I received my undergrad education at a dispensational institution, and I am often dismayed when I hear non-dispensationalists bash dispensationalists. The truth is that dispensationalists were holding to the authority of Scripture and other conservative doctrines when much of American Christianity was buying into liberalism. Furthermore, I received a great education in the Bible at a dispensational school, and was personally nurtured in my faith by several dispensational churches, so I owe a debt of gratitude to dispensational brothers and sisters who have loved and nurtured me in “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
However, I do not ultimately find dispensationalism convincing, and here I want to provide a brief argument for why that is. Continue reading
Our online class just finished up our discussions on the New Perspective on Paul (NPP). Many of the students had never heard of NPP before our class and there were a variety of responses to the topic. I wanted to leave the class with some direction on how to engage this issue (and others like it). Here, in bullet-point format, is the general approach to the topic that I left my students with.
Recently out NT2 class had an online discussion on the topic of the “New Perspective on Paul” (NPP). One of the issues revolves around N. T. Wright’s view of justification. Some people found themselves skeptical of Wright’s position on the basis of the fact that it is a “new” view in church history. In fact some cited Augustine as an example of the fact that justification by faith has always been the position of the church. Here is my response: Continue reading
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
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
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
A 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