Was Asked – Is the Spirit’s work that which is new about the New Covenant?
My Answer was – Yes! I simply do not see one can argue the fact that the work of the New Covenant is not established today! I have heard a number of times by mainly classical dispensationalist (who have made up their minds that no covenant is given to the church) that this is not in order today for the local church. I think to show how the New Covenant is consummate by the pouring of the Spirit on and in man is best to go to the Scriptures which seem at least to myself in making this clear.
The New Covenant as the Law of God in the human mind
Ezekiel 36: 26-27 – A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.
The New Covenant as a gift from the Holy Spirit
Galatians 5:22-23 – By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.
The New Covenant as a fulfillment by the Spirit
Romans 8:4 – so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Question: The Prophets prophesied on the basis of the covenants. Show this for two or more of the biblical covenants discussed thus far.
1. The Covenant of Grace- that was promised to Adam and Eve that Christ then came to crush the serpent in defeating satan at the cross.
2. The Abrahamic Covenant- would then come about being written on the hearts of the church that replaces Israel as being the nation of god’s people. Jer. 31 & 33
3. The Davidic Covenant- would then be fulfilled with Christ then sitting on his thrown after his work was done on that of the cross.
Question: How would biblical theology be different if we had no record of Solomon’s person, life, and contribution?
With other words, what did God intend with the extensive section on Solomon and from Solomon in the OT history of revelation?
Answer: The decline of the kingdom lies in the decision and the fall of Solomon. No, person, no history of how the king and his kingdom followed the ways or the wickedness of this world would leave biblical theology wondering what happen to Israel. However, there are two sides of seeing Solomon in the biblical theology. Instead of naming the negative way of looking at him, another one that is even more important is the wisdom that he had, that was a type of that of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. God intentions were to have that of a king rebuilding the temple, like that of Christ would come and then become the king of today setting his temple else where, being the greater king and the wiser man then that of Solomon. This being the foreshowing of Christ one day ruling on the new earth among his nation of peoples.
Question: How is Christ present in the Song of Solomon?
Answer: I hold to the Historical Interpretation (but do believe sections may be types of Christ and His church), if one even has room for such terms in their hermeneutics. I know that this may not be the answer you wanted, nor the normal one here at PRTS, however it is what I believe seems most fitting and closest to the Scriptures without spiritualizing the text. Now is Christ could someone use this book in allegory, or to resemble Christ love for the church? Yes, I believe it can be done as long as it is seen as and allegory and not the Interpretation of Scripture. I am trying to figure out how to answer this question, believing in an historical view…
So I would say Christ is shown in several ways:
1. That marriage is two individuals becoming one, loving each other, shadowing what Christ does do for his church.
2. That with Christ at the center of marriage, one can restore or have a marriage that is focused around the gospel and not for their own enjoyment.
3. Christ is the great bridegroom, the greater enjoyment, and the greater relationship
Question: Give one example of something that is sometimes claimed to be a type, but you don’t believe is a type. Support your argument.
My Answer: I have read online places and heard that people actually believe that Israel in a battle with the Amalekites, Exodus 17:11 states that “[a]s long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.” I have heard people go on to say that this can be interpreted that when Moses’ raised his hands, he as well was a type of Christ to whom raised hands upon the Cross, for when Jesus’ hands were raised as He died, a figurative battle with sin was waged, the end result being victory – that “all will be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22) However, there are lines and maybe looking to far in depth. Original writer to original reader is always our first importance of the text, then looking at how the New Testament sees this as well helps. However I find this hard when it is not mentioned throughout the NT, and think it is one typology-gone way to far.
Explain why you believe the application is either right or wrong.
Wrong Application from v. 43: Man came to follow Jesus. Man has the will to follow Christ and His Word. This here makes man the center of the text and allows room for man to decide not only in the text but decide always weather he can follow Christ or not. Free will.
Right Application from v. 43: Christ Word was enough and is enough to change man’s life and man’s heart in following Christ. This is right in the fact that Christ is center, the gospel is centered, in that His words form his mouth, and his word that man has today is enough to bring sinners to their knees and repent and follow Christ. Irresistible Grace .
Asked: Does praying and meditating on a passage ensure better interpretation?
Answer: Yes, praying and meditating on a passage does ensure a better interpretation of the Scripture. Here are some passages that apply to this very subject that comes to my mind:
- Psalms 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!
- Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
- Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
The only foundation for one to properly interpret Scripture is being in tune spiritually with their Father. The believer cannot use mere intellectual knowledge to understand true religion. The beginning of wisdom is the only foundation in which one is to find true wisdom on. This foundation is the relationship that the believer has in communion with their Savior. To know God, and to walk in correct measure in interpreting the Scripture, is not only reading the Scriptures and using one’s intellectual knowledge, but is spending time with the Lord on a daily basis as a wise act so that mankind can know their Maker better. I would ask myself the same question that Charles Spurgeon asked in his commentary on the Psalms, “Where shall wisdom be found? Where is the place of understanding?”
Spurgeon answers, “He searches nature through, in quest of it, but cannot find it: he cannot purchase it Ophir, and its prices above rubies. At length he collects the primitive instruction of God to man, and there he finds it; to man said, behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.”
It is clear for the believer that he should not go to the text upon his own strength, his own mind, his own thought and his own will. In doing so, the believer will lose all illumination from the Spirit and will then base reason on his own perception and his own way of thinking. The believer should go to the text in fear but not in a fear that is scarce in its love for the Lord. The believer goes to the text because he is love with Christ, because he wants to know Christ and he wants to be able to commune with the Father, through Christ. This is why we worship God in prayer and in meditation and in careful obedience so that we may properly interpret the Scriptures to live a life, holy unto the Lord. This is why John Calvin states this on Psalms 111:10, “ In this passage, fear is not to be understood as referring to the first or elementary principles of piety, as in 1 John 4:18, but is comprehensive of all true godliness, or the worship of God.”
Asked: Please evaluate the following quote from Prof. Lindars.
The New Testament writers do not take an Old Testament book or passage and ask, “What does this mean?” They are concerned with the kerygma, which they need to teach and to defend and to understand themselves. Believing
that Christ is the fulfillment of the promises of God, and that they are living in the age to which all the Scriptures refer, they employ the Old Testament in an ad hoc way, making recourse to it just when and how they find it helpful for their purposes. But they do this in a highly creative situation, because the Christ-event breaks through conventional expectations, and demands new patterns of exegesis for its elucidation.”
Source: Barnabas Lindars, “The Place of the Old Testament in the Formation of New Testament Theology: Prolegomena,” NTS 23 (1976): 59-66.
My Answer: I will only my comment on the beginning of the quote due to time.
“The New Testament writers do not take an Old Testament book or passage and ask, “What does this mean?”
Paul, Christ, the writer of Hebrews did not do this? They seem to have known and asked them selves in a number of what the Old Testament passages meant. Paul being taught before, Christ himself knowing them entirely and all the disciples being Jews knew the Old testament and yes did ask themselves time and time again what things looked like. Paul in Galatians, the writer of Hebrews in dealing with what he did in his long sermon. The interpreter never conveys that there must be a new way of understanding in the Old Testament passage, but its’ message can bee seen as if there is more understanding to the whole scheme of redemption, once the revelation has been shown in the New Testament.
I was asked to do the following response in a short manner… so I tried, not as if I knew what I was talking about, but hey, I tried right?
ASKED: Comment on the following quotation of Bruce Waltke, noting where you agree with him and where not, and why?
“The cosmic drama of salvation history opens with an awe-inspiring display of theatrics. The palpable excitement and anticipation is pregnant in the text, available to all. Unfortunately, many readers today do not sense the drama nor understand these pivotal words, rich with meaning. This narrative of origins not only opens the cosmic drama of the Bible’s theme – God irrupting into chaos to establish his rule over everything – it also lays the foundation for the biblical worldview of ethical monotheism. God takes his rightful place on his throne in the heavens with the earth as his footstool, appoints human beings as his regents to rule his earth, and establishes laws for Israel in the order of creation” (An OT Theology, 173).
I feel as if I am post to find something here that I disagree with, however for the most part unless I pick apart things that may become too critical, I do not find anything “hugely” that I disagree with. I think I can find two areas that may perk the eyes/ears to the traditional reformist, however I do not know if Waltke is trying to say or bring about what the traditional reformed may believe he is saying.
• “cosmic drama” – I could see some that may get upset at calling the act of God in creation a drama. I can see that the reformed individual may look at seeing the fact that Waltke used the word “drama” relating in a exciting or emotional or unexpected events, because creation was altogether different from all of that. However, I do not know id Waltke is trying to say that the act of creation was unexpected as a drama as he is saying that the Lord played/planed a play-like series of events in creating universe.
• “God irrupting into chaos to establish his rule over everything” – This however is the most upsetting statement I can find in the short little paragraph, (unless I’m blind). That fact that he uses the word, “Chaos” to describe that of what God did in making that of the cosmos, simply is not at all in-line with God’s character, person, and most certainly does not portray a God whom I read about in the Scriptures. God is simply a God of order and planned methods in organization, in everything he has done; he is doing and will do.
Dr. Bilkes: How does one avoid the allegorical method without falling into the rationalist method?
Dewalt: Allowing the Scriptures to speak for themselves as much as possible. I think often times we want to preach Christ so much or think he is in the passage one may be preach so much that we end up creating a Rationalist approach when they try to allegorize. How one can stop this is by carefully approaching the text, and preaching what is in front of them and not bringing about “New Ideas” to the text. If it hasn’t been said now in a commentary or in a good book, then don’t come up with something new from the passage.
- Allowing the text to speak for its’ self
- Not using man’s own mind to make his or her assumptions come from the Scriptures
- What God said and intended in his cannon of Scriptures may go against myself personally but does not give me the right to disagree. I then conform my thinking with that which that Lord has given.
- If it is not clear, then do not try to add to the text
- Don’t try to fit Christ into the text, but find where Christ is in the text
- Making the text say something you may believe rationally and not scripturally, is only taking the scriptures out of context.
I was asked to Respond to the following opinion:
“The Bible has no united message. It is a book with many, varied messages that are sometimes mutually exclusive. What we must do is select with the help of the Holy Spirit from among the various biblical messages the one that best fits our time.”
I will give my opinion to the following quote in addressing the sections.
The Bible has no united message. This is here is the writer’s presupposition on what he may believe of the Bible. I would say that yes, the Bible does have one united message. That being the work and redemption of sinners by the gospel of Jesus Christ in order that sinners can become saints to glorify God through the work of the Holy Spirit.
It is a book with many, varied messages that are sometimes mutually exclusive.
I would say to this, that yes, there are stories, narratives, and places where one may have a hard tie seeing how it fits into the whole picture of the cannon of Scripture. This problem however is on man’s part in not being able to see and know how every picture, story and area fits into the whole museum of the story of redemption.
What we must do is select with the help of the Holy Spirit from among the various biblical messages the one that best fits our time.”
“What we must do” seems as if he is coming to the table with his own concerns and opinions as if he knows best how to look at the Bible. As far as his comment “the one that best fits our time”, seems as if he does not have any absolute truth. If we are to pick out what we want, when we want, for what we want, then why even believe something that is been inspired by God, and not write our own system of beliefs.
I am either often asked questions (that I seem to have no idea upon) that I am to answer either for fellow students, classes, or something to do with something in seminary. So, why not answer them on the blog? I will, so from now on, when a student ask me a question, or a professor I will place the question and my response for the world to see. I will admit at times even though I am asked, or have to study, or write answers to questions I feel as if I simply stupid. So therefore, do not think that you are going to read some intense and profound answers, but only simple and easy to read thoughts of a redneck seminarian.
Dr. Bilkes: Why would anyone need to study hermeneutics? Why not just read the Bible?
Dewalt: First off I would start by saying, studying hermeneutics is more necessary then those who just read the bible. Knowing how you read books, articles, blogs, works, and newspapers all make the reader have a hermeneutic, right? If a hermeneutic is the study of the locus of meaning and the principles of interpretation then everyone must have one. Now, the question remains to what may their hermeneutics be or consists of? Studying hermeneutics gives the individual a way of looking, knowing, and seeing the importance of properly reading information so that they can interpret the words read correctly.
Now as far as in, “why not just read the Bible?” My answer is this… I can read words all day long, I can read books, blogs and papers from fellow students however I ALREADY have some type of hermeneutic if I can interpret the writing, right? Yes, no matter who the person may be, they have a hermeneutic if they can read. The question that I believe must be asked, is what is their hermeneutic? Just reading the bible without having a biblical gospel-centered hermeneutic just allows mankind to interpret the Scriptures in a way they think is best or can fit into their own system of man-centeredness.
So in answering the questions quickly and easily in one sentence a piece…
Why would anyone need to study hermeneutics? To see, know, learn a proper Gospel-centered way of studying the bible so that their interpretation is that of what God intended.
Why not just read the Bible? Because without knowing how to, what is the sense of why to?