Why was the unique sacrificial rite in Genesis 15 required, and what did it signify? Was it simply a self-maledictory oath on the Lord’s behalf, or was there something deeper going on?
After describing to an older Christian friend what happened in Jerusalem during the Jewish war, he replied, “Why have I never been taught this?”
Without their Covenant context and historical bearings, the pointy words of Jesus become so “generalized” that they seem inconsequential. In the wisdom of God, the tragic events of AD70 were recorded that we might understand the consequences of ignoring Jesus. They nail the New Testament Scriptures to the ground.
For as in those days before the flood
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage,
until the day when Noah entered the ark…
The Oath/Sanctions section of the Revelation seems to have three parts. The judgment begins in the house of God (Temple bowls – Garden), then follows the revelation of the “mystery” of the Woman and the kings of the Land, and finally the judgment reaches out to the borders of the World (the oikoumene). This corresponds not only with the Garden, Land, World architecture of the nations in Genesis 1-10, it brings an end to the “intermarriage,” the compromise of the Priestly people with idolatrous kings. It is fitting that the third part of this judgment (chapters 18-19) culminates in a Red Wedding.
For seizing the devoted plunder of Jericho, Achan was stoned to death and burned with fire, along with his children, livestock, and all his possessions. This judgment appears to contradict Deuteronomy 24:16, which forbids the punishment of children for the sins of their fathers.
It seems that the solution is architectural. Here’s an excerpt from the forthcoming Sweet Counsel:
At that time the Lord said to Joshua,
“Make flint knives and circumcise
the sons of Israel a second time.”
Was Israel disobedient in its failure to circumcise every male born in the wilderness? The Lord never chastised them for this. If this lapse in the practice of circumcision was in the plan of God, what was the purpose of that plan? The example which first comes to mind is the circumcision of the firstborn son of Moses in Exodus 4:24-26.
“Just as Circumcision made impossible a global corruption,
so paedobaptism makes impossible a global Gospel.”
Part 1 here.
With so many young people leaving the Church, it is no wonder that there is a push to renew an understanding of biblical Covenant. Giving our children a profound sense of their “Covenant identity” is a crucial means of re-establishing the Covenant framework which has been neglected. Unfortunately, those pushing for these things are going about it in entirely the wrong way, because they are re-establishing the wrong Covenant.
or Where Kenneth Gentry Is Wrong on the Revelation
Part 1 here.
I’ve been meaning to write this post since I wrote Part 1 (over two years ago). A friend’s recent question concerning Kenneth Gentry’s lectures on the Revelation encouraged me to bite the bullet and bust a gut and get it done. The question is this: Is the Revelation to be interpreted in the light of Josephus’ Jewish War, or in the light of the Bible itself?
or The Time Appointed by the Father
The Bible is a musical book. It plays the same tune over and over again. However, much of modern Bible scholarship refuses to be caught up in the flow, instead limiting its practice to the particulars. Instead of recognising themes and motifs, it boils down to ”Look, there’s another B flat.” The historical-grammatical method is an instrument which refuses to submit to the music for fear it might get carried away.
Peter Leithart follows the tune concerning the meaning of stoicheia. He has not only identified a B flat, but how it is used in the literary composition – its significance in the Covenant tune as it is presented to us by God, and as it plays out in history. I’ll quote his post, and then I will allow the same tune to carry him somewhere he does not want to go.
“Modern commentators seem to overlook the promise of children in Genesis 1, and how these unmentioned ‘innocents,’ yet in Adam’s loins, are silent but crucial characters in Genesis 3.”
When Paul refers to Abraham as the father of all who believe, the one through whom all nations would be blessed (Romans 4:9-22), we must be prepared to interpret his inspired words through the lens of the House of God, the ever-present architecture of Eden.
The Name of the Father
God’s household in heaven was a tent of servants—the angels—but there was only one Son, through whom came all Creation. This means that the first verses of John’s Gospel, which describe the pre-incarnate Word, can tell us a great deal about God’s intentions for Adam, the incarnate image of God. All that Jesus was in heaven, Adam was to be on earth:
For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:38-39)
Most disputes concerning the meaning of the Scriptures are not due to a lack of trying when it comes to hermeneutics. They result from a lack of due process. By this, I do not mean the process of interpretation but the identification in the Scriptures of the processes of God.
An example would be the meaning of Christ’s words concerning the unpardonable sin, which have terrified many Christians unnecessarily. Blasphemy against the Spirit is unpardonable not because it is the worst sin. It is unpardonable because it is the last sin.