Here's a sampling of some of the things I've been reading and reviewing this week. The hope is that these bite-sized sections of books, articles, blog posts, etc will stand on their own and be beneficial (or at least thought-provoking!) in-and-of-themselves. But I also hope that some of you will like these excerpts enough that they pull you into the larger work from which they've been taken.
Let's start sampling:
Michael Bird, Evangelical Theology: A Biblical and Systematic Introduction. Zondervan, 2013. pp. 357, 377:
"The life of Jesus does not feature prominently in evangelical theology. As long as Jesus was born of a virgin and as long as he died on the cross, it doesn't seem to matter what else he did or where he did it. In other words, as long as he had a sinless birth and a sin-bearing death, he could have lived among the Eskimos for all it really matters….The sad fact is…that for many Christians, Jesus' life is really just the warm-up act to Paul's atonement theology."
This should not be the case, as Bird continues a little further down:
"No theology based on the gospel can jump from a stable in Bethlehem to a public execution on Golgotha without serious injury to the whole layout of Christology. The mediation of Jesus only makes sense as the end result of his ministry to inaugurate the kingdom."
Matt Smethurst, "How Not to Read the Bible in 2015." Accessible online at sbts.edu/blogs/. Posted on December 29, 2014.
"It’s better to read one chapter [of the Bible] a day, every day, than four a day, every now and then. Moreover, the value of meditation cannot be overstressed. Meditation isn’t spiritualized daydreaming; it’s riveted reflection on revelation. Read less, if you must, to meditate more. It’s easy to encounter a torrent of God’s truth, but without absorption—and application—you will be little better for the experience. As Thomas White once said, “It is better to hear one sermon only and meditate on that, than to hear two sermons and meditate on neither.” I think that’s pretty sage advice for Scripture reading, too."
Click here to see the full post from which this excerpt was taken. Please note the usual disclaimer, that my recommendation of this post is not necessarily an endorsement of everything else on the site where this was posted.
Timothy Keller, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. Dutton, 2014. p. 149:
"...before we can mediate on what [a Bible passage] personally means to us and our time, we must first need to know as much as possible what the author meant to say to his readers when he wrote it....In short, biblical mediation is founded on the work of sound biblical interpretation and study."
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