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.
Category: Christology (page 2 of 10)
When I taught a course through the Psalms last Fall, I knew I would need to return to Psalm 89 later. It is a Psalm about Yhwh’s character and His king, it refers to the divine council, it is artfully arranged, and is unusual in reversing the lament->praise formula, resulting in a challenge to God to be faithful to His promises. There is a lot going on here! What’s more, it is mysterious. To whom or what does this Psalm refer? In this post I want to briefly summarize the Psalm, and then investigate two intriguing options with the Psalm’s referent: the demise of the Davidic line in the exile, or the death of the Messiah.
Joshua Jipp’s Christ is King has garnered much discussion and rightfully so: he argues against a common dismissal of Christ as being a royal title, by comparing ancient royal discourse (Jewish and Greco-Roman) to the writings of Paul. Along the way, he also presents some unique exegetical insights. In this post I want to present one of these insights that potentially unravels a very knotty problem: to what does Paul refer when he speaks of “The Law of Christ” (Gal 6:2; 1 Cor 9:22)?
Most don’t feel the need to understand the inner workings of their car in order to drive. Most don’t look up electricity in an encyclopedia before they flip the light switch. How does it work? Simple; turn a key, flip a switch. Beyond that, it beats me. One doesn’t really need to know. That attitude often carries over regarding the death and resurrection of Christ. We know that it saves us, but as to how: who really knows? Throughout church history there have been a variety of explanations for exactly what Jesus did and exactly how it “works”, including Christus Victor and Penal Substitution. According to Michael Gorman, although the question of how is important, there remains the need for a model that focuses more on “what Jesus’ death does for and to humanity than how it does it”, which is what “the New Testament is much more concerned about” (p5, emphasis mine). Gorman attempts to provide such a model in The Death of the Messiah and the Birth of the New Covenant: A (Not So) New Model of the Atonement.
If “Son of God” simply means that Jesus the second person of the Trinity, then what about all the other “sons” in the Bible such as angels (Job 38:7), Adam (Luke 3:38), Israel (Ex 4:22), Israel’s kings (2 Sam 7:14), and believers (Rom 8:14)? When I teach my session on Jesus as Son of God, I begin with this question and it is met with blank stares and the faint smell of cogs burning. The purpose of this story is not to imply that I have particularly dense students; far from it! However, the simple question catches one off guard. I was raised in Bible-teaching churches but wouldn’t have been prepared for this question either. So why the disconnect? Have we completely misunderstood what “Son of God” means in the Bible? Have our creeds and confessional statements led us astray? The Son of God and the New Creation, the flagship of the new Short Studies in Biblical Theology series from Crossway, probes these very questions. Seasoned Biblical Theology virtuoso Grame Goldsworthy is not the first to do this, but this book is unique in that it is aimed at everyday believers (p11).
Over the past few weeks I’ve been working through Michael Heiser’s The Jewish Trinity and posting snippets as I go, but in this post I will give some concluding thoughts and review the whole enchilada.