Showing posts from August, 2008

My Most Recent Publication

W. Travis McMaken, "Review of Leonard J. Vander Zee, Christ, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper: Recovering the Sacraments for Evangelical Worship (InterVarsity Press, 2004)," Evangelical Review of Theology 32.3 (2008): 283-4.

Reading Scripture with John Calvin: 1 Peter 4.12-17

1 Peter 4.12-17 [12] Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. [13] But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. [14] If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. [15] If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or their or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. [16] However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. [17] For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household… ========================== COMMENTARY: I want to make two brief points about this section, one directly related to Calvin’s commentary and one tangentially related. First, the tangentially related point. Look at verse 14. Does it remind you of anything? When Calvin treats this verse, he identi

Reading Scripture with John Calvin: 1 Peter 4.6-11

1 Peter 4.6-11 [6] For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. [7] The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. [8] Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. [9] Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. [10] Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. [11] If you speak, you should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If you serve, you should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. ========================== COMMENTARY: In keeping with his previous interpretation of 3.19, Calvin takes ‘the dead’ in verse si

Reading Scripture with John Calvin: 1 Peter 4.1-5

1 Peter 4.1-5 [1] Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because those who have suffered in their bodies are done with sin. [2] As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. [3] For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do – living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. [4] They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. [5] But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. ========================== COMMENTARY: We now commence with the fourth chapter of Peter’s first epistle. There are a few interesting and instructive points in these few verses. First, Calvin addresses the role of Christ in the Christian’s life. Calvin is careful to ensure that his readers do not conclude that Christ’s only r

New Center for Barth Studies Book Review

Shannon Nicole Smythe reviews A Shorter Commentary on Romans by Karl Barth , trans., D.H. van Daalen, with an introductory essay by Maico Michielin (ed) (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007).

Reading Scripture with John Calvin: 1 Peter 3.19-22

1 Peter 3.19-22 [19] In that state he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits – [20] to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, [21] and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also – not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, [22] who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand – with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him. ========================== COMMENTARY: This is quite an interesting biblical passage, and Calvin’s discussion is correspondingly interesting. I always enjoy watching Calvin wrestle with a text, and he does so with this one – especially verse 19. He begins by setting aside what he takes to be misinterpretations of this verse: some have taken it to refer to Christ’s descent into hell, but

Conversations with Augustine: Per Caritatem Blog Conference Underway

Cynthia Nielsen over at Per Caritatem has begun posting what she is calling the first of an annual Augustine blog conference. The posts have been excellent so far, and I highly recommend that you check it out. Of particular interest to readers of DET will be the contribution by Shane Wilkins , frequent conversation partner, sometime contributor, and a good friend of DET.