Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Covenant Theology: Moo on The Law in the Gospels

Just finished reading an article on the Law in Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels by Doug Moo.  Although a vast subject, I thought his conclusion was helpful in understanding the Law as it relates to the Old and New Covenants.

“In different ways and with different emphases, all four Gospels reflect a dominant theme in the teaching of Jesus: his divine authority with reference to the Law.  Jesus was quick to clarify that his authority did not negate the role of the Law in salvation history.  But he also made it clear that this authority involved the right not only to exposit, add to or deepen the Law, but to make demands of his people independent of that Law. This being the case, it is quite inadequate, and potentially misleading, to think of Jesus as “the last great expositor of the Law.”  The Law, God’s great gift to Israel, anticipated and looked forward to the eschatological teaching of God’s will that Jesus brought.  This teaching, not the Law, is the focus of the Gospels, and the Law remains authoritative for the disciple of Jesus only insofar as it is taken up into his own teaching.” (Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, 461)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Book Review: Evangelical Feminism by Wayne Grudem

Evangelical Feminism by Wayne Grudem: a review
At the outset, I am a complementarian when it comes to gender roles in the home and the church.  It is my biblical conviction that men are called by Christ to the roles of leadership in both the home (Eph 5:23-33) and in the church (1 Tim 2:12; 3:2).  So going into the book I knew that I was going to agree with what Grudem proposes.  
His thesis is that, what he labels as Evangelical Feminism, (egalitarianism) will eventually lead to liberalism.  Grudem lists the examples of several mainline denominations to prove this.  While he is careful not to label all egalitarians as liberal, he does argue that the trend usually leads one to more liberal thinking.  Grudem gives many examples of the arguments that egalitarians use to make their case.  What becomes apparent is that all of the arguments either downplay Scripture or distort Scripture.  Thus, at the end of the day, the issue is one of submitting to the authority of Scripture.  In order to submit to Scripture, we need to understand it rightly.  Egalitarians fail to do both and so do liberals.   
The path to liberalism, according to Grudem, is the downplay of the authority of Scripture and the distortion of certain passages.  He is calling for both careful exegesis of evangelicals and also humble obedience to what God has revealed in His word.  As a pastor this book was both refreshing and serves as a warning to me.  It is refreshing to see men who are totally committed to the Word of God, even when the culture is going against it.  Furthermore, as a pastor I am entrusted with guarding the truth, shepherding the flock, so that the Church will bring glory to the Lord Jesus.  This can only happen as I submit myself to God’s Word humbly.  It is a warning for me not to take lightly His Word but to seek obedience to it, with utter dependence upon His grace.