Believing and Belonging: Which is the Source for True Fellowship?

fellowsThe next time you read through the books of Acts, underline every time you find the word “believe.” At the same time, circle every time you find a mention of the Scriptures, the word, or preaching. What you will soon discover is how radically committed the New Testament church was to proclaiming the Word of God and calling for belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Everywhere the apostles went they proclaimed the Word. Empowered by the Spirit, they were called to be witnesses (Acts 1:8). Indeed, filled with the Spirit they fulfilled their calling of proclaiming the Word (Acts 4:31). As a result, in just a few short decades churches were planted all over the Mediterranean. And within three centuries, the early church would become the dominant world religion. Continue reading

Zondervan Quiz, Three Views Book, and Other Resources on OT/NT Hermeneutics

This Fall Zondervan is set to publish another book in its Counterpoints series.  The book, Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, is a survey of differing ways evangelical Christians read the Scriptures.  Darrell Bock of Dallas Theological Seminary, Peter Enns formerly of Westminster Seminary, and Walter Kaiser formerly of TEDS and Gordon-Conwell are its three contributors. 

In preparation for this release, Zondervan’s Koinonia blog has set up a seven question quiz that can help you determine what position best describes your biblical-theological hermeneutic.  It will peg you as either a Fuller Meaning, Single Goal View (Enns), Single Meaning, Unified Referents View (Kaiser), or a Single Meaning, Multiple Contexts and Referents View (Bock).  According to my responses, I am the last–which means, that in reading the OT/NT, I consider the authorial intent of the Old Testament writers to have historical and literary significance for them and their audience in their varied Ancient Near Eastern settings.  At the same time, inspired by the Spirit, I believe that they were aware that what they wrote was eschatologically pointing forward to Jesus Christ.  In other words, they wrote better than they knew.  Peter says as much in 1 Peter 1:10-12 when he writes, “Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.”   Likewise, this seems to be the way that Jesus reads the OT, identifying himself by means of these OT writers who pointed forward to him (cf. John 5:39; Luke 24:27, 44).  Moreover, Paul and Jude employ this same hermeneutic when they read Christ into the OT (respectively, 1 Cor. 10:4; Jude 6).

All that to say, if these things interest you as they do me, and they should–putting the Bible together OT and NT is one of the most vital ways we can understand the God who has revealed himself and offered us salvation in his Son–then be sure to check out this multi-sided book.  In the meantime, you can also take the quiz here.

Other helpful resources on the subject include: G.K. Beale and D.A. Carson’s Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament; G.K. Beale’s The Right Doctrine from the Wrong Text? ; Graeme Goldsworthy’s Gospel-Centered Hermeneutics.

I look forward to reading the arguments in the upcoming Zondervan book, but i am still more excited to simply read my Bible and see Jesus in the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. 

Sola Deo Gloria, dss