creation, Re-creation: A Discursive Commentary on Genesis 1-11
Reviewed by John E. Anderson
Yoram Cohen, Amir Gilan, and Jared L. Miller, eds.
Pax Hethitica: Studies on the Hittites and Their Neighbours in Honour of Itamar Singer
Reviewed by Paul Sanders
Corneliu Constantineanu
The Social Significance of Reconciliation in Paul's Theology: Narrative Readings in Romans
Reviewed by Robert Jewett
Timothy G. Gombis
Paul: A Guide for the Perplexed
Reviewed by James S. Hanson
Ronald Hendel, ed.
Reading Genesis: Ten Methods
Reviewed by Frank H. Polak
Amanda H. Podany
Brotherhood of Kings: How International Relations Shaped the Ancient Near East
Reviewed by Bertrand Lafont
Hendrika N. Roskam
The Purpose of the Gospel of Mark in Its Historical and Social Context
Reviewed by W. R. Telford
Hayim Tawil
An Akkadian Lexical Companion for Biblical Hebrew: Etymological-Semantic and Idiomatic Equivalents with Supplement on Biblical Aramaic
Reviewed by Aaron D. Rubin
David Trobisch
Ein Clown für Christus: Die ganz andere Geschichte über Paulus und seine Zeit
Reviewed by Jeffrey F. Cayzer
Urban C. von Wahlde
The Gospel and Letters of John
Reviewed by George L. Parsenios