Jul 7 2015

Cultivation and Representation

TheAmbassadors-Holbein

“In the days when our courts are declaring that good is evil and evil is good, the recovery of baptism as a delegation of divine legal authority rather than a sign of ‘limited Covenantal obligation’ is crucial.”

Every biblical Covenant is a word from heaven designed to bring a response from the earth. When the laws in the Ark of the testimony were given to Israel, the response of a legal oath was required, intended to culminate in the legal witness of Israel to the nations. Thus, every biblical Covenant is also a process which leads to maturity, beginning with cultivation and ending in representation.

A child must be schooled before he can be employed. A man must be a disciple before he can be an apostle. Adam was to be qualified before he could represent God as a just and merciful judge on earth. But the difference between cultivation and representation is the difference between circumcision and baptism, and this facet of the biblical Covenants is something paedobaptists are unable to accept, at least in its full glory.

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Jul 6 2015

Squinty-eyed Pharisees

Woe to Pharisees-Tissot

“…who were the Pharisees in their real setting? Where did they come from? There are no such people in the Old Testament, but when we get to Matthew they seem to be hiding behind every rock and shrub.”

Essay by Daniel Hoffman

If people today know anything about the Pharisees, they know them as the villains of the New Testament. Those who know a little more probably have a conception of the Pharisees as overly strict, eating their gruel with a scowl and casting condemnation in every direction, while Jesus was open and chill. Some might go beyond this and imagine the Pharisees as the perfect (or perfectly bad) model of self-salvation: The Pharisees wanted to save themselves by their good works, but the New Testament (it’s thought) is all about salvation through faith, and works are no big deal.

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Jun 29 2015

The Bible You Never Read

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Jun 28 2015

35 Theological Notes

ApostlesCreed
My online friend Tim Nichols has posted an initial batch of theological notes. Not only are they encouraging and inspiring, as far as I can tell I am in agreement with him on all points. Feel free to comment.

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Jun 24 2015

The Babylonian Unity of the Church

Pentecost-0615
A must-read essay by Toby Sumpter   |   Theopolis Institute

The unity Jesus is leading us toward has far less to do with hammering out a single organizational structure and far more to do with many different Christian tribes and tongues bringing their respective glories to the King.

There are many legitimate reasons to lament the divided state of the church. Fleshly pride, theological hubris, sectarian rivalries are each in their own ways modern versions of the Galatian heresy, refusing table fellowship with brothers and sisters for whom Christ died. And denominations have frequently played the same role as the names of Paul and Apollos in Corinth, for which we join in Paul’s manifesto to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified.

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Jun 21 2015

Solomon’s Disastrous Geopolitics

Solomon_and_the_Plan_for_the_Temple-M

“Virtually every time in the Bible that God gives a promise or a kingdom to someone, the first thing he does is ruin the promise by sinning against God.”

A must-read essay by James B. Jordan   |   www.biblicalhorizons.com

Solomon began to build the Temple of the Lord in the fourth year of his reign, which was 480 years after Israel came out of Egypt, the year A.M. 2993 (1 Kings 6:1).

Seven years later, in the year A.M. 3000, the Temple building was finished (1 Kings 6:38). The many ornate pieces of furniture needed for the Temple were not yet made, however, and during the next thirteen years the palace of Solomon and his royal apartments were built, while the apparatus of the Temple worship was being created (1 Kings 7). Then, in A.M. 3013, both houses were finished (1 Kings 7:51; 9:10).

After Solomon dedicated the Temple and worship began to be conducted there, God appeared to Solomon. This was in the 24th year of his reign. God told him that if he remained faithful, the throne of David would be established over the kingdom of Israel perpetually. If Solomon sinned, however, the rule over Israel would be lost (1 Kings 9:1-9).

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Jun 17 2015

Wash Your Sins Away

John and Pharisees-Tissot

“Behold, The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!”

“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

James Jordan has observed that Abraham’s “calling on the name of the Lord” was in fact evangelical proclamation of his faith. Abraham’s witness to the Canaanites was something for which they would be held accountable when Israel returned to claim the land. Chris Wooldridge sees this “vocal allegiance” as the key to understanding the meaning of the washing away of sins in the New Testament. Seen in the context of the last days of the Old Covenant, this was not baptismal regeneration but a public identification by the Jewish worshiper with the final sacrificial lamb (Leviticus 1:1-9).

Chris writes:

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Jun 16 2015

Those Afar Off

PeterPreaching-EDIT-S

There are no “Abrahamic” promises concerning offspring — or real estate — for New Covenant believers.

Like the dogma of evolution, the doctrine of paedobaptism is not supported by indisputable evidence. Rather, the data must be interpreted through the lens of a pre-existing framework. The paedobaptistic lens is, however, a biblical one, being Abrahamic, and it comes in extremely handy when used in the right way. It deals with the few texts which paedobaptists rely on for proof, showing that they are not establishing a revised Abrahamic tent, but bringing the old one to an end.

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May 26 2015

Delivering Us From Evil

JephthahsVow-TheReturn

“The guardian’s role is to prevent evil; the judge’s role is to deliver from evil, once it has been allowed in.”

An excerpt from James B. Jordan’s commentary on Judges (47-51) concerning the role of Israel’s Messiahs.

What were the judges? They were civil rulers and deliverers of Israel. God is concerned with all of human life and society. It is false to try to limit His interest only to the institutional Church, though as the sacramental body of Jesus Christ, the Church is the foremost earthly “institution.” The judges show us God delivering His people from His and their enemies, in particular in social and political situations. According to Scripture, the civil magistrate bears the sword of iron (as distinct from the Sword of the Scriptures) as a threat to evildoers. A magistrate is a minister of God, no less than a Church officer is, but the magistrate is a minister of God’s vengeance, while the elder is a minister of redemption. (See Romans 13.)

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May 16 2015

Mad Maxine

Furiosa

Redemption of the Female Eunuch

“We are not things.”

George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road is a two hour chase movie. It is also, unwittingly, a bold portrait of biblical feminism.

[ WARNING: Wicked spoilers welded to the vehicles ahead. ]

This post has been slain and resurrected for inclusion in my 2015 book of essays, Inquietude.

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