Categories
eschatology hermeneutics history human

Get The Gehenna Out of Here?

People love talking about the love of Jesus. Man, that Old Testament was brutal—the God there equally so: ordering death of people, constantly warning of impending judgment, horrid stuff. But the Jesus of the New Testament is fundamentally different: loving, warm, drawing all men to himself, eating with sinners and judging no one! Not like that nasty Pharisee Paul.

But these folk forget that the person who spoke about hell most was not Paul or James or even good old Peter: it was Jesus. Metaphor after metaphor, story after story, constantly making the point of a judgment to come and a punishment to follow. This same Jesus who would sit with sinners is the one who would tell sinners that it was better that they rip their eye out of their socket and throw it into hell than their whole body gets thrown into the fiery hell (Matt 18:19).

Of course, the word there isn’t technically hell: it’s Gehenna.  Nay-Hellsayers are quick to point out that it’s a Greek transliteration of a Hebrew term which is Hinnom Valley. This valley was a deep ravine near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem where trash was thrown.  The stuff there was cut off from the life of the people and sent over there. Jesus, the master of metaphor, knew the place well and had no problem using it.

Categories
history study

Major Themes of Scripture

On my iPhone (it’s really an iPod Touch but it’s annoying calling it an iPod Touch and it sounds slightly perverse calling it an iTouch and with the right applications and microphone it is essentially the same device sans camera so I’ll continue calling it an iPhone for any future posts though I don’t technically own one) I have a document that I reference when I’m out and about reading Scripture. It contains some themes that shoot right through Scripture, from beginning to end, and which all are tied up to the Gospel and eventually are the very things that God is culminating. Of course, the ideas aren’t original. My thinking was influenced by DA Carson, Dwight Pentacost, even John Piper and NT Wright (if you believe it).

In the list you might notice I’m missing some things like “Shepherd” or “Davidic King” but that’s because I think those tie into Man and his position under God. I didn’t mention Israel, though it is surely a major theme but I’ve subsumed it under People of God—but I don’t feel quite right about that. I might still put them under their own number—not sure.

I’ve noticed that some make a mistake of taking one of the themes of Scripture and making it the central focus of the Gospel (the good news). For example, NT Wright loves to make the Gospel all about the Kingdom. Piper loves to make the Gospel all about God (even has a book called God is the Gospel). So on. I think that to say the main theme of the Gospel is any one of these things is seriously mistaken and ignores the breadth of what God is accomplishing. Also, I think some would like to remove some of these things as being tied to the Gospel. So, one might argue that Creation is central to the Gospel and Sin is merely a side issue: that is mistaken. The Gospel necessarily deals with both of those (and other) things but I won’t argue the point beyond listing the themes from my iPhone here sans scripture:

Categories
history human rey's a point

Tweet Blog: The Left At Albuquerque

Paving roads over the asphalt of old ideas leads to the same destination, no matter how pretty the new ways look.

Categories
apologetics history quotables quotes

Quotables: Martin Luther on Inerrancy

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If a different way to heaven existed, no doubt God would have recorded it, but there is no other way. Therefore let us cling to these words, firmly place and rest our hearts upon them, close our eves and say: Although I had the merit of all saints, the holiness and purity of all virgins, and the piety of St. Peter himself, I would still consider my attainment nothing. Rather I must have a different foundation to build on, namely, these words: God has given His Son so that whosoever believes in Him whom the Father’s love has sent shall be saved. And you must confidently insist that you will be preserved; and you must boldly take your stand on His words, which no devil, hell, or death can suppress. Therefore no matter what happens, you should say: There is God’s Word. This is my rock and anchor. On it I rely, and it remains. Where it remains, I, too, remain; where it goes, I, too, go. The Word must stand, for God cannot lie; and heaven and earth must go to ruins before the most insignificant letter or tittle of His Word remains unfulfilled. Kirchenpostille on John 3:16

Categories
apologetics christ hermeneutics history scripture spirit the father trinity

The Author to the Hebrews vs. Kenotic Arian View of Scripture

Due to their opponents embracing a faulty anthropology, Evangelicals have often been accused of having a Docetic view of Scritpure. “Come now! Scripture is a human book,” their opponents say “and that necessitates error—not only because humans are sinful (a minor point) but because humans are finite and necessarily make mistakes!”

An obvious fallacious conflation of categories: why conflate bad breath and miscalculations with affirming erroneous beliefs—indeed, even morally wrong beliefs (which they may use examples as slavery, monarchism or patriarchies)?

Yet, this question about the ontology of a human as it relates to a human product cannot be so easily brushed away when one approaches the letter to the Hebrews. The author looks beyond the human author to establish all his arguments—and this refutes the Nestorian(1), or even Kenotic Arian(2), view of Scripture.