Via Emmaus Podcast: Reading the Joseph Story with Sam Emadi (Extra Inning Episode 01)

podcastlogoHere’s the latest Via Emmaus Podcast, one where I get in the driver’s seat and ask my friend and biblical scholar Sam Emadi questions about Genesis, Joseph, and Jesus.

Reading the Joseph Story with Sam Emadi (Extra Inning Episode 01)

In this first ‘extra inning’ episode, I interview Dr. Samuel Emadi, Senior Editor of the 9Marks Journal. Sam finished his dissertation on the Joseph story in 2016. He is currently under contract to write a book on Joseph in the New Studies in Biblical Theology series. And in this episode, we will learn more about Genesis, Joseph, typology, and how to read the Bible better.

For more on this subject, see

Soli Deo Gloria, ds

Via Emmaus Podcast: Episode 4

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Two new episodes of the Via Emmaus Podcast are now available.

EPISODE 04 (NT): Matthew 16–25 |  January 30, 2019  |  Anton Brooks & David Schrock

In this episode we Peter’s confession and confusion, Jesus cleansing the temple, the Olivet Discourse, and more. For more resources on these chapters, see

EPISODE 04 (OT): Genesis 15–25 |  January 28, 2019  |  Anton Brooks & David Schrock

In this episode we discuss the birth of Ishmael, the Angel of the Lord, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the promise to Abraham informs the rest of Genesis. For more resources on these chapters, see

Soli Deo Gloria, ds

Via Emmaus Podcast: Two New Episodes (Genesis & Matthew)

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We are still working out the bugs on our new podcast, but here are two new podcasts that discuss passages of Scripture in Genesis and Matthew. This podcast was begun  to help our church and anyone else read the Bible better.

If you have any questions for this podcast, feel free to ask here.

NEW EPISODES

EPISODE 03OT: Genesis 8–14 |  January 21, 2019  |  Anton Brooks & David Schrock

In this episode we discuss the curse of Ham, the tower of Babel, Abraham’s tithe to Abraham, and more from the book of Genesis. For more on Genesis, see

EPISODE 03NT: Matthew 8–13 |  January 21, 2019  |  Anton Brooks & David Schrock

In this episode we discuss Jesus’s acts of healing, the meaning of an apostle, point of parables, and more from the book of Matthew. For more on Matthew, see

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Via Emmaus: A Christ-Centered Walk Through the Bible

Yesterday, The Gospel Coalition ran an article on how to teach through the whole counsel of Scripture in a year.  It was something that I wrote based on the things I learned when our church walked through the Bible together in 2010.  For those who are interested in what those lessons looked like, here are the lessons I shared with our people each week.

Introduction: An Overview of the Bible

Pentateuch
Genesis 1-11: The Beginning of It All
Genesis 12-50: Four Families Under the Faithfulness of God
Exodus 1-15: Salvation Through Substitution & Conquest
Exodus 16-40: Moving Into the Presence of God 
Leviticus: Sinners in the Presence of a Holy God
Numbers: In the Wilderness
Deuteronomy: God’s Royal Covenant with Israel

History

Joshua: Into the Land

Judges: A People in Need of a King
Ruth: A Painful & Pleasant Providence
1 Samuel: The Good, The Bad, and the Ruddy
2 Samuel: The Rise and Fall of King David
1 Kings: Redemptive History is a Royal Mess–Part 1
2 Kings: Redemptive History is a Royal Mess–Part 2
Ezra: Return, Rebuild, Renew, Repent
Nehemiah: Rebuilding God’s City and Reforming God’s People 
Esther: Seed Warfare

Wisdom
Job: Knowing God In The Crucible Of Satanic Suffering

Psalms: Redemption in the Key of D(avid)
Proverbs: Wisdom is the Way to the Obedient Son
Ecclesiastes: To Work Wisely is Futile, To Fear Faithfully is Wise
Song of Songs: More Than Just an Old Fashioned Love Song

Prophets

The Prophets (1): Hearing the Spirit of Christ in the Days of Elijah

The Prophets (2): Putting the Prophets in their Place: Before the Exile
The Prophets (3): Putting the Prophets in their Place: During and After the Exile
Isaiah: The Servant-King Will Lead His People Into a New Creation
Jeremiah: A New Heart For An Idolatrous People
Ezekiel: That You Might Know the Lord
Daniel: Keep the Faith! The Sovereign LORD Reigns In History
The Twelve: Judgment and Salvation is a Major Theme in the Minor Prophets

Gospels-Acts
Matthew: The King and His Kingdom
Mark: Seeing the Christ of the Cross
Luke: The Messiah Must Go To Mount Zion
Acts: Taking the Gospel From Zion to Zimbabwe
John: Jesus, The Son of God, The Messiah of Israel, and The Savior of the World

The Letters and Revelation
Paul (1): The Apostle to the Gentiles
Paul (2): The Prison Epistles and Philemon
Hebrews: Believe and Draw Near, For Jesus Christ is Greater Still
General Epistles: James, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, and Jude
Revelation: The Revelation of Jesus Christ

Teach the Bible Through in a Year: Tips and Tools

If you have or if you would think about teaching through the whole Bible in 2011 or in any year, let me encourage you to think about a couple things that I learned as I taught through the whole Bible in 2010.

Tips
First, if you are a rookie pastor or just entering a church, WAIT!  I did this in my first year and I would not recommend it for others.  There are many things that demand attention especially in the first year of ministry and this one took up more time each week than I thought it would.  With that said, I have benefitted much from teaching through the Bible this year in a way that I believe will bear fruit in the life of my ministry in the years to come.

Second, and this goes along with number 1, if you are going to teach through the whole Bible, let me encourage you to make sure that you have been reading and teaching the Bible through for a number of years.  It is a good rule of thumb, to avoid teaching something that you have not done personally, i.e. if you have never read through the Bible in a year, it would be unwise to try to teach through it.  Moreover, this point is  important because at some point, or at many points, you will rely on the accumulated knowledge of the Bible that only builds up over many years of Bible saturation.

Personally, as I taught through the Scriptures this year, there were many times when I was dependent on previous Bible reading to provide explanation and fill in details of the text.  My schedule did not permit me to study every book like I had first intended and/or desired, so there was much I were many times I was going from memory–from seminary, personal Bible reading, books, or messages I have heard.  But this is the beauty of Bible overview, more than intricate exposition.  You help focus on the big picture, showing the unity of the Scriptures–a unity that I argued was to be found in Christ (cf Eph 1:10).

Third, set a pace for the year.  If you are going to teach through the Bible make sure those you are teaching are reading with you.  This will motivate you and they will better be able to follow your teaching.  To say it another way: Aim to keep pace with a Bible reading plan.  In 2011, we used the plan laid out by Denny Burk.

Fourth, don’t get bogged down with the details.  This is hard, especially for detailed-oriented teachers.  Aim to cover the big idea, themes, and ways in which the book fits into the larger categories of biblical theology.  Don’t spend your time on source criticism, who wrote 2 Peter, or when Daniel was written.  I would touch on these things, but believing the Scriptures to be God’s word, I focused on what was in the text more than what was behind the text.  In this way, I would encourage you to focus on biblical theology more than scholarly disputes–though sometimes you cannot avoid the latter (e..g is Genesis 1 a myth? [no]; was Paul the originator of Christianity? [no], and things like that should be addressed).

Fifth, create space in your teaching schedule to go over.  I took two weeks on Genesis, Exodus, John, Paul.  The first two books were planned to go two weeks, the second two were not.  Having space in the schedule helped alleviate the stress of ‘fitting it all in.’

Sixth, use outlines and information from other sources to help you, but just make sure you give credit where credit is due.  In my notes, I aimed to footnote the places where  I was directly dependent on the ESV Study Bible or some other place.  (See reflections at The Gospel Coalition on preachers and plagiarism).

Seventh, let the Scripture be your guide.  Fill your notes (if you use them) and your teaching with Bible references and Scripture quotation.  My goal on Wednesday nights was always to read as much from the Bible as possible to prove my points.  I aimed to synthesize the main points and to show from the text how I made that point. Spending time in commentaries and theologies did not help this, only reading the Bible did.

With that said, let me confess: Some weeks as I taught, I would read lots of background material and biblical-theological commentary.  Other weeks I wouldn’t.  In preparation, the text always needed to be central and more often than not it was, but sometimes, I must admit, I spent too much time in the books and too little in the Bible.  The result was a less-stimulating personal understanding of the book.  So, for anyone going into it I would recommend finding a handful of shorter reflections on each book–maybe just one or two reliable resources–and then spend most of the time in the Scripture itself.  Make up your own outline if possible and ask God to help make the book come alive for you.

Eighth, pray!  It was only by the grace of God that I finished the course this year.  Many prayed for me and when I grew tired in some weeks, it was petitions for grace that were answered with time and thoughts to present God’s Word to God’s people.

Tools
If you are going to read or teach through the Bible in 2011, or in any year, let me recommend these resources.

First, the ESV Study Bible was a necessary resource that I relied on every week to give background information and to help me outline each book.  Zondervan’s Introduction to the Old Testament (Dillard and Longman) and Introduction to the New Testament (Carson and Moo) would also be excellent aids.  They supply a great deal of background information and will help field textual questions and scholarly disputes.

Second, I would urge you to consider Jim Hamilton’s biblical theology: The Glory of God in Salvation Through Judgment. Hamilton’s book pays keen attention to the literary structures of the individual authors while holding together two-fold unity that runs through the Bible–salvation and judgment.  Hamilton also highlights many important theological themes that emerge throughout the pages of Scripture.  I didn’t have this book when I started this study, but I wish I had.  The articles in the New Dictionary of Biblical Theology would also be helpful, but I honestly did not avail myself of these like I could have.

Third, as I prepared, I often listened to Mark Dever’s overview sermons.  They were edifying and regularly pointed me to Christ-centered interpretations of the texts.  These sermons were collected into his two books: The Message of the Old Testament: Promises Made and The Message of the New Testament: Promises Kept. You could read these books, but I would recommend listening to them as you walk, run, workout, or drive.  I found that having a different medium to ‘hear’ the message of Christ was helpful.  It ministered to my soul and it allowed me to ‘hear’ how someone else presented the big picture of each book.  In addition to Dever, The Gospel Coalition’s website has a number of other pastor-teachers who have given book overviews.

Finally, if you have not read Graeme Goldsworthy and his approach to reading/interpreting the Scriptures, I would urge caution, or at least patience, before teaching through the whole Bible.  This may seem like an overstatement–for how could one man’s interpretive strategy be so important?  But I would suggest that he, more than anyone else I have read, aims to show the gospel of Jesus Christ from all the Scriptures.  In this way, he has provided modern teachers with an interpretive method that flows from Luke 24 itself.  His works include his Trilogy (The Gospel & Kingdom, The Gospel in Revelation, and The Gospel & Wisdom), According to PlanPreaching the Whole Bible as Christians Scripture, and Christ-Centered Hermeneutics. In my preparation for teaching through the Bible in 2011, these 4 books proved to be necessary prerequisites for me to read through the whole Bible and see how each epoch, genre, and author pointed to Christ as the Spirit inspired them.  Again this might be a little overstated, but Goldsworthy has been formative for my understanding of putting the Bible together, something that proved to be necessary before starting this biblical tour in 2010.

Overall, I would highly recommend reading through and/or teaching through the Scriptures so that you might see and show how all things are summed up in Christ.  It is amazing to watch the story unfold and to see how every story whispers his name, to borrow Sally-Lloyd Jones‘ turn of phrase. In the process of teaching this series in 2011, my faith was strengthened by reading the Scriptures this year and beholding Christ, and my heart was gripped with gratitude for God’s grace in helping me read and teach through the Bible in 2010.  Even more, I was grateful for the faithfulness of the church members who joined me each Wednesday night, hungry to learn more about Christ and his word.  It was a precious group who joined together each night to hear God’s word and to go deep and LONG into the Scriptures.  I praise God for them.

Next year, I will be doing something a little different–see here–but I pray that God will continue to help us read the whole counsel of God with eyes open to see Christ and hearts burning like the disciples on the road to Emmaus.

Soli Deo Gloria, dss

A Christ-Centered Walk Through the Old Testament

Since January, I have been teaching the Bible, book-by-book.  Last week, I finished the Old Testament.  It has been a joy and a challenge to understand, synthesize, and communicate each book of the Old Testament.  I am thankful for the receptive congregants who attend each week.  We have had some wonderful questions and conversations, and I believe have seen how relevant the Old Testament is for 21st Century Christians.

Here are my notes for the first 39 books of the Bible.

Pentateuch
Genesis 1-11: The Beginning of It All (January 13, 2010)
Genesis 12-50: Four Families Under the Faithfulness of God (January 20, 2010)
Exodus 1-15: Salvation Through Substitution & Conquest (January 27, 2010)
Exodus 16-40: Moving Into the Presence of God (February 3, 2010)
Leviticus: Sinners in the Presence of a Holy God: (February 17, 2010)
Numbers: In the Wilderness (February 24, 2010)
Deuteronomy: God’s Royal Covenant with Israel (March 3, 2010)

History
Joshua: Into the Land
(March 10, 2010)
Judges: A People in Need of a King (March 17, 2010)
Ruth: A Painful & Pleasant Providence (March 24, 2010)
1 Samuel: The Good, The Bad, and the Ruddy (March 31, 2010)
2 Samuel: The Rise and Fall of King David (April 7, 2010)
1 Kings: Redemptive History is a Royal Mess–Part 1 (April 14, 2010)
2 Kings: Redemptive History is a Royal Mess–Part 2 (April 21, 2010)
Ezra: Return, Rebuild, Renew, Repent (May 5, 2010)
Nehemiah: Rebuilding God’s City and Reforming God’s People (May 12, 2010)
Esther: Seed Warfare (May 19, 2010)

Wisdom
Job: Knowing God In The Crucible Of Satanic Suffering
(May 26, 2010)
Psalms: Redemption in the Key of D(avid) (June 3, 2010)
Proverbs: Wisdom is the Way to the Obedient Son (June 10, 2010)
Ecclesiastes: To Work Wisely is Futile, To Fear Faithfully is Wise (June 17, 2010)
Song of Songs: More Than Just an Old Fashioned Love Song (June 24, 2010)

Prophets
The Prophets (1): Hearing the Spirit of Christ in the Days of Elijah
(June 31, 2010)
The Prophets (2): Putting the Prophets in their Place: Before the Exile (July 7, 2010)
The Prophets (3): Putting the Prophets in their Place: During and After the Exile (July 14, 2010)
Isaiah: The Servant-King Will Lead His People Into a New Creation (August 18, 2010)
Jeremiah: A New Heart For An Idolatrous People (August 25, 2010)
Ezekiel: That You Might Know the Lord (September 1, 2010)
Daniel: Keep the Faith! The Sovereign LORD Reigns In History (September 8, 2010)
The Twelve: Judgment and Salvation is a Major Theme in the Minor Prophets (September 15, 2010)

The unifying feature of each study is Jesus Christ.  As the New Testament authors and Jesus himself make plain, the Old Testament is all about Jesus.  I hope these handouts can help you see Christ in and throughout the Old Testament.

Soli Deo Gloria, dss

The Gospel and Wisdom: Learning to Apply the Gospel to All of Life

This evening, our church will look at the Book of Proverbs in our ongoing study of the Bible.  In preparation this morning, I came across this helpful reminder by noted Biblical Theologian, Graeme Goldsworthy, that the gospel of Jesus Christ necessarily includes the conversion of the mind and the application of the gospel to all areas of our thought life (cf. Rom 12:1-2;  2 Cor 10:3-6).

Listen to what Goldsworthy has to say,

The Christian mind-set comes about through the gospel, and so we must come to think of Christian wisdom as a conforming of the mind to the gospel.  If, then, we understand the gospel only in its basic terms of Jesus dying for us, we will probably wonder how this can affect the way we think totally.  We need to remind ourselves that the simple gospel is also profound.  The truth, ‘Jesus died for me,’ actually implies everything that God has revealed in the Bible about his relationship to humanity and to the created order. Growing as a Christian really means learning to apply the fact of the gospel to every aspect of our thinking and doing (Graeme Goldsworthy, Gospel and Wisdom in The Goldsworthy Trilogy [Waynesboro, GA: Paternoster, 2000], 341).

May we as Christians continue to turn from the pernicious patterns of this world to the mind-renewing truth of the gospel that informs every aspect of creation, wisdom, and life.  For in Christ all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden (Col 2:3).

Soli Deo Gloria, dss

Via Emmaus: A Christ-Centered Walk Through the Bible

On Wednesday nights, I am teaching through the Bible book-by-book.  So far, it has been an amazing and challenging process to study, synthesize, and articulate the contents of each book of the Bible.  And after a slow start, we are beginning to make headway.  We just finished 2 Samuel.

Each week, I prepare an outline for the study–sometimes with blanks, sometimes without, but I thought I would link to the first few to give an idea of what we are doing, in case it may spur someone else to do the same.  Here are the outlines for the Pentateuch (Genesis-Deuteronomy).

They may make no sense to you without my accompanying commentary, which at this point I decided not to record, maybe next time through.  Nevertheless, if they can help you think through teaching the Bible, book-by-book, with an intentional aim of showing Christ, than I pray that they will serve you well.

Introduction: An Overview of the Bible (January 6, 2010)
Genesis 1-11: The Beginning of It All (January 13, 2010)
Genesis 12-50: Four Families Under the Faithfulness of God (January 20, 2010)
Exodus 1-15: Salvation Through Substitution & Conquest (January 27, 2010)
Exodus 16-40: Moving Into the Presence of God (February 3, 2010)
Leviticus: Sinners in the Presence of a Holy God: (February 17, 2010)
Numbers: In the Wilderness (February 24, 2010)
Deuteronomy: God’s Royal Covenant with Israel (March 3, 2010)

Also, for those who would ever teach on this subject in a pastoral context, I have found listening to Mark Dever‘s overview sermons very helpful, as well as the lectures available at Covenant Theological Seminary.  As far as reading goes, I have been well-served by reading the biblical texts in my ESV Study Bible, and reading The Faith of Israel by William Dumbrell (this is only for the OT portion).

When I started I had grand intentions of reading Waltke, Kaiser, and other books along the way, but time has not permitted.  If you have done something like this in your ministry context, I would love to hear how you did it.

For all the handouts to date, see my Handouts Page.

Soli Deo Gloria, dss

100: By His Grace, For His Glory

Via Emmaus’ hundredth post is one of pray and praise. 

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!

Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!  It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!  For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 100

Thankful for the joyful labors of blogging for the last five months, and prayerful that this media venue might be continue to be used to inform, reform, and be a platform for God’s glory, only by his grace (cf. John 15:5; 1 Cor. 15:10).  

Sola Deo Gloria, dss

Via Emmaus

So again, on another website, with the same name.  I try my hand again at this thing called blogging.  With more humble intentions this time, I write– not trying to write bits-and-pieces of a theological treatise, but rather aiming to simply articulate thoughts on biblical theology, contemporary ecclesiology, and anything else on which the gospel light shines.  This is the concept; Jesus Christ is the content.  For in Him all things are united (Eph. 1:10) and by Him are all things explained (Luke 24).  He is the creator, sustainer, savior, and Lord, and to Him does this blog seek to point.  Following the trajectory of Scripture that leads all things to him (John 5:39), seeks to understand all life in the radiance of his glory.  And so it is called Via Emmaus.

This blog derives its name from the account in Luke 24, where two disciples are caught on the road (via ) fleeing Jerusalem for easier days in Emmaus.  Graciously, Jesus appears to them, interprets the enigmatic current events of His resurrection in light of Scripture, and explains how He–thought still hidden to them– is the fulfillment of all the law, prophets, and psalms, and prompts them to return to Jerusalem.  Such “biblical theology” explained reality and redemption to these wayward disciples.

So too, my prayer for this blog is that it might be a place where people are likewise turned back to the cross, to the resurrection, and to the coming kingdom of Jesus Christ.  Just as the two doubting disciples returned to the Lord’s assembly in the middle of the night after hearing Christ’s words, may those who are here pointed to his sufficient Word, the Bible, experience greater hope and faith in the inspired truths therein contained.  My hope is that this blog will not take on a life of its own, but rather that it would point to the true life, King Jesus.  That in the end, it would simply be a signpost or a watering hole for those walking the dusty road from–not to– Emmaus.

Soli Dei Gloria!

ds