Archive for September, 2007

Motivation to either give up or keep going?

From T. H. L. Parker’s Calvin’s Preaching (1992): “I would put forward the hypothesis that Calvin took a Hebrew or Greek text into the pulpit and translated as he went along, just as he did for his lectures” (177).

Why don’t we write more?

As you can probably tell our blog posts have not been as regular or frequent and that’s for many reasons. However, it’s helpful to remember that not everything needs to be written down and posted for the world to see. In the forward to the latest edition of On Writing Well, William Zinsser reflects on how modern measures (e.g., emails, blogs) have made writing and publishing more accessible. However he also cautions that “I don’t know what still newer marvels will make writing twice as easy in the next 30 years. But I do know they won’t make writing twice as good. That will still require plain old hard thinking . . .” Amen.

1 Cor 11:3 help

I am teaching through 1 Cor. 11 in our singles and young marrieds class.  Do you know of any strong grammatical or textual reasons to translate the Greek words avnh,r and gunaiko.j as husband and wife instead of the more general terms man and woman?  The ESV does go with husband and wife but the NAS, NIV, and the NKJV go with man and woman.  Grammatically and textually i think “man” and “woman” seems to fit the 1 Cor 11:2-16 context better.  What say you scholars?

I’m not looking for applications of this particular passage just some exegetical thoughts.

How’s Your Prayer Life?

  • Martin Lloyd-Jones: “Our ultimate position as Christians is tested by the character of our prayer life.”

  • Robert Murray McCheyne: “What a man is on his knees before God, that he is, and nothing more.”

What can a liberal teach us about preaching?

What can a self-professed “mainline-liberal-Protestant-Methodist-type Christian” teach conservative evangelicals about preaching? Leadership Magazine published an article twelve years ago by William Willimon (formerly of Duke Divinity Chapel and now UMC Bishop of Alabama) entitled “Been There, Preached That.” The article is unusual on a number of levels but it is a must-read for today’s preachers. While he speaks to the more popular forms of evangelical preaching there is still plenty to provoke thought and interaction among expository preachers in his article (see PDF version here).

The magnitude of preaching

I think one reason that our people are oftentimes so lackadaisical about the privilege of preaching is that they don’t understand the cost that has been born for the word of God to be brought to them in their own language, and they don’t understand the magnitude of what it is to have an encounter with the living God which is word-based, facilitated by the servant of God preaching the word of God to their hearts, speaking that truth into their lives.

~Ligon Duncan (HT: Vitamin Z)

They can’t both be “Wright”

“Justification by faith is the heart of the Gospel. This is what is contained in the promise, ‘Whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.’ If we fail to grasp the fact that the righteousness which justifies us is imputed and not infused or inherent, we shall find that, in substance, what we preach is a gospel of works, not a Gospel of grace” [from N. T. Wright (along with John Cheeseman, Philip Gardner, and Michael Sadgrove) in the 1972 edition of The Grace of God in the Gospel (Banner of Truth)].

“If we use the language of the law court, it makes no sense whatever to say that the judge imputes, imparts, bequeaths, conveys or otherwise transfers his righteousness to either the plaintiff or the defendant. Righteousness is not an object, a substance or a gas which can be passed across the courtroom . . . . To imagine the defendant somehow receiving the judge’s righteousness is simply a category mistake. That is not how language works” [from N. T. Wright in the 1997 edition of What Saint Paul Really Said (Eerdmans)].

What is the “substance” of exposition?

“Too many so-called expositors simply make the one central idea the substance of their message. The narrative may be read or retold, but the sermon is essentially their central expository idea—it is explained, illustrated, and applied without further recourse to the text. This approach is not valid exegetical exposition. In exegetical exposition, the substance of the exposition must be clearly derived from the text so that the central idea unfolds in the analysis of the passage and so that all parts of the passage may be interpreted to show their contribution to the theological idea.”

Allen P. Ross,
Creation and Blessing (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1988), p. 47.

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