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Archive for the ‘Bible’ Category

Michael Kruger

Michael Kruger has given a lecture at Clearwater Christian College on February 13th, 2015 on the Self-Authenticating Scripture.  This is an important lecture.  I appreciate his nuance and distinction between Self-Authentication versus Self-Attestation of Scripture.  Self-Authentication is not just merely self-attestation which refers to what Scripture has to say about itself although it does not conflict with it.  Self-Authentication refers to the quality, attribute and character of Scripture that bear out it’s own Divine Origin.  It is synonymous with “self-evidencing.”

Watch it:

Hope you learn from it!

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Hands_of_God_and_Adam

Introduction

Police officers are always observing people’s hands.  Are they reaching for a weapon?  The suspects’ hands are clenching-is the suspect ready to strike?  Are they hiding something?  Why are their knuckles bloodied?  There is a reason why when an officer pulls someone over they tell them to make sure our hands are clearly visible holding the steering wheel.  Our hands reveal a lot about who we are.  With what you do in your life what does your hands tell us about you?

The Bible has a lot to say about hands, the word appears in almost every book in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and I believe it all anticipates Jesus Christ.  How?  That is the subject of this series.  I think it does but we must do so taking the Bible in its context and then showing the need of a Savior and how the Savior  accomplished things that are only meant for the Hands of God. Again to state the purpose of this series for the next few weeks on Sundays: We will be looking at what the Bible has to say about hands from Genesis to Revelation so that we would be awe at how the books in the Bible anticipates Jesus Christ as Savior of our sins and we truly trust in Jesus as Savior.

But for today, the purpose of this post is to answer the following question:  What does the Bible has to say about the hands of men?  And from there what does that say about human nature and about us?

  1. The hands of man reveal man’s sinful nature
    1. Point: When we look at what the Bible has to say about the hands of men, we see sin and our need for a Savior.
    2. Proof
      1. For the sake of time we will survey only some of the passages in Genesis.  We see that the creativity of what man’s sinfulness is capable of doing is not something new to our times but have occurred for a long time.
      2. First sin of Adam and Eve
        1. Adam and Eve sinned by eating the forbidden fruit in the Tree. It presupposes the use of their hands in sinning.
        2. Note Genesis 3:22 is first reference of hands and what God says about his hand: “Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever
      3. The hands of men are capable of murder: Cain murders Abel
        1. First murder is recorded in Genesis 4.
        2. Note Genesis 3:22 is our second reference of hands and what God says about Cain’s hand: “Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.
      4. The hands of men are capable of being used to oppose others: Prediction of Ishmael’s hands against his brothers (Genesis 6:12)
      5. The hands of men are capable of being used to deceive others: Jacob deceives his father with false hairy hands to get his brother’s blessings (Genesis 27:22-23)
      6. The hands of men are capable of being used for violence: Story of Joseph and his brothers’ harm (Genesis 37:21-22, 27)
      7. The hands of a woman is capable of trickery: Story of Tamar’s prostitution and set up against Tamar (Genesis 38:18,20,28-30)
      8. The hands of a woman is capable of seduction and deception: Story of Joseph and Master’s wife (Genesis 39:12-13)
  1. Practice
    1. Early in human history Genesis record how sinful man can be; nothing is new today in terms of sinfulness. Do you recognize man’s sinfulness?
    2. Do you recognize your own sinfulness?  What does the actions of your own hands reveal?
    3. If you feel sick reading the book of Genesis with what man’s hands are capable of, then you should have a better appreciate the place for God’s law, Holiness and Wrath.
    4. Yet we must also realize God’s Wrath will be set against us because of what our hands and hearts have done.  We need a Savior who will save us from our sins and the punishment due us for our sins.  That Savior is Jesus Christ.

 

Beginning next week we will see the Hands of the Lord more closely….

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Hands_of_God_and_Adam

 

There is no substitute for the Word of God.  As much as we share things related to apologetics, worldviews and theology, we must always give Scripture its important role in our lives.  This thought has compelled me to share more from the Word of God on here.

For the next few Sundays we will be having a series of short posts on “Hands” from the Bible.  I think when we look at hands as a motif in the Scripture and look at its use in the flow of Scripture in Redemptive History, we can learn a lot about human nature and about God.

Stay tune for this series that starts this Sunday!

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RTS

About five months ago I shared on our blog a dissertation titled “The Self-Attestation of Scripture as the Proper Ground for Systematic Theology” that was completed at Southern Seminary.  Personally I find the self-attestation of Scripture to be a fascinating doctrine that has tremendous implications for how we do theology, counsel believers, evangelize non-believers and present an apologetics to those who ask for the reason for the hope that we have.

Today I want to share a thesis that was completed for a Masters of Arts that was completed over at Reformed Theological Seminary.  It is titled “The Self-Attesting Nature of the New Testament Canon” and written by John Gordon Duncan.  Duncan takes the approach of exploring how the self-attesting nature of Scripture has its contribution towards the canonicity discussion.  In his introduction he writes the following summary:

For the purposes of this paper, the canonization of the New Testament will be explored by examining the subject of criteria, including the early Fathers’ perception of scripture, inspiration, and apostolicity, with an emphasis on the self-authenticating nature of the New Testament. By taking a self-authenticating approach, such language as Eugene Ulrich uses when he talks of, “the historical development by which the oral and written literature…was handed on, revised, and transformed into the scriptures,”9 will be avoided. The scriptures were handed down. However, a revision or transformation from letter to scripture cannot be supported. Once that fact is established, this paper will offer a summary of the various lists and collections that led to the recognition in the late fourth century that the canon was closed.

For the PDF of this thesis click HERE.

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Mark Grant Osborne

Grant Osborne. Mark.  Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2014. 352 pp.

This is a work that is a part of the Teaching the Text Commentary Series put out by Baker Books.  My overall review of this book is that this is a wonderful and helpful expositional commentary.  I read through this commentary for my own devotional but felt it would be good for an expositor to use as well.  The introduction of the book mentioned that the editor was intentional in making this volume accessible and helpful for the exegete and educated lay person and certainly I think they largely succeeded with the format of the book.  The author begins each section in the commentary with the big idea summarizing the periscope, then a section titled “understanding the text” that is broken down into “The Text in Context” followed by “Interpretative Insight” that goes roughly verse by verse.  After this is “Theological Insights” then “Teaching the Text” and ends with “Illustrating the Text.”  I appreciation the commentary’s attempt to give illustration even when at times the illustration was weak since it help the expositor jog his mind for sermon illustrations!

This is a commentary filled with good insights.  Here in this review I can only share some of those that stood out to me:

  • I especially enjoyed how the commentary shares background that helped enlightened the text; for instance, the Jews often saw that the further back in salvation history one can pull in one’s theological argument, the greater is its theological “weight;” thus when Jesus argues against the Pharisees concerning divorce the move by Jesus to go back to Adam and Eve and not just stay with Leviticus and Deuteronomy was a deliberate move to provide an argument with a stronger force than the Pharisees.
  • In the first century religious context, Jewish sages were often seen as being too important to have children bother them; yet Jesus turns this on its head when He welcomes children in Mark 10:13-16.
  • This commentary was also helpful for me in interpreting Jesus’ curse of the fig tree.  The author noted that fig trees in the area typically had early figs in early March even though the main season that it bloomed was in May; this was what Jesus expected from the fig tree even though it was “not the season for figs.”  The commentary makes the argument that the issue isn’t so much about the fig tree as it is about the spiritually barren temple (which the fig tree periscope is sandwiched between two periscopes at the temple) which the word “season” heavily suggests since it is not a botanical term for growing season but a religious term.
  • Background information is also important in appreciating the scene of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey.  The commentary noted that it was unusual for pilgrims to enter Jerusalem on a ride so Jesus entrance into Jerusalem bear some resemblance to Solomon’s entrance to Jerusalem on David’s donkey in 1 Kings 1:32-48.
  • The commentary’s explanation of how the Jews performed the Passover feast with its various steps also help illuminated what was going on during Jesus’ last supper.
  • There are some ironies during the night that Jesus was arrested.  The verb for “laying hands” is often used in Mark to describe Jesus healing people but now used to describe people grabbing Jesus.  Normally in Jewish custom it is the Rabbis who bestow the greeting of a kiss to his disciples and not the other way around as Judas did.

Although I read through this commentary as a devotional read I would also say that this commentary is definitely for expository preachers.  Several years ago I had a hard time finding a good commentary I can recommend on Mark to my church’s small group leaders.  Had this commentary came out then I would have also recommended this book as a tool for lay people leading Bible studies on Mark.

NOTE: This book was provided to me free by Baker Books and Net Galley without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

Purchase: Amazon

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Inerrancy Summit 2015

I’ve been to nearly a decade worth’s of Shepherd’s Conference and this one was definitely the best personally.  I really enjoyed the Inerrancy Summit.

Here are the videos!

There are some more videos they haven’t had it up yet but I will put it up as soon as they make them available.

Enjoy!

 

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Note: The following are rough notes from the conference.

Mark Dever Shepherds conference

We sometime need to unpack what it means when we say that the bible is true?

Issue: translation, transmission, truth content (teaching)

We want to get to the issue of its teaching

4 questions to help understand God’s Word:

1.) What is God’s Word?

2.) What is God’s word like?

  • True (v.142)
    Good (v.68)
    Ancient (v.152)
    Unchanging (v.160)

Note God’s word is like this because He is like this

To attack the word of God is to attack God

3.) What does God’s word does?
Studying God’s word should not make us morally indifferent
Sir us to holiness? (V.102)
Note if Jesus use the Scripture in temptation why would we think we need it less than Jesus?
Rejoice (v.65)
Understanding (v.105)
Answering prayers (v.66)
Give life!

If God is speaking why would we not read it?

4.) How do we respond?
Obey
Love it (v.148)
Meditate
Trust it (v.42)
Fear (v.120)

This passage is about: Jesus! (Listen to the sermon when it is out and the many verses in Psalm 119 that only Christ could have fulfilled.

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