Category Archives: New Testament Theology

Why Did the Bridge Collapse?

Most of you have seen the new reports and seen the raw video footage of the bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, collapsing into the river and killing many people who were driving across it. Though the details of why the structure collapsed in a material sense are not known, we do know why the structure collapsed and why it is that so many people were killed and injured.

For those of you who do not know what I’m referring to, please listen to John Piper’s message overlaid on the video footage from their video team that went out last night after the bridge collapsed. His ministry and church are within only a couple of minutes of where the bridge collapsed and several of the people who work for Desiring God drove across that bridge ever day.

Pray for their ministry and that they will have great opportunities to share this message and the reality of God’s love for this sinful place in the coming days and months of recovery and reconstruction that will take place right in their home town.

The Future of Justification

Well folks, it’s almost here! Thankfully JT over at Between Two Worlds is giving us some shadows and types of the book about to be released in the near future by Dr. John Piper. The first blurb is a commendation by the well known Dr. Darrell Bock:

A good biblical dialogue needs two good conversation partners, who work hard to understand each other and make their case biblically. Piper’s look at justification does this with a superb tone and a careful presentation of his case. He and Wright exchanged communication before this book went public. Piper appeals to the wisdom of the ages on justification, a wisdom deeply rooted in Scripture. Wright argues his approach is also deeply rooted in Scripture as seen through a fresh appreciation of the first century context of Paul’s writing, a context we too often underestimate. This dialogue is important for the church; Piper has put us in a position to hear both sides of the debate and understand what is at stake. He has served us all well by enabling the reader to be put in the place of considering what Scripture says as he or she listens to this conversation and to our God. Iron sharpens iron, and Scripture is a sword that cuts between the soul and Spirit. Be prepared to be sharpened by a careful dialogue about what justification is.

–Darrell Bock, Research Professor of NT Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

The Future of Justification

This book is going to be well worth buying as soon as it comes out, whether you are on one side of the New Perspective debate or the other. As Dr. Bock tells us… iron really does sharpen iron!

It is my hope and prayer that any mysteries will be dispelled in regards to the views of N. T. Wright as well as clear concerns stated by John Piper about where the New Perspective, embraced too strongly, can lead people.

I still do not know what the book will ultimately conclude, but I trust that (from past experience) John Piper will have done his best to do justice to the views of N. T. Wright. May God get all the glory and may this book help many, many people to understand the Bible even more than they did before having picked it up!

In Christ and In Defense of the Faith,

The Bible and the Future

Anthony A. Hoekema has written an excellent book: The Bible and the Future

As I read through this book I hope to write some of my thoughts down for everyone to consider. But for now, you can think about buying the book and reading it for yourself!  🙂

Publisher Review: Writing from the perspective that the coming of God’s kingdom is both present and future, Hoekema covers the full range of eschatological topics in this comprehensive biblical exposition. The two major sections of the book deal with inaugurated eschatology (the “already”) and future eschatology (the “not yet”).

In Christ and In Defense of the Faith,

Southern Baptists debate Calvinism and Tongues

This past week on the Jerry Johnson Live radio program, two debates took place between Southern Baptist ministers. First, a debate over the doctrine of salvation with respect to Calvinism was held between between Dr. Mark Coppenger and Dr. Danny Akin. Second, a debate on the doctrine of Tongues was held between Dr. Russell Moore and Pastor Dwight McKissic.

Here are the audio files from the Jerry Johnson Live radio program:

Continue reading Southern Baptists debate Calvinism and Tongues

N.T. Wright on Faith and Works

Today’s ON FAITH question is an excellent one…

What’s more important from a faith perspective? Being saved? Or doing good works?

I would like to point out Bishop N.T. Wright’s response to the question. It is an excellent answer as well as another verification that he is in fact a very orthodox Theologian. I hope you enjoy the article. I have re-posted it on this blog entry below:

Continue reading N.T. Wright on Faith and Works

Ascension Day and David Field

David Field has pointed out that most Evangelicals are defeatist in their view of history and fail to see how the Biblical narrative works – because most Evangelicals fail to understand and affirm what the doctrine of Jesus’ ascension really means. I cannot say how sad that makes me and how much I pray and hope for the Church to change it’s mindset. Here is a portion of his post that I cannot commend to anyone more enthusiastically!

Continue reading Ascension Day and David Field

John Piper on Christ’s Obedience

The Sufficiency of Christ’s Obedience in His Life and Death

John Piper has give us some excellent thoughts on Christ’s obedience as it relates to Jesus’ whole life.

Piper says, “It is more likely that when Paul spoke of Jesus’ obedience as the cause of our justification he meant not merely the final acts of obedience on the cross, but rather the cross as the climax of his obedient life. . . . Thus when Paul compares the “one trespass” of Adam to Christ’s “one act of righteousness” (Romans 5:18), there is no single act in Christ’s life that corresponds to the eating of the forbidden fruit. Rather, his whole life of obedience was necessary so that he would not be a second failing Adam. One single sin would have put him in the category of a failing Adam. But it took one entire life of obedience to be a successful second Adam. That this complete life of obedience came to climax in the freely embraced death of Christ made such an overwhelming impression on his followers that they looked upon the “cross” or the “death” as the climax and sum of his obedience, but not separate from his cross-pursuing life.”

After reading this, I wonder if Piper’s thoughts might go well with James Jordan’s understand that Christ became the first mature man in history and attained to the glory that God had originally intended for Adam in the Garden. Jordan points out that, “He [Jesus] matured in faith, beyond the point where Adam failed. He matured to the point of being ready for adult responsibilities. Through his death, he became fully mature and was given dominion over ALL nations, over the wider world into which Adam had been prematurely cast.

In other words, Jesus’ whole life of obedience was required for Jesus to reach full maturity to be ready for death on the cross, thus receiving the resurrection and being given dominion over all of creation.

Hebrews 5:9 says, “And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.”

It seems very probable that John Piper and James Jordan could meld their views together for an excellent understanding of Christ’s obedience and maturity being credited to us by faith. But I’m sure I’m just dreaming! 😉

For more information on Adam and the Garden, along with a good analysis of James Jordan’s views, see this article.

In Christ and In Defense of the Faith,

On whom the end of the ages has come

1 Corinthians 10

11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

This passage is so integral to our understanding of today. Related to the story of the Bible and how it applies directly to us today, this passage tells us that the end of the ages has come upon us and that it has implications on how we live and how we deal daily with sin in our lives.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the New Testament teaching, I hope to provide clarification starting with this post, and in other entries to come, as I offer commentary on the New Testament Theology course I am taking with Gordon-Conwell SemLink [see the previous post].

Have you thought about what it means that you are alive during this age of the creation? Do you realize that these days are the Latter Days that the Old Testament spoke so much about? As you can see from Paul’s words to the Corinthian Church, the End of the ages began in the first century with Jesus’ resurrection (the first fruits) but have continued all the way up to today since Jesus has not come back to consummate His Kingdom yet. (1 Cor. 15:20-28)

This means that we have received almost everything that was promised by God to the prophets of old! Listen to what the writer of Hebrews says in chapter 11

39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.”

I will end the commentary for the moment, but I hope you will all consider this in your thoughts this week and seek to better understand God’s will for His people. The Lord bless you all as you realize that we are the people upon whom the end of the ages has come.

In Christ and In Defense of the Faith,

New Testament Theology & G. K. Beale

I have been blessed with the opportunity to take a course (for RTS credit) from Gordon-Conwell’s SemLink program entitled “New Testament Theology.” The professor is G. K. Beale and the course looks awesome!

The way SemLink works… you sign up for the class, pay, and they send you a CD with lectures, notes, etc. You also purchase any required books for the reading portion of the course and also take part in online discussion with other students enrolled in the same course. Lastly, you take a writen exam (in this case one final essay answering several important questions) and E-mail it to SemLink for the professor to grade it.

This course is very promising! Anyone interested in learning what the New Testament teaches must take this class and try to learn the interpretive lens that Dr. Beale puts forth in his explanation of the “big picture” of the New Testament, as well as the entire Bible.

Here is the syllabuswhich includes lecture topics, a required reading list, and bibliopgraphy of works cited, etc.

Since I was growing up (starting in high school), eschatology became and has remained central to my thinking about Scripture. I always desired to understand it and I actually learned much of what I know about the Bible because I devoted myself to studying eschatology. Even though my views have changed and matured over the years, by God’s grace He has always saw fit to tell me, “If you want to understand My written word, you must understand that you are living at the end of the the ages and that everything happening now must be seen in this light.”

I cannot tell you right now how much my thinking has changes over the years. But I continue to be astounded that many of my presuppositions were correct to begin with and many of the things I was taught when I was younger still hold true, even though much of the details have changed regarding the ‘when’ and ‘where’ of Bible prophecy.

Throughout this summer, as I take this online course, I hope to blog about my thoughts and interactions with the material and how my thinking changes or how I find God’s word clarified by my studies.

Once again, if you have the chance to take this course… TAKE IT! Whether you are a regular church member, a Sunday school teacher, or a minister of several years. If you do not know what “inaugurated eschatology” is, then you better find out quickly so that the Bible becomes more clear then you ever thought before!

In Christ and In Defense of the Faith,