Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Craig Blomberg . . . the champion of both/and

One of the finest things I learned from Dr. Craig Blomberg in my few years at Denver Seminary is that one needs to be careful to quickly assume one perspective has the best vantage point on all issues. Whether it be Calvinists or Arminians, Dispensationalists or Covenantalists, or any other "ism" or "ist," Biblical scholarship needs to be rooted in the text (of Scripture) and rooted in its context (historical setting). Often, as I have learned, it is possible for both sides to be right on the same issue (not necessarily equally right). Hence, the repeated expression "both/and" became a bit of joke whenever we discussed a controversial theological matter in the classroom.

Now, however, I want to overthrow an occasional misreading of Dr. Blomberg. He is not some wet-noodle, politically-correct, let's all be friends evangelical scholar (not to say he's not a fine gentleman). I'll never forget Dr. Blomberg's February 12, 2009 lecture before a collection of Gentiles, Messianic Jews, and other interested parties. He stood before a potentially hostile audience and proclaimed the Gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Modern attempts to suggest there are 2 different tracks of salvation for Jews and Gentiles was soundly rejected. Jews need Jesus. Gentiles need Jesus. The Law was insufficient. The Gospel is the only good news on the market that offers salvation to all peoples on the earth!

You get a nice taste of his lecture (not available on mp3 because of a potential book deal) in the synopsis still posted on the Denver Seminary website: The idea that the Mosaic covenant remains in effect for ethnic Jews is an increasingly popular perspective in this era of ecumenism. Its attraction is obvious, for it does not require Torah-observant Jews to acknowledge Jesus as Messiah and Lord. Some who would otherwise call themselves evangelical have even begun to embrace this view. But any serious exegesis of the New Testament makes it impossible to hold such a view and still submit to the full authority of Scripture. Worse still, if the idea that only Gentiles need accept Jesus turns out to be wrong and Christians, Jew or Gentile, have withheld the gospel from non-Christian Jews, who are thus lost for all eternity, such a withholding could fairly be described as the most flagrant form of anti-Semitism ever created.


Thank you Dr. Blomberg for teaching me to listen to different positions with respect and love. Thank you for making me love the Gospel more and more, and for giving me a passion to defend the Gospel at all costs.

1 comment:

Craig Blomberg said...

You're welcome! :) And here I thought maybe you were going to be referring to my newest Koinonia blog on my both-and take on the old and new perspectives on Paul!