Thursday, December 28, 2006
At the time of writing this post, I am about 340 pages into it (of a total 500 some pages), and it is tremendous. Marsden writes clearly and engagingly, bringing Edwards to life in 3D vividness. I have always loved Edwards, and Marsden's portrait has reminded me once again why Edwards is such an impressive figure. Yet Marsden does not gloss over Edwards' own flaws and shortcomings, but mentions them from a sympathetic perspective. Also helpful is Marsden's ability to place JE within his historical, cultural, and social context so that we may better appreciate Edwards.
I have been most struck by Edwards' relentless infatuation with the beauty and glory of Christ as revealed int he gospel. This infatuation is all the more interesting in light of his own battles with "melancholy" (i.e., depression). What an encouragement to all of us who battle the occasional (or sometimes more than occasional) bouts of spiritual dryness and depression.
Have you read Marsden on Edwards? If so, what were your thoughts?
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
The big question that arises from this text is what the phrase "Israel of God" refers to. Does it refer to the church, Jewish Christians, or Jews in general? So take your best shot at interpretation, but please support your conclusion with evidence from the text!
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
That circumcision is a key issue in the letter is obvious, but where does this reference to "new creation" come from? So, in light of this somewhat unexpected twist of phrase, I ask the following questions:
1. What exactly does Paul mean by "new creation"?
2. How does the concept of "new creation" relate to other key themes in the letter such as justification, the Spirit, promise, blessing, children of Abraham, the heavenly Jerusalem, etc.?
3. Are there any pertinent OT backgrounds that might shed light on the phrase "new creation"?
As usual I have my own thoughts, but I'd like to start by opening the floor to you.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Continuing our discussion from the previous post, here are a few more questions:
1. Should the future tense of the verb be understood as a simple indicative (as the translation above reflects) or as an imperative?
2. What is the relationship between the law of Christ and the Mosaic Law?
3. How is it that bearing one another's burdens fulfills the law of Christ?
To your keyboards, scholars, theologians, and otherwise opinionated folks!
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Four questions for contemplation:
1. What does Paul mean when he says the Law is fulfilled in one word?
2. Is there any difference in Paul's mind between "doing" the Law and "fulfilling" the Law?
3. How do we synthesize this with Jesus' statement in Matt 5:17-18 that he came to fulfill the Law? In other words, if Jesus fulfilled the Law in what sense then do Christians fulfill the Law?
4. What are the implications for how Christians should view the Law based on Gal 5:14?
Take your pick and pontificate away.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
"For even though they knew God, they did not glorify God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened" (Rom 1:21)
Paul places humanity's ingratitude at the heart of our rebellion against him. Gratitude flows from a heart that is overwhelmed with the grace of God shown in the cross (cf. Col. 2:6-7). The author of Hebrews goes even further:
"Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire" (Heb 12:28-29).
Notice what gratitude is linked to in this passage: participating in the kingdom, a life of worship, reverence, and a recognition of God's consuming holiness. Gratitude is a tangible demonstration that we are living out the kingdom in the present in anticipation of its consummation.
So tomorrow, as you are sitting down to eat with friends and family, reflect upon the ultimate grounds of Christian gratitude. How can we not be grateful for God (who reveals himself as a consuming fire) sending his Son to bear the wrath that we deserve?
Friday, November 10, 2006
(HT: Justin Taylor)
Although I will not be able to attend SBL this year, I am thankful for this resource. If you are interested in reading about current scholarly discussion on this issue, I highly recommend reading these papers.
Friday, November 03, 2006
"My little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!" (Gal 4:19)
Paul portrays himself as a woman in labor, racked by painful contractions as he seeks to Christ formed within the Galatians. In doing so he uses the same verb (odino) found in the quotation of Isa 54:1 in Gal 4:27, which speaks of the heavenly Jerusalem giving birth to the people of God. By doing so, Paul aligns himself with the purposes of God. Central to that purpose is seeing Christ formed in the Galatians. The passive voice indicates that it is God who forms Christ in the Galatians; we might even think of Paul's ministry as the "womb" in which God forms Christ in the infant Galatians.
Have you ever thought of your own ministry in terms of laboring to see Christ formed in the people you work with? For those in full-time ministry, do you consider a central feature of your ministry seeing Christ formed in the people you serve? Do your methods, programs, etc. further this end, or something else?
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
May we who are Protestants be good stewards of this rediscovery of the gospel in our own day and work for reformation in the church for the glory of God and the advance of the kingdom.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Everyone who ministers from God's Word will benefit from Carson's incisive scalpel. Awareness of these common errors can save us all from flawed conclusions or flawed arguments used in support of valid conclusions. Perhaps best of all, it is less than 150 pages, meaning one can read through this quickly and benefit immensely. Even if you have little or no knowledge of Greek or Hebrew, you will still benefit from reading Exegetical Fallacies
And even if you have read this in the past, if it has been awhile since you have perused the pages it is worth carving out some time to skim back through and be reminded of those fallacies we are most inclined towards.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
"A Humble King" (Matt 21:1-11)
"An Obedient King" (Matt 26:36-46)
"A Sacrificial King" (Matt 27:33-54)
"A Triumphant King" (Matt 28:1-20)
If you think of it, I would appreciate your prayers. Pray that God would enable me to paint a compelling picture of Jesus the King!
Here there should be no question that Paul refers to not only Jews but everyone (in the Greek it is ta panta, which could even be translated "all things") being imprisoned under the reign of sin. But instead of saying "the Law" has imprisoned everyone he says "the Scripture." Now, this could merely be Paul using a synonym, or Paul could mean the entire OT witness (Law, Prophets, Writings). Or he may even have a particular Scripture reference in view, which if that is the case then why not Deut 27:26, quoted in Gal 3:10? If so, that would provide further evidence of the link between the curse of the Law and the larger curse that rests on all creation from Eden.
So what do you think? Am I desperately grasping for evidence to support my flimsy view or is there something to seeing a link between 3:10ff and 3:22?
Monday, October 02, 2006
If this is so, that raises the question as to how Gentiles who did not have the Law can be subject to its curse. Admittedly, Paul does not directly answer this question in Galatians. But he does address a similar issue in Rom 2:12-16. There Paul argues that Gentiles who sin without the law perish without the Law (2:12) and that “whenever Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts” (2:14-15). From this passage in Romans, then, it is not a significant step to the idea that Paul considered Gentiles to be under the curse of the Law. After all, Gal 3:10-14 emphasizes that “whosoever” relies on doing the Law, regardless of ethnicity, are under a curse, for no one is able “to do all that is written in the book of the Law.”
This line of argumentation has led me to consider the possibility that Paul considered the curse of the Law as a particularization/focusing of the larger curse that rested upon all of creation as a result of Adam's transgression in Eden. This post is already too long to add further argumentation, so I will simply open the floor for comments and questions. What say you, friends?
Thursday, September 28, 2006
1 John 3:1-3
In 1 John 3:1-3, the author speaks of that great day when we will see Christ face to face. He admits that it is not entirely clear what this will entail, but he does assert on thing very confidently: "when he appears we shall be like him because we shall see him as he is." But being transformed into the image of Christ is not something that is only a future hope. In the very next verse John asserts "everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure." As I read the text, it seems to me that the implication is that in our present condition we are also purified as look upon Christ. In our present condition that looking takes place as we "see" Christ in the proclamation and incarnation of the gospel with the eyes of faith. (Cp. the similar line of through in Paul at 2 Cor 3:18-4:6)
Central, then, to growth in holiness (or as it is sometimes called today "spiritual formation") is looking at Christ.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Two reflections suggest themselves from this data:
1. Central to the Christian life is the "experiential" knowing of God, something not reducible to mere intellectual assent to a set of propositions.
2. Central to the Christian life is the cognitive knowing of certain propositional truths about God.
To be biblical, we must embrace both the experiential and cognitive aspects of knowledge. Losing sight of either of these realities results in a distorted view of Christian knowledge. This is important today especially in light of those who, enamored with postmodern critiques of intellectual hubris, wrongly claim that propositional knowledge must be jettisoned as a relic of modernity. Furthermore, not the confidence and certainty that John claims Christians have about the reality/truth of these claims. There is no hint of the false humility of postmodern culture that abandons certainty in the guise of humility. This of course does not mean that Christians have absolute or exhaustive knowledge of such matters, but it does mean that Christians can have sufficient knowledge for certainty on fundamental aspects of the Christian faith. At the same time, these observations also serve to correct those who in their pursuit of propositional truth lose sight of the experiential aspect of knowledge, thus reducing Christianity to a set of beliefs devoid of personal, experiential knowledge of God.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
and click on the link at the end of the post. Most notable in his notes on Galatians are Edwards' lengthy comments on 5:17 and the work of the Spirit.
For those who may not know, the Blank Bible was Edwards self-made study Bible. He unbound a Bible he had received, placed in between each page a blank sheet of paper, and then had the volume rebound. This allowed JE to make notes on the text as he went. These notes contain his own observations/reflections on the text as well as notes from other sources, in addition to references to his thoughts elsewhere in his writings. No doubt there are many treasures yet to be mined from JE in this new volume.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
In my estimation this is one of the great descriptions of gospel preaching--preaching in such a way that those who hear the message "see" Jesus Christ as the crucified one. That they see Jesus as the one crucified for their sins. For it is in this seeing of Jesus that we are transformed into his image (2 Cor 3:18). This, then, is the great task of preaching.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Matthew's interest in Jesus' fulfillment of the OT is well-known. But as I was reading Matt 3, I was struck by Jesus' words to John to justify John baptizing Jesus - "Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." When I read this it raised the question, "In what sense does John baptizing Jesus fulfill all righteousness?" So then, what does this mean, and why does Jesus (via Matthew) express it in these terms?
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
“Those who write NT theology should ideally become intimately acquainted with the text of the NT, develop a profound grasp of the historical (including social and cultural) frameworks in which the NT books were written, maintain and sharpen the horizon provided by the entire canon, foster literary skills that permit varied genres to speak for themselves, spot literary devices and correctly interpret them, learn to fire imagination and creativity in a disciplined way and acknowledge and seek to accommodate and correct their own cultural and theological biases. All of these elements must be maintained in appropriate balance, nurtured by love for God and fear of God and growing hunger to serve his people.”
D.A. Carson, “New Testament Theology,” in Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Development, 810.
Oh that God would raise a generation of pastors, missionaries, scholars and lay people who are able to handle God's Word in such a manner!
Oh that God would raise a generation of pastors, missionaries, scholars and lay people who are able to handle God's Word in such a manner!
Friday, August 04, 2006
Is this legitimate? Why or why not? Are there indications in the text of Psalm 1 that such a reading is justified? And does the the fact that Psalm 2 which follows is clearly messianic in nature play any role in reading Psalm 1 christologically?
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Keep checking in ...
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
So how then would you explain the relationship between biblical and systematic theology? How do they contribute to one another? What contributions does biblical theology make that systematic theology does not, and vice versa? And is it possible to do both well at the same time or must they remain distinct at all times?
I have my own thoughts, but I want to hear from you.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Consequently, I'd like to help them by giving them some suggested threads that are rather common in Scripture. Those of us who have done this for a whole can sometimes forget that it has taken us a while to get to the point where we immediately recognize such threads. So I'll get our discussion started by suggesting the themes of prophet, priest and king, all of which find their fulfillment in Christ. In other words, when working in an OT passage one thing to consider is whether any of the references to a prophet, priest, or king in some measure point forward to the ultimate prophet, priest, or king Jesus Christ. Sometimes that pointing forward is done in a negative way; in other words, the failures of a particular prophet, priest or king point forward to the need for a prophet, priest or king who does not fail (e.g. Saul in 1 Sam).
Another example would be the theme of God's presence with his people, be it mediated through a tabernacle, temple, his incarnate Son, or the people of God. Recognizing such a theme enables one to make helpful connections across the canon.
So what other key biblical theological themes or threads are so pervasive or pivotal in Scripture that knowing them opens one up to the ability make key connections to different parts of the Biblical story?
Friday, June 23, 2006
The next 5 weeks will be full of details such as moving and the like. But we are so grateful to God for providing this opportunity. For the past ten years we have sensed that God was leading us in this direction, and to now come to the fruition of that calling is a joy that defies expression. It is no exaggeration when I say that I still am overwhelmed with how good God has been to us and how undeserving we are of his grace in calling us to this ministry.
I also trust that despite my teaching and writing responsibilities I will be able to continue our conversation on this blog.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
The point I want to raise is the necessity of such background knowledge for understanding Scripture. On the one hand, my own work has revealed the value of understanding such exegetical traditions for illuminating Paul's own use of the OT. But on the other hand I firmly believe in the perspicuity (i.e., clarity) of Scripture and want to affirm that those who lack the opportunity of graduate education are entirely capable of understanding God's Word.
Perhaps the answer lies in asserting the general clarity of Scripture in its essential message and content while maintaining the value of background studies as providing a richness and depth to that essential message. One of the questions I was asked in my dissertation defense was something along the lines of "If Paul's use of Isaiah in Galatians is not essential to understanding Galatians, what is the value of your research?" The question was asked in a good spirit and in no way attacking. My answer (one that I am still thinking through) was that although Paul's basic message in Galatians is understandable even to those who do not notice the repeated allusions and echoes of Isaiah, the depth and richness of that message cannot be fully appreciated without recognizing Paul's profound engagement with Isaiah (esp. chs. 49-54).
So what say you?
Monday, June 19, 2006
Oh, and by the way, did I mention that I'm leaving Wed to teach for Campus Crusade for Christ for 4.5 weeks?
So if you think of it, ask for God's sustaining grace and blessing during this exciting but challenging time for us!
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Have any of you found this resource helpful?
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Although I have not read the materials extensively, my initial examination reveals an excellent resource. The author is Jonathan Gibson, one of the editors of the Beginning with Moses website I have previously mentioned. I look forward to digging deeper into this resource and trust it will be helpful to others as well. I have now added a link to this site on the sidebar to the right.
Monday, May 22, 2006
Think in terms of promises, covenants, specific figures, events, etc.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Friday, May 12, 2006
In light of that, I'm beginning with the Creation account in Genesis 1-2. What aspects of these chapters would you regard as essential for a person to understand the story of Scripture and the story of their own lives? In particular I am thinking about truths about God, human beings, the world, etc. that emerge from Genesis 1-2. So what would you highlight?
Thursday, May 11, 2006
1. Commited no sin
2. No deceit found in his mouth
3. Despite being reviled did not revile in return
4. Despite suffering did not threaten
5. Entrusted himself to the one who judges justly
6. Bore our sins on the cross
This leads then in 2:24 to a purpose statement: so that having died to sin you might live to righteousness.
So note the gospel pattern here: (1) exhortation to specific actions; (2) foundation in some aspect of the gospel. I think this pattern underlies all of the ethical instruction of the NT, even where the gospel foundation is not explicitly stated. In those cases, though, I believe we are required to make the connection in order to truly understand how to live out the commands of Scripture.
And as one final note, I have once again been struck by oour amazing Savior, who did all of this. Who among us can be sinless for even one day, or perhaps even one hour? Who among us never deceives with our speeh? Who among us does not return insult for insult? Who among us does not offer threats? Yet Jesus perfectly embodied these impossible traits. How can our hearts be cold towards one who is so amazing in his sinless perfection?
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
NOTE: I would be particularly interested in the perspective of our readers who are outside of the U.S., as I am guessing they might have some particularly helpful observations that Americans at times may be blind to.
Friday, May 05, 2006
Thursday, May 04, 2006
While not in any way denying that autonomy is an excellent way of expressing Adam and Eve's sin, I guess I was anticipating more discussion of the fall in terms of God's vice-regents / stewards rebelling against their commission from Gen 1:26-31 and instead asserting their own authority to rule as they saw fit (which is certainly an expression of autonomy.
This relates to a second observation. Great emphasis is placed on the horizontal dimensions of sin, and although the vertical dimensions of sin are mentioned (and even described as fundamental), the amount of discussion of the horizontal effects of sin has the subtle of effect of making them seem more important. Related to this is the very brief and almost in passing reference to God's judgment on Adam, Eve, the serpent, and the ground, something I would have liked to see more discussion of. One of the things that Gen 3 clearly highlights is that as his creation we are responsible / accountable to God, and I think establishing that fact as early in the story as possible is very important.
Final observation - given the importance of this act for the entire storyline I was a little surprised that it only received four pages; I would have expected and hoped for more.
Of course, I should mark these comments as provisional, subject to revision as I continue through the book. Perhaps these are lines developed as the book progresses, and I am aware that one cannot do everything in a book this size. But I wanted to get some initial thoughts out there. So what think you, esteemed readers?
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
I've already taken my stab at it, but I want to see your efforts before I share mine at some point. So, readers, how would you trace the biblical theological roots of submission to government authority?
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Monday, May 01, 2006
Strengths - The quality of the mentors is top notch, as a glance at the website will show. The small size of the program (only 6 admitted each year; typically 2 each in OT, NT, & systematics) means focused attention from your mentor and a close knit community within the program. It also enables Wheaton to fully fund your tuition and offer an $8,000/yr stipend in return for about 8 hrs/wk of work for a professor. On that front, it may be the best deal in evangelicalism. There is a strong emphasis on integration across the disciplines, and in the admissions process they look for dissertation ideas that focus in one area but significantly interact with other disciplines as well. In particular this program is establishing a reputation for doing work on the use of the OT in the NT.
Potential Drawbacks - In addition to it being difficult to get in, the attempt to be hybrid between NA and British models can result in feeling a bit squeezed at times. They are still working through some of these issues, and because it is a new program they are still working through various issues in the program. The stipend is guaranteed for only three years, though there is the possibility of getting it extended for a fourth year. Something else to consider is that since the program is almost brand new, it is hard to know how a Ph.D. from Wheaton is perceived within the academy when searching for a job. I have yet to hear anything negative, butw who knows what is said behind closed doors.
Advice - If you are interested in learning more about studying at Wheaton, feel free to ask questions here or email me. I would recommend making contact with the particular professor you might be interested in studying under here at Wheaton and discussing potential dissertation topics to see what catches their interest.
In sum, I think Wheaton is one of the premiere Ph.D. programs within evangelicalism, and if you are interested in doing doctoral work, this is a place you need to consider.
Saturday, April 29, 2006
NOTE: Tim Challies has detailed notes from the various sessions at T4G for those who couldn't attend or need a refresher on all that was said. Thanks, Tim.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Part One: Introduction contains articles on foundational issues in biblical theology such as exegesis and hermeneutics, NT use of OT, relationship of OT to NT, canon, systematic theology & biblical theology, and even preaching and biblical theology. These articles provide a substantive but generally accessible entry point into biblical theology and its relationship to other aspects of theology.
Part Two: Biblical Corpa and Books has articles on major sections of the canon such as Genesis to Kings, the prophetic books, etc., followed by entries on each individual Biblical book. In these articles the contributors attempt to identify key themes within the specific biblical book itself as well as indicate how the specific themes of a book contribute to the larger canonical presentation of that theme.
Part Three: Themes contains articles that trace key themes throughout Scripture (e.g. Adam, exile, Jerusalem, Law, sin, suffering, wilderness).
Every entry concludes with a very short bibliography for further reading (at times I wish these were longer).
As with any dictionary, the quality of individual entries can vary, but by and large the articles are well-written and helpful starting points. Consequently this is an excellent resource for any who are actively engaged in the study and teaching of Scripture and want to understand how the parts relate to the whole.
Sunday, April 23, 2006
HINT: There is a LOT that could be discussed here; feel free to explore any and all of those possibilities.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
(1 Cor 10:1-4; NAS1995)
On what basis does Paul make such an identification? Is this merely fanciful exegesis? Is there any theological basis for such an identification?
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
"I've a question about connecting the OT to the NT. Although I do agree that the OT is connected to Christ, for instance, the institution of the sacrifices in Israel's worship; is it possible to interpret every single passage in the OT as pointing towards Christ? For example, how is it possible to interpret the deep friendship between Jonathan and David in the light of Christ?"
So, good readers, is it in fact possible to interpret every OT passage as pointing forward to Christ? If so, how? And what about the example of David and Jonathan's friendship?
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
According to Acts 13:47, Paul responds to Jewish opposition to his gospel message by claiming that the Lord commanded he and Barnabas, followed by a citation from Isa 49:6 ("I have placed you as a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth").
So in Luke 2:32, Luke seems to indicate that Christ is the fulfillment of Servant in Isa 49:6, while in Acts 13:47 he seems to present Paul and Barnabas as the fulfillment of that same Servant passage. On what basis, then, does Luke assert that both are true? In other words, what is the underlying theological logic that allows Luke to make such claims?
Monday, April 17, 2006
"Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures." (Luke 24:27)
"Now He said to them, 'These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.' 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, 'Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.'" (Luke 24:44-48)
In these two passages, Jesus makes it clear that if his disciples are to read the OT correctly, they must read it with a view to his suffering/resurrection and the proclamation of that message to the ends of the earth. In other words, if we read the OT without attempting to understand how that particular passage in some fashion points forward to Christ and the gospel, we are not reading the OT in the way that Jesus commands us to. I would call this a "gospel-centered hermeneutic." Only in the light of Jesus' death/resurrection and the proclamation of that event do we have the hermeneutical key for reading the OT in all its fullness.
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Words to reflect upon as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of of Christ, the bedrock foundation of our faith.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
"Biblical Theology is that branch of Exegetical Theology which deals with the process of the self revelation of God deposited in the Bible" (p. 13)
He then notes four main features of God's self-revelation in Scripture:
1. The historic progressiveness of the revelation-process. Revelation does not stand alone, but is inseperably attached to God's redemptive actions.
2. The actual embodiment of revelation in history. Revelation is incarnate in history, not merely incidental to it.
3. The organic nature of the historic process observable in revalation. Revelation and redemption move forward progressively not in a uniform sense, but often in bursts.
4. The fourth aspect of revelation determinative of the study of Biblical Theology consists in its practical adaptability. God's self-revelation is not exclusively or primarily for our intellectual advancement, but for the living out of God's purposes in the world.
Although originally written in 1948, Vos's work remains a must-read for those interested in biblical theology.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
(1 Peter 2:9-10, NAS1995)
The phrases in all caps are identified by the NAS as OT citations/allusions. Here is the breakdown:
Chosen race - Isa 43:20
Royal priesthood - Exod 19:6
Holy nation - Exod 19:6
People for God's own possession - Exod 19:5
Not a people - Hos 1:10; 2:23
People of God - Hos 2:23
Not received mercy - Hos 1:6; 2:23
Received mercy - Hos 2:23
I would add the following additional allusions/echoes:
proclaim the excellencies - Isa 43:21
the one who called you from darkness to light - Isa 42:6-7, 16
So here is the two-part $64,000 question:
1. What are we to make of language describing Israel in the OT applied to the church?
2. How should these OT citations/allusions/echoes influence our interpretation of 1 Pet 2:9-10?
1. The pattern of the kingdom
2. The perished kingdom
3. The promised kingdom
4. The partial kingdom
5. The prophesied kingdom
6. The present kingdom
7. The proclaimed kingdom
8. The perfected kingdom
This is an excellent place to begin for a basic understanding of the biblical storyline. This book is about as basic as it gets while remaining responsible in its handling of Scripture, and is only about 150 pages. For those wanting a more substantive version, check out Gospel and Kingdom by Graeme Goldsworthy. Roberts acknowledges that his work is merely a less technical version of Goldsworthy, but this makes it more accessible than Goldsworthy.
So what do you think? For those who have read the book, what are your impressions?
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Systematic Theology - the attempt to organize the teaching of the Bible under various headings such as theology proper (what the Bible teaches about God and his character), anthropology (what the Bible teaches about human beings), soteriology (what the Bible teaches about salvation), Christology (what the Bible teaches about Christ), etc. Examples of this approach would include: The Institutes by John Calvin; Systematic Theology (3 vols.) by Charles Hodge; Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem. In the past this was sometimes also referred to as Dogmatic Theology.
Historical Theology - the attempt to trace the development of specific doctrines (e.g., the Trinity) throughout the history of the church. Attention is paid to heretical views that forced the church to sharpen and refine her formulation of doctrine. An example of this approach would be Historical Theology (2 vols.) by William Cunningham.
Pastoral Theology - the attempt to relate Christian doctrine to specific life situations in the church (e.g., sickness, suffering, interaction with the culture). Attention is paid to how Christian doctrine is to be lived out within the church and the culture.
Biblical Theology - the attempt "to explore the unity of the Bible, delving into the contents of the books, showing the links between them, and pointing up the ongoing flow of the revelatory and redemptive process that reached its climax in Jesus Christ" (J.I. Packer, "Foreword" in The Unfolding Mystery by Edmund Clowney, p. 8). Attention is paid to the "storyline" of Scripture and prominent themes across the Bible usually with an attempt to relate them to gospel and/or Christ.
While I certainly believe all of these approaches are important, it is my conviction that biblical theology provides the basis for systematic, historical, and pastoral theology. So on this blog the focus will be on biblical theology, but given the interlocking nature of biblical theology with the other disciplines we will often delve into these other areas as well.
And since I am new at this, I appreciate your patience as I learn the ropes of blogging.
For more information on me, please click on my profile. I look forward to our ongoing conversation.