Why Hoard the Treasure?

I intended to only pass this on to some of my close friends and ministry partners, but I kept thinking “this is just too good to keep in a private stash!” So I want to publically invite all to aquaint themselves with this theme, this author, and especially this book. “Gospel and Kingdom“, by Graeme Goldsworthy trilogy is no longer available as a stand alone but is readily available in most on-line book stores as the first of a three book trilogy. The first link will take you to a pdf where you can read the first chapter about the Church’s historical use of the Old Covenant scriptures. In my humble opinion, this is an excellent resource for all readers of the english Bible, regardless of your faith tradition, and I wish I could tell the whole world about it.

Goldsworthy is not an American, but he did study in America under the late Dr. John Bright, a leading evangelical authority on the history of Israel. His doctoral dissertation was on the “Wisdom Literature” of the Old Testament and shows up as the third book in the Trilogy.

Fortunately there is a very good review available on-line of “Gospel and Kingdom” from which I will give you this tasty sample:

Jesus is the Temple and Zion is where Jesus now reigns at the right hand of God (Hebrews 12:22). The “Rule of the Kingdom” (God’s rule) is testified in the Old Testament with the themes of covenant and kingdom. The great covenant summary was “I will be your God, you shall be my people.” This goal was implicit in Eden, and progressively explicit in God’s covenants with Abraham, Israel (Moses), and David, finally culminating in the prophetic hope of a “new covenant”- which would be written in the hearts of God’s people.

The New Testament shows that the gospel fulfills the hope of the new covenant by perfectly achieving what could only be foreshadowed in the old (cf.Hebrews 8-9). The New Testament also takes up the theme of kingdom by showing how Jesus, the Son of David, fulfilled the prophecies concerning David’s restored rule in his resurrection (cf. Acts 2:30-31,36).

But the kingdom is both “now and not yet” (p.118) and Christians live in the tension between the inauguration and the consumation of the kingdom. This chapter concludes with Goldsworthy’s assertion that “to see the kingdom of God we must look at Jesus Christ” (p.120).

The theme of the kingdom fits right into our Lenten readings from Saint Paul’s letters and one of the questions we need to ask is the one about “which” gospel he preached. I’ll leave a little hint where we will go next with that: read ACTS 28:30,31 and Acts 20:17-27. To read the complete review of Gospel and Kingdom go here.

Endings that Bring HOPE of New Beginnings

I am hoping that you will follow the link in my Advent post to the great orientation to this year’s theme and Scriptures. If you do you will find a special surprise for your spiritual meditations: “The focus on endings to come that bring the hope of New Beginnings”.

I happen to believe that it is precisely this emphasis in the Gospel that has been tragically neglected in American Christianity and means that we have largely failed our own society by failing to include this part. And that is that the announcement of the coming to earth of God’s Promised Redeemer and thus His Kingly rule, means the utter judgement, destruction, and replacement of the world’s kingdoms and powers. And that is precisely why it is such Good News. deathbylove

In keeping with this theme, “ending that brings the hope of new beginnings”, I have started reading a new book called, Death by Love. I plan to take my time on this one because I really want to understand the main author’s view of the death of Christ. It will be the first book I have read by Mark Driscoll.

I have just started so I will let you know what I find as I go along. I always try to do a preliminary survey of a book like this before digging in- like reading the preface ( a good author will often tell exactly why she/he wrote it and what they are trying to accomplish), the table of contents, the index, the notes, and the Scripture index. I will leave you with this morsel from the preface:

One theologian has called the cross the great jewel of the Christian Faith, and like every great jewel it has many precious facets that are each worthy of examing for their brilliance and beauty… most poor teaching about the cross results from someone’s denying one of these facets, ignoring one of these facets, or over emphasizing one of these facets at the expense of the others… such narrow and reactionary theology has tragically caused the beauty of the cross to become obscured by the various warring teams that have risen up to argue for their systematic theology rather than bowing in humble worship of the crucified Jesus.