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.

(http://www.denverseminary.edu/resources/guest-speakers/biblical-studies-conference/)


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.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Matthew 9:9-17 - First Person Narrative Preaching

Today, Levi son of Alphaeus (AKA, Matthew, the tax-collector) came to visit Cornerstone Church. Actually, I preached a first person narrative sermon in the character of Matthew from Matthew 9:9-17, entitled "Following the Narrow Way."

To listen, click here: http://cornerstone-marion.org/sermons/10-1121_~A_Visit_from_Levi_(Matt_Proctor).mp3

If you are interested, you may also read through the manuscript (click HERE to download) . I hit about 75% of the manuscript so the audio is close, but I did leave out a few details of interest.

Since this passage speaks to many of the themes in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), I decided to make this the next passage preached in our journey through Matthew. It serves as both a transition in our study of Matthew's Gospel and a reiteration of the themes Jesus taught in Matthew 5-7. We take up our next chunk of Matthew after the New Year. I am excited to spend the next 5 or so weeks going through some of the prophetic songs in Isaiah related to the Servant of the Lord.

Bonus sermon:

The finale sermon for our "Charter of the Kingdom" (Matthew 5-7, The Sermon on the Mount) series:
Matthew 7:13ff. "No Ordinary Rabbi" -

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Recent Sermons in Matthew ...

Sorry for no recent life or family update. We hope to post some photos soon of our new house, Halloween, etc. I'll post a quick teaser photo from Halloween.

Until then, I wanted to give you the info on a few recent sermons. The sermon I preached this Sunday (Matthew 7:1-12) was put together through some blood, sweat and tears. The Lord convicted me time and time again and I pray that the message may be good for your soul as well. Click on any of the sermons to download:

Matthew 7:1-12: "Proper Treatment for Fragile Souls"

Matthew 6:19-34: "Godly Ambition"

Matthew 6:5-15: "Praying for Our Good and God's Glory"

Matthew 6:1-4, 16-18: "Lasting Reward in a Fleeting World"