For Your Edification (4.27.12)

For Your Edification is a weekly set of resources on the subjects of Bible, Theology, Ministry, and Family Life.  Let me know what you think or if you have other resources that growing Christians should be aware.  

BIBLE

A Smoking Fire Pot and a Flaming Torch. Matthew Barrett, editor behind Credo Magazine, has given a brief overview of Genesis 15 and the significance of the covenant made by God with Abraham.  He argues that the conditions of the Abrahamic covenant are fulfilled by God himself, thus making the covenant (un)conditional. For more on the (un)conditional nature of the Old Testament covenants see the forthcoming book, Kingdom Through Covenant by two Southern Seminary professors, Stephen Wellum and Peter Gentry.

‘Covenant’ or ‘Will’ in Hebrews 9. For the aspiring biblical interpreter (with a little Greek knowledge), Bill Mounce has provided a helpful commentary on Hebrews 9:16-17, and why it should be translated “covenant” (NASB, KJV) and not “will” (ESV, NIV, etc).  He questions,

The standard argument is that the author is arguing by analogy. Having mentioned an inheritance, he talks about human wills not being valid until there was a death. “For where there is a covenant, it is required that the death of the one who made it be established. For a will takes effect only when a person has died; it cannot possibly be valid so long as the one who made it is still alive” (vv 16-17, NIV). The will belongs to “the one who made it.” Hence, the translation “will” and not “covenant.” (There are of course other reasons, but you can read the commentaries for yourself.)

The problem, though, is that it is hard to see how an analogy of a will helps the argument. The overall argument is certainly about the covenants. And just as importantly, the next verse draws a conclusion from vv 16-17. “Therefore (ὅθεν) not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood” (v 18, NIV). So are we still are talking about covenants?

Check out the rest at The Koinonia Blog.

THEOLOGY

Are Mormons Christian?  Joe Carter has taken the time to answer a few important questions that distinguish Christians and Mormons.  Since public religious figures (I don’t want to use the word pastor) like Joel Osteen have dropped the ball on rightly answering this question, we need to be better equipped to offer insight into what Mormon’s believe–after all, in a few months our country will probably be voting for or against a Mormon.  So here is a fast and friendly guide to understanding some of the main teachings about Mormons, and the false views they hold.  I would encourage you to print this out and keep it near the front door for the next time they come by.

FAMILY, LIFE, & MINISTRY

Ten Narnia Resources.  Andy Naselli, theologian, author, and librarian of all things Carson, has provided the ultimate Resource Guide for The Chronicles of Narnia.  If you are reading or will read C. S. Lewis’s series of children’s books to your children, be sure to check out his cautions as well as his commendations.

Chuck Colson (1931-2012). In the NY Times, Michael Gerson has provided a warm, personal, and Christ-honoring reflection of the passing away of his mentor and friend, Chuck Colson.  Chuck Colson was indicted in 1974 in his role in Watergate.  In prison he was converted, and over the last three and half decades, he has powerfully witnessed to the life-changing power of Jesus Christ.  For a list of his important books, see Tom Gilson’s article on Colson’s life.

The Ugly American – Sex Trafficking and Our National Humiliation. In light of the recent Secret Service scandal in Colombia, Albert Mohler writes an eye-opening piece on something that most Americans are willfully or ignorantly blind to–sex trafficking!  He cites two recent reports in USA Today and the NY Times that chronicle the sex trafficking America (not just Americans) finances.  Mohler’s articles displays how far sin has taken us, and how sexual sin has an insatiable appetite for more and more perversion.  For a ministry that fights sex trafficking and promotes purity, see PureHOPE website.

May God use these resources to help you walk in a manner worthy of the gospel.

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