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Showing posts from June, 2010

Judgment and Justification Part 3

Sorry for the long interlude in this series. I have been quite busy over the past month. Hopefully we will be able to work our way through the rest of the series reasonably soon.

As God's people we our desire should be to live in God's presence. In the Old Testament, God's presence was closely tied to the tabernacle or temple, which, after the conquest of Canaan and especially after the building of the temple, meant that God's presence was tied to the land of Israel. Only at the temple in Jerusalem could one experience the presence of God. This is why eschatalogical prophecies like Isaiah 66 picture the Gentiles coming to Jerusalem to worship in the temple.

This ties into a recurring pattern in the way that God metes out his punitive judgment. Sin leads to judgment which results in banishment from or the removal of God's presence. The very first punitive judgment in the Bible demonstrates this. When Adam and Even sin in Genesis 3 they are told that they will die and …

Book Review: Seven Books on Ethics

This summer I took a course in Christian ethics. The first six books in this review were on they syllabus, the last I'm throwing in as a bonus because it's quite good and deserves a wider readership than it is getting.

First up is Kingdom Ethics: Following Jesus in Contemporary Context by Glen Stassen and David Gushee. I really enjoyed this book. Its major strength is its rootedness in Scripture, especially the teachings of Jesus. The bulk of the book is ethical reflection on the Sermon on the Mount. I was impressed with the exegetical skill of the authors. While I may not have agreed with every conclusion that they arrived at, there were several moments of illumination for me in the way they handled the text. I was particularly helped by the way they show that Jesus wasn't showing us an impossible ideal that we could never live up to but that the bulk of the teaching in the Sermon on the Mount can be broken down into threefold transforming initiatives. One example would be…

Paul's Argument in Galatians 2:15-21

15 "We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. [1] So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ [1] and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. 17 "But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn't that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker. 19 "For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God [1], who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" (TNIV)
Here Paul continues the ar…

Recommended Bible Study Resources: NT for the Lay Bible Study Leader

A friend of mine at church recently asked me for help building a his personal library. I thought that it would be helpful to post my recommendations here as well. This first of two posts will cover New Testament study resources geared towards the lay Bible study leader. They have, in my opinion, sufficient detail for really engaging the text, but not too technical so as to limit their utility for someone without formal training. I don't claim to have examined every commentary for any book at this level, but I do believe that each of these would be a very helpful to a lay person putting together a Bible study. I also tried to select commentaries that are priced reasonably but occasionally I did recommend slightly more expensive commentaries. This page will be periodically updated as I read commentaries I haven't checked out before or as new ones are published. I will also add in some additional books that are not commentaries as time goes on.

NT Introduction and T…

Book Review: According to Plan

My apologies for not posting much lately. Taking a summer class has utilized virtually all of my free time. The review that follows is a lightly edited version of what I wrote for my biblical theology class at seminary. Hopefully my posting frequency will increase soon. :)

Graeme Goldsworthy formerly was professor of Old Testament, biblical theology and hermeneutics at Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia. According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible is one of many monographs that Goldsworthy has published, which also include Gospel and Kingdom, Gospel and Wisdom, The Gospel in Revelation, and Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture.

Why do we need the discipline of biblical theology? This is the question that Goldsworthy tackles in part one of the book. Correctly interpreting the Bible is a difficult task, and the meaning and significance of nearly every passage of Scripture is contested. The goal of biblical theology is to adjudicate some of these…