12 Maxims of Symphonic Theology

poythressChapter 7 of this book lists “Twelve Maxims of Symphonic Theology” (pp. 69–91):

Vern Sheridan Poythress. Symphonic Theology: The Validity of Multiple Perspectives in Theology Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987.

  1. Language is not transparent to the world.
  2. No term in the Bible is equal to a technical term of systematic theology.
  3. Technical terms in systematic theology can almost always be defined in more than one way. Every technical term is selective in the features it includes.
  4. Boundaries are fuzzy.
  5. No category or system of categories gives us ultimate reality.
  6. Different human writers of the Bible bring differing perspectives to bear on a given doctrine or event.
  7. The differences between biblical writings by different human authors are also divine differences.
  8. Any motif of the Bible can be used as the single organizing motif.
  9. We use different motifs not to relativize truth but to gain truth.
  10. We see what our tools enable us to see.
  11. Error is parasitic on the truth.
  12. In theological debates, we should preempt the other person’s strong points.

​The Pilgrim’s Progress: A Graphic Novel

Our family loves John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed four book versions of it, and we’ve added a fifth:

John Bunyan. The Pilgrim’s Progress. Edited by Lee Tung and Johnny Wong. Illustrated by Creator Art Studio. 2 vols. Leesburg, FL: Kingstone Comics, 2011. 304 pp. [volume 1 | volume 2]

pp1 pp2

The story changes several characters from boys to girls (e.g., Help is a leggy fairy, and Hopeful is a petite young lady!), but it hits the highlights and follows Bunyan’s basic storyline. (Some of the illustrations of women seem to cross the line by being too revealing, especially for a children’s book.) [Read more…]

Watching the Gospels and the Kentucky Derby

penningtonJonathan T. Pennington, Reading the Gospels Wisely: A Narrative and Theological Introduction  (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2012), 152:

I argue in the final chapter of this book that this diminished role for the Gospels is unfounded in light of church history and many theological considerations. But for now we can address this issue through an informative illustration of my experience with the Kentucky Derby. Rather than being merely foundational, past-era historical data, the Gospels are more like a television viewing of the annual Kentucky Derby horse race. [Read more…]

12 Primary Ways the New Testament Uses the Old Testament

bealeThe below list comes from an excellent new handbook:

G. K. Beale. Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament: Exegesis and Interpretation. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2012. xviii + 173 pp.

A 39-page PDF that includes the table of contents is available here.

I was pleasantly surprised how easy this book is to read. I’ve read a lot of Greg Beale’s work (books, articles, reviews), and this book is by far his most readable work I’ve read. His other works tend not to follow the maxim, “Omit needless words,” and his syntax and word choices often seem like they’ve been translated from German into English by a Frenchman (hyperbole alert).

(I just lost my credibility with my fully Reformed friends because they regularly plow through the writings of Puritans and old Presbyterians and don’t understand how I could possibly find Beale difficult to read.)

Chapter 4 lists 12 primary ways the NT uses the OT (pp. 55–93): [Read more…]

The Shepherd Leader at Home: Knowing, Leading, Protecting, and Providing for Your Family

witmerIn 2010, P&R published Timothy Witmer’s The Shepherd Leader: Achieving Effective Shepherding in Your Church.

He’s written a corresponding volume for husbands and fathers:

Timothy Z. Witmer. The Shepherd Leader at Home: Knowing, Leading, Protecting, and Providing for Your Family. Wheaton: Crossway, 2012.

Witmer shares practical advice for husbands and fathers using the shepherd-model as the governing metaphor. It’s a good reminder and motivator.

(The galley I read doesn’t include all the indexes, hence the question marks in the TOC below.) [Read more…]