Thursday, April 2, 2020

Free Course: Old Testament Theology with Tremper Longman

Here is a chance to get a free Old Testament Theology course with Old Testament Scholar, Tremper Longman.  Ge it free and get it now!  The link is here.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Sage Advice from John Piper On Commentaries

Logos has a sale on commentary sets this month and I was considering  updating or upgrading The New International Greek Testament Commentary set.  The only one I am missing in this series is Romans by Longnecker so I started googling, as I normally do when looking for commentaries, the best commentaries on Romans and found this intriguing comment by John Piper on why he finds Henry Alford commentaries so helpful and returns to so often:

Of all the commentaries on all the books of the New Testament, the one that I come back to most often is Henry Alford, The Greek New Testament. Henry Alford died in the 1870s, I think, and wrote a commentary on all the books of the New Testament based on the Greek. I find him most helpful, not because of his theology, but because of his relentless attention to grammatical and logical detail. He tends to wrestle with the things that I understand least. And that is where I need help. It seems to me that most commentaries are 90% obvious — like you are reading there what you would have seen on your own. It is the 10% we need help with, and Alford regularly is helpful.

I have referred to Alford's commentaries in the past but he is not on my go to list.  I will need to change this pattern going forward.  Sage advice from a great thinker and preacher.  I decided against getting Longnecker's commentary on Romans even though it was 60% off for me.

Monday, February 17, 2020

The Necessity of the Corporate Body of Christ in following Christ as Individuals.

That man is mistaken who desires his own separate growth. For what would it profit a leg or an arm if it grew to an enormous size, or for the mouth to be stretched wider? It would merely be afflicted with a harmful tumour. So if we wish to be considered in Christ, let no man be anything for himself, but let us all be whatever we are for others. This is accomplished by love; and where love does not reign, there is no edification of the Church, but a mere scattering. ~ John Calvin

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The Danger of Reading the Bible Casually

The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” (Exod 34:6-7)

Here is what one commentator writes about 'generational sins:'

God then issued a corrective against the natural human tendency to accept grace on the assumption that because an infinite God can produce an infinite amount of grace, sin has no significant consequence. This corrective is introduced simply by the normal Hebrew word for “and,” which the NIV justifiably translates “yet” but which is not a strong adversative word. Perhaps an even more revealing, even if tendentious, translation would be something like: “[Forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin] and at the same time not letting anybody off [i.e., making sure that the guilty get what they deserve].”

In connection with the wording “he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation,” see comments on 20:5–6. As already suggested there, this wording means something quite different from what it might seem to mean to the casual reader. It does not mean that God would punish children and grandchildren for something their ancestors did but that they themselves did not do. Rather, it describes God’s just punishment of a given type of sin in each new generation as that sin continues to be repeated down through the generations. In other words, God here reminded his people that they could not rightly think something like “we can probably get away with doing this in our generation because God punished an earlier generation for doing it, so the punishment for it has already been given, and we don’t have to worry about it.”  Douglas K. Stuart, Exodus, vol. 2, The New American Commentary, 717.

Monday, January 13, 2020

The Significance of the Indicative and Imperative Moods or Becoming What you Already Are

"The Christian indicative statement is not 'This is what you ought to be.' The Christian imperative is not 'Now be as much like this as possible.' Instead, the indicative is 'You are already thus; your true life is this.' And the imperative is 'Enter upon your possession.' In the familiar epigram so often used to describe the Christian position, it is a matter of 'Become what you already are'; and that is a strikingly different approach from 'Try to be a bit better than you are.' ...And trust in human effort implies all that Christianity denies. It assumes the ability of human nature to struggle upwards by itself; whereas the Christian formula, 'Become what you are,' sees in God a divine gift, and calls human nature to accept it. It says membership in the Christian Church, in the Body of Christ, has already possessed you of the life of Christ. To be a baptized member of the Church is to be a limb of the Christ who has passed through the grave and gate of death into life. Believe this, trust him, and begin to enter on your possession."- C.F.D. Moule; "Reach and Grasp", Theology Today xii (1955-6): 484-90; here 485-86.