Thoughts on Biblical Inerrancy

I believe in biblical inerrancy. I never read the Bible wondering which parts are true and which parts are false. Doing so would seem to me inconsistent with accepting the Bible as the Word of God. I bow before every word of Scripture as authoritative over my life and faith, binding for my conscience, and worthy of my trust. What I mean by inerrancy is the idea that the Bible never misfires. Its intended meaning never deviates from reality. It is truth. I’m also grateful for the legacy of inerrancy. The rise of higher-biblical criticism impugned the integrity of Scripture,…

Don’t Despise the Day of Small Beginnings

I am taking the youth through the night visions of Zechariah 1-6 on Sunday mornings these days. Its a lot of fun! I’m reminded of God’s wisdom in communicating to us in such rich and diverse genres as we find in the Bible. The pictorial nature of Zechariah, though at times bizarre and difficult to understand, communicates at levels where mere prose cannot. I’ve been encouraged and surprised at the student response. Its cool to see the pictures and images communicating in broader, emotional ways, even when we are not fully sure of all the details of interpretation. This week…

Elijah and the Ravens

One of the portions of Scripture that stood out to me while reading through the Bible in 2011 was the story of Elijah at Mt. Horeb in I Kings 19. I began to think about it over the summer, and then taught the youth from it in September, and then eventually preached from it in “big church” this past June. That entire year the story stayed with me – I turned back to it again and again for encouragement and stability, frequently finding new layers of meaning and significance in it. “What does I Kings 19 say about this?” became…

Mission is at the Heart, not the Fringes, of the Old Testament

I’ve been reading through the book of Kings in the mornings, inspired by my reading of Goldsworthy. I keep noticing the purpose clause at the climax of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the temple: “that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other” (I Kings 8:60). My thought: mission is not at the fringes of the Old Testament story, but at its heart. God’s election of the particular nation of Israel did not sideline his plan to bring salvation to all peoples on the planet – it was the very…

Some Thoughts on Goldsworthy’s Christ-Centered Biblical Theology

I recently read Graeme Goldsworthy’s Christ-Centered Biblical Theology (IVP, 2012) as part of my effort to grow in my understanding of biblical theology. My brother Dane has a more thoughtful and more detailed reflection on it, but here are some brief thoughts. I am still not sure whether the 3-stage view of Goldsworthy and Robinson (to whom the book is largely a tribute) is the most helpful model for doing biblical theology. Initially I approached this model with skepticism, having been more familiar with the epochal approach of Vos, Clowney, etc. in the past. John Murray’s tiny booklet called Covenant…

Ezekiel

The book of Ezekiel has been on my mind a lot these days, partly because I am reading through it in my devotions, and partly because I got to hear my pastor Paul Beck give a ministry seminar on this book a few weeks back. Some miscellaneous thoughts: 1) The metaphor of adultery for sin throughout the book is a sobering reminder for me of the seriousness and ugliness of sin. What a gripping thought: when I reject God and fail to love Him as I ought, I am, in a sense, cheating on the Ultimate Husband and Lover of…

Philemon and Slavery

You often hear people in our culture reference the Bible’s alleged endorsement of slavery, and it seems like they usually have in mind Paul’s instruction in Ephesians 6:5-9 and Colossians 4:1. Usually the point is to somehow undermine the Bible’s authority or show it is out-dated. There are lots of responses that I think can convincingly answer claims along these lines – for example, slavery in the New Testament world was more like indentured servanthood than what we in the modern West usually think of as slavery (a race-based institution in which the slave is considered property and has no…

Elihu

I’ve always been fascinated by the character Elihu in the book of Job. What is his purpose in the overall story? Why is he even included? I don’t have total clarity, but in reading through Job a few weeks ago I tried to articulate a few reasons why he seems to me to be a more sympathetic character in the book than Job’s other friends. 1. Elihu’s placement in the overall flow of the book seems to differentiate him from the earlier dialogue. His introduction in 32:1-5 marks the first narrative break after 30 chapters of speeches, and whereas Eliphaz,…