Feb 12 2013

Nehemiah Cleans House

“With this theory of the joke in mind, the final chapter of Nehemiah is holy and hysterical.”

In his book, Deep Exegesis, Peter Leithart speaks of the biblical text as many things, but none is more confronting than his viewing the text as a “joke.” His explanation, however, makes perfect sense. What makes a joke funny? It is either prior knowledge to which not everyone is privy, or a confounding of expectations (which are also based on prior knowledge to some degree). The Bible is full of such jokes, and realizing one is in on the joke is immensely satisfying.

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Dec 27 2012

Sociology and the New Covenant – 2

or Shekinah People

“The solution here is not, as Calvin believed, to dress the New Covenant’s ethical maturity in the puerile clothing of paedobaptism.”

In The Failure of the American Baptist Culture [PDF], James Jordan, Ray Sutton and others expose the rot at the heart of baptistic theology, which is inherently man-centred. The authors call us from a view of salvation in isolation to a wider vision of the meaning of baptism, which signifies the broader realities of the Covenant of Grace. I learned a great deal about history and Reformed theology, and thoroughly recommend it to you. In my view, however, they don’t go far enough. A call to understand the vital historical connection between circumcision and baptism certainly deals with the errors of the Anabaptists, but when rightly understood, the progressive nature of revelation also exposes the use of paedobaptism as a connection with the Old Covenant as entirely bogus.

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Aug 22 2012

The Deconsecration of Israel

And every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holy to the Lord of hosts, so that all who sacrifice may come and take of them and boil the meat of the sacrifice in them. (Zechariah 14:21)

Working on a post about the use of seals in Revelation, I was looking through the uses of the word “seal” throughout the Bible. Daniel 9:24, a very famous verse, showed up, and its structure struck me as worth some analysis. If structure is indeed part of the means of the Author’s communication, it is not an optional extra.
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Jul 10 2012

Shadow Ministry

Excerpt from James B. Jordan, Babylon and the Babel Project, Biblical Horizons Occasional Paper No. 39. Available from www.biblicalhorizons.com

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Jun 6 2012

The Ascension of Daniel

Just as the death and resurrection of Israel in Egypt follows the pattern of the Feasts, so does the death and resurrection of Israel in Babylon. [1]

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May 29 2012

Daniel’s Long Shadow

“As the book of Daniel progresses, it opens in stages like a flower.”

Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
Isaiah 53:11

MarkO and I had some discussion on here recently concerning the “abomination of desolation.” Was it the massacre of converted Jews during the Roman siege, or was it simply a delayed judgment for the crucifixion of “the Righteous One”? Mark writes:

I am inclined to think that the abominable act was the slaughter of The Righteous One. I take this idea from the Sanhedrin’s rejection and condemnation of Jesus as both God and Messiah (Mark 14:61-64), Peter’s Pentecost Sermon (Acts 2:22-23), his next sermon in Acts 3 (3:14) and also from Stephen’s defense (sermon) before the Sanhedrin (Acts 7:52).

So, is it the Righteous One or the Righteous Ones?

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Apr 26 2012

Just War

or A Nation of Nathans

Jeremy Myers has some words to say about Gregory Boyd’s and Walter Wink’s view that political power necessarily corrupts, even demonizes, the Church:

Is There Such A Thing As A Just War?

The “Just War” theory was originally developed by Augustine to defend the Empire’s actions of arresting and killing the Donatists, with whom Augustine was having a theological disagreement. He argued that in certain situations, a war is not wrong if it furthers the cause of Christ and advances the Kingdom of God on earth.

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Apr 25 2012

An Excellent Plan

James Jordan is continuing his commentary on Esther in the Biblical Horizons newsletter. As always, he makes some interesting observations on Haman’s “prospectus” speech to the king in Esther 3, in which he describes the Jewish people:

The first thing to notice is that what Haman says is correct. The Jews do have different laws and customs. The word here is dat, which is a general word for laws and customs and mores. This much is quite true, and has been no problem in the Persian empire.

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Mar 28 2012

The Torah in Revelation

“When Jesus stood at the door and knocked, He was the Covenant sheriff knocking on the Covenant door through His Covenant prophets to serve Covenant papers on the Covenant-breakers.”

A friend’s colleague recently posted a summary of wrong ways that evangelicals read the Bible, based on a chapter in Graeme Goldsworthy’s book, Gospel-Centred Hermeneutics. [1]

Boiled down even further, the main errors are:

  1. The “me-centred” approach: Context is meaningless. Texts speak directly to me.
  2. Literalism: Fulfilment in Jesus is ignored.
  3. Legalism: We rail about keeping the Sabbath but eat prawns.
  4. Subjectivisim: My reading of a passage is right because I felt a peace from God.
  5. Pluralism: The Bible has many possible interpretations.
  6. Pragmatism: There are more people at church, so what we are doing must be right, regardless of what the Bible says.

This is a good list, but simply dividing the Bible into pre-gospel and gospel leads to a misinterpretation of much biblical prophecy. Mr Goldsworthy’s blanket-style “everything is fulfilled in Jesus” hermeneutic means he himself ends up with a “me-centred” approach to the Bible.

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Mar 10 2012

A Jew ‘Gets’ Baptism

or The Federal Vision Isn’t Big Enough

But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?” (Matthew 12:25)

ACT I – An End to Sacrifice

“In AD70, the ‘office’ of Jew was finished forever (there are no more Jews in God’s eyes) and the “office” of Gentile was also finished. The middle wall was broken down. Any distinctions now are merely human distinctions.”

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