Posts Tagged ‘Stand-to-Reason’

My Call to STR on “Gospel of the Kingdom”

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

I called in to the show Stand to Reason recently, to ask a question about the meaning of “the gospel of the kingdom” in Matthew 4:23, 9:35, and 24:14.  It was prompted by some comments made by a guest speaker at the Monday-night class at my church.  He said that the gospel is more than justification & sin management, and pointed to the phrase “the gospel of the kingdom”.  As he expanded on that, I agreed with what he was meant, but I was hesitant about the phrasing.  I was hesitant about actually saying, “The gospel is about more than justification.”  I know there’s something right about that, but something seemed wrong, too.  I had to think it through… What can we say is the focus of the gospel?

Note:  I was sensitized to this question by Mark Dever’s message the Together for the Gospel 2008 conference, “Improving the Gospel: Exercises in Unbiblical Theology“.  It’s a great mp3.

I really appreciated Greg Koukl’s response to my question.  He did a great job of giving a balanced answer.  If you’re interested, you can listen to the mp3.  (Go to ~25:00.  It lasts about 20 minutes.)

Listen to the call.

I’ll just add one comment:  I am amazed at how often I said “uh” or “um” during that call.  My parents have told me that I do this, after some of my phone conversations with them.  Now I’ve heard a recording.  Yikes!  I’ll have to keep working on that.

My Christian Radio Shows

Friday, August 31st, 2007

There are a few Christian radio shows that I listen to regularly, all available for downloading online. I’ve found them each to be in some measure informative, interesting, edifying, encouraging, educational, and/or profitable. (Of course, that doesn’t mean I always agree with everything they say. I have disagreed with all of them. It means I appreciate them enough to listen to them.) In the order in which I discovered them: (1) Stand to Reason, with Greg Koukl, (2) The Dividing Line, with James R. White, (3) The Narrow Path, with Steve Gregg, and (4) Iron Sharpens Iron, with Chris Arnzen.

Keep reading for a nutshell description of each show and links to their online archives.

(Feel free to leave a comment with your own recommendations for good Christian radio available online.)

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Understanding God’s Word

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Easy Exegesis

“Exegesis” is a technical term for interpretation of a text. It’s about serious interpretation–doing your best to get past what you want it to mean, or what you’ve always assumed it means, or what you’ve been told it means, getting through to figure out what the author actually meant. The nutshell definition is “drawing meaning out of a text”.

It’s the opposite of “eisegesis”, which means “reading meaning into a text”. (Calling someone’s interpretation “eisegesis” is basically polite, scholarly trash talk. Any time I read something like, “That’s really more eisegetical than exegetical,” I imagine the target of the comment saying, “Oh no you di-int! Snap!”)

An in-depth exegesis involves looking at the context of the individual verse or passage, at the flow of thought, at the details of the language, at the original audience, at the historical context, and at the other writings of the author (if there are any). That’s the best way to get the most confidence that you’re understanding the fullest meaning of what the text was intended to say.

But…Well, all that makes it sound very complicated, very involved, and much too difficult for anyone who can’t read the Greek text and translate it on the fly. But it’s not. It doesn’t have to be. Don’t get me wrong, some passages really are very challenging, even for the brightest minds with the best resources and the strongest education. But most of the Bible isn’t like that. To get the fullest meaning, it may take practice and a lot of effort–but there are very simple ways to study the Bible that will help you understand quite a lot.

There’s a simple, easy rule of exegesis–one you’ll find yourself using all the time, one that’s widely useful, one that will prevent you from making most of the easy mistakes of interpretation.

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