Quick Bits

As I mentioned here before, I’m reading through Eugene Merrill’s new OT theology entitled Everlasting Dominion. There’s simply too many nuggets to share here but I thought his insight on the status of OT theology was excellent (i.e. why write another OT theology?). In regards to the standard OT theologies that are out there he notes:

Until the publication of Walter Kaiser’s work in 1978, the field of Old Testament theology had been dominated for the previous century largely by scholarship that held to either a totally dismissive view of Scripture as the inspired and authoritative Word of God or, at best, a position of moderate criticism that acknowledged the Bible’s revelatory character in some respects while adhering to a historical-critical methodology that vitiated the Old Testament of any “face value,” genuine historicity or integrity of attributed authorship and unity (19).

The newer works on OT theology do not fair much better in his estimation since their character “lacks structure, direction, and coherence and in the final analysis yields little understanding of the totality of biblical teaching, and understanding that must be gained largely by the comparison and integration of texts to texts. In other words, biblical theology must be synthesized and systematized (31). I think he’s right on both accounts which is why so far I have enjoyed his synthesis of that 75% portion of the text that is often ignored.

In other news, I took a challenge from a friend who drinks often from the well of the “cool” and I’m reading Mark Driscoll’s Confessions of a Reformission Rev. Let me just say that I don’t by the postmodern notion that one must read everything to respond to everything though familiarity with ideas never hurts. So far, I don’t get the fascination that so many pastors my age have with Driscoll. I am totally sure he is a cool guy and dresses far better than I do. I’m sure his city of Seattle is where it’s at but I am still not convinced that he has made a unique contribution to ecclessiology that has not been done in some way by someone before him in the last 2,000 years (note to Driscoll supporters: start gathering stones now for my stoning). If you think I’m arguing against the overused and over-hyped word “contextualization” then you’re wrong. I agree with Mark Dever who said the other day that we must be clear but that should never remove offense to the message. I am thankful that Driscoll has realized that men like Mclaren are wolves who would sell-out every doctrine in Scripture if it meant visualizing world-kingdom-justice or whatever the “community” lingo is at the time. All I’m saying is that his book says essentially the same thing as Warren’s The Purpose Driven Church yet written in the style of Blue Like Jazz (yes I read both of those too). I’ll let you know if I have any other life-changing insights.

I will be back in Russia in a couple of weeks teaching theology. I’ve taught the class before so this time I’m trying to incorporate newer insights on theology from some more recent works. I really like Culver’s new systematic theology and it’s one of the few that I could give to someone with few caveats. I’m also reading John Frame’s Salvation Belongs to the Lord which is based on some lectures he gave and serves as an introduction to systematic theology. It is typical Federal/Reformed theology which is not anything new (and not my thing) but his fresh thinking on some aspects of theology proper have been excellent. I thought this was good in light of my reading of Spencer Burke’s teachings on the arts in society (a movement away from Francis Schaffer’s clearer explanation): “Some theologians speak as though when God becomes immanent he becomes immersed in the world, hidden in the world, so that he cannot be distinguished from creaturely reality. But that is not biblical. God is always distinct from the world, for he is the Creator and we are the creature” (13).

My lame recommendations of the day are to listen to Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion and visit Levenger which is having it’s Pentathalon pen sale.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. I am reading through Dever’s “The Message of the Old Testament” and came across this powerful quote: “Sin looks good only in the dark. It looks best when it is barely considered, quickly indulged, and never reflected upon. So bring it into the light of thought, reflection, prayer, and especially of God’s Word.”

    How true!

  2. Posted by Chris Pixley on August 31, 2006 at 1:54 am

    Yeah, I awoke to an email from Levenger about their pen event. Very tempting. Very. Very. Tempting.

    When do you leaver for Russia? And where will you be teaching? Samara?

    I plan to be there in December along with Dave Deuel doing a conference. I will travel from there to Krasnodar with Brad Klassen for a week of teaching on expository preaching. It should be a great time of ministry all around!

  3. I will be in Samara with Klassen, Synder, Rehurek and gang (leaving Sept. 14). I go this time every year and teach systematic theology (theology proper, bibliology and christology). Will this be your first trip. You will love it as the guys are hungry for the Word.

    You mentioned Krasnodar, I have not been there but will be teaching there in 2007 on preaching the Gospels/Acts.

  4. Posted by Chris Pixley on August 31, 2006 at 2:12 am

    Yes, my first trip over. We will be stopping for a three day conference in Zurich on the way over and will repeat that conference in Samara.

  5. Hi,

    I have refrained from commenting – as you clearly state that this isn’t a debate blog. However, I find your collective thoughts very interesting. I’ve written a little myself on biblical interpretation – my blog is open to debate. Feel free to pop over and comment as you please

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