Currently, I am taking a hiatus from my doctoral studies. Having recently moved to a new city, with a baby on the way, and learning what the daily life of a pastor looks like, I thought it best to ‘interrupt’ my studies for one semester. Which means I have less assigned reading, but more opportunity to prepare for the messages at Calvary BC and to read up on the subject that I hope to eventually consider in my dissertation–the power of the cross and the covenantal application of Jesus blood.
With that in mind, I came across a helpful reminder from D.A. Carson on the subject in the introduction to Graham Cole’s new book, God the Peacemaker: How atonement brings shalom — I love that subtitle, by the way! If you are thinking about the cross of Christ, especially at a level where you are trying to explain it to others, Carson’s words are worth remembering.
Even to do justice to this theme [atonement] one must attempt at least five things: (1) The way the theme of sacrifice and atonement develops in the Bible’s storyline must be laid out. (2) Equally, the way this theme is intertwined with related themes (the holiness of God, the nature of sin, what salvation consists of, the promise of what is to come, and much more) must be delinated, along with (3) more probing reflection on a selection of crucial passages. These first three items belong rather tightly to biblical theology. Of course, (4) how therse themse have been handled in the history of the church’s theology must not be ignored. (5) Equally, if [any volume on the cross] is to speak to our generation, it must engage some of the more important current discussion (p.12).
May we labor together to better know, love, and tell the message of the cross.
Soli Deo Gloria, dss