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Biblical Theology

“The Obedience of Faith among the Nations”

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“The Obedience of Faith among the Nations”

The meaning of “justification” has recently become a debated topic in Pauline studies.  The central thrust of Romans has always been a debated topic.  Our Pauline Theology professor for this fall is Dr. Bill Barcley.  At a recent gathering of the Evangelical Theological Society, Dr. Barcley read his paper titled “Romans, Missions and Justification” that brings these two concerns together.  He avers, “Everything in the letter must be read in light of Paul’s missionary agenda,” and then puts forward “a reading of Romans that recognizes the centrality of Paul’s missionary goals, makes sense of the Jew/Gentile dimension in Romans, recognizes Paul’s wrestling with God’s faithfulness to his covenant with Israel, and upholds the traditional evangelical—and in my view biblical—understanding of justification” (1). 

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4 Ways Bad Biblical Theology Warps Sermons

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4 Ways Bad Biblical Theology Warps Sermons

The recent upsurge in Biblical Theology is an encouraging trend. Reading “with the grain of the Scriptures,” as it has been said, is uncovering (indeed, in a lot of ways is recovering) treasures new and old. And particularly preaching that is built on biblical-theological methods is a gift to local churches as the intent of Scripture is brought to bear on the people of God week in and week out.

But there are some serious criticisms of the way such sermons are delivered.

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Kingdom of God in Mark's Gospel

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Kingdom of God in Mark's Gospel

I think the word “scholar” is commonly used to mean something like “erudite know-it-all.” And since they know it all, they teach others who are willing (or forced!) to listen. But in its most basic sense the word simply means someone with an aptitude to study. Therefore, a scholar is someone who learns first and foremost. Far from “knowing it all” true scholars are always seeking out what we do not know, and setting about the joyous task of discovery. And when they do, the rest of us are blessed by their hard work. Such is the case with Dr. Nicholas Perrin, who recently taught a course here at ITS, and on the first night gave a stimulating lecture on The Kingdom of God in Mark’s Gospel. I am thrilled to share that opening night’s lecture with you here.

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Created to Compete

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Created to Compete

Earlier this month we were quite privileged to hear from former pastor and seminary president, and current Colts head coach, Frank Reich on a biblical theology of competition. This was such a helpful talk! Coach Reich led us to reflect on the nature of competition as a pre-fall reality, and how the urge to compete is a constituent characteristic of the image of God. It should be used, therefore, for the glory of God and the good of others. Equally, the coach helped us mediate on the way sin—as in all things—can corrupt. In the end, it all leads us back to our redeemer, the perfect image bearer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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God's Story.  Our Story.

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God's Story. Our Story.

The Old Testament is new again!  The recent surge of interest in Biblical Theology is a true blessing as interpreters—and therefore pastors and their congregations—appreciate again the interconnectivity between the two testaments.  The result is a better understanding of how the Bible comprises one complete drama of God’s actions in history for the salvation of his people.

 

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The Kingdom of God

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The Kingdom of God

“Kingdom is one of those concepts everyone talks about but no one is quite sure what difference it really makes.” So says Nicholas Perrin, author of the new book The Kingdom of God: A Biblical Theology.  The arrival of the Kingdom of God is the primary organizing concept of all of Jesus’ teaching.  So what is it?  What are its characteristics?  Is it political?  Is it “spiritual?”  Are those even the right questions to ask?  In these two brief interviews Dr. Perrin addresses such issues, as well as other reasons he’s written this book.

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Made for Friendship

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Made for Friendship

“Friendship is the ultimate end of our existence.”  So says Drew Hunter, Teaching Pastor at Zionsville Fellowship and author of Made for Friendship: The Relationship that Halves Our Sorrows and Doubles Our Joys (Crossway, 2018).  And yet, “friendship is…one of the most important but least thought about aspects of life.”  If both of these statements are true, then Drew’s book is much needed to recover this lost Christian discipline.  He takes a biblical-theological look at the place of friendship in Redemptive History, and helps us think about the nature of friendship in today’s world.  This month’s blog is an interview with Drew about his book

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"After the Deportation"

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"After the Deportation"

I commonly say that that most exciting sentence in the history of human literature is Matthew 1:1. Some are surprised to hear this considering that Matt 1:1 is the beginning of a genealogy: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.” How can a genealogy be “exciting?” Well, considering the kinds of biblical and cultural anticipation that surrounded the ideas of “David” and “Abraham” in the first century, this sentence amounts to a promise wherein Matthew says to readers “You have waited long enough; I will now tell you how our covenant God has brought to fruition the great hopes of our people through David and Abraham’s seed!”

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Matthew’s New David at the End of Exile

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Matthew’s New David at the End of Exile

Two years ago I published my doctoral dissertation with Brill in their Novum Testamentum Supplements series. It’s called Matthew’s New David at the End of Exile: A Socio-Rhetorical Study of Scriptural Quotations. I explore the ideological effects of the way Matthew uses the Old Testament in his first-century context. The primary focus is on the first seven OT quotations and the way they shape the interpretation of the rest of Matthew. As you can tell from the title, I find the focus of these OT quotes to revolve around David and the end of the exile in the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus.

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Peace To End All Wars: What Christ’s Birth Has Done and Will Do

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Peace To End All Wars: What Christ’s Birth Has Done and Will Do

There is a story from WWI that reminds us that in the worst of times, there’s still hope. Nearing the end of December 1914, 5 months after WWI began, British soldiers heard their German foes singing Christmas Carols after a day of fighting.

In the dark, huddled in their cold trenches, the British soldiers wondered what to make of this. But soon, they joined in, singing well-known and well-loved Christmas carols. And so, through Christmas Eve, the two warring armies celebrated the birth of their Messiah. ...

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What is the Joseph Story Really About?

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What is the Joseph Story Really About?

We're excited that Dr. Samuel Emadi will be teaching our Pre-Exilic Prophets course this fall.  He recently finished his dissertation, and wrote a summary of it for The Gospel Coalition earlier this month.  Here is a repost of that blog. 

Moses gives Joseph more time in Genesis than he does any other character—a striking fact given the significance of Genesis’s other main characters: Adam, Noah, and the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This prominence is even more striking considering the apparent insignificance of Joseph in the rest of Scripture. ...

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May His Tribe Increase: a Bealean Reading of the Softball-sized-Old-Testament-Nutshell

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May His Tribe Increase: a Bealean Reading of the Softball-sized-Old-Testament-Nutshell

Last month, a world-class biblical scholar came to the Hoosier capital. Dr. Greg Beale graced Indianapolis Theological Seminary with a weekend class on eschatology—that study of the last things as it relates to the individual and the universe. As the man with the highest rated commentary on the book of Revelation, Dr. Beale was eminently qualified to answer questions surrounding the end times, the last days, and the place of Israel.

If you were sitting in the classroom on day one, you would have heard Beale’s first shot: “One cannot understand any major New Testament doctrine without understanding its Old Testament background” (he phrased it, of course, in that more tentative academic way). “Can you think of even one doctrine where this is not the case?” The next nine hours of class, spread over two days, gave Dr. Beale ample opportunity to unpack that assertion by weaving the themes of tribulation, true Israel, return from exile, image of God (and so forth) to their fulfillment in the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. ...

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