For Your Edification is a bi-weekly set of resources on the subjects of Bible, Theology, Ministry, and Family Life. Let me know what you think or if you have other resources that growing Christians should be aware.
BIBLE & THEOLOGY
Training Parrots or Making Disciples? In his pastoral epistles to Timothy, Paul says that his son in the faith should rightly divide the word of truth (1 Tim 2:15). Later, Timothy is exhorted to pass on all that he learned from Paul to the next generation of teachers and Christian leaders (2 Tim 2:2). To say it another way, in order for maturing disciples to pass on the faith to future generations, they must learn how to handle God’s Word and not just parrot answers from other talking heads.
To this end, author, pastor, and professor, Jim Hamilton, has given a concise definition of three keys terms that relate to rightly handling the Word of God.. These terms—exegesis, biblical theology, and systematic theology—are a good place to begin understanding how biblical interpretation relates to theological understanding.
Here are Hamilton’s one sentence definitions to each.
Exegesis is the careful analysis of the meaning of a particular passage.
Biblical theology is canonical exegesis. That is, biblical theology seeks to correlate the meaning of relevant texts from across the pages of Scripture.
Systematic theology then seeks to bring everything together for a full statement of what the whole Bible teaches on particular topics.
If these terms are unfamiliar to you, or, alternately, if you have read numerous books on the subject, Hamilton’s short piece is helpful for defining and relating exegesis, biblical theology, and systematic theology. Check out the whole thing to see why biblical interpretation is so important for Bible reading and teaching.
The Rose. Southern Baptist Pastor, Matt Chandler, exposes the hypocrisy of many Christian preachers when he recalls an incident where a preacher uses fear as the primary weapon against sin. By contrast, he states (screams!) that “Jesus wants the dirty rose!” because he has died to make us righteous.
You can find the whole sermon, ‘A Shepherd and His Unregenerate Sheep,’ at Desiring God, and his new book The Explicit Gospel is a helpful articulation of the gospel that is too often assumed.
FAMIILY, LIFE, & MINISTRY
Summer Family Activity Book. Summer is a great time for rest, relaxation, and recalibration. But, it is also a time for families to take extra time together and to use the summer as a time to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. But where should a family begin?
Enter the Village Church, who has come up with an excellent children’s activity book for your summer. This book is filled with ideas for instructing children in the gospel and having lots of fun at the same time. Here is the outline of the chapters:
SET A RHYTHM: Activities to help your family set a rhythm [of Bible intake] as you spend time this summer
AT HOME: Activities to help you be intentional with time you spend at home
OUT AND ABOUT: Outings and adventures you can take as a family
ON THE WAY: Things to do as your family travels
You can find the whole PDF here: Summer Family Activity Book.
Childhood Conversion. While we are on the subject of children, you should be aware of helpful article by Jim Elliff on the subject of children’s conversion. Elliff, a pastor of Christ Fellowship of Kansas City, examines the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of children and how conviction of sin, biblical revelation, and spiritual regeneration are necessary for true conversions.
Elliff points to the ways that many churches, pastors, and child evangelists have misled children and their parents by giving false assurance for salvation based on a prayer, a service, or some other outward act instead of the powerful inner-working of the Holy Spirit. For ministers and church members, Elliff’s article is worth reading to have a better understanding of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit and how to share the gospel with children.
Soli Deo Gloria, dss