As the New Year rolls out I wanted to say something about some things I hope to achieve over the next 12 months – Lord willing. It would be wonderful if the Lord would return for his Church and make what follows academic. It’s not that important anyway 🙂
The small school I am privileged to run, Veritas School of Theology (not to be confused with Veritas Theological Seminary, which was named after ours btw), enters 2012 with some promising students and a robust outlook. When the Lord providentially guided me to start this work I knew I didn’t want it to be just like all the other seminaries out there. I have no real beef with them, other than I think many of them are too big and pander to “the mammon of unrighteousness.” We are not trendy. We are a Bible school. I couldn’t care less about evangelical superstars and about following the herd. I just want to teach the Bible and its theology to people who care more for Truth for Truth’s sake than they do for “getting on in the world.”
As I look at the evangelical landscape today I see what to me is a disturbing movement away from the plain-sense of Scripture toward excessive typological and allegorical understandings of texts. There is a pretense at thorough exegesis, when in fact what is happening is that types and other adumbrations are being searched for without regard for context or normal rules of communication. It seems to me that the only writer who consistently does not mean what He says is the Holy Spirit! Meanwhile most who call themselves Dispensationalists are happy to keep their thoughts in yesteryear and let this trend continue without any intelligent counter. While a few are doing some notable work (a shining example being Michael Vlach), for the most part those who take the Bible “literally” have yielded the field. VST seeks to learn from those with whom we disagree while developing a plain-sense alternative understanding of the Bible and it’s theology.
As most of our students have quickly experienced, we are no degree mill. The courses require thought and commitment. A student can express disagreement with a professor and still make an ‘A’ – albeit they have to properly represent and then argue against what they were taught. Feedback remains very positive, and we are gratified that the instruction is making a difference in lives. My prayer is that the Lord will allow us to expand our ministry and reach more people with it, both here and abroad.
May God help us to do that better in 2012.
“Dr Reluctant” is a moniker given to me by a friend as I was starting blogging about four years ago. I have tried to write about things which will help my students as well as topics which I find interesting. I deliberately confine my writing to a few subjects like Apologetics, Systematic and Biblical Theology, Hermeneutics, and Book Reviews. This is my blog and I keep to the advice I was given before I wrote my first post, namely, “write what you want to write, that’s all.” I try not to plow the same furrow too much, although I do have two or three series I want to get through which might make it seem a bit “samey” at times. These series are “The Parameters of Meaning” and a kind of subsidiary set on “Some Problems I Have With Covenant Theology.” Then there will be another series laying out in more detail the “C1 to C5 Categories” I employ to test theological propositions against the Scriptures they claim to use. I can’t think of a nifty anagram for my approach, but perhaps I’ll get some inspiration before I start to write those posts?
Another series I intend to write (DV) is entitled “Teleology and Eschatology,” and is a description of my approach to Biblical Theology and the storyline of the Bible as set out in my courses at Veritas. I hope to begin posting on that soon, although I am reading Greg Beale’s new tome and may have to delay until I’m much further into that work. I also hope to give the blog a fresh look before very long.
The mention of Beale brings me nicely on to the subject of books. There are always more books to read than time to read them, and that goes also for books which should be read (there are many which shouldn’t because they waste ones time).
Here is a list of the books I most want to complete as things stand today. Those with an (r) after them are scheduled for review:
G. K. Beale, A New Testament Biblical Theology (r)
Douglas Groothuis, Christian Apologetics (r?)
Rodney Stark, Discovering God and more
Anthony Thiselton, Hermeneutics: An Introduction
Dan Phillips, The World-Tilting Gospel (r)
David T. Lamb, God Behaving Badly (r)
David Dockery & Roger Duke (eds), John A. Broadus (r)
Darrell Bock & Robert Webb (eds), Key Events in the Life of the Historical Jesus (r?)
Michael Horton, The Christian Faith (r?)
Larry Hurtado, Lord Jesus Christ
N. T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God
Darrell Bock & Buist Fanning (eds), Interpreting the New Testament (r?)
Richard C. Gamble, The Whole Counsel of God (1)
Of course, I shall read more than this. I shall continue reading through Barth, and I will try to reread Sailhamer’s The Meaning of the Pentateuch, as well as stopping off as usual to delve into Van Til and others. I really need to get back to my Puritans too! But we’ll see how it goes.
Whatever happens, I hope I grow in my understanding of God’s Word and in my walk with His Spirit.