December 2, 2014
September 26, 2014
January 13, 2014
Why won’t there be a sea in heaven (Re 21:1)? As you might have guessed, I love questions like this. R. C. Sproul helps us understand. In the book of Revelation, we can take the symbolism too literalistically. When reading Revelation, and indeed the entire Word of God, we need to pay attention to metaphor, symbolism, genre, literary style, and even inexact numbers.
Continuing with the interpretation theme, it is always important to keep the law and the gospel distinct when we read the Bible. Tullian explains. Here’s a quote:
Freed from the burden and bondage of attempting to use the law to establish our righteousness before God, Christians are free to look to “imperatives”, not as conditions, but as descriptions and directions as they seek to love God and others. The law, in other words, shows us how to love.
We often hear that you can’t legislate morality so it makes no sense to have, for lack of a better term, morality laws. You know, like laws against adultery. People are going to cheat on their spouses regardless of whether there are laws or not. Yet, law is about morality. This is inescapable. What we are seeing is the erosion of one type of morality for another. Al Mohler tackles the issue.
August 27, 2013
How did gay marriage get to be the issue that defines your political correctness? This is a very interesting piece about those who are driving this agenda. Here is a quote:
There are many reasons why the gay rights movement is so upscale. When I was active in the national politics of the Episcopal Church, I came to see that homosexuality in general plays an important symbolic role in upper middle class culture. It’s an image of transgression, and to affirm it relieves moral pressure, giving room for our own transgressive desires. If two men can have sex, then surely there are no traditional limits on what men and women can do.
If you are like me, you had no idea that the Video Music Awards were handed out this past Sunday evening. By now, you have probably heard about Miley Cyrus’ performance. Brant Hansen and Trevin Wax comment about what her performance says about our culture. Here is some of what Brant wrote:
The problem, this time, is that our society feels like it knows her, knows her backstory, knows she’s someone’s daughter, and isn’t able to forget it. Other women, like the ones on stage with Miley, the ones no one is complaining about? Well, we can sexualize them, reduce them to toys lacking a story, but this girl? We know her dad!
The law has no power. In fact, the power of sin is the law (1Co 15:56).
I shouldn’t. I really shouldn’t. I urge you not to watch this. Remember, I warned you.
July 26, 2013
Here is a helpful piece on what the word law typically means in the New Testament. Understanding what is being said is vital to accurately unpacking the New Covenant.
In The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same department, here is a fascinating look at Alexander Hamilton’s adultery and apology. Be sure to read the last paragraph.
I don’t often recommend articles from Guideposts. That said, this one is too good to miss. Sometimes God’s surprises are breathtaking.
From the When Life Gives You Lemons Make Lemonade Department:
December 19, 2012
November 28, 2012
Here is some wonderful wisdom from Ray Ortlund:
“Against those forms of Judaism that saw the law-covenant not only as lex [law] but as a hermeneutical device for interpreting the Old Testament, Paul insists that the Bible’s story line takes precedence and provides the proper hermeneutical key.”
D. A. Carson, “Reflections on Salvation and Justification in the New Testament,” JETS 40 (1997): 585.
There are two ways to read the Bible. We can read it as law or as promise.
If we read the Bible as law, we will find on every page what God is telling us we should do. Even the promises will be conditioned by law. But if we read the Bible as promise, we will find on every page what God is telling us he will do. Even the commands are conditioned by promise.
In Galatians 3 Paul explains which hermeneutic is the correct one. “This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise” (Galatians 3:17-18).
So, if we want to know whether we should read the Bible through the lens of law or grace, demand or provision, threat or promise — if we want to know how to read the Bible in an apostolic rather than a rabbinic way — we can follow the plot-line of the Bible itself and see which comes first. And in fact, promise comes first, in God’s word to Abram in Genesis 12. Then the law is “added” — significant word, in Galatians 3:19 — the law is added as a sidebar later, in Exodus 20. The hermeneutical category “promise” establishes the larger, wraparound framework for everything else added in along the way.
The deepest message of the Bible is the promises of God to undeserving law-breakers through his grace in Christ. This is not an arbitrary overlay forced onto the biblical text. The Bible presents itself to us this way. The laws and commands and examples and warnings are all there, fulfilled in Christ and revered by us. But they do not provide the hermeneutic with which we make sense of the whole. We can and should understand them as qualified by God’s gracious promise, for all who will bank their hopes on him.