Prayer. For many Christians, the word evokes feelings of guilt. Who is content with their prayer life? It can be easy to blame our modern age. Or our busy lives. But I think our lack of prayer is often due to a lack of understanding. What really is prayer and what does it do? We need to think about prayer. We need a theology of prayer. Of course, there are lots of books about prayer. However, most approach the topic from a systematic or devotional viewpoint. Gary Millar, in Calling on the Name of the Lord, takes a different route that fills a niche.
Category: Biblical Theology (page 1 of 6)
Understanding The New Testament’s use of the Old is a key issue in Biblical interpretation, but is highly enigmatic, resulting in varying approaches all vying for our attention. Some conclude that surprising use of the OT reveals that the NT author had no concern for context. Some insist upon a natural logic connecting the OT and NT contexts, so that the author is applying the text correctly. Others argue for a typological relationship, where the OT text is fulfilled historically but also foreshadows the NT reality. Rikk Watts’ Regent course God’s Faithful Character: The Key to the New Testament’s Use of the Old delves into this thorny topic. Watts thoroughly surveys the factors, examines history of interpretation, interprets numerous texts, and provides a fresh way of looking at the NT use of the OT.
The battle between Covenant Theology (CT) and Dispensational Theology (DT) is notoriously intense and shows no signs of calming down. Over time, however, the emergence of mediating positions has blurred the sharp distinction. On such “via media” is dubbed Progressive Covenantalism, first articulated in Kingdom Through Covenant (KTC). This new book, Progressive Covenantalism, is considered “a continuation of KTC” (p4) by consisting of essays collected from like-minded scholars that address issues “underdeveloped and not discussed” (p4) in KTC.
Leviticus is a difficult book. The Levitical land is littered with detailed and verbose laws concerning cleanliness and uncleanliness, priestly garments, proper and improper food, bodily discharges, and the proper way to kill an animal. What’s more, scattered across the landscape are bodies of well meaning poor souls who resolved to read the Bible in a year. As difficult as the Bible can be at times, I am a firm believer that the books that demand a little more patience and hard work from their readers are always rewarding. Such is the case with Leviticus, a book that – along with 1 Maccabees – is often the punchline response to, “hey, what are you preaching from this Sunday?”. However, as with many foreign lands, Leviticus is in fact a rich and beautiful place once you begin to understand the accent and customs. L. Michael Morales has journeyed long in Leviticus and lived to tell the tale, and he has written a guide for us interested travelers through this treacherous terrain. This book is Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord? (hereafter Who Shall Ascend) in the New Studies in Biblical Theology series; a series that is as excellent as its covers are bland.
Many in the church today are deeply entrenched in a thoroughly unbiblical mire. Not only are we unaware of this, but for many it is absolutely central to the expression of their faith. We sing about it in our worship songs (and even classic hymns!). Our pastors preach it fervently from the pulpit. We use it as the central point of our evangelistic appeals. It even infiltrates our reading of the Bible to such a degree that we are blind to the Bible’s own words screaming out in protest. What is this doctrinal mire? It is that Christianity is about being freed from this earth and going to heaven when we die (or preferably before). In other words, it is an ignorance of God’s plans to place resurrected people in a resurrected world. J. Richard Middleton is not the first to point out that this doctrine is unbiblical, but in A New Heaven and a New Earth he has presented perhaps the most comprehensive attempt to pull us out of its miry depths.