God Accommodating in Scripture

I continue to plod my way through Kenton Sparks’, God’s Word in Human Words: An Evangelical Appropriation of Critical Biblical Scholarship. Though, by no means do I agree with every statement and nuance put forth by Sparks, I am very much appreciating his overall approach in thoughtfully helping Christians consider the way God has communicated his inspired, God-breathed revelation and truth in Scripture through its actual human authors.

If it weren’t for it’s 400-page length, I would probably recommend the book to many people. But I could start by introducing Pete Enn’s book, Inspiration and Incarnation

One important word of discussion in understanding how God ‘breathed out’ Scripture as he utilised the human writers is the word accommodation. This word is all about how God decide to adapt himself, come down to the writer’s level in communicating his revelatory truth.

You see, Scripture is a team project. Both from God and from humanity. One really cannot deny such. And I don’t see Christians ever denying such. Continue reading

The Pentateuch as Anthology?

I am currently reading a book which I am greatly appreciating. It’s entitled God’s Word in Human Words: An Evangelical Appropriation of Critical Biblical Scholarship. The book is a 400-pager given to us by author Kenton Sparks, professor of Biblical Studies at Eastern University.

Maybe the title is not the most drawing of titles for a book. But I have appreciated interacting with the thoughts a well-studied PhD professor who desires both to maintain a belief in the God-breathed and authoritative nature of Scripture while also faithfully engaging in the world of historical-biblical criticism. And I would say this is also my own aspiration, at least to some degree. Would I agree with every approach of Sparks? No. Still, I find it a very solid evangelical work, similarly in the vein of Peter Enns’ Inspiration and Incarnation. Such a combined goal of maintaining a faith-filled focus and scholarly effort is not easy. But, from what I have read thus far, being about half-way through, Sparks has done well. Continue reading

Final Form of the Old Testament Canon

Recently, at Cornerstone, we hosted some lectures on the Old Testament history books, which for us, in the Christian Old Testament, would consist of the books Joshua through to Esther. The lectures were mainly introductory, given by a friend, Mike Orsmund, who is lecturer in Old Testament studies and Hermeneutics at Trinity School of Theology in England. I will look to make the audio files available in the near future.

Though the time was mainly a simple survey, covering twelve books in 4 one-hour lectures, the sessions had me deeply thinking about some things with regards to the finalisation of the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament canon.

If you don’t know, within the past few centuries, biblical studies has brought with it lots of what is known as higher criticism. This deals with analysing the origins of the text – how did it really come about, when did it really come about, etc. In all, this asks – How did we get the text that we have today? Continue reading