When we read Genesis 1–11, one important observation to make is the way Moses related Noah to Adam, and the covenant with Noah (i.e., his “second creation”) to God’s first creation. Helping us see the intentions of Moses, Peter Gentry outlines seven ways Genesis 8–9 recapitulate Genesis 1–2. Noticing these literary markers helps us read the Bible and understand the message of Genesis 1–11.
In the opening pages of their “concise biblical theology,” God’s Kingdom through God’s Covenants (GKTGC), Stephen Wellum and Peter Gentry lay out a description of typology that is worth considering. In what follows, I’ve synthesized their discussion into ten axioms. All of the quotations are from GKTGC; the references to other authors are found in their discussion (pp. 38–43). I’ve also taken the liberty comment and expand their thoughts in a few places.
1. Typology is not allegory.
This is an important distinction, one that is often confused. Wellum and Gentry write, “The major difference is that typology is grounded in history, the text, and intertextual development, where various ‘persons, events, and institutions’ are intended by God to correspond to each other, while allegory assumes none of these things.” Moreover, “‘allegorical interpretation’ depends on some kind of extratextual grid to warrant its explanation.” (38)
2. Typology is textual-historical.
Citing Richard Davidson, Wellum and Gentry explain, “Typology is symbolism rooted in historical and textual realities.” But more than isolated (synchronic) symbols scattered in Scripture, biblical types (i.e., redemptive events explained by inspired Scripture) fit into a larger system of revelation. Richard Lints defines this when he says, “The typological relationship is a central means by which particular epochal and textual horizons are linked to later horizons in redemptive revelation.” (39) Continue reading
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
Today, the CredoMag blog posted a link to the faculty address given by my friend and mentor, scholastic supervisor and former Sunday School teacher, Stephen Wellum. The faculty address concerns the biblical-theological implications of Christ’s priesthood and New Covenant mediation on the extent of the atonement and Baptist ecclesiology. This is an extrapolation of his larger biblical-theological work with Peter Gentry, Kingdom Through Covenant, that Justin Taylor linked to yesterday: Covenants in Biblical and Systematic Theology.
Let me encourage you to check out his lecture and to read the appreciation that Matt Barrett and I wrote up for one of many gifted professors at Southern Seminary.
You can read the whole thing here.
Soli Deo Gloria, dss
John Bright, a noted Old Testament scholar who influenced the likes of Graeme Goldsworthy, concludes his massive book, The History of Israel, with these insights about the history of Israel:
The history of Israel would continue in the history of the Jewish people, a people claimed by the God of Israel to live under his law to the last generation of mankind. To the Jew, therefore, Old Testament theology finds its fruition in the Talmud. The hope of the Old Testament is to him a thing yet unfulfilled, indefinitely deferred, to be eagerly awated by some, given up by others (for Jews are probably no more of one mind where eschatology is concerned than are Christians), secularized and attenuated by others. Thus the Jewish answer to the question: Whither Israel’s history? It is a legitimate answer and, from a historical point of view, a correct one–for Israel’s history does continue in Judaism.
But there is another answer, the one the Christian gives, and must give. It is likewise historically legitimate, for Christianity did spring from the loins of Judaism. That answer is that the destination of Old Testament history and theology is Christ and his gospel. It declares that Christ is the awaited and decisive intrusion of God’s redemptive power into human history and the turning point of the ages, and that in him there is given both the righteousness that fulfils the law and the sufficient fulfillment of Israel’s hope in all its variegated forms. It affirms, in short, that he is the theological terminus of the history of Israel. It is on this question, fundamentally, that the Christian and its Jewish friend divide. . . . History really allows no third answer: Israel’s history leads straight on to the Talmud—or the gospel. It has in fact led in no other direction (John Bright, The History of Israel, 2nd Ed., 467)
Whether one is inclined to affirm Covenant Theology or some form of Dispensationalism, three things stand out in this quote and are worth noting about the relationship between Israel and the Church.