Reflections on My Grandmother’s Passing

Last night after dinner my grandmother passed away.

We were close. But I think more than anything I’m sad for my grandpa, because he lost his life partner and best friend. He loved her so much. (They were that adorable old couple that’s more in love now than the day they were married.)


Death is an incredible reminder that things are not right in this world. Death is universally typical; but, as a Christian, it is my firm conviction that death is not “normal.” It is an intrusion into God’s good creation, a testimony to and result of humanity’s horrific plunge into deep-seated rebellion against a good God (what we as Christians call sin). And, apart from Christ’s return, it is something we will all face.

As the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes tells us, death seems to stamp the entirety of our lives up until that moment as “pointless.” Whatever was achieved, whatever good was done, whatever meaning was found, whatever joy was had, death puts a (seemingly) permanent end to it all.

But our hope — our only hope from death, the only hope my grandmother has in overcoming death — is the good news about this guy named Jesus, who, as the Bible tells us, is God become a human being for the very purpose that he might take upon himself this human predicament (death), face it square in the face, wrestle it down, and, through his own death on our behalf, deal death itself a deathblow, achieving resurrection-life through his own resurrection.

This is the gospel. This is our anthem as Christians: deliverance from sin and all of its nasty effects (including death) for all who lean wholly on Jesus for their rescue.


1 Cor 15; 1 Thes 4:13-18; 2 Tim 1:10; Heb 2:14; Rev 21:4.

Redemptive-Historical Survey: 13 | The Gospel–the Mission of Jesus (LDBC Recap 4/24/16)

Explanation

logo-lake-drive-baptist-churchOn Sunday, January 24th, 2016, I began a Core Seminar on Redemptive History & Biblical Theology at my church, Lake Drive Baptist Church. During the course of this series I’ll be sending out emails recapping lessons and directing recipients to resources for further study.

Rather than just share these recaps with my church family, I’ve decided to share them here on the blog for anyone else who might be interested. I will be posting them occasionally over the next couple of months on a weekly basis or so.

See previous posts:

Recap/review

This week was surveyed the role of the Gospel–or, the mission of Jesus–in redemptive history.

Overview of Biblical material

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John – The life and saving work of Jesus.

  • God becomes a human—Jesus of Nazareth.
  • He works great miracles.
  • He teaches great things.
  • He is eventually killed by the Jews and Romans.
  • But three days later he rises from the dead.

Role within redemptive history

We can summary the central role of the Gospel in redemptive history as follows: 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.

As always, we will break this down into in various parts for closer examination.

  • God becomes a human: the incarnation’s relationship to the Gospel

First, we want to consider the incarnation’s (lit. “infleshing,” i.e., the event God becoming a human) relationship to the Gospel and its fulfillment of this new-creational kingdom.

Continue reading

Luke 4:16-30 as Programmatic for the Gospel of Luke

The following is a paper submitted to Dr. Joshua W. Jipp in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the course NT 6211, Synoptic Gospels and Johannine Literature, at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, September, 2014.


This paper seeks to prove that Luke 4:16-30 is programmatic for Luke’s presentation of Jesus. This will be accomplished by overviewing Luke 4:16-30, providing an initial case for Luke 4:16-30’s programmatic role, investigating textual matters in Luke’s citation of Isaiah 61:1-2, and tracing key themes from 4:16-30 throughout the entirety of Luke’s gospel.

Overview of Luke 4:16-30

Luke’s account of Jesus’ ministry begins with Jesus’ synagogue activity recorded in Luke 4:16-30. “As was His custom,” Jesus enters the synagogue. He then reads Isaiah 61:1-2 and interprets it by applying it to Himself in fulfillment categories (4:16-21).

Isaiah 61 occurs in the second major section of Isaiah, the ‘book of comfort’ (chs. 40-66). The ‘book of judgment’ (chs. 1-39) vividly presents God’s judgment of the nations, including Israel. In the ‘book of comfort’ the tides turn as Isaiah foretells of the restoration of God’s people. In Isaiah 61 the proclamation of this reversal of Israel’s fortunes is to be accomplished by a Spirit anointed messenger of God. Jesus interprets this agent as Himself.

Continue reading

Christian Living in a Post-Christendom America

The following is a modified manuscript/outline from a sermon I preached on 1 Peter 2:11-25 at Lake Drive Baptist Church in December 2013.
____________________

I’ve entitled my sermon, “Christian Living in a Post-Christendom America.” What do I mean by “christendom”? “Christendom” refers to the “Christian Empire,” where Christianity is associated with the state, promoted by the state, or the dominant religion within the state.

In a sense, one could have previously referred to America as a form of this Christendom. But now days, it’s quite clear that we live in a post-Christendom America. –Not only non-Christian, but even increasingly anti-Christian.

A mere casual awareness of the news makes one aware of the rapid pace of secularization in our country. For example, only 17 years after President Clinton signed DOMA into law, President Obama successfully pushed for its repeal. And keep in mind, he entered office opposed to gay marriage. And the rapidness of this shift only mirrors trends in the general population. Or again, it only takes a brief glance at recent headlines to demonstrate this:

  • “Starbucks Enters Same-Sex Marriage Boycott Wars.”
  • “Supreme Court Will Consider Hobby Lobby Contraception Mandate Case.”
  • Referring to Chick-Fil-A: “‘Eat More Ignorance’ Is More Like It.”
  • “Southern Baptists Convention Fighting ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal.”“Should the Boy Scouts of America Lift Its Ban on Gay Members?”
  • “New Mexico Supreme Court Unanimously Rules Against Discriminating Anti-Gay Photographer.”
  • “Judge Orders Colorado Bakery to Cater for Same-Sex Weddings.”
  • “‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Suspended for Anti-Gay Remarks.”

And without necessarily endorsing any of the parties in these conflicts– And no matter what you think about these controversies on a political level, they nonetheless indicate an increasing hostility and threat to Christian thought and values. … We live in an ever-increasingly secular culture.

So, how are we as Christians to respond? What does Christian living look like in a post-Christendom America? 1 Peter has much to say about how Christians should live within a non-Christian and even anti-Christian society.

Continue reading

Gospel and Kingdom by Graeme Goldsworthy

In Gospel and Kingdom by Graeme Goldsworthy, two prominent argument-themes emerge. For that sake of organization, I’ll present this review according to those two categories.

The Kingdom Pattern

The fact that God acts in the history of men and interprets his acts means that these historical events will form a pattern that relates to the purpose of God [pg. 42].

And the central pattern that spans Biblical history, for Goldsworthy, is the concept of kingdom [42].

For Goldsworthy, the kingdom of God involves (a) God’s people, (b) in God’s place, (c) under God’s rule [53-54]. Both the content of the central Biblical covenants and the goal of redemption history is this kingdom of God [53]. Therefore, as an implication, under various Biblical covenants and within various eras of redemption history, different forms or stages of development of this kingdom exist on a trajectory ultimately consummating in the final realization of this kingdom in the Jesus Christ.

Continue reading