I was coaxed into writing this blog by my beautiful wife. I didn’t know what I was doing when I started it, and I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing now. I write what I want, with an eye to my ministry. I don’t give my opinion on trends or the news. I write about what I perceive to be God’s Truth. Here’s a look at what transpired here in 2012.
At the beginning of January last, after setting out what I thought I might be doing in the coming year, I finished off an examination of the Church’s connection to the Abrahamic Covenant: Galatians 3, the Land, and the Abrahamic Covenant: What Was Paul Thinking? (Pt.4), and an Addendum. The position taken was that one must tie the Abrahamic Covenant to the New Covenant in Christ to grasp Paul’s argument. As it happened, the New Covenant was to feature quite prominently at Dr Reluctant during the past year.
I followed that up with Forty Reasons For Not Reinterpreting the OT by the New. This article resulted in a debate with Steve Hays which meandered somewhat, due to (says I) his refusal to discuss texts in context and to engage my main arguments; instead preferring to isolate certain strands of my wording and reply to them using philosophical categories. Looking back on the exchange I think I benefited from Steve’s posts even if it was not in the way I had hoped – viz, in a biblical way. Anyway, the sequence started Here. I am yet to have any substantial response from anyone against these reasons.
Owing in some measure to the stimulus provided by Steve and others I felt I was ready to post what I call The Rules of Affinity. These “rules” serve a dual purpose. First, of helping the Bible student track whether the Scripture passages he or she is using actually do support the doctrine they are being used to prove. In the second place they greatly assist in identifying why poor theological formulations are the way they are. A number of people have told me how much they have been helped by the RoA, and for that I am happy. They were also featured on another website and the interactions with those who saw how the Rules of Affinity undermined their treasured formulations was most instructive. To a man they thoroughly disliked the rules exposed the high level of unaided reasoning which went into their pet doctrines. I hope to do more work in this area this year.
Next up came my observations on an article by Kevin DeYoung called “What the Bible Really Still Says About Homosexuality.” It was a fine piece. The point I made in my post was simply that someone who wants to make a point about what the Bible REALLY says had better not indulge in “now you see it, now you don’t” interpretation. What I mean is that DeYoung actually does not believe what the Bible REALLY says when it crosses his theological preferences. This is proven by an awful “interpretation” of the 144,000 Israelites in Revelation 7. Not even the accompanying picture (Michelangelo’s Last Judgment) had anything to do with the subject of the chapter. The lesson should be obvious: one can’t well defend what the Bible says about homosexuality if one refuses to believe what it says about Israel!
In May I posted my first in an ongoing series entitled “Christ at the Center: The Fulcrum of Biblical Covenantalism.” I have about three or four more posts left in the series. What I am trying to do is to show how the approach to Scripture I dub “Biblical Covenantalism” (which is kin to Dispensationalism but with stress put on the covenants of Scripture), is determinedly and unavoidably Christ-centered, involving central issues of the Biblical Worldview. This year I hope to begin a larger series on “Teleology and Eschatology” into which this study fits.
Two posts which will help readers to understand where I am going in the area of Biblical Covenantalism/Biblical Theology are Dispensationalism & “Biblical Covenantalism” – What’s in a Name? and Synopsis of Biblical Covenantalism. Another essay which deals with a thorny passage in Biblical Theology is, Does Diatheke Mean “Last Will and Testament” in Hebrews 9:16-17?
At the end of the year, along with starting a series called The Struggle of Prayer, I provided a personal list of Recommended Reading in Dispensationalism . There were plenty of other posts, but those are the ones I wanted to talk about.
I managed a number of Reviews last year, though not as many as I would have liked. First there was a Short Review: Robert Gundry’s ‘Commentary on the New Testament’
Then I reviewed Greg Forster’s spirited book The Joy of Calvinism, which I recommend to those fed up with foot-shuffling works on “the Doctrines of Grace.”
Then came a four-parter; The Future of an Allusion: G. K. Beale’s N.T. Biblical Theology. It took me a good while to read and reread Beale’s big book (which explains why other books did not get a look in!). Despite permitting myself ample room for the review, there were still one or two things I left unsaid (chiefly Beale’s material on future justification). This was without doubt due to my own native verbosity. I also managed to fit in a post on Heath Lambert & Stuart Scott’s terrific Counseling the Hard Cases.
I hope to have a better review average this year. I also hope to write more Apologetics, but we’ll see!
In closing I want to thank YOU who read this blog for stopping by (whether you agree with me or not). May our Lord richly bless you, your loved ones, and your ministries in 2013!