Archive for the ‘Theology’ Category

Eight Traits of Good Teaching

by David Mathis

  • A good teacher asks himself the hardest questions, works through to answers, and then frames provocative questions for his learners to stimulate their thinking.
  • A good teacher analyzes his subject matter into parts and sees relationships and discovers the unity of the whole.
  • A good teacher knows the problems learners will have with his subject matter and encourages them and gets them over the humps of discouragement.
  • A good teacher foresees objections and thinks them through so that he can answer them intelligently.

Read the rest at Desiring God.


Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way

9780801068386mCatechism and Catechesis

According to Packer —

  • Catechesis is a thoroughly biblical idea and practice
  • The practice of rigorous catechesis has proven to be essential and effective
  • Many forces have conspired to distract most of today’s evangelicals from the biblical business of catechizing
  • Catechesis involves instruction that is both ancient and essential
  • Catechesis involves instruction that is holistic
  • Catechesis involves instruction that is highly relational and interactive
  • Catechesis involves instruction that is timely and culturally relevant
  • Catechesis involves instruction that is foundational for faith development throughout one’s life.

We might use instruction, teaching, nurture, formation, or invoke some other related term. But each of these actually represents a piece of the ministry that is catechesis; no one of them captures the whole of it.

Grounded in the Gospel: Building Believers the Old-Fashioned Way by J. I. Packer and Gary A. Parrett (BakerBooks, 2010) 29-30, 32.

Ignorance of the Gospel

Our Fourth Indictment: An Ignorance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”—Romans 5:8-9

I submit to you that this country is not Gospel hardened; it is Gospel ignorant, because most of its preachers are. Let me repeat this. The malady in this country is not liberal politicians, the root of socialism, Hollywood, or anything else. It is the so-called evangelical pastor, preacher, or evangelist of our day; that is where the malady is to be found. We do not know the Gospel. We have taken the glorious Gospel of our blessed God and reduced it down to four spiritual laws, and five things God wants you to know, with a little superstitious prayer at the end. And if someone repeats it after us with enough sincerity, we popishly declare them to be born again!

Washer, Paul (2012-07-02). Ten Indictments against the Modern Church (Kindle Locations 220-228). Chapel Library. Kindle Edition.

“In Christ”

“Salvation as Adoption in Christ: An Antidote to Today’s Distant yet Convenient Deity

[The] image of adoption is key for Paul in speaking about the life of salvation in Christ, as well as the new identity that we enter into in Christ. On the on hand, the Spirit assures Christians that they already belong to God–they can cry out to God as Father, as ones united to Jesus Christ…. We are adopted children of God, able to pray to the Father by the spirit, yet even this is a foretaste of the consummation of adoption for which the creation groans and waits.”

Billings, J. Todd. Union with Christ (Baker Academic, 2011), 15-17.

More Gospel

The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler with Jared Wilson, April 2012.

We can never get enough of the Gospel. This book is a great contribution to the notion of gospel-driven life, gospel-centered hermeneutics, gospel-centered biblical theology. We really the the message of the Gospel as well we need to proclaim it.

An excerpt from Wilson:

The Gospel in the Air

In the beginning, we start with God’s proclamation. God is more interested in declaring than in explaining. In the matter of the creation of the world, the Bible is historical and revelational–it is more interested in telling us what happened and why than it is how. God’s Word is as clear as God wants it to be about where the world came from (the imagination of God) and why it came to be (to reflect his glory), and its addressing of how the world came to be amounts to this: God speaks. (p. 101)


We Become What We Worship

A Biblical Theology of Idolatry by G. K. Beale


That Paul intends to present Romans 12:1-2 as the antithesis to Romans 1:18-28 is apparent from the use of terms used oppositely or the use of actual antonyms.

Their bodies would be dishonored among them. (Romans 1:24)

Present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God (12:1)

This combination of words together with the ideas they express occur nowhere else in Paul’s writings, which enhances an intentional link between the two passages. First, in Romans 12, Paul is exhorting Christians to present their “bodies” in religious “service” to God instead of participating in an idolatrous liturgical “service” in which “their bodies” become dishonored because they present their bodies immorally to others of the same sex….

InterVarsity Press (2008), 217.

Four Nativity Hymns: A Repost

It is December once again, and as we remember Christ’s birth during the advent season, let us reflect from the Gospel according to Luke the four nativity hymns. These hymns according to Ryken may well be considered as the last of the Psalms and the beginning of the new covenant hymns. May this Advent truly bring the meaning of the Incarnation, and may it serve to help us trust more and more on this Great Savior–the glory of Israel!

Mary’s Magnificat (1:39-55)

Zechariah’s Benedictus (1:56-80)

The Angels’ Gloria (2:8-20)

Simeon’s Nunc Dimittis (2:21-38)


“Since those who stood in the mainstream of North American evangelicalism were convinced that it is the knowledge of what God has revealed that grounds, shapes, and gives meaning to Christian existence, they insisted that both the nature and the quality of this existence are invariably compromised when either the substance or the significance of this truth is undermined or abandoned…. In the process, we turn away from God to a form of spiritual narcissism that is characterized more by human striving than it is by humble receiving….”

Paul Kjoss Helseth, “Right Reason” and the Princeton Mind, 214.


“Now I am going to say something that may shock. Here it is: Not to be intensely interested–and this is true for clergy and laity alike–I repeat, not to be intensely interested in the study of Holy Scripture if the one living and true God has revealed himself therein is the height of spiritual folly, indeed, such disinterest is a form of insanity.”

Essay by Robert L. Reymond entitled “Systematic Theology and a Burning Heart,”

in The Hope Fulfilled, p. 173.

Pictures of Christ

Why we do not need images of Christ, a quote from Daniel R. Hyde:

Seeing God in the face of Jesus Christ is one of the blessings of that consummate redemption for which we hope. It is what ancient Christian theologians called the “beatific vision” (visio beatifica). It was the hope of the saints in both the Old and New Testaments….

The Christian life is about hoping for what we will receive, or, rather, who will receive us! The beatific vision is that most blessed vision of God that we do not see–yet!….

The “blessed hope,” this “beatific vision,” is to see our Husband, to whom we are now engaged (an arranged marriage if you will), on the day of consummation. This age between Christ’s two advents is the age of faith, of hope, and of love…. VanDrunen spoke of this passage [John 16:16] and its implications for images, saying, “The age of the Spirit is an age of Christ’s presence, to be followed by his reappearance.” For this reason, the hopeful, patient, pilgrim people of God must not “move the eschatological clock ahead of schedule.”

In Living Color, 66-69