Tag Archive for 'Christ'

Quotes from The Works of William Perkins, Vol. 1 – Pt. 2

I have some fine quotes from The Combat Between Christ and the Devil Displayed which is contained in The Works of William Perkins, Volume 1. These pertain to affliction that I found to be especially good. All of the text and references (remember, you can hover over or tap them) in brackets are the editor’s, not mine.

The wheat will not be good without the fan, nor the meal without the bolter, nor the bush without the flame, nor the sacrifice without the cords, nor the gold without the furnace; they are trials, not punishments, if we be sons; punishments, not trials, if we be slaves. Let us then bear them, they will have an end [Ps. 37:37]; joy will follow [Ps. 126:5]; they show us our weakness [Isa. 38:10]; they move us to pray [Hos. 5:15]; they show we are in the pathway to heaven [Luke 24:26]; and [they] make us condemn this present world [Eccl. 1:2].

[…]

Let us then therefore be patient in trouble, constant in hope, rooted in love; let us wait and He will come, call and He will hear, believe and He will perform, repent us of our evil committed against Him, and He will repent of His evils intended against us. He is over us by His providence, about us by His angels, in us by His Spirit, with us by His Word, under us by His power, and upon us by His Son. In Him is our help, from Him is our comfort, by Him is our victory, and for Him is our trouble.

our Savior Christ after His solemn inauguration into His mediators hip [baptism], was immediately to go to be tempted, we learn, that all those that are set apart by God to any special calling, even at their very entrance thereinto must look for temptations. This befell the Head, and therefore all the members must reckon for it.

[…]

this [temptation/affliction] the Lord does in great wisdom for the good of His children: first to teach them, that no man is able of himself to carry himself in any acceptable course of his calling without God’s special assistance and grace. Secondly, to stir up in them those good gifts and graces which He has formerly bestowed on them; as the fear of His name, the love of His majesty, the gifts of prayer, faith, patience, and many other which He would have tried in the entrance of their callings, and exercised in the continuance therein unto the end.

God’s will permitting Satan so far must make us patient, and yet His power restraining Satan from doing worse, must give us comfort.

The Works of William Perkins Volume 1

Also see:
Quotes from The Works of William Perkins, Vol. 1 – Pt. 1

Richard Sibbes On Being In Christ

God cannot be comfortably thought upon out of Christ our Mediator, in whom he was ‘reconciling the world to himself,’ 1 Cor. 5:19, as being a friend both to God and us [John 15:14], and therefore fit to bring God and the soul together, being a middle person in the Trinity. In Christ, God’s nature becomes lovely to us, and ours to God; otherwise there is an utter enmity betwixt his pure and our impure nature. Christ hath made up the vast gulf between God and us [Romans 5:1]. There is nothing more terrible to think on, than an absolute God out of Christ.

Works of Richard Sibbes, Vol. 1, The Soul’s Conflict

Especially interesting to me is “God’s nature becomes lovely to us, and ours to God”. I’ll attempt to assemble Scripture to portray that, but in reverse order. (I added references in brackets above.)

The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God;
Romans 8:7a

He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might
2 Thessalonians 1:8-9

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:1-7

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
Psalm 84:1-2

Richard Sibbes was an English Puritan preacher (1577-1635).

The Glories of Christ

I bought the Kindle edition of John MacArthur’s study Bible quite a while ago when it was on sale. I hadn’t looked at it until recently, partly because I kept forgetting I have it. It’s very cumbersome to use in that format. Using one on a website is much easier. But that’s not the point. I found this when looking at Colossians, a book I’d like to study for the rest of my life. I’m not sure exactly who wrote it, but the copyright is Thomas Nelson. The value of putting it in a blog post is that you can easily put your cursor over the Scripture references to see them in a popup window, or tap them on a mobile device. I think it’s a great Christological statement. (By the way, this Scripture reference feature is also available for the Belgic Confession and Heidelberg Catechism linked at the top of the page.)

The Glories of Christ

“Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God …” (2Co 3:5)

One of the great tenets of Scripture is the claim that Jesus Christ is completely sufficient for all matters of life and godliness (2Pe 1:3, 4)! He is sufficient for creation (Col 1:16, 17), salvation (Heb 10:10–12), sanctification (Eph 5:26, 27), and glorification (Ro 8:30). So pure is He that there is no blemish, stain, spot of sin, defilement, lying, deception, corruption, error, or imperfection (1Pe 1:18–20).

So complete is He that there is no other God besides Him (Is 45:5); He is the only begotten Son (Jn 1:14, 18); all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Him (Col 2:3); the fullness of Deity dwells bodily in Him (Col 2:9); He is heir of all things (Heb 1:2); He created all things and all things were made by Him, through Him, and for Him (Col 1:16); He upholds all things by the word of His power (Col 1:17; Heb 1:3); He is the firstborn of all creation (Col 1:15); He is the exact representation of God (Heb 1:3).

He is the only Mediator between God and man; He is the Sun that enlightens; the Physician that heals; the Wall of Fire that defends; the Friend that comforts; the Pearl that enriches; the Ark that supports; and the Rock to sustain under the heaviest of pressures; He is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty on high (Heb 1:3; 8:1); He is better than the angels (Heb 1:4–14); better than Moses; better than Aaron; better than Joshua; better than Melchizedek; better than all the prophets; greater than Satan (Lk 4:1–12); and stronger than death (1Co 15:55).

He has no beginning and no end (Rev 1:17, 18); He is the spotless Lamb of God; He is our Peace (Eph 2:14); He is our Hope (1Ti 1:1); He is our Life (Col 3:4); He is the living and true Way (Jn 14:6); He is the Strength of Israel (1Sa 15:29); He is the Root and Descendant of David, the Bright Morning Star (Rev 22:16); He is Faithful and True (Rev 19:11); He is the Author and Perfecter of our faith (Heb 12:1, 2); He is the Author of our Salvation (Heb 2:10); He is the Champion; He is the Chosen One (Is 42:1); He is the Apostle and High-Priest of our confession (Heb 3:1); He is the Righteous Servant (Is 53:11).

He is the Lord of Hosts, the Redeemer—the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth (Is 54:5); He is the Man of Sorrows (Is 53:3); He is the Light; He is the Son of Man (Mt 20:28); He is the Vine; He is the Bread of Life; He is the Door; He is Lord (Php 2:10–13); He is Prophet, Priest and King (Heb 1:1–3); He is our Sabbath rest (Heb 4:9); He is our Righteousness (Jer 23:6); He is the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace (Is 9:6); He is the Chief Shepherd (1Pe 5:4); He is Lord God of hosts; He is Lord of the nations; He is the Lion of Judah; the Living Word; the Rock of Salvation; the Eternal Spirit; He is the Ancient of Days; Creator and Comforter; Messiah; and He is the great I AM (Jn 8:58)!

© 1997 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Mini-Review: Thinking Rightly of Christ

Book - Thinking Rightly of ChristThinking Rightly of Christ: What Scripture Really Says about Him – And Why It Matters by Bryan Holstrom

Bryan Holstrom is a Ruling Elder at Covenant of Grace Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Batavia, Illinois. He is also the author of Infant Baptism and the Silence of the New Testament. This was given to me by a blogger who attended his congregation. She offered three of his books to a couple of people in exchange for an unbiased review. (I only chose this one.) He is not well known, but he’s someone who is worthy to be read. This is somewhat of a dilemma in the publishing industry right now–sometimes big name authors are contracted to write books because of their name, or there are people with great content that nobody knows about yet, which can be harder to sell. You can read more about that at Jesus Creed.

The purpose of this book is to correct such deficient thinking about Christ, particularly among Christians, and to replace our false conceptions of his person and work with one befitting the Creator of the heaves and the earth, who upholds all things by the word of his power (Heb. 1:2-3). To that end, each of the twenty chapters seeks to expound upon a truth statement drawn directly from Scripture that touches upon the subject at hand.

I learned a lot in just in the first part of the book. The things written about are things that matter. I added subjects to Evernote like Why did John refer to Jesus as ‘The Word’?, the importance of the Trinity, Modalism, his interesting commentary on Footprints in the Sand, The Angel of the Lord, and an explanation of that old word begotten, just to name a few.

He doesn’t write cute or personal stories, but he’s not dry either. His writing is organized well, always Scriptural, and seems to use the right amount of words. As the book goes on, he seems to get a little unnecessarily polemic in my view. But other than that minor point, I got a lot out of this book, which is on one of my favorite subjects. I would highly recommend it for someone who is a Christian and familiar with Scripture, but not necessarily looking for an extremely scholarly tome on the subject of Christology. Any serious layperson is bound to learn from and enjoy it.

Paperback (Only): 308 pages
Publisher: Ambassador-Emerald International (June 24, 2010)

Find it at:
Amazon.com

Also see:
Blog Interview with Bryan Holstrom: Author of “The Gift of Faith” « The Reformed Reader

The Contemplation of the Glory of Christ

I got interrupted in reading John Owen’s The Glory of Christ a few months ago and decided to start over. So far, it seems to be a good thing. At the same time, I’m starting to do a very long term study of Colossians. I think that the two go together well, and Owen’s book will help put me in a right frame of mind as I go about studying a book that has some stellar passages about the glory of Christ and contemplating Him. I want to first of all quote the book’s Preface and then a quote on the benefits of contemplating His glory, which is what the book is really about.

Christian Reader,
The design of the ensuing Discourse is to declare some part of that glory of our Lord Jesus Christ which is revealed in the Scripture, and proposed as the principal object of our faith, love, delight, and admiration. But, alas! after our utmost and most diligent inquiries, we must say, How little a portion is it of him that we can understand! His glory is incomprehensible, and his praises are unutterable. Some things an illuminated mind may conceive of it; but what we can express in comparison of what it is in itself, is even less than nothing. But as for those who have forsaken the only true guide herein, endeavouring to be wise above what is written, and to raise their contemplations by fancy and imagination above Scripture revelation (as many have done), they have darkened counsel without knowledge, uttering things which they understand not, which have no substance or spiritual food of faith in them.

Howbeit, that real view which we may have of Christ and his glory in this world by faith,—however weak and obscure that knowledge which we may attain of them by divine revelation, — is inexpressibly to be preferred above all other wisdom, understanding, or knowledge whatever. So it is declared by him who will be acknowledged a competent judge in these things. “Yea, doubtless,” saith he, “I count all these things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” He who does not so has no part in him.

The revelation made of Christ in the blessed Gospel is far more excellent, more glorious, and more filled with rays of divine wisdom and goodness, than the whole creation and the just comprehension of it, if attainable, can contain or afford. Without the knowledge hereof, the mind of man, however priding itself in other inventions and discoveries, is wrapped up in darkness and confusion.

How many people there are that make up their own gospels and make God into who they want him to be, and not even look at the revealed Christ, who is the image of the real God? Most people who go to church services are embarrassed to even talk about Jesus.

Believers always have room for improvement too. It can be difficult to spend sufficient time with Scripture, and good teaching of the past and present, compared to the other things that clamour for our attention, whether it’s media or our own thoughts. Some have been able to avoid too much of the other distractions, and by striving with God’s grace, I would like to come even closer to that ideal as time goes on.

The constant contemplation of the glory of Christ will give rest, satisfaction, and complacency unto the souls of them who are exercised therein. Our minds are apt to be filled with a multitude of perplexed thoughts; — fears, cares, dangers, distresses, passions, and lusts, do make various impressions on the minds of men, filling them with disorder, darkness, and confusion. But where the soul is fixed in its thoughts and contemplations on this glorious object, it will be brought into and kept in a holy, serene, spiritual frame. For “to be spiritually-minded is life and peace.” And this it does by taking off our hearts from all undue regard unto all things below, in comparison of the great worth, beauty, and glory of what we are conversant withal. See Phil. 3:7–11 [and Col. 3:1-4]. A defect herein makes many of us strangers unto a heavenly life, and to live beneath the spiritual refreshments and satisfactions that the Gospel does tender unto us.

–John Owen, The Glory of Christ – For those who find Owen hard to read, this edition is abridged, although I’m not familiar with it.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed–or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:38-42

Also see:
For God So Loved The World

Book Review: Why Christ Came-31 Meditations on the Incarnation

why-Christ-cameWhy Christ Came: 31 Meditations on the Incarnation by Joel R. Beeke and Willaim Boekesten

I look forward to anything by Joel R. Beeke, President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary. I call him the busiest man in Christian publishing because he is authoring and editing so many new books each year and has resurrected so much Puritan material.

In the Preface, the author writes, “Learning the reasons for Christ’s advent will help us more deeply celebrate His birth, allow us to see more clearly how it is connected with the rest of His ministry, and help us understand its importance for our lives.” I think the book succeeds very well in this objective.

However, I was rather taken aback by what he writes soon after, lamenting the general lack of knowledge and apologetics: “Suppose someone asked you, ‘Why did Jesus come to earth?’ You could probably come up with one or two reasons.” If you want to offend some of the readers, even if it’s a minority, that’s a pretty good way to do it. I read this paragraph a few times, hoping I was misunderstanding. That sounds very condescending to me. As an exercise, without having seen the table of contents yet, I thought of six major reasons Christ came. When I saw that some of the chapters were narrower in scope, I could come up with 6-10 more. One of my pet peeves is when authors make broad assumptions about the reader.

Thankfully that was an aberration–the only one that I saw. The whole book is very positive in tone and links why Christ came to how that affects our lives in a personal way.

Each chapter is about three pages long and is titled “To…”, stating a purpose, with a verse or passage of Scripture, sometimes two, as a heading. The content of each chapter is topical, based on the chapter title. It’s meaty material. It would be difficult to write fluff based on Why Christ Came, but I’m sure there are plenty up to the task (down to the task?). But not here. There are a few anecdotes sprinkled in, but not as much as you would find in most devotional material. There are also some quotes from Reformed theologians from the past, the Heidelberg Catechism, and often a versification of part of a Psalm at the end of a chapter. And there is a lot of Scripture. Everything written is backed up by the Bible.

There are a few end notes, but they are only for sources of quotes. All Scripture references and quote authors are noted in the text of the chapter.

There are only two other very minor negatives or things I would change based on my preferences. First of all, using the KJV. I have no problem with the translation. It’s wonderful. But some of the verses quoted in key areas were totally lost on those not well versed (get it?) in 17th century English, like “sore amazed”, quoting Mark 14:33 on pg 3. One of these centuries, I think we’re going to have to get past this. The other is that some of the chapter’s content will wander from the title, even within the three pages. I don’t think this is really a problem, since the book most likely won’t be used as reference material. It would seem a bit more organized and focused if the author kept the material closer to the title or used a different title.

But that was a long paragraph on a couple of tiny nitpicks. This is an unusual devotional in that it teaches the reader so much and pulls together so much Scripture in only three pages for each subject. I hope people don’t think of this as a “Christmas Devotional”, because it’s something that should be meditated on all the time and can also be kept for when wanting to read something short. It’s one that could always be left on the coffee table or nightstand.

This book was provided by Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for a fair review.

You can find this at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats.

Quote of the Day: Christ and Science

Knowledge of the sciences is so much smoke apart from the heavenly science of Christ.

–John Calvin, via Puritan Quotes on Twitter

Colossians 3:1-3 NLT
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.

Majoring On Minors

(Minors meaning things, not people.)

This and other things I’ve been reading have caused me to put less importance on the “minors” as referred to in the quote below and spend less time reading blog posts and articles on them, although each one of us has a different version of what the minors are. I realize there are places for them and they shouldn’t be ignored altogether.

I’m not saying that the minors that bloggers write about are false teachings, I’m just going with the basic premise here:

Do you know the Christ of the Gospels? Or have you fallen into the trap to which Christians (especially, perhaps, Reformed Christians) who love doctrine and systematic theology are sometimes susceptible (unlike John Calvin, it should be said): fascination with dogmatic formula at the expense of love for the Savior’s person?

It is not accidental that Hebrews’ words about Christ are followed by an exhortation not to be ‘carried away by all kinds of strange teachings’ (13:9, NIV). False teaching, be it doctrinal or ethical, always will have the effect of making us ‘major on minors,’ obscuring from us the central glory of the Lord Jesus Himself. We cannot always easily articulate what is wrong with such influences. But the context suggests we should ask: ‘Is this teaching by which I am being influenced leading me to love and trust Jesus Christ more? Or less? Have I exchanged communion with Christ for caviling about incidentals?’

By the same token, growing in faith and love for Christ, revealed as He is in Scripture, will be the greatest of all preservatives against being led astray. The person who is saturated in the teaching and spirit of the Gospels will have his or her senses ‘trained . . . to distinguish good from evil’ (Heb. 5:14, NIV) and to know what is truly Christ-like and Christ-honoring. That, too, is an implication of knowing that ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.’

From first to last, then, fix your eyes on Christ. He never changes!

In Christ Alone by Sinclair B. Ferguson

Not that we shouldn’t know what we believe:

I’m concerned that the attitude that ‘no one can really know the truth’ has seeped into the evangelical mind. From the (correct, in my opinion) premise that no tradition gives us exclusive access to absolute truth, some infer (incorrectly, in my opinion) that it really doesn’t matter which, if any, tradition we inhabit. For my own part, I’d rather reside in a house with a leaky roof or basement than rough it on the street. . . .

An Interview with Kevin Vanhoozer at Between Two Worlds

Four Great Passages On Who Christ Jesus Is

John 1:1-14 HCSB
In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. 4 In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.
5 That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it. 6 There was a man named John who was sent from God. 7 He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. 9 The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was created through Him, yet the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. 12 But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God. 14 The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Philippians 2:5-11 HCSB
Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, 6 who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. 7 Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, 8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death–even to death on a cross. 9 For this reason God also highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow–of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth– 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Colossians 1:15-20 HCSB
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation; 16 because by Him everything was created, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together. 18 He is also the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything. 19 Because all the fullness was pleased to dwell in Him, 20 and to reconcile everything to Himself through Him by making peace through the blood of His cross — whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Hebrews 1:2-3 HCSB
In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things and through whom He made the universe. 3 He is the radiance of His glory, the exact expression of His nature, and He sustains all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

How about memorizing all of them? I’m one for four so far.

Dead To Sin

Romans

Romans 6:3-7
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin.

In his commentary on Romans, Thomas Schreiner says, “…he is not exhorting believers to cease from sin (a command in the imperative mood); he is proclaiming to them the good news that they have died to sin (a statement of fact in the indicative mood).” (emphasis is the author’s) Later, “We died with Christ in baptism in that we were united with him in his once-for-all death. Because we are incorporated into Christ, his death becomes ours.”

Imperative – “It is imperative that you…”
Indicative – Indicates

Verses 11-14 shift from indicative to imperative:
So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 6:11-14

We are no longer slaves to sin and don’t have to sin as we used to. Obviously this doesn’t mean that we won’t sin and some still won’t struggle with some habitual sins or addictions. But we are free to know that we are righteous in His sight and that we are free to grow and become what God means for us to be.

Schreiner says, “The indicative is realized in the concrete world of the imperative by which it is demonstrated that the indicative actually is a reality.” This sounds like scholarly gobbledy-gook but it makes sense when we see it as knowing what God has done and who we are in Him compels us to be obedient with the strength that He give us.

The imperative is reminiscent of Philippians 2:12-13:
work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Related Scripture:
Galatians 2:20

Theology

I’ve been so busy moving to a new web host and email provider, moving this site from wordpress.com to its own domain and tweaking the look of this site I haven’t had time to get back to posting what I want to post. So today I will punt and post another quote.

Theology is faith seeking understanding, but understanding is more than theoretical. If we really grasp who and where we are as disciples, we should know how to live out our faith. All too often, however, the church professes its faith but is unsure how to practice it. Even some of my seminary students come to theology classes somewhat reluctantly, assuming that doctrine is neither practical nor relevant to their future ministry.

To define doctrine as direction for fitting participation in the drama of redemption – in what God is doing in Christ through the Spirit to form the church and renew creation – is to ensure that the understanding that faith seeks will not stop short of practice. My goal as a theologian is to move beyond the acquisition of knowledge to its application in real life: in a word, I want to get wisdom.

–Kevin Vanhoozer, Theologian