For Your Edification is a (bi)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 & THEOLOGY
Dating the Crucifixion. Joe Carter points to a news report coming from the “International Geology Review” that claims “based on earthquake activity at the Dead Sea near Jerusalem, Jesus was most likely crucified on Friday, April 3, in the year 33.” Carter’s news clipping reminds us that God’s revelation in Scripture and nature are both infallible, and that this new piece of data gives us plausible evidence confirming what the Bible already declares: “And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split” (Matthew 27:51).
Biblical Allusions. Jeffery Leonard has written an SBL article identifying inner-biblical allusions. In fact, using Psalm 78 as a test-case, he lists eight ways that “shared language” works in the Bible. He also goes one step further to discuss ways to determine how to discern the direction of the influence. If typology, allusions, and echoes are your thing, I encourage you to check out the article: Identifying Inner-Biblical Allusions: Psalm 78 as a Test Case.
Here are the eight evaluations for considering biblical allusions:
- Shared language is the single most importantfactor in establishing a textual connection.
- Shared language is more important than nonshared language.
- Shared language that is rare or distinctive suggests a stronger connection than does language that is widely used.
- Shared phrases suggest a stronger connection than do individual shared terms.
- The accumulation of shared language suggests a stronger connection than does a single shared term or phrase.
- Shared language in similar contexts suggests a stronger connection than does shared language alone.
- Shared language need not be accompanied by shared ideology to establish a connection.
- Shared language need not be accompanied by shared form to establish a connection.
FAMILY, LIFE, & MINISTRY
Defending Marriage in a Pluralistic Society. Paul Brewster, a pastor in our local association and author of Andrew Fuller: Model Pastor-Theologian, has written a helpful piece on the difficulty and necessity of defending marriage in our contemporary society. Brewster’s editorial is noteworthy on two accounts: (1) He lives in middle America–Madison, Indiana to be exact–which is not the left coast or a progressive college town. Rather, it is a small town in the heartland of America, and yet it like every other community in our nation has been affected by increasing demand for marriage anyway you like it. (2) He is a faithful, small church pastor. It is easy to point to and depend on the Albert Mohler’s, Tim Keller’s, and John Piper’s to speak up publically; however, in truth, it takes all pastors proclaiming the gospel and the Christian worldview for the effect of Christ’s witness to win the lost to Christ and to preserve the culture from moral decay.
May we who pastor smaller churches follow Paul’s lead and contend for a biblical and traditional definition of marriage, and may we hear his admonition to defend God’s design for marriage so that marriage does not become Silly Putty in the hands of fools.
Charles Spurgeon’s Biography. Here is an hour-long docu-drama retelling the life and labors of Charles Spurgeon. If you are unfamiliar with this powerful minister’s pulpit ministry, this is a good place to begin. If you want to know more about Charles Spurgeon, I would encourage you to check out John Piper’s audio biography, Arnold Dallimore’s biography Spurgeon: A New Biography, or his own two-volume autobiography–The Early Years and The Full Harvest.