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Showing posts from October, 2010

Christian Preaching of the Old Testament #9

[This is the ninth post of a serialisation and slight revision of an old essay of mine, in the hope of getting some interaction from others and also making it more accessible. (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,10,]

The Bridge Paradigm and Salvation-History
It will be obvious by now that I have found Goldsworthy and Greidanus’ approach to the OT a more convincing method of obtaining a Christian reading of the OT than Kaiser and Mathewson’s.  While all authors are without doubt sincere Christians committed to preaching the gospel I would argue that it is the way they treat the assumptions of the Bridge Paradigm that creates the distinction.  Both Kaiser and Mathewson follow a particular school of Bridge Paradigm thought following the popular evangelical homiletician Haddon Robinson.[1]  Robinson’s homiletic is centred on the need to discover a ‘big idea.’[2]  The need to objectively extract a ‘big idea’ from the passage requires the assumption that what we are to read out of any scripture i…

The problem with blogging . . .

. . . is that it is sometimes impossible to tell if people are joking. Surely Jim is not as offended as he makes out, by two such gentle jabs, but how would we know?  Well perhaps if he hit them the only place bloggers really hurt, by removing them from his blogroll, but surely he wouldn't do that over one tinsy winsy post?  Really?

Here's my prescription for such a sense of humour shortage:

1 Day left for Carnival Nominations!

Remember, here in the land of the long white cloud, those who stand on Maui's fish or ride Maui's waka, we get everything sooner that the rest of you, even Christmas, so if you want to be included or have found something that should be don't delay. (If you are confused by time zones, see countdown)   me before it is too late.

Get the <a href="">Countdown Creator Pro</a> widget and many other <a href="">great free widgets</a> at <a href="">Widgetbox</a>! Not seeing a widget? (<a href="">More info</a>)

Here's one for the Calvinists

Lest I be accused of allowing Xenos to be a little one sided,


Christian Preaching from the Old Testament #8

[This is the eighth in a serialisation and slight revision of an old essay of mine, in the hope of getting some interaction from others and also making it more accessible. (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)]
The issue of relevance
Mathewson provides a sample sermon on Genesis 22:1-19.[1]  The message of his sermon is that ‘the greatest thing you can do for your kids is worship God, not your kids.’[2]  In his exegesis he is looking for a principle that can be applied to his church congregation and he certainly finds one.  In his reading of Genesis 22:1-19 Abraham is a father who has to choose between God and his son, he chooses God and God blesses him and his son for it.  The pursuit of relevance has provided a principle but the bridge paradigm itself has not done this.  To derive this principle from the text we would have to believe that the writer of Genesis was concerned with family values, a significant western evangelical obsession.  However, two significant OT obsessions should surely ta…

Michael Coogan on Biblical Interpetation and Why He's Wrong

Individual biblical texts should not be appealed to selectively: Such cherry-picking is all too easy because of the nature of the Bible as a multi-authored book. Rather, as with another formative text, the Constitution, one needs first to understand it historically -- what did its words mean when they were written -- and then attempt to determine what its underlying values are, not just what it says in a specific passage. Only in this sense can the Bible be considered to have timeless relevance that transcends the historical particularities of its authors. From CNN, HT
It sounds so good, and he starts well, but he is wrong, the timeless relevance is not despite the historical particularity of the Bible but because of it.  According to Coogan's hermeneutic we could just dispense with the Bible altogether because all we really need is a one sentence principle that tells us to be nice to each other.

Does Predestination Make Sense?

Where we run into difficulties is when we try to reconcile Biblical statements about God’s love with theological systems attempting to comprehend predestination.It’s an old problem that has vexed people from Erasmus to the present day (and one I feel no desire to rehearse here).The problem is, the Bible everywhere assumes that human action and decisions are free, that is, unconstrained by a prior divine decision, and thus humans can and should be held responsible for their behavior.Even so, most reformed theological systems find a way to make room for human freedom and responsibility under an overarching if mysterious divine predestination. This of course makes no sense. - William Black,  Read the rest here, HT

RECAP Newsletter Oct 2010

is now out, including

Highlights from the Prison Fellowship Conference
We got so much out of this year's conference that we thought we would share some of our favourite presentations with you. Some of the highlights included:
Judge David Carruthers on how halfway houses could improve recidivism rates in New ZealandProfessor Alison Liebling on the moral performance of public and private prisons, andMP Chester Burrows on the fine line between victim and offender
The Long March: the Sallies, the Mob and the fight against P

In collaboration with the Mongrel Mob, the Salvation Army has designed the 'Hauora' treatment programme to help gang members and their families overcome their addictions to P. It is showing real signs of success. We bring you an update on the programme and with a little help from Dennis O'Reilly, call for more agencies to engage with gangs.

New Youth Justice Legislation: the most significant amendment since 1989

October's edition of "Court in the A…

Blog Plug: William Birch

Happy to have found a new-to-me blog where a learned Southern Baptist Arminian takes to task such luminaries as Albert Mohler and Michael Patton with great aplomb.  I dropped a cheeky remark on Patton's post on prevenient grace myself and really need to do a proper response to the reply I got, sadly I think the carnival is going to be taking up any blog time for the rest of the week.  Do check him out if that is your cupatea.

Christian Preaching on the Old Testament #7

Provocative 11th Hour Sermon

James kindly points out this fascinating sermon on Matt 20:1-15.  I think it is probably stronger on the deconstruction than it is on the reconstruction and I'm not convinced on either yet by any means, but it is always good to get that feeling when a treasured interpretation is being challenged and to test yourself, "am I more committed to the truth or to having been right all along?"

Final Call For Posts, Oktoberfest Biblical Studies Carnival!

Thanks to all those who have already submitted.  I will be assembling the carnival over the next week in time for the deadline of Nov 1 (NZ time).  There is still room for more posts in every category but especially in the OT category.  And please remember you can nominate other people's posts as well your own, especially if you have been roving further afield than the usual biblioblogging suspects, it would be fun to make some new discoveries this month, afterall many of the old pillars have been conspicuous by their absence recently.

  me or comment on the original call post to nominate.

Kia ora kouto!

Kittel on the Jesus of History and the Christ of Faith

Back in the day, when asked as an undergrad to write an essay on that dichotomy I refused, and wrote one called the Jesus of History, the Christ of Faith and the Risen Lord instead. But if I were to write one, I would start with this quote:
The Jesus of History is valueless and unintelligible unless He be experienced and confessed by faith as the living Christ. But, if we would be true to the New Testament, we must at once reverse this judgment. The Christ of faith has no existence, is mere noise and smoke, apart from the reality of Jesus of History. These two are utterly inseparable in the New Testament. They cannot even be thought of apart … Anyone who attempts first to separate the two and then to describe only one of them, has nothing in common with the New Testament.
Gerhard Kittel, G. K. A. Bell and A. Deissman (eds), Mysterium Christi (London, 1930), 49.  HT

brick-a-brack 24/10/10

Duane has some advice for those frustrated with big businessJim West has some advice for youth pastors, pastors, parents, and everyone elseA rather depressing article about the proliferation of Bible "versions" HTGet an insight into Paul Windsor's work as a trainer of preachersA Lutheran pastor ponders evangelism (or lack of it)Marc raises a pertinent question about PhD students who have no hope of getting jobs after

Chris Wright on the Greatest Obstacle to God's Mission

Chris Wright (UK) spoke on the issues of personal humility, integrity and simplicity.He said, “The greatest obstacle to the mission of God is his own people.”The modern day idols that entice us away from God are pride and power, popularity and success as well as wealth and greed.These things can be seen in church leaders pursuing status and titles and the prosperity teaching that is popular in much of the world.These teachers are ignoring the teachings on suffering and taking up our cross.On success, he spoke of the manipulation of statistics to make a ministry look bigger than it is or to try and get funding for projects.“We have become a stumbling block to the mission of God and need to be called back to repentance and simplicity.”From this blogger's report from Laussanne Congress, Cape Town.

A Challenge from David Black

Just came across NT scholar David Black's website, it is kind of a funny not-quite-a-blog-blog-imitation, not really sure whether I'll be coming back much, but this article caught my eye.

I’m still waiting for it – the church marquee that says:
Senior Pastor: Jesus Christ
I could not think of anything greater than to be part of a fellowship of believers where Jesus Himself is intentionally given charge to lead His church, where all bow before Him whether pastor or deacon or so-called layperson. Paul insists that Christ must receive the preeminence in all things (Col. 1:18). Toward Him all must move.
Last week in our theology class I surveyed the main Scriptures having to do with authority in the church. I feel there are so many things in our churches that are inconsistent with Paul’s pronouncement that Christ is first and that everything must enhance His preeminence. How is it, I asked, that no one can name the “pastor” of any New Testament chur…

Language Aquisition Through Nursery Rhymes

Well today is Saturday and yesterday's blogging was all pretty text heavy, so here is the fruit of my searching for a Baa Baa Black Sheep video for my daughters this morning.  Interestingly the top search results were all Indian education videos, all different yet wierdly the same.  This one features a "cutie pie blah shee," whatever that is.

This one has a very wierd sheep smoking hard on a pipe and walking on two legs.  We have a lot of sheep in NZ but I've never seen one do that.

But this is probably the trippiest one.

Nursery Rhymes Baa Baa Black Sheep Songs with Lyrics - Click here for the most popular videos
The Germans, on the other hand, still promote their own nursery ryhmes, no Indian versions of this, this one might be useful for those learning German for theological or biblical study

And this one will give you a unique insight into American English, where you may not mention anything below the waist by its real name.

Christian Preaching on the Old Testament #6