Friday, October 30, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
- Justification and God’s single plan: The Covenant and History
- Justification and God’s people
- Justification and God’s Righteousness: Imputation and Future Hope
- Justification and God’s Righteousness: Covenant and Eschatology
- Justification, Faith, and Faithfulness: The Works of the Law
- Justification and the Testimony of Paul
- Justification and Romans
- “Works of the Law” – Soteriology and Ecclesiology
Saturday, October 24, 2009
In just over a week from now, the Biblical and Theological Studies Faculty at North Park University will be hosting the annual Kermit Zarley Lectures. This year we are pleased have Chris Wright as our speaker. The date of the lectures is November 2 and 3, 2009 at 3:30-5:00 PM in Anderson Chapel on the campus of NPU. The Lectures are free to attend and open to all. If you are in Chicagoland please make plans to attend.
The title of his lectures is: “The Bible and the Mission of God."
The subtitle: "What Justification is there for Christian Mission to the World?" (or, "Can Christian Mission to the World be Justified?")
Title of Lecture 1: The Bible and the Scandal of Universality
Lecture 1 will show how our understanding of the validity of Christian mission flows from the world view presented to us in Scripture as a whole. This of course will require some definition of 'worldview', and defense of seeing the overarching biblical narrative as constitutive for Christian understanding of God, the universe, history, etc. We would look at some key themes in OT theology, that flow into the emergence of NT mission - especially the universality of the Abrahamic calling and God's ultimate purposes for the nations. We will also try to distinguish the theology and ideals of biblical mission from the sad and acknowledged failures and abuses that the church has perpetrated through the ages.
Lecture 2: Jesus Christ and the Scandal of Particularity.
Lecture 2 will basically be asking, What makes Jesus unique, such that the Christian mission of bearing witness to him is unavoidable for those who choose to follow him. And again, we will distinguish humble witness to Christ from Christendom pretensions, imperialism, cultural superiorities, etc.
Chris of course is well known as an OT scholar and missionary. His works are numerous, but he recently published perhaps his most significant work The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible's Grand Narrative. In this work he seeks to defend what he calls the “missional hermeneutic”. Essentially he argues that the Bible is a missional document from cover to cover. He clarifies that he doesn’t think it is a missionary document, as he sees no missionary mandate in the OT. However, from the very beginning of the Bible, Wright argues, that God is on mission. And he invites humanity to join him in his mission.
There are so many interesting points he discusses in over 581 pages including indexes that it would be impossible to even scratch the surface. I would like to comment on just one point that I have found important in biblical theology, but that, as Wright states, is not often addressed: the conflict with idolatry. He avers: “It has long seemed to me that the biblical category of idolatry is in danger of shallow understanding and simplistic responses. Yet surely it is a fundamental, if negative, aspect of a fully biblical monotheism” (137). Implicitly, if not explicitly, Wright shows that the whole mission of God has set as its goal the removal of idolatry from the earth. He provides a quite in-depth discussion of the nature of idolatry in Scripture. Wright observes that the overwhelmingly clear idea about idolatry is that it is a product of human creativity, although more rarely it is tied to demonic activity. As such, the primary implication is idolatry is the pinnacle of the human quest of autonomy from its Creator. He remarks: “Since God’s mission is to restore creation to its full original purpose of bringing all glory to God himself and thereby to enable all creation to enjoy the fullness of blessing that he desires for it, God battles against all forms of idolatry and calls us to join him in that conflict (188).
Friday, October 23, 2009
Highland Theological College - HTC
Salary: On application
Start Date: January 2010
Highland Theological College UHI is seeking applications for the post of Lecturer in New Testament. Based in Dingwall, Scotland, HTC is a non-denominational, theological college in the evangelical and reformed tradition. The College offers academic programmes at all levels from Access to PhD and seeks to prepare men and women for Christian ministry. HTC is an academic partner of the UHI Millennium Institute, a partnership of colleges and research centres, working together to provide university-level education throughout the Highlands and Islands of Scotland (see www.uhi.ac.uk for more details). Since 2006, the Highland Theological College has been approved to train candidates for the Church of Scotland ministry. More information about the mission, aims, history and governance of HTC can be found on our website at www.htc.uhi.ac.uk.
The successful candidate will hold a PhD in New Testament or will be in the final stages of completing doctoral studies. The appointee will play their part in teaching, research and administration within the College. The post will involve:
- teaching New Testament and Greek language modules at undergraduate and taught Masters levels;
- research-degree supervision;
- engaging in academic research and publication; and,
- participation in academic administration and the committee structures of HTC and UHI.
The person appointed will be committed to the mission, aims and theological position of the College, which is a Genuine Occupational Requirement in terms of the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003.
Further information and Application Forms can be obtained from Mrs Fiona Cameron (firstname.lastname@example.org or 01349 780000).
Applications should be received by 20 November, and all applicants will be contacted shortly thereafter.
[On a personal note: HTC is a great place to teach New Testament! The faculty, staff, and students have been a pure delight to work with. I cannot imagine a better cohort of colleagues and I will genuinely miss my students. HTC is part of the UHI Millennium Institute which is moving steadily towards University Title hopefully in 2010. In addition to having 40+ on-campus students there is also a very good distance learning programme delivering theological education to the more remote parts of Scotland through a mix of hard copy materials, web-based platforms, and video conferencing. Class sizes range from 5 to 15 students plus distance students per module. There is a real encouragement of excellence in teaching, research, and involvement with local churches as well. HTC is a reformed evangelical college and stands in the British Evangelical Tradition (e.g., Tyndale House). Its doctrinal standard is the WCF, though I would point out that Baptists and Anglicans with a calvinistic soteriology and confessional ethos are most welcomed there. Teaching load is about 10-12 hrs per week, a fair share of admin and committee work, there is good support from HTC/UHI for conference travel funding (e.g., ETS/SBL), and many invitations to preach in local churches].
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
MICHAEL S. HORTON
Union and Communion: Calvin's Theology of Word and Sacrament
MARK A. GARCIA
Imputation as Attribution: Union with Christ, Reification and Justification as Declarative Word
J. TODD BILLINGS
John Calvin's Soteriology: On the Multifaceted 'Sum' of the Gospel
A Mirror for God and for Us: Christology and Exegesis in Calvin's Doctrine of Election
1. The other letter of Paul to the Corinthians:
HT: Rachel Marszalek
2. Listen (with nice pictures) to a performance of the earliest extant copy of a Christan hymn with musical annotations sung from a papyri fragment discovered in Oxyrhynchus (P. Oxy. XV 1786). Totally cool! Although the Odes of Solomon is probably the earliest Christian hymn book (see Michael Lattke's recently published magisterial commentary on the Odes in the Hermeneia series), the P.Oxy fragment is the oldest extant piece of Christian hymnody dating from the third century.
HT: Mark Goodacre
3. My good buddy Jim Hamilton advocates the case for a pre-millennial eschatology against Sam Storms (amillennial) and Doug Wilson (post-millennial) in a forum hosted by John Piper at Bethlehem Baptist Church in the USA. Well-worth listening to.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
James L Resseguie
The Revelation of John: A Narrative Commentary
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2009.
Available at Amazon.com.
Robert J. Daley, SJ (editor)
Apocalyptic Thought in Early Christianity
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2009.
Available via Amazon.com.
A good follow up to my Paul Blower posts previously!
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Matthew 5:1-2 states
Seeing the crowds, Yeshua walked up the hill. After he sat down,his talmidim came to him, and he began to speak. This is whathe taught them (CJB).
Matthew juxtaposes the disciples with the crowds as he presents the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew here makes clear that the sermon is for disciples. The disciples gathered to him and he taught them. This perspective is of course born out through a study of the sermon. It is important to point out that at this stage in Matthew’s narrative the disciples are not yet identified as the Twelve. This will happen later in Matthew 10. So the disciples here are different than the crowd, but not yet the Twelve. Interestingly, after chapter 10 when Matthew uses the term disciples it is equivalent to the Twelve.
Yet, while the sermon is for the disciples it is in earshot of the crowds. The crowds while not the direct recipients of the message are nevertheless hearing the message. This point should not be too quickly passed over. The question deserves to be deeply reflected on: What might the juxtaposition of the “crowds” with the “disciples”, to whom Jesus message is directed, mean for how the church engages with the world? At the very least, it means that our message to ourselves should not be whispered in a corner. The “crowds” must overhear the message of the nature of discipleship. Discipleship is not a tag on after one comes to faith in Jesus. The uncompromising message of discipleship is to be heard by those on the outside.
Perhaps we as a western church in the late 20th and early 21st century have been far to concerned not to offend or unnecessarily confuse the "basic" message of the Gospel with teaching on the life of discipleship.
Friday, October 02, 2009
Ministry by the Book: New Testament Patterns for Pastoral Leadership
(Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2009).
Darrel W. Johnson
The Glory of Preaching: Participating in God's Transformation of the World
(Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2009).
Thursday, October 01, 2009
HT: Danny Zacharias.