“Does Christ come merely to improve our existence in Adam or to end it, sweeping us into his new creation? Is Christianity all about spiritual and moral makeovers or about death and resurrection — radical judgment and radical grace? Is the Word of God a resource for what we have already decided we want and need, or is it God’s living and active criticism of our religion, morality, and pious experience? In other words, is the Bible God’s story, centering on Christ’s redeeming work, that rewrites our stories, or is it something we use to make our stories a little more exciting and interesting?”
– Michael Horton, Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church (Grand Rapids, Mi.: Baker Books, 2008), 24.
Category Archives: bible
This is one of my favorite quotes by Tim Keller. In Edmond Clowney-esque fashion, Keller shows how every story of Scripture foreshadows or anticipates Jesus. Seeing Christ in all of Scripture is not merely about typology; it’s about rightly seeing how every story in Scripture fits into the larger context of the whole Story of Redemption and how that whole Story is either pointing forward to Jesus or reflecting backward to him (and then forward again to his return!)
“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, [Jesus] interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Luke 24:27
- Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden and whose obedience is imputed to us (1 Corinthians 15).
- Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood now that cries out for our acquittal, not our condemnation (Hebrews 12:24).
- Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void “not knowing wither he went!” to create a new people of God.
- Jesus is the true and better Isaac who was not just offered up by his father on the mount but was truly sacrificed for us. While God said to Abraham, “Now I know you love me because you did not withhold your son, your only son whom you love, from me,” now we can say to God, “Now we know that you love me, because you did not withhold your son, your only son, whom you love, from me.”
- Jesus is the true and better Jacob who wrestled and took the blow of justice we deserved, so we, like Jacob, only receive the wounds of grace to wake us up and discipline us.
- Jesus is the true and better Joseph who, at the right hand of the king, forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them.
- Jesus is the true and better Moses who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant (Hebrews 3).
- Jesus is the true and better Rock of Moses who, struck with the rod of God’s justice, now gives us water in the desert.
- Jesus is the true and better Job, the truly innocent sufferer, who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends (Job 42).
- Jesus is the true and better David, whose victory becomes his people’s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves.
- Jesus is the true and better Esther who didn’t just risk losing an earthly palace but lost the ultimate and heavenly one, who didn’t just risk his life, but gave his life to save his people.
- Jesus is the true and better Jonah who was cast out into the storm so that we could be brought in.
- Jesus is the real Rock of Moses, the real Passover Lamb – innocent, perfect, helpless, slain so the angel of death will pass over us. He is the true temple, the true prophet, the true priest, the true king, the true sacrifice, the Lamb, the Light, the Bread.
The Bible is not about you — it is about him.
Tim Keller, “Preaching to the Heart”
C.J. Mahaney’s 17 posts on “Biblical Productivity” are now available in a handy-dandy 36 page PDF, here. If you find yourself ever thinking “I’m just too busy!” then this article is for you. These posts have tons of good time-management ideas and much more. You’ll be challenged and equipped to determine your God-given roles in life so that you can then identity key, theologically-driven goals that will shape your yearly, monthly, weekly and daily schedule.
Since God is the only one who ever gets his “To-Do” list done every day, we should listen to what he says! And C.J. provides a good summary of God’s timely-wisdom.
For those of you who’d prefer to read online…here are all the posts.
4. Just Do It
6. The Sluggard
10. Roles (Part 2)
11. Goals (Part 1)
12. Goals (Part 2)
13. Goals (Part 3)
14. Goals (Part 4)
“In truth you cannot read too much in Scriptures;
and what you read you cannot read too carefully,
and what you read carefully you cannot understand too well,
and what you understand well you cannot teach too well,
and what you teach well you cannot live too well.”
—Martin Luther, WA 53, 218; emphasis mine.
HT: Joshua Harris
If you were to think of one special example, or a case study, of “worship gone bad” in the Old Testament where would you go? Well in chapter two of We Become What We Worship Beale take us to Exodus 32–Israel’s idolatrous rendezvous with the golden calf. But the worship of the golden cow is not merely an occasional, isolated episode of idolatry. Nope. The wilderness generation’s idolatry is the paradigm for rightly understanding Israel’s future idolatry.
As the chapter title (“Evidence Elsewhere in the Old Testament”) suggests, Beale traces Israel’s idolatry throughout the OT. But he does so by “focusing on Exodus 32 and its reverberations later in the Old Testament” (p. 77). What is most striking is how the idol worshipers in each scenario are described as becoming like their idols, just as that first generation of Israelites had become like the cow. Beale notes how Moses describes them in a way to suggest they’d become like wild calves or untrained cows (pp. 77-78):
- They became “stiffnecked” (Ex 32:9; 33:3, 5; 34:9) and would not obey, but
- they “were let loose” because “Aaron had let them go loose” (Ex 32:25),
- so that “they had quickly turned aside from the way,” (Ex 32:8) and they needed to be
- “gathered together” again “in the gate” (Ex 32:26),
- so that Moses could “lead the people where” God had told him to go (Ex 32:34). Read the rest of this entry »
I’m a few chapters deep into Beale’s new book We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry, so I figured I’d share some of the wealth that I’m mining out. To give you a feel for the book, chapter 1 is 35 pages long and loaded with great exegesis and detailed footnotes–not a quick read. But it’s the foundation of the book, and we find Beale using Isaiah’s commission in Isaiah 6:1-13 as the paradigmatic (his word, not mine!) example of how we really do become like what we worship.
Throughout the chapter you’ll find how Isaiah 6 is either alluded by or alludes to other critical passages that warn of the dangers of idolatry such as Psalm 115:4-8; 135:15-18 and Isaiah 1:29-31; 42:17-20; 65:2-7. But for now here’s a quick summary:
Israel’s problem was idol worship, and the idea of Isaiah 6:9-10 is this: Isaiah is to tell these idolaters that they have been so unrepentant about their idol worship that God is going to make them as spiritually insensitive, as spiritually inanimate and lifeless, as the idols. God is saying through Isaiah, his prophet, “You like idols, Israel? Alright, you are going to become like an idol, and that is the judgment.” (p.47)
So there you have it–God’s judgment equaled giving his people what they wanted. On the one hand, they thought that worshiping God was a dead end street. On the other, they thought that their neighbor’s idols would lead to an “enhanced life and prosperity, but in reality it resulted in further deterioration of their spiritual life and ultimately their material prosperity.” (p. 49)
After finishing this chapter, i didn’t immediately dive into chapter 2. Instead I lingered on these texts and some of Beale’s observations in hopes of finding out what these truths might look like in my life. Here’s what I found. Read the rest of this entry »
Sovereign Grace Ministries rock with generosity! The main sessions from the Worship God ’08 conference are already available to listen or download…for free! All the messages were great, but my top 3 are “Expressing Emotion with the Psalmist” and “Enduring Hardship with the Psalmist” and “Living Life with the Psalmist.”
Listen. Be blessed!
If you’re thinking about buying a study Bible…WAIT! The ESV Study Bible is due out October 2008 and, from the looks of it, will stand to be one of the most important possessions a Christian could ever own. Why?
- Because it’s the Bible, God’s Word, Holy-Spirit inspired truth. That’s enough right there.
- Because it’s the ESV, the best English translation available for both serious study and daily reading.
- Because the mammoth amount and stellar quality of all of the study notes available at your finger tips.
- Because the contributors are some of the most oustanding, truth-saturated scholars, pastors, and teachers alive today (J.I. Packer, Wayne Grudem, T. Desmond Alexander, Tom Schreiner, Scott Hafemann, John Piper…)
- Because of the trust-worthy endorsements:
- “The ESV Study Bible is the most important resource that has been given to the emerging generation of Bible students and teachers. The ESV Study Bible is the best. Period.”
- Mark Driscoll, Preaching Pastor, Mars Hill Church; President of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network
- “The ESV Study Bible is the finest study tool I have seen in fifty years of Bible teaching. The notes, articles, maps, and illustrations are all of the highest quality. It is a great achievement!”
- Jerry Bridges, speaker, bestselling author of The Pursuit of Holiness
So what are you going to do until October? Keep reading the Bible you’ve got!
Or…you can begin to read or listen to the ESV online, too.