For Your Edification is a 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
Kingdom Through Covenant. Justin Taylor, Vice President of Editorial at Crossway and blogger extraordinaire, has posted the first two chapters of the new book, Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants. This book is a landmark work on the covenants of the Bible (Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and the New Covenant). Peter Gentry and Stephen Wellum are the authors of this book, and they have wed their systematic and exegetical expertise to provide a comprehensive reading of the whole Bible.
I encourage you to take the time to pick up this big book and test their proposal. I think they are right on as they put the Bible together, and that this book has the potential to provide a more exegetical, biblical-theological reading of Scripture than either Dispensationalism or Covenant Theology.
Physical Theology: The Bible in its Land, Time and Culture. Dr. John Monson, who grew up in Israel, is Associate Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS). Earlier this year, he gave a compelling lecture on the space and time found in the Bible. His academic and personal experience in Israel, give him a strong understanding of the land in Israel and how it relates to our understanding of God’s plan of redemption. By the way, to add credibility to his qualifications, he also dated a girl from Bethlehem named Mary.
For more on a theological understanding of the land in the Bible, see O. Palmer Robertson, Understanding the Land of the Bible.
FAMILY, CHURCH, & MINISTRY
Gay Is Not The New Black. Voddie Baucham writes persuasively why making homosexuality normative in American life and politics is not the next step in the Civil Rights movement. Categorically, definitionally, historically, and legally, Baucham shows why arguments for gay ‘rights’ do not parallel the rights once restricted to blacks. He concludes,
It is very important for those of us who oppose the idea of same-sex “marriage” to do so not because we wish to preserve our version of the American Dream, but because we view marriage as a living, breathing picture of the relationship between Christ and his church (Eph. 5:22ff), and because we know that God has designed the family in a particular way. While the design of the family promotes human thriving (Gen 1:27-28), the testimony points people to their only hope in this life and the next. As a result, silence on this issue is not an option.
Unfortunately (and quite ironically), many Christians have been bullied into silence by the mere threat of censure from the homosexual lobby. “Oppose us and you’re no better than Gov. Wallace, Hitler, and those homophobes who killed Matthew Shepard!” is their not-so-subtle refrain. Consequently, we spend so much time trying to prove we’re not hate-filled murderers that we fail to recognize that the Emperor has no clothes. There is no legal, logical, moral, biblical, or historical reason to support same-sex “marriage.” In fact, there are myriad reasons not to support it. I’ve only provided a few.
Baucham’s article is an important and well-informed read. One that you need to read to equip yourself against the ascending onslaught for ‘gay marriage’ and against biblical Christianity.
Culture Wars. While you are at it, you should also read Owen Strachan’s article on why the ‘gay marriage’ issue is so radically different than the abortion issue and why Christians cannot ‘opt out’ of taking a biblical stand.
How to Comfort Bereaved Parents. Jill Sullivan, a 40-something mother in Arkansas, who lost her daughter in 2009, has written a helpful and compassionate article on how to minister to families in the church who have lost children. I have a feeling that her words while particularly applicable to the grief that accompanies the untimely death of a child, but her wise words of comfort are also applicable at any time that someone is experiencing the loss of a loved one. Take time to read it, and to pray for those who you know who have lost parents, siblings, or children in this year.
The Greatest Love Story Ever Told. On the same blog that published Jill Sullivan’s piece, Trevin Wax also posted one of my blogs, “The Greatest Love Story Ever Told.” Taken from a sermon I preached last year on Revelation 19, I explore the beauty of heaven and how every love story on earth is but a lesser version of the greatest love story of Jesus Christ dying for his bride and defeating his enemies. Check it out.
For Your Edification, dss