Temple Theology

New Testament scholar Gregory K. Beale in his insightful book The Temple and the Church’s Mission traces a biblical theology of the temple through the Old Testament and into the New Testament. This is very important because the temple is a unifying motif that helps makes sense of the story of the Bible. Here is a very helpful and informative summary of the book by Dr. Beale himself which you can download here. In the summary he focuses on temple language in the Hebrew Bible and the challenge of understanding how the New Testament interprets the temple prophecies in the Hebrew Bible as being fulfilled. Continue reading “Temple Theology”

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Covenant Making God

Covenant keeping God, there is no one like you.

The above line from Willie and Mike’s song Covenant Keeping God captures a profound revelation of who God is. It is hard to understate how important covenant is. However, he is not just a covenant keeping God, he is a covenant making God. On this the late renowned Hebrew Bible scholar Moshe Weinfeld writes: Continue reading “Covenant Making God”

Is the Bible really a story?

Andrew Bunt over at Think Theology considers an interesting challenge made by Dr. Brent Strawn to the popular slogan that the Bible is a story. Continue reading “Is the Bible really a story?”

Rethinking Heaven, Hell and New Creation with N.T. Wright

The lecture below represents and distils much of N.T. Wright’s significant contribution to Christian thought and theology over the last four decades. Continue reading “Rethinking Heaven, Hell and New Creation with N.T. Wright”

The Greatest Event in the OT

The Bible is full of iconic moments, well-known stories and famous sayings. If someone were to ask, “what is the most important event?” there would be a lot of great candidates. If things were narrowed down to only the Hebrew Bible (or the Old Testament as Christians call it), many people would say the creation of the world as recounted in Genesis 1 and 2. Nothing would ever happen if nothing existed so creation, to say the least, is a very solid choice for the most important event.

Interestingly, while Genesis 1 and 2 obviously matter, they are hardly referenced or alluded to in the rest of the Hebrew Bible. Even other creation accounts do not seem to specifically draw on Genesis. In fact the primaeval account, that is Genesis 1-11, which includes the famous stories of Cain and Abel, the Flood and the Tower of Babel, barely features in the rest of the Jewish scriptures. So what then is the most important event in the Hebrew Bible, even more important than God creating the world? Continue reading “The Greatest Event in the OT”

Theological Boundaries

When you look at systematic theology it is a pretty well defined discipline. There are usually clear boundaries between different subjects in it. Soteriology is different from pneumatology and ecclesiology is different from eschatology. However, when you get down to actually studying the Bible, you recognize these distinctions are a bit arbitrary. Continue reading “Theological Boundaries”

The Stories that make up the Story

One of my great interests is the biblical metanarrative, that is how the biblical canon tells one overarching story. The reason I am so interested in it is because it is what unites and explains the biblical texts. Ever since I learnt about it a couple of years ago it has absolutely revolutionised the way I read the Bible and understand Christianity. One of the challenges of the metanarrative is determining what stories fundamentally constitute it. In the article Relating all the Stories within the Grand Biblical Story, Jackson Wu does a wonderful job at doing this at the right resolution. His schema is not overly detailed yet it is not overly broad such that we miss significant details. He writes that in summary he is showing “how to present the entire biblical narrative in a way that reflects its inherent structure or plot, which enables us to discern how the Bible prioritizes its various sub-stories.” Continue reading “The Stories that make up the Story”