Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Blog Merge, Irruption is Born

June 23, 2008

My brother, Brandon, over at LargerNeedle suggested that I merge with him, and offer in one blog a combination of our diverse giftings and interests to better serve the church and culture. I saw this as an incredible opportunity to unite with him for the cause of Christ and his kingdom. The merger has already been launched under the name Irruption, and from this point forward, we will be posting only there. All of our previous content, links, etc. has already been added to that site as well.

He Established a Testimony

June 14, 2008

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth! I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments; and that they should not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, whose spirit was not faithful to God (Psalm 78:1-8).

Quote of the Week – Thomas Schreiner on the Christian Presupposition of Canon in Biblical Theology

June 8, 2008

This past week, a dear brother of mine blessed me with Thomas R. Schreiner’s New Testament Theology: Magnifying God in Christ (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008 ) as a birthday present. Even though my German homework has piled to the ceiling, I could not resist giving the book a quick overview throughout the weekend. I am very appreciative of many aspects in and the main aim of the book already, and look forward at a more in depth look at a later time! 

From what I have read, I am thrilled to find a fellow Southern Baptist brother and scholar committed to careful exegesis, sound theology, a Trinitarian emphasis, the canonical witness, and (from the testimony of my brother who is one of his students) the obedience of faith. These commitments lead him to this thesis concerning the New Testament’s testimony: “The NT is about God magnifying himself in Christ through the Spirit” (13); or from his introduction, “…NT theology is God-focused, Christ-centered, and Spirit-saturated, but the work of the Father, Son, and Spirit must be understood along a salvation-historical timeline; that is, God’s promises are already fulfilled but not yet consummated in Christ Jesus” (23). (Without question, the third section of Schreiner’s book, “Experiencing the Promise: Believing and Obeying”, addresses how the Gospel demands the people it births live under this authoritative reality revealed from the text of the Bible.)

His conclusions stem from his own assiduous reading of the text as he himself testifies: “I wrote the first three drafts [of New Testament Theology] without consulting any secondary resources. Before I wrote, I carefully took notes on the entire NT, noting what NT authors discussed, so that my theology would be anchored by the text” (9). (Excluding bibliographies, the book is nearly 900 pages in length!)

The reason for this post, however, was to provide you with this quote from his work, which shows us the necessary Christian presupposition (no doubt birthed and generated by the work of the Holy Spirit himself) when assessing the testimony of the New Testament and putting together the theology it teaches for the sake of the church (and thus good of the world):

One must also presuppose that the canon is the limit for biblical theology because it is the word of God. This is not to say that one arbitrarily presupposes the truth of God’s word, for no other worldview makes sense of all reality as the biblical worldview does, and all other worldviews can survive only by borrowing from the biblical worldview at some point. Still, the divine character and authority of the Scriptures cannot be proved definitively; it is not as if we can demonstrate conclusively to others that the Scriptures are true. The starting point for grasping all of reality must be presupposed in any philosophical worldview, though it can be demonstrated that no other worldview makes sense of the world except the worldview generated by the canon of the entire Bible (885).

For conclusions in a similar vain of the previous quote, see my paragraph “What do we mean by ‘New Testament Theology’?“, Billy Marsh’s conclusions in his paper “A Christocentric Theological Method“, Ched Spellman’s post on K. Vanhoozer’s First Theology: God, Scripture, and Hermeneutics.

Accurate Diagnosis; Appropriate Treatment

March 29, 2008

My wife (now 29 weeks pregnant) and I spent this past Friday and Saturday in the Lamaze birthing classes at Harris Methodist Hospital. We considered the information taught a blessing from the Lord as we continue seeking His wisdom in making decisions concerning the birth of our first child. In this class, the instructor mentioned that her personal goal as a nurse was an “accurate diagnosis” of her patients’ problems and an “appropriate treatment” of those problems. Though she was not intending anything Christian, I thought to myself: “What fitting words for the Gospel, revealed to us in the Scripture.” The Scriptures give us an accurate, the most accurate, diagnosis of humanity’s problem: sin and rebellion against God; physical and spiritual death; slavery to the devil and the kingdom of darkness. At the same time, the Gospel, clearly proclaimed in all Scripture, gives us an appropriate, the only appropriate, treatment of this problem: Jesus Christ came into the world to die for sinners; he was raised from the dead for their justification; he now sits at the right hand of God interceding for his own; he sent his Spirit into the world to convict people of sin and righteousness and cause them to be born again unto a new life, so that they might be transferred into the kingdom of light, embrace the Gospel, turn from wickedness, and worship the one, true, living God; further, he will come again in glory to finally save his own, judge the wicked, and establish his kingdom, the kingdom of peace, forever. Read the word of God. Let it (Him) inform you of who you truly are and what (Who) you desparately need.

“…but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God; and that believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31).