Christianity 201

August 12, 2011

The Unity of Scripture (1)

Filed under: Uncategorized — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:30 pm
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Alex Motyer’s Look to the Rock was published by Kregel Books in 1996.  In a few cases, I’ve paraphrased his words to make this more palatable to a younger demographic…

THE BOOK WITH THE ANSWERS AT THE BACK

…We reach the end of Malachi with…glowing expectations of the Messiah but without knowing how they can possibly be fulfilled:  How can the son of David be David’s Lord?  How can one with a plainly human ancestry be truly ‘the Lord our righteousness?  Such questions could be multiplied over the whole area of Old Testament revelation.  They are not exclusive to the messianic theme.  But they do suggest that we should see the Bible as the book with answers at the back.

Like all attempts to reduce the huge question of biblical unity to a single model, this can be caricatured.  For we are all familiar with math textbooks where the answers to problems are found in the final pages, or with introductions to Hebrew or New testament Greek where a ‘key’ to the book is provided in a supplement.  Needless to say, the New Testament is not a set of ‘answers’ or a ‘key’ in quite the same way.  Maybe therefore, a detective novel would be a better illustration, where problems and clues multiply in the cours4e of the book and are solved in the final climax.  This offers a greater approximation to unity in diversity.

Tomorrow: A Two Act Play.

This actually fits well with yesterday’s discussion of grace.  If you see the Old Testament as all about ‘law’ and the New Testament as all about ‘grace,’ you end up missing the grace in the Old Testament.   The problem is that all our understanding of scripture is overlaid by the presupposition of division between the testaments.  Tomorrow’s reading offers a great example where someone in the OT experiences God’s grace through simple repentance.  Can you remember who that was?

UPDATE:  After posting this and then preparing tomorrow’s second part, I realized this one is comparatively lighter in terms of study.  So, I thought you might want to read ahead and examine something called Marcionism.  Wikipedia refers to it as “an early Christian dualist belief system,” while a shorter article in Theopedia pulls no punches and calls it “an early Christian heresy.” Click the underlined links for the two articles.

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