Monthly Archives: March 2010

Easter: Atonement – Consequent Absolute Necessity

Easter is almost here. Think about Easter; go ahead and think about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Why did Christ die? Was it necessary for him to die in order to redeem sinners, or could God have redeemed men by an alternative method? Some Christians have said, ‘Yes, God could have saved men by alternative methods.’ Other Christians, however, have argued for the necessity of the atonement. John Murray, for example, argued for the ‘consequent absolute necessity’ of the Atonement: ‘The only righteousness conceivable that will meet the requirements of our situation as sinners and meet the requirements of a full and irrevocable justification is the righteousness of Christ. This implies his obedience and therefore his incarnation, death, and resurrection. In a word, the necessity of the atonement is inherent in and essential to justification. A salvation from sin divorced from justification is an impossibility and justification of sinners without the God-righteousness of the Redeemer is unthinkable. We can hardly escape the relevance of Paul’s word: “For if a law had been given which could make alive, verily righteousness would have been by the law” (Gal. 3:21). What Paul is insisting upon is that if justification could have been secured by any other method than faith in Christ, by that method it would have been’ (Redemption – Accomplished and Applied, pp. 16-17).

Easter is almost here. Think about Easter; go ahead and think about the necessity of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It was necessary. It occurred. Sinners, therefore, were redeemed.

Mobile Tools for Higher Education: Return to Medieval Learning?

Here is a very interesting article by John Cox. Abilene Christian University has been issuing mobile devices to faculty members and students for their Mobile Learning project. “The goal, in effect, was to eventually turn the entire campus into a laboratory for mobile learning research, experimentation and analysis.” That is an exciting goal. For me, however, the most interesting portion of the article is buried on the third page.

Nevin: Sacred Hermeneutics

“The point of Nevin’s sacramental hermeneutics is that the spiritual and the ideal must clothe itself, must embody itself, in the medium of human expression. Consequently, language is neither an end in itself (analytical philosophy; literary hermeneutics), nor a circular system of signs and symbols with no entrance or no exit (deconstructionism), but a bridge to reality and a gateway to being. To say anything less would reduce the Incarnation and the sacraments to nominal abstractions or magical singularities at best (p. 77).”

“In allegory, the historical level of the text plays only a minor role in interpretation. In typology, however, history is taken more seriously. It is regarded as the external medium of God’s redemptive plan. The object of typology is to uncover the Christological correspondence between the two testaments in order to demonstrate the historical continuity of this plan. Typology, then, differs from allegory by accenting the historical, that is, one historical figure is regarded as the prophetic type of another (William DiPuccio, The Interior Sense of Scripture: The Sacred Hermeneutic of John W. Nevin, p. 91).”

Skeptical Scholarship = “Cavalier Dismissal”

“Skeptical scholarship views the plagues as greatly exaggerated accounts of a perfectly understandable, albeit unusual, natural phenomena. But a serious appraisal of the narratives will not permit such cavalier dismissal of the catastrophic dimensions of the plagues. They must be understood for what they were–unique but genuinely historical outpourings of the wrath of a sovereign God who wished to show not only Egypt but his own people that he is the Lord of all of heaven and earth, one well able to redeem his people from the onerous slavery they knew under Pharaoh and to make them, by covenant, his own servant people (Eugene H. Merrill, Kingdom of Priests: A History of Old Testament Israel, p. 65).”

Christian History: Prophecy – Reign of Life

Contrasting the Greco-Roman and Christian view of history, Peter J. Leithart concludes that “…the biblical conception of history, particularly as evidenced in the prophetic literature of the Old Testament and the New Testament, is predominantly comic. Scripture teaches that history does not degenerate from life to death but is translated from the reign of death into the reign of life (Deep Comedy, xiii).”