The Resurrection and the Eschaton

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For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body (Rom 8:19-23).

Today is the day we gather and celebrate the resurrection of the Son of God. He who went willingly to Calvary for the sin of His elect, “for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame”, this one rose from the grave, because God “would not allow his Holy One to see decay [οὐ δώσεις τὸν ὅσιόν σου ἰδεῖν διαφθοράν] (Acts 13:35; cf. 2:27). There is no greater hope for the follower of Christ than in the resurrection of his Lord.

While we often think of the resurrection as bringing a future hope—the hope of heaven, eternity with Christ, etc.—we must not forgot what the resurrection brought to our world. What do I mean by this? Well, we live in tension, the tension between the already and the not yet. On the one hand the kingdom of heaven is here now. Eternity—resurrection life—is ours presently as followers of Christ. When Christ came out of that tomb he brought with him enteral life and a foretaste of what this will look like at the end of time. For example, Paul states: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come (2 Cor 5:17). This is not wishful thinking, this is reality! Because of the resurrection of Christ, the new life—resurrection life—has invaded our world of sin, death, and decay. What we long for, what we yearn for—”the redemption of our bodies” (Rom 8:23)—began at our regeneration. Paul makes this point when he proclaims:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:4-7).

All of this to say, the resurrection is more than heaven. It is more than the sweet by-and-by. It is the story of God redeeming his creation and making all things new! So, as we think about the resurrection of Christ, remember that you have been raised with Christ now! The same God who raised Jesus from the grave has also raised us from the grave, and one day we will see the completion of this amazing truth in all its glory and splendor. One day, the not yet will become the now, and the already we long for will be here! So we cry out “μαράνα θά!”

#QOTD: Leon Morris and his Love/Hate Relationship with Writing

I hate writing. Perhaps it is because I write as badly as I do. The tool I use most frequently is the waste paper basket. But I still write; why I wonder? To be practical money has something to do with it I imagine. But for one so far from the best seller lists there must be many easier ways of staying alive. I think the basic answer is that a writer must write. To write is difficult. Not to write is agony. I don’t like agony so I write. And I write in the hope that what I write will be of interest and of help to those who read. I write on biblical topics for these seem to be far and away the most significant. I hope that writing on these topics will bring writer and readers a little nearer to God.

Taken from Neil Bach’s Leon Morris: One Man’s Fight for Love and Truth, 79.

New Blog Series: “How I Do Research”: Mike Bird (Gupta)

Excellent series for those engaged in research and writing.

Crux Sola

I am starting a new series on Crux Sola called “How I Do Research.” Basically, I am asking prolific scholars how they have learned the art of doing research. Up first is my buddy Michael F. Bird, author of many excellent books including Evangelical TheologyThe Saving Righteousness of God, and a new commentary on Romans coming out very soon!

Question #1: How do you approach research as a whole? Do you have a big-picture strategy? Do your research all at once, and then write? Do you do some sketching and reflecting on paper and then dig into research? Do you go back and forth?

 Bird2The magic of research happens in a number of ways. My main modus operandi is to be like a sculptor working on three or four sculptures at once where I take time to chip away at each one. I tend to compartmentalize my…

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#QOTD: Fourth Sunday of Advent

What must it have been like for Mary at last to be recognized as faithful and obedient? She has been surrounded by suspicion, hard words and looks, and her swollen belly has been seen as a symbol of her faithlessness to the covenant, not its fulfilment. But now, Elizabeth and John see her for what she really is, the Ark of the Covenant, and John dances in the womb, just as David danced before the Ark, rejoicing in the presence of the Lord.

Jane Williams, Lectionary Reflections: Year C (London: SPCK, 2003), 9.

A Brief Tribute to I. Howard Marshall

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We are all deeply saddened to hear of the recent death of one of the great New Testament scholars of the post-World War II era, I. Howard Marshall.

Professor Marshall was born 12 January 1934 and died on 12 December 2015. He was primarily educated at the University of Aberdeen (MA, BD, and PhD), along with Cambridge University (BA), and spent virtually his entire academic career at Aberdeen, where he supervised numerous students who have gone on to make contributions to evangelical scholarship. After teaching for a short time at Didsbury Methodist College in Bristol, Professor Marshall began teaching at Aberdeen in 1964 and became Professor of New Testament Exegesis in 1979, a position he held until his retirement in 1999, at which time he became Honorary Research Professor of the University. After his first wife died in 1998, he later married Dr. Maureen Yeung, who had received her PhD…

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