Tuesday, November 15, 2016

C.F.D. Moule on the Nature of Scripture

Scripture is so precious to me that I have read it through from cover to cover scores of times, missing not a day in 50 years without steady reading. I hope that it is now clear why this is so. I do not believe that Scripture is infallible; I question the value of the language of inspiration for describing its distinctive qualities; I believe (as I have shown) that Scripture itself, and the fact that it is an accredited selection, need to be critically examined and sifted like any other matters of antiquity. But, precisely because it does constitute the body of documents most directly concerned with the impact of those events which culminated (so I read the evidence) in Jesus and the Christian movement, it constitutes (as a whole and taken in its entirety) a mirror held up to the face of God. And unless we gaze daily in that mirror we are deprived of the most vital agent in our access to God through Jesus Christ. That is why the Bible is indispensable and uniquely precious. But without the Spirit of God to nerve me to face, to respond to, and to obey that awesome presence, and to bind me to my fellow-seekers for our mutual help and encouragement in this activity, all the study and labour would be worse than useless. This is how I understand both the distinctiveness of Scripture and the relation to it of a doctrine of the Spirit.- C.F.D. Moule; Forgiveness and Reconciliation; 224; italics mine.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

G.B. Caird on (Sin)cerity

While reading George Caird's masterful New Testament Theology, he brings to the fore an interesting and often overlooked aspect of the types of sins Jesus died for, namely, the sin of sincerity.

Caird states:

If it be true that Jesus died for such as Paul, then the one thing certain is that the sins he bore included the sins of sincerity. ...Christian tradition has regrettably accustomed us to think of those who brought about the Crucifixion as villians; but if we observe them through the eyes of Paul, we get a different view. 'I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, however unenlightened' (Rom. 10:2). No doubt they had their faults and fallacies, but each in his own way was a sincere person, honestly trying to do what was right in the interest of religion and national survival. But in all the annals of human vice, no power is as destructive or demonic as perverted sincerity.
It took the Cross, interpreted as the vicarious bearing of guilt to pierce the armour-plate of Paul's self-congratulation. It proved that when he had been most confident of serving God, he had been God's enemy; and it had revealed a love great enough to kill the enmity (Rom. 5:8; 2 Cor. 5:18-21) (Italics mine; 147). 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

NIVAC eBook Sale (Nov 7-13)

One of the more helpful commentary series, the New International Version Application Commentary (NIVAC), published by Zondervan, is having a one week eBook sale beginning tomorrow (Nov 7-13).

Each volume is only $4.99 a piece, and bundles can be purchased for $17.99. These are truly remarkable prices for such a solid commentary series. I can attest personally to the quality as I have used with great benefit, Douglas Moo's Romans and Daniel Block's Deuteronomy to name just a couple of the volumes.
Make sure you take advantage of this offer by shopping here

Friday, November 4, 2016

Ernst Käsemann and the Quote of the Day

I ran across this quote from the great Ernst Käsemann on the indispensability of learning in community, a virtue seemingly lost in certain sectors of the church and in scholarship.

Controversy is the breath of life to a German theologian, and mutual discussion is the duty of us all. For, in scholarship as in life, no one can possess truth except by constantly learning it afresh; and no one can learn it afresh without listening to the people who are his companions on the search for that truth. Community does not necessarily mean agreement. (Perspectives on Paul; 60.)