Paul and Union with Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study

ConCoverUnion with Christ is a massively important theme that connects various elements of Paul’s theology.

When I was first deciding on a dissertation topic, my pastor at the time, Mark Minnick, suggested “union with Christ.” I gave it serious thought, but I ended up going another direction. But until this month I have been unaware of a resource that comprehensively treats this topic.

The most comprehensive online bibliography on union with Christ that I’m aware of is by Phil Gons.

And now this is the most comprehensive book:

Constantine R. Campbell. Paul and Union with Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.

  • 480 pp.
  • The 19-page sample PDF available here includes the 9-page table of contents. I love how Con outlines the book; it makes his argument much easier to follow.
  • Endorsements by Don Carson, Peter O’Brien, Doug Moo, Mike Bird, Mike Horton, Howard Marshall, Francis Watson, and Morna Hooker
  • Video:

[Read more…]

Mike Bullmore on How Christians Should Think about the Next Presidential Election

I highlighted this four years ago, and I encountered it again last week when re-listening to Mike Bullmore’s sermons on 1 Corinthians 12–14. It’s so good it’s worth highlighting again.

On October 26, 2008, Mike Bullmore prefaced his sermon with an outstanding 135-second pastoral exhortation in light of the upcoming election on November 4, 2008. I think he’d say the same thing re the upcoming election on November 6, 2012 (two weeks from today).

An excerpt:

There’s something more important than your voting next Tuesday . . . and that is where your confidence is, where your security is. . . . Let there be no loss of confidence in the goodness of God. Let there be no loss of security, whoever is in office. . . . There’s no cause no matter what happens—ever—for those who belong to God to worry or complain or whine.

Listen to the whole thing (2:15 min.).

Ten Resources for Enjoying Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings

After living in Narnia with our daughter for about the first half of the year, we moved to Middle-earth.

C. S. Lewis would approve. He wrote this in a letter to a girl named Lucy in 1957:

I am so glad you like the Narnian stories and it was nice of you to write and tell me. . . . Do you know Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings? I think you w[oul]d. like it. (C. S. Lewis Letters to Children [ed. Lyle W. Dorsett and Marjorie Lamp Mead; New York: Macmillan, 1985], 75.)

We’ve lived in Middle-earth for about four months, and it’s been a delight.

Middle-earth has been more challenging than Narnia since only one of J. R. R. Tolkien’s four books is for children (The Hobbit) and since The Lord of the Rings trilogy (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King) is so long and complicated. But we persevered, and it was worth it.

Here are ten resources we used to enjoy Tolkien’s world:

1. The Unabridged Books

unabridged_Hobbit unabridged_set

These are classy, sturdy hardbacks with a smattering of illustrations: [Read more…]

C. S. Lewis Letters to Children

Jenni and I recently read this book:

C. S. Lewis. C. S. Lewis Letters to Children Edited by Lyle W. Dorsett and Marjorie Lamp Mead. New York: Macmillan, 1985. 120 pp.

Tim and Kathy Keller mention it in The Meaning of Marriage:

As a girl of twelve, Kathy wrote to C. S. Lewis and received answers from him, which she taped to the inside covers of her copies of the Narnia Chronicles. His four letters to her (to “Kathy Kristy”) can be found in his Letters to Children and the third volume of Letters of C. S. Lewis. (p. 245, note 2)

C. S. Lewis wrote his third and fourth letters to Kathy less than a month before he died.

Lewis’s letters are fun and instructive to read. They are filled with his typical wit, and Lewis models how adults should treat children with respect.

11 excerpts: [Read more…]

The New City Catechism and 5 Related Resources

New-City-CatechismLast week Tim Keller asked “Why Catechesis Now?

This morning TGC introduced the New City Catechism, adapted by Tim Keller and Sam Shammas from Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York.

TGC explains that catechisms have at least three purposes:

  1. Comprehensively explain the gospel, including the building blocks on which the gospel is based.
  2. Address and counteract the heresies, errors, and false beliefs of our time and culture.
  3. Form a distinct people, a counter-culture that reflects the likeness of Christ individually and communally.

The New City Catechism adapts three other catechisms:

  1. Calvin’s Geneva Catechism
  2. the Westminster Shorter and Larger Catechisms
  3. the Heidelberg Catechism


  • It has 52 Q&As, one for each week of the year.
  • The answers have two levels: a simpler version and a more complex one (e.g., for children and adults).
  • Each Q&A includes commentary from a historical preacher and a short video from a TGC council member or pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church.
  • The catechism is available online.
  • The Q&As are available in a 7-page PDF.
  • The interactive iPad app is free.
  • You can change the settings online and in the iPad app:


5 Related Resources

Four recent books:

  1. DeYoung, Kevin. The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism. Chicago: Moody, 2010. (Cf. the first ever rap song about the Heidelberg Catechism.)
  2. Johnston, Mark G. Our Creed: For Every Culture and for Every Generation. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 2012.
  3. Piper, John, ed. A Baptist Catechism. Minneapolis: Desiring God, 2012. (Free 40-page PDF)
  4. Trueman, Carl R. The Creedal Imperative. Wheaton: Crossway, 2012.

Questions with Answers by Dana Dirksen

(From #3 in “Bible Memory for Young Children“)

A mother and her children sing Bible verses and Q&A taken from a digest of the Westminster Shorter Catechism (Stephen Hildebrandt’s The Catechism for Young People). Some are more catchy than others (e.g., “How can you glorify God,” sample 3 here).

Prepositions and Theology in the Greek New Testament

coverThis impeccably researched book is scheduled to release on October 23:

Murray J. Harris. Prepositions and Theology in the Greek New Testament: An Essential Reference Resource for Exegesis. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.

About Harris

Harris presently resides in New Zealand and is professor emeritus of New Testament exegesis and theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Previously he was Warden of Tyndale House in Cambridge.

I’ve profited significantly from his written works, especially these four books:

  1. Jesus as God: The New Testament Use of Theos in Reference to Jesus. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1992.
  2. Slave of Christ: A New Testament Metaphor for Total Devotion to Christ. New Studies in Biblical Theology 8. Downers Grove: IVP, 1999.
  3. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text. New International Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005.
  4. Colossians and Philemon. 2nd ed. Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2010.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t at Trinity when I was a student there (2006–2010). But I’ve recently enjoyed working with him on a forthcoming project (more on that later), and I’ve heard Don Carson tell some fascinating stories about him. [Read more…]