Gavin Ortlund has written another response to my last rejoinder. I agree with him that this has been a great discussion, and I also feel that we should draw it to a close. I think we have painted a clear distinction, and hopefully I can bring more clarity with this response. Much of the question under debate here revolves around the terms continuity, overlap, and identity. These are all possible ways of describing the relationship between the old pre-Christ covenants and the New Covenant. Development of redemptive history is another key component. Gavin has acknowledged overlap between the covenants, but he is wary of pressing to the point of identity. He is wary of over-spiritualizing the Old Covenant to the point that redemptive history is “flattened”, having minimal real development. Let me see if I can summarize my perspective here, then try to answer some of Gavin’s specific questions in a follow up blog post. Continue reading
These thoughts come primarily from insights given by Jeff Meyers in lectures on the book of Acts at Cornerstone Reformed Church, March 22-23, and a follow up conversation with my pastor, Burke Shade and friend Nathan Brunaugh. These men would likely credit their insights back to the work of James Jordan.
What should a Christian’s involvement with the state be (at any level of government)? It is certainly not wrong for a Christian to enter public service and work within the system to bring about positive change. However, the Bible presents a slightly different role, that of an advisor to the king or any other authority. One that councils the leaders of the community, state, or nation in matters of justice, equity, wisdom, and righteousness in accordance with God’s law. This could even go down to the family government level, with faithful Christians counseling and advising those who comes to them with questions about their different way of life. This is the role of a prophet. Continue reading
Jesus addresses small children of the covenant extensively in Matthew 18, and briefly in Matthew 19 and the corresponding passages of Mark 10 and Luke 18. I believe these passages are critical to the debate over infant baptism.
Matthew 18:1-14 18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, 3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Continue reading