Jesus and the Law of Moses in Matthew 5:17-20

In the spring I took a seminar in Biblical Theology. One of the papers I wrote was on Jesus and the Law of Moses, specifically trying to untangle Matt 5:17-20. If you are interested in reading the paper, you can find it here. This was the conclusion I came to:

The conclusions of this study are as follows. First, as section III demonstrated, Jesus fulfills the normative and commanding aspects of the Law and the Prophets by means of his teaching. This is not so much to say that Jesus’ ethic is vastly superior to the OT ethic, as it is to say that Jesus’ teaching plays a role in the age of fulfillment that is analogous to the role that the Law and the Prophets played under the “age of promise.” Continue reading

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If God Is Sovereign, then Why Pray (or Do Anything Else, for That Matter)?

This is an important question that people of a more Calvinistic or Reformed perspective need to answer. The best and most edifying explanation I have heard to date is given by Richard L. Pratt, Jr. I cannot commend to you enough his lecture “Predictions and Historical Contingencies – 01” in his series “Lectures on Prophecy.” Whether you are Calvinistic or not please please go and listen to the audio of that lecture! :) [FYI: I am not able to upload MP3 to my blog. To my knowledge, you won’t find this MP3 by searching online, but it is on iTunes U for free. Just look up “Pratt Historical Contingencies.”] I want to quote a few extensive sections from his writings to expose my readers to what I believe is a very rich understanding of God’s sovereignty, prayer, and human action in the world more broadly conceived. Continue reading

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Resources for Learning German for Biblical/Theological Studies

I started the PhD program at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in the fall of last year, and one of the things I knew going into it was that I was expected to learn German as one of the two research languages that were required for my program. I spent about a month looking for resources to start studying the languages because I wanted to start on my own rather than take the course offered at the Seminary. I worked on German throughout last summer and have tried to keep up with it as much as possible. Alas, I am still a beginner, and am planning on taking the course offered through the Seminary in the fall. Das ist, wie es geht.

However, I have found a number of helpful resources for working on the languages and I wanted to post them here for others who might be trying on their own, or want some things to supplement their formal study. Continue reading

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Lutheran Teaching on the Doctrine of Election

Dr_Martin_LutherA few years ago I got into listening to some Lutheran podcasts and reading some of their works. This corresponded with a class I took in seminary on the Reformer Martin Luther. We read Roland Bainton’s biography of Luther, as well as some of Luther’s own writings, such as his Bondage of the Will. I really came away from my study with an appreciation of Luther’s work, especially in his recognition of the importance of Scripture, the necessity of grace in salvation, and his understanding of justification by faith alone. Continue reading

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A Translation of 1 Tim 1:3-11

I am working on a paper in which I am trying to examine 1 Tim 1:3-11 to see what light it sheds on the topic of Paul’s view of the use of the Mosaic Law in the life of the Christian. Here is my translation of the passage: Continue reading

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Stephen Westerholm on the Sermon on the Mount

Just read the following on the Sermon on the Mount, regarding whether the fact that Christians fall short of its standards destroys the point of the Sermon: Continue reading

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D.A. Carson on Knowing Truly but not Exhaustively

“Human beings may know some things truly, if nothing exhaustively. They may approach greater and more accurate knowledge, even though they can never gain absolute knowledge (omniscience is not a communicable attribute of God!).” (D.A. Carson, “Systematic Theology and Biblical Theology,” in New Dictionary of Biblical Theology, 100).

Continue reading

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