Evangeline

As I did for Jubilee, I wanted to write a brief explanation of the meaning of Evangeline’s name.

As with Jubilee, her name comes from the Bible (although — not intentional — neither name is used as a name in the Bible). Her middle name (like Jubilee’s middle name, Helen) is after one of her great-grandmothers. Alice (more commonly known as “Busia”) is Ann’s maternal grandmother.

Evangeline Alice is due March 24th, 2019.


Abstract: The name Evangeline comes from the Biblical word “gospel,” meaning “good news” or “good message.” The Christian gospel – the message at the very heart of Christianity, and the essence of our faith – is that God has accomplished our salvation and is restoring his reign (“the kingdom of God”) in and through Jesus Christ. At the center of this message – the gospel – is Christ’s death and resurrection. On the cross, Christ bore the full weight of sin for all those who trust in him for deliverance. And in his resurrection, Christ defeated death, achieving new life for his people. This is certainly good news! It is by faith in this message that one experiences salvation.


The name Evangeline derives from the Latin word evangel, which has its origin in the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον (euangelion), frequently translated into English as “gospel” or “good news.” As a verb (εὐαγγελίζω – euangelizo), the word form means “to herald, proclaim, or preach the gospel,” from which we derive our word “evangelism” or “to evangelize” (lit. “gospeling” or “to gospel”).

From what we can tell, the word has its origins in the realm of military victories. So we read of messengers (“evangelists”) being sent from battle to return and report (“evangelize”) the good news (“gospel”) of an army’s victory. Or, for instance, in the first-century b.c. Priene Inscription from Asia Minor, the empower Augustus is described as a “savior” for ending wars and on account of the peace he brought to the region. Consequently, his birth is lauded with great expectation and hope, heralded as “gospel” (“good news”) for the world.

In the Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint or LXX), Isaiah notably uses this word to describe the coming restoration that God has in store for his people. So, in Isaiah chapter 40, after twenty-seven nonstop chapters outlining God’s judgment of the nations (Isa 13-39), relief finally breaks through with God’s announcement, “Prepare the way of the LORD!” (Isa 40:3). God is coming, and he’s bringing salvation with him! Now go out and proclaim it (lit. “evangelize”; Isa 40:9).

When we come to the pages of the New Testament, we find that the New Testament authors appropriate this word to describe the mission of Jesus and what he’s come to do. So, for example, in the opening words of Mark’s gospel we read, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mk 1:1). And immediately following, Mark casts John the Baptist as the eschatological (end time) figure who, citing the words of Isaiah, is preparing the way for this LORD (Mk 1:2-3; cf. Isa 40:1-5).

In other words, Mark intends for us to understand the mission of Jesus as the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecies – the content of which is the “good news” (gospel) of which Isaiah spoke. Mark intends these Isaianic promises to set the “categories of expectation,” if you will, for who we understand Jesus to be and what he’s come to do. Jesus has come to reinstate God’s kingdom, to accomplish the good news (gospel) about the arrival of God’s kingdom through Jesus (Mk 1:14-15; see the expression “good news of the kingdom” – Mt 4:23; 9:35; Lk 4:43; 8:1; 9:2; Acts 8:12; 20:24-25). So too, in Luke 4, Jesus presents himself as the Servant of the LORD from Isaiah 61 who, anointed with God’s Spirit, has come to “bring good news (gospel)” to those in need (Lk 4:18; cf. Isa 61:1).

The “gospel,” in short, is the favorable report (“good message”) of the rescue and restoration wrought by Christ in accordance with his redemptive mission. It is God’s message, a message with its origin in God himself (“the gospel of God,” see Rom 1:1; 15:16; 2 Cor 11:7; 1 Thes 2:2, 8-9; cf. Gal 1:11-12), concerning Christ (“the gospel of Christ,” see Mk 1:1; Acts 8:35; Rom 1:1-4; 10:17; 15:20; 16:25; 1 Cor 9:12; 2 Cor 4:4-5; 9:13; 10:14; Gal 1:7; Eph 3:8; Phil 1:12-18; 1:27; 1 Thes 3:2; 2 Thes 1:8; 2 Tim 1:8; 2:8), anticipated in the Old Testament (Rom 1:2; 16:25-26; 1 Cor 15:3-4), and characterized by grace (Acts 20:24; Col 1:5-6). It is called “the word of truth” (Eph 1:13; Col 1:5) and a “message of peace” (Acts 10:36; Eph 6:15), and is the ground of our hope (Col 1:23). At its heart, it is a message of salvation (Eph 1:13)– that is, (1) its message details the accomplishment of our salvation in the life and ministry of Christ; and (2) it is a conduit of salvation – i.e., when believed it results in the salvation of its hearers. As Paul says in Romans 1:16, it is the “power of God resulting in the salvation of everyone who believes” (cf. 1 Cor 1:18; 15:1-2; 2 Thes 2:13-14).

As such, the early Christian tradition understandably came to call the church’s written records of Jesus’ life and ministry as “gospels” (i.e., “the gospel according to,” or as told by, “Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John”). In other words, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are four complementary “tellings” of the one gospel (see e.g., Mk 1:1). They tell us the story of Jesus, which is the story of the gospel. They are the gospel in narrative form.

And as each of these gospel accounts centers on the last week of Christ’s life, and with it, his death and resurrection, it comes as no surprise then that, when we come to the New Testament’s epistles, the gospel message is summarized in the cross and resurrection. Christ’s sin-substituting death and death-defeating resurrection are at the heart – the center – of the gospel. In fact, we might describe them as the very essence of the gospel (Acts 17:18; 1 Cor 1:17). Paul summarizes the gospel for us in 1 Corinthians 15:

Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the gospel, which I preached to you, which you also received, in which you also stand, and by which you are also being saved…. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…. (1 Cor 15:1-4)

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Overview of the Big Story of the Bible

The following was created for use at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission as a resource for the men in the New Journey recovery program. Download a PDF version here.


Creation (Genesis 1-2) – God creates the world. In this we see what God intended for his creation: God’s people (Adam and Eve), in God’s place (the Garden of Eden), under his loving rule, experiencing his presence.

The fall (Genesis 3-6:8) – Adam and Eve sin, and humanity enters into a state of rebellion. They experience God’s curse of judgment and death. God’s original intent for creation is lost.

The flood | Noahic Covenant (Genesis 6:9-11:26) – God judges the world with a flood, but saves Noah and his family. God makes a covenant[1] with Noah and creation that, despite humanity’s rebellion, he will not ultimately destroy his creation. This anticipates that God must have a rescue mission planned for his creation.

The patriarchs | Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 11:27-50:26) – Here we start to see the details of God’s rescue mission.

God chooses Abraham and makes a covenant with him. In this covenant, God promises to remake his creation: a new people (Abraham’s offspring, a new humanity), in a new place (the Promised Land, a new “Garden of Eden”), under his loving rule, experiencing his presence.

These promises are passed down to Abraham’s son, Isaac, and then Isaac’s son, Jacob (or Israel).

The Exodus (Exodus 1-18) – Abraham’s descendants find themselves in Egypt after God uses Jacob’s son, Joseph, to save the world from a famine.However, after some time, a new Pharaoh takes the throne and starts oppressing and enslaving Abraham’s people. God’s promises to Abraham feel far from true. But God acts on his promises to Abraham by raising up Moses, delivering his people from Egypt, and judging their enemies.

However, after some time, a new Pharaoh takes the throne and starts oppressing and enslaving Abraham’s people. God’s promises to Abraham feel far from true. But God acts on his promises to Abraham by raising up Moses, delivering his people from Egypt, and judging their enemies.

Here we see that God’s rescue mission to remake his creation involves deliverance from things that oppose it.

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Jubilee

Abstract: In the Exodus, God delivered his people from slavery in order that they might rest securely with him in his special Promised Land. In order to preserve and reinforce this work of redemption (liberation), God instituted the year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:8-55), also known as the “year of liberation.” Every fifty years, this Jubilee was proclaimed throughout the land. Those who had been forced to sell themselves into slavery due to economic hardship were freed; and, likewise, land that was sold was returned to its family. The year of Jubilee both reveals God’s immense compassion for the downtrodden and points us forward in anticipation to the ultimate Jubilee that is achieved for us by Jesus (Isaiah 61:1-4; Luke 4:16-21).



The Jubilee (Lev 25:8-55; cf. 27:16-24; Num 36:4; Jer 34:8-22), also known as a “year of liberty” (Ezek 46:17), was a special institution given by God to preserve and reinforce his work of redemption on behalf of his people.

In the Exodus, God had liberated his people from the bondage of slavery under the Egyptians. He did so in order that he might claim them as his special people and cause them to dwell securely (rest) in his special place (the Promised Land) (e.g., Ex 3:8; Lev 25:38). In so doing, God was recovering his purpose for creation — God’s people dwelling securely with him (resting) in God’s special place.

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Christ as the Cornerstone of God’s Redemptive Temple-Building Project

The following is an excerpt from some material I composed for the teaching ministry of South City Church. You can listen to the sermon on which this material is based here — Our Identity and Calling in Christ (1 Peter 2:4-10).


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In our passage this week [1 Peter 2:4-10], Peter makes use of this idea of temple.

Our understanding of temple begins in the Garden of Eden. If we were to look at Genesis 1-3 carefully, there are signs that we are suppose to see the Garden of Eden as something like a temple — a place where God dwells with humanity. Later when God gives Israel the tabernacle and temple, interestingly enough he tells them to decorate them with trees and things that make them look like a new Eden of sorts. The Garden of Eden is a “garden-temple.” And it is in this garden that God dwells with humanity without hindrance, without the intrusion of sin. Humanity experiences God’s presence and worships him perfectly.

When Adam and Even rebel, however, sin enters the equation. And this breaks the relationship between God and mankind. God, who is immeasurably holy, cannot tolerate sin. God’s, in his perfection, cannot dwell in the presence of sin without destroying it. This is why in the Old Testament, the levitical (temple) Law speaks of things being “unclean” and the sacrifices and their blood “cleansing” and “purifying.” It was through the temple and its sacrifices that God was able to dwell with his people again, despite sin. This is why God gave the temple, so that he could dwell with his people. And this is why he ordered the sacrifices, to deal with their sin.

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Redemptive History Summaries

1 | Creation (Genesis 1-2)
God’s creational-kingdom intent is established.

2 | The fall (Genesis 3-6:8)
God’s creational-kingdom is lost; and humanity enters into a state of perpetual disbelieving disobedience.

3 | The flood | Noahic covenant (Genesis 6:9-11:26)
God confirms his commitment to his creational-kingdom intent despite humanity’s depravity.

4 | Abrahamic covenant | the patriarchs (Genesis 11:27-50:26)
God initiatives his new-creational kingdom plan in the form of covenant-bound promises to Abraham.

5 | The exodus (Exodus 1-18)
God begins to execute his covenant-bound, new-creational kingdom purposes by means of a deliverance.

6 | The Mosaic covenant (Exodus 19-Deuteronomy 34)
God gives his people—Israel—a conditional covenant (i.e., blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience) whereby his people could experience the blessings of the new-creational kingdom.

7 | The wilderness wanderings (Numbers)
God’s people fail to enter God’s new-creational kingdom due to disbelieving disobedience. God postpones yet remains committed to his covenant-bound purpose of bringing about his new-creational kingdom.

8 | Entrance and life in the promised land (Joshua, Judges, Ruth)
Although God is faithful to his covenant-bound purposes to bring about his new-creational kingdom, God’s people only experience a partial realization of it due to disbelieving disobedience.

9 | Monarchy | Davidic covenant (1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles)
Through covenant-bound promises to David, God specifies how he will exercise his new-creational kingdom intent of reigning over as well as through his people: he will reign especially through kings from David’s line.
However, due to disbelieving disobedience, as exemplified in the splitting of the kingdom, God’s people continue to fail to experience the full extent of God’s new creational kingdom.

10 | Wisdom and songs (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon)
God supplies wisdom and songs for his covenant-bound, new-creational kingdom people.

11 | Exile | new covenant (The Prophets [Isaiah-Malachi]; Esther)
Due to disbelieving disobedience, God’s people—Israel—experience the covenant-bound curses. They experience the opposite of the covenant-bound, new-creational kingdom blessings.
However, God promises a New Covenant in which he will deal with these covenant-bound curses, eradicate his people’s disbelieving disobedience, and thereby finally and actually bring about his new-creational kingdom.

12 | Return from exile (Ezra, Nehemiah)
God brings many of his people back from exile. However, this is clearly not the ultimate realization of the new-creational kingdom of which the New Covenant spoke.

13 | The Gospel—the mission of Jesus (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)
God becomes a human being—Jesus—and initially but decisively brings about God’s new-creational kingdom. He does this centrally through his death and resurrection.

14 | Pentecost | the Church (Acts; the NT epistles)
God’s people is transformed into a community of Jews and Gentiles who experience the beginning realities of this new-creational kingdom by faith. God increases his new-creational kingdom through this people—the Church—as they proclaim the Gospel and live out its entailment or implications.

15 | The return of Christ | consummation (Revelation 21-22)
God fully brings about his new-creational kingdom upon Jesus’ return.


See this series of posts for further elaboration and explanation of these summaries.