First Things RSS Feed - Justin Taylor
en-usCopyright 2016 First Things. All Rights Reserved.email@example.com (The Editors)firstname.lastname@example.org (The Editors)Sat, 22 Oct 2016 09:31:20 -0400https://d25wp47b6tla3u.cloudfront.net/img/favicon-196.pngFirst Things RSS Feed Image
60How to Apply the Biblical Genealogies to Todayhttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2010/06/how-to-apply-the-biblical-genealogies-to-today
Wed, 30 Jun 2010 10:56:01 -0400Last year I asked Gerald BrayResearch Professor at Beeson Divinity School at Samford University and director of research for the Latimer Trusta few basic questions about biblical interpretation. I thought the exchange might be helpful to reprint here.
What are the questions we should ask when approaching a passage of Scripture?
The first question we must ask of every biblical text is simply this
what does it tell us about God? What does it say about who he is and about what he does?
The second question is:
what does this text say about us human beings? What are we meant to be and what has gone wrong?
The third and final question is:
what has God done about this and what does he expect of us in the light of what he has done?
Asking these questions and seeking answers to them will help us interpret the Spirit’s message to Christ’s people and to each of us as individuals.
What about sections of Scripture that seem hard to apply? I’m thinking, for example, of the genealogies of 1 Chronicles.
These genealogies bring us a message from God even if they appear on the surface to be barren and unprofitable. All we have to do in order to understand them is to ask the right questions about them and their meaning will be quickly opened up to us.
Let me ask you, then, to answer the three questions you posed above. What do they teach us about God?
They tell us that he is a faithful God, who keeps his covenant from one generation to another. Whoever we are and however far we may be from the source of our human life in Adam, we are part of his plan. Over the centuries we may have developed in different ways, lost contact with one another and even turned on each other in hostility, but in spite of all that we are still related to one another and interconnected in ways that may go beyond our immediate understanding or experience.
What do they tell us about ourselves?
They say that most of us are nobodies from the world’s point of view. We live and die in a long chain of humanity but there is not much that anyone will remember of us as individuals. At the same time, without us, future generations will not be born and the legacy of the past will not be preserved. We are part of a great cloud of witnesses, a long chain of faithful people who have lived for God in the place where he put them. Even if we know little about them we owe them a great debt of gratitude for their loyalty and perseverance when they had little or nothing to gain from it or to show for it.
What do they tell us about God’s dealings with us?
They tell us that we too are called to be obedient and to keep the faith we have inherited, passing it on undiminished to the next generation. They tell us that there is a purpose in our calling that goes beyond ourselves. Even if we are not glorified and leave little for posterity to remember us by, we shall nevertheless have made an indispensable contribution to the purposes of God in human history.
What Hath Calvinism to Do with Racial Harmony?https://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2010/06/what-hath-calvinism-to-do-with-racial-harmony
Tue, 29 Jun 2010 10:46:27 -0400John Piper explains in
given in London.
]]>The Hole in Our Gospelhttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2010/06/the-hole-in-our-gospel
Tue, 15 Jun 2010 11:24:06 -0400Kevin DeYoung
The Hole in Our Gospel
the Evangelical Publishing Association’s 2010 Book of the Year.
]]>An Interview on Dietrich Bonhoefferhttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2010/06/an-interview-on-dietrich-bonhoeffer
Tue, 08 Jun 2010 13:46:08 -0400John Starke at TGC Reviews
Eric Metaxas about his new biography on
]]>Reading the Church Fathershttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2010/04/reading-the-church-fathers
Fri, 16 Apr 2010 23:31:34 -0400Here’s a very helpful introduction to reading the Fathers from Dr. J. Ligon Duncan III, delivered this past week at Together for the Gospel:
]]>Why Universal Health Care Will Not Reduce Abortion Rates https://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2010/03/why-universal-health-care-will-not-reduce-abortion-rates
Mon, 15 Mar 2010 16:37:10 -0400David:
Michael New, a political scientist specializing in abortion statistics,
why T.R. Reid’s “analysis is superficial and unconvincing.”
calls Reid’s op-ed “absurd,” says that Professor New’s critique is “too kind,” and shows that the only two pieces of evidence offered in support of this view are both “pathetically weak.”
]]>Russell Moore on the Gospel and Adoptionhttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2010/03/russell-moore-on-the-gospel-and-adoption
Mon, 15 Mar 2010 09:38:58 -0400Here’s a very good message from Russell Moore, author of
Adopted for Life
, from a conference devoted to the theme:
]]>The Lordship of the Five Love Languageshttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2010/02/the-lordship-of-the-five-love-languages
Wed, 17 Feb 2010 23:26:29 -0500I’m not sure how many version of the best-selling
The Five Love Languages
Gary Chapman has written. I went to CBD, and here is at least a sampling (I think I caught most of them):
]]>We Are Far Too Easily Pleasedhttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2010/02/we-are-far-too-easily-pleased
Sun, 07 Feb 2010 07:30:13 -0500Tristan Carnahan of Desiring God has directed a nice little video playing off of a famous quote from C.S. Lewis:
“If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” (
The Weight of Glory
]]>An Interview with Robert P. George on Roe v. Wadehttps://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2010/01/an-interview-with-robert-p-george-on-roe-v-wade
Fri, 22 Jan 2010 00:00:41 -0500Thirty seven years ago today (January 22) the Supreme Court issued its infamous decision, asserting that women have a Constitutional right to terminate the life of their unborn children for virtually any reason.
Two years ago on my blog I interview Robert P. George about the decision and its aftermath, and I thought it might be helpful to republish it here.