Posted in Uncategorized, tagged 7 signs, Andreas Kostenberger, Anthony Selvaggio, Augustine, D.A. Carson, Dick Lucas, Graham Cole, Herman Ridderbos, I Am, Incarnation, John Calvin, Leon Morris, Robert Peterson, Scott Swain, The Gospel According to John on November 25, 2013|
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This coming Sunday I begin a new sermon series on the Gospel of John. While I have preached individual sermons or holiday series from John, I have yet to preach thru the Gospel. As I begin the series I have a stack of books that will be read along the way. Some of you may find some of these helpful.
Teaching John: Unlocking the Gospel of John for the Bible Teacher by Dick Lucas & William Philip. This is a short book (137 pages) uses a few of the stories in John to help you understand the bigger picture.
Getting to Know John’s Gospel: A Fresh Look at its Main Ideas by Robert A. Peterson. This is another short book that gets you oriented to the 3 purposes for the Gospel of John. It looks at some of the main groupings: “I Am” statements, 7 signs and others that help teachers to get a better handle on what is going on.
The Seven Signs: Seeing the Glory of Christ in the Gospel of John by Anthony Selvaggio. This is another short book of more limited scope- the 7 signs. He goes more in depth with those signs than the previously mentioned books.
The God Who Became Human: A Biblical Theology of the Incarnation by Graham Cole. This is an entry from the New Studies in Biblical Theology series edited by D.A. Carson. This book will be particularly important in the first chapter.
Father, Son and Spirit: The Trinity and John’s Gospel by Andreas Kostenberger & Scott Swain. This is another entry in the New Studies in Biblical Theology. This is a key subject in John’s Gospel and a book like this really should be read as a result.
The Gospel According to John by D.A. Carson. This is part of the excellent Pillar Commentary series and done by a well-respected exegete & theologian. This is one of the standard commentaries on this gospel.
The Gospel According to John by Leon Morris. This is the older entry from the New International Commentary of the New Testament series. It has since been phased out and replaced by Michael Ramsey. I love Morris’ work and I’m glad I’ve got it.
The Gospel According to John by John Calvin. This is another good “old time” commentary. We interpret in community across time, and Calvin is a good one to study with.
Homilies on the Gospel of John (1-40) by Augustine. This is a good way to get in touch with the historical community of faith. I look forward to reading these sermons.
Books I Don’t Have Time to Read
No pastor can read everything. We have families to care for each day. There are also congregants that need our time and love. Here are some others that come recommended by others.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Abrahamic covenant, Adam, Baptism, ceremonial law, Charles Ryrie, circumcision, civil law, covenant of works, covenant theology, D.A. Carson, Davidic covenant, Desiring God Ministries, dispensationalism, Dr. Roger Nicole, gospel, Gospel Coalition, grace, Hal Lindsey, John Piper, Justification, moral law, Mosiac Covenant, New Covenent Theology, Passover, Reformed Theological Seminary Orlando, sacraments, sanctification, Spirit on April 20, 2011|
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It has been on the fringes of a number of discussions I’ve had in recent months. It often comes up (unseen) in discussions about baptism with Calvinistic credo baptists. It has been at work in discussions about the relationship between law and gospel, and the Old and New Covenants. “It” is New Covenant Theology (NCT).
Let’s start by realizing that this is a matter of disagreement within The Gospel Coalition. There is freedom to disagree on this issue. This is not a matter that puts one “outside the camp” but one that creates some significant differences of opinion within the camp. Often we can’t resolve those differences on non-essentials because we ultimately are disagreeing about whether we should embrace Covenant Theology (CT) or NCT (yes, some of the Gospel Coalition guys are Dispensational).
I’ve been meaning to do a post on this for months now but haven’t had the time to really process things. I probably still haven’t processed things as clearly as I want to. As a young Christian, I drank from the Dispensational cistern via Hal Lindsey (I worked at a book store at the time of conversion and didn’t know any better). I’ve since read books by Ryrie and others. I “grew” out of it. By that I mean that no one really showed me anything better or beat me up about it. No one, as Dr. Nicole would say “disabused me” of this theology. As I continued to read Scripture, I discovered it didn’t fit. Scripture itself took Dispensationalism out of the picture for me. But I was essentially left with nothing in its place when I arrived at RTS Orlando.
There I was grounded in CT, even if it took me years to embrace and/or understand all of the implications. Baptism was the tough one for me, but I got there eventually (2 years after seminary). I haven’t studied NCT itself as much, but have read many who espouse it (like D.A. Carson and other Trinity guys).
Last night someone sent me a link to the Desiring God website. It was a short article meant to briefly describe Dispensationalism, CT & NCT. The author went on to say that Piper’s own views are probably closest to NCT and farthest from Dispensational Theology. NCT agrees with CT in seeing Scripture structured by Covenants, not Dispensations. It agrees with Dispensationalism by seeing a discontinuity between the Old and New Covenants. I’m not really interested in rehashing the Dispensational thing, so let’s look at the brief descriptions of CT & NCT and say a few things about each.
Covenant theology believes that God has structured his relationship with humanity by covenants rather than dispensations. For example, in Scripture we explicitly read of various covenants functioning as the major stages in redemptive history, such as the covenant with Abraham, the giving of the law, the covenant with David, and the new covenant. These post-fall covenants are not new tests of man’s faithfulness to each new stage of revelation (as are the dispensations in dispensationalism), but are rather differing administrations of the single, overarching covenant of grace.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Adoption, Church, D.A. Carson, Genesis, gospel, John Currid, John Newton, John Piper, Michael Horton, Roger Nicole, Scotty Smith, tolerance on January 4, 2011|
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I’m tired from studying Canaanite religion and pondering the church schedule for the next 6 months. No real connection there. Since I was looking at some options for materials for us in groups and SS, I decided to see what books are going to be released in the next few months. Here is what grabbed my attention:
The Works of John Newton. It was probably re-released in December. In the last few years I’ve grown to appreciate John Newton. I’ve been pondering getting his works. Good timing?
The Church of God as an Essential Element of the Gospel by Stuart Robinson. This is another reprint. The title alone intrigues me.
Reclaiming Adoption: Missional Living through the Rediscovery of Abba Father. It is a book based on the Together for Adoption Conference (in 2009?). It includes chapters by John Piper and Scotty Smith (both of whom pastor churches cultivating a culture of adoption).
The Intolerance of Tolerance by D.A. Carson. Yes, published in October 2009, but oddly on the coming soon section of WTS Books. Go figure.
Genesis 25-50 by John Currid. I used his commentaries on Exodus when preaching through the book earlier in my ministry. I found them helpful, and suspect this would be as well. If I continue beyond the life of Abraham, I’ll have to pick this up.
The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way by Michael Horton. This is a risky pick for me. I used to be a big Horton fan, but I see his books as more diagnosis than cure these days. I also hesitate with regard to his understanding/application of the 2 kingdoms doctrine. But you never know.
Standing Forth: The Collected Writings of Roger Nicole. Not new, but one I should get. My late professor was a brilliant and godly man.
Speaking the Truth in Love: Life and Legacy of Roger Nicole. You need to read biographies of men greatly used by God. You learn, often, how they were greatly broken. I’d like to learn more about my late professor.
When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search: Biblical Principles and Practices to Guide Your Search by Chris Brauns. I saw this and swore to myself. This is the book I’ve been meaning to write. I may still write it, though with particular reference to the Presbyterian circles in which I live and work.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Collin Hansen, D.A. Carson, deceit, illustrations, outlines, plagiarism, Steve Brown, The Gospel Coalition, Tim Keller on December 20, 2010|
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I posted on this topic a few years ago. But recent studies have brought this topic back to the surface. The Gospel Coalition has a number of posts about this issue of integrity.
Collin Hansen notes the professional price to be paid for plagiarism. Sadly, politicians seem to pay no such price. But as pastors, getting fired should not be what motivates our heart in anything. He doesn’t suggest this should be our motive by the way. But after learning a prominent evangelical pastor used Collin’s work without credit, he learned that evangelicalism has a different approach. I guess it would be similar to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Steve Brown used to tell us that a borrowed illustration should be noted the first time, “then it’s yours.” He was speaking tongue in check of course. Surely we aren’t expected to footnote our sermons for influential ideas. But, if we are quoting someone we should not that with a simple “As Jonathan Edwards noted…”. We can credit people for their important ideas, and should. It is about integrity, not fanning the ego of the one whose work benefited us (see the interesting comments on Collin’s post).
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Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling by Andy Crouch was one of the hot books of 2008. It has endorsements from such people as Lauren Winner, Richard Mouw, Tim Keller and James Emery White. As such, it is not a book for a narrow group of people but is respected by a broad spectrum of Christian leaders. As a result, I was looking forward to reading the book as I worked through Genesis.
I was not disappointed. I expected an interesting, challenging read. As far as specifics, I was not sure what to expect. It did not go in some directions I had hoped, but took me in directions I probably needed to go.
One of the main things that Crouch does is look at the cultural import of Scripture. This takes up much of the book. He develops the way in which Scripture traces major developments in Scripture, and how culture affects the people in Scripture. Scripture places us in a variety of cultures (ancient Canaan, Egypt, ancient Israel, Babylon, post-exilic Jerusalem and Galilee, etc.).
Crouch begins at the beginning- how the Scriptural account of creation is very different from the myths of other cultures. There, we find the importance of structure for creativity. Structure creates regularity without which no creativity can happen. There must be some type of predictability for us to manipulate creation in order to display creativity. Too much structure though stifles creativity.
“Culture is the realm of human freedom- its constraints and impossibilities are the boundaries within which we can create and innovate.”
He lays out some of the common questions regarding culture, and a few I hadn’t thought about before.
- What does this cultural artifact assume about the way the world is?
- What does this cultural artifact assume about the way the world should be?
- What does this cultural artifact make possible?
- What does this cultural artifact make impossible (or at least very different)?
- What new forms of culture are created in response to this artifact?
Questions 3 & 4 address the horizons of the possible and impossible in a culture. This was some of the new material that I had not really pondered before.
“Family is culture at its smallest- and its most powerful!”
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