Wasn’t the First Son of God

2009 November 24

Filed in:

The Bible is a Book of Tales (Narrative Theology)

Do You Hear What I Hear? (Psalms)


Compare Psalm 23 to the Exodus Narrative – what results do we yeild?

 1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 2He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
 3He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
   for his name’s sake.

 4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
   I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
   your rod and your staff,
   they comfort me.

 5You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
   all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
    forever.  (ESV)

The shepherd is being followed (he is leading) to a green land of still waters.  The Spirit leads the people past the moving waters of the Reed Sea and the Jordan to the still (that is, wells?) waters, like Jacob’s Well and the Seas of Canaan.

Even in the valley (figurative) between Sinai and Zion there is no fear, Aaron’s Staff, and the Rod of the Law are a comfort.

They were called to feast at the mountain, but their enemies would not let them away, so the LORD prepared a table in the presence of their enemies.

Their neighbors had a God-given favor and loaded them down with gold, silver and clothing… their cups overflowed.

I am not saying that the Psalm is written with this as the major emphasis, or away from the kingly motif of David on the run.  I am just saying that David wasn’t the first Son of God to be on the run from an evil king…Or the last (Ex 4.21-23, Hos 11.1, Mt 2.15).  So the pattern is present earlier, and is useful to our ears today.


As My Master, and to My Master I Will Submit

2009 November 23

Filed in:

Both Feet Firmly on the Ground (Cosmology)


So YES.  I have recently affirmed publicly now that I am indeed a 6 day creationist.  This is a recent development and I want to explain why I felt constrained to making this move.  The posting of this thought began in THIS [Click Here] post, and continues in the current post as installment 3:


What Kind of Literature is Genesis?

As I am an Old Testament teacher, I spend a lot of time teaching Genesis every year.  Mind you, I have always dearly loved the Bible and the God who wrote it.  I haven’t been a godless secularist waiting to destroy Jesus.  I have been an evangelistic, child rearing, wife honoring, church serving Christian living under the incredible burden of a nagging scientism and a hermeneutic of doubt.

Back to Genesis, I read and memorize bits of Gen 1 every year.  We memorize Gen 1.1-5, and 1.26-28 (*the first day of creation and *the cultural mandate).

For years I have assumed that Gen 1-11 (Primeval History) was allegorical and that Gen 12-50 was historical.  Please notice:

I have never doubted the existence and necessity of miracles, but I felt at that time that

  • Adam-Babel was obviously a different form of literature than what we would rely on for history, and that
  • Miracle is always literarily highlighted as miracle rather than taken for granted.


A Seamless Garment

In truth, there are NO markers in the text indicating a transition from mythic to historical material.  In fact, it looks to me a lot like these are all definitely intended to be read in unity.

Example 1

  • Adam made as God’s son, is made to fall into a deep sleep, his flesh is divided, and a covenant of marriage is created: “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother”. (Gen 2)
  • Abraham, made into God’s son (inheritance), is made to fall into a deep sleep next to divided flesh and a covenant of adoption is created: “Go out from your father” (Gen 12, 15).

Example 2

  • Darkness and Watery Chaos, Spirit of God (Ruach) blows over the water, evening and morning, the waters are divided from the waters, dry land is created (Gen 1)
  • Watery chaos, Wind of God (Ruach) blows over the Water, 40 days and 40 nights, the water is driven back, dry land is found (Gen 7-8)
  • Reed Sea, Wind of God (Ruach) blows over the water, water is driven back, waters are divided from the waters, dry land is found (Ex 14)

Example 3

  • People refuse to be scattered abroad, they try to make a name for themselves, they are cursed (Gen 11)
  • Abraham goes forth willingly to fulfill Gen 1.26-28 from his father’s house, God will make his name great, he is blessed (Gen 12)


What’s in a Name?

Another reason that I had a hard time with Gen 1-11 was that I thought that the narratives seemed overly contrived.  The names especially couldn’t be real.

Adam is humanity, Eve is Life, Noah is heard.

What was I thinking?!  It goes on just like that after Gen 12 begins.

Abraham means Father of Multitudes, Sarah means princess, Isaac is his mother’s laughter, Jacob grabs at his brother’s heel, but Israel wrestles with God.

The only options, based on THESE criteria, are to accept Genesis 1-11, or doubt ALL of Genesis.

I don’t doubt all of Genesis, so I now accept Gen 1-11 as my master, and to my master I will submit.

I remember someplace that Abram believed the LORD.  Me too.

Destined to Become the Tabernacle

2009 November 13

Filed in:

The Bible is a Book of Tales (Narrative Theology)

The Zeal of the Lord of Hosts (Post-Millennialsim)

I was reading Exodus 3 again to my children tonight.  We are trying to get it down before going on.  I let my eyes wander ahead, and saw a phrase that I have read over in class several times lately, teaching OT to 7th graders:

21And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and when you go, you shall not go empty, 22but each woman shall ask of her neighbor, and any woman who lives in her house, for silver and gold jewelry, and for clothing. You shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.”

  • I thought of purple clothing and suddenly a path of inquiry opened up…
  • I thought of “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.” Nu 6.27
  • I thought of “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Gal 3.27

(granted: the “put on” here is not a Greek link through the LXX, enduw vs. epitithEmi, but when they were doing the ‘tithEmi’ putting in Ex 3 they were literally doing ‘enduw’.)


…before the bear can come over the mountain, we need to read a few other passages (and then the bear can “see what he can see.”)

4Moses said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, “This is the thing that the LORD has commanded. 5 Take from among you a contribution to the LORD. Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the LORD’s contribution: gold, silver, and bronze; 6blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen; goats’ hair, 7tanned rams’ skins, and goatskins; acacia wood, 8oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense, 9and onyx stones and stones for setting, for the ephod and for the breastpiece.

10Let every skillful craftsman among you come and make all that the LORD has commanded: 11 the tabernacle, its tent and its covering, … 19the finely worked garments for ministering in the Holy Place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, for their service as priests.” (Ex 35.4-19)

Okay, so here are my thoughts:

Holy Place

1)      The items of plunder were destined to become the tabernacle.

2)      The items were clothing the children of the Hebrews.

3)      The tabernacle was clothing the children.

4)      The people of Israel were being labeled as “the holy place”… God would dwell within.



1)      The items of plunder were destined to become the priestly garments.

2)      The items were clothing the children of the Hebrews.

3)      The ephods were clothing the children.

4)      The people of Israel were being labeled as “priests”… God would be brought  through them to the nations


Gentiles/Neighbors/Glory of the Nations

1)      The items of plunder were FROM the WEALTH OF EGYPT.

2)      The items of plunder were DESTINED FOR THE HOLY PLACE.

3)      God was not opposed to making his kingdom out of Gentile splendor.

This is Revelation 21:

18The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass. 19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with every kind of jewel. The first was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20the fifth onyx, the sixth carnelian, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, the twelfth amethyst. 21And the twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made of a single pearl, and the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass.

22And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.26They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Final observations:

As Jesus was once asked: “Who is my neighbor?”

Whom do you want in the kingdom?  The nations?  We must capture their lives with the gospel, and carry their glory with us into the kingdom.

Can THEIR stuff be brought into GOD’s HOLY place?  Yes, Gentiles will be there, and be clean.

What God has called clean, let no one call unclean.

Bitter, Water, Faithfulness, Test, Disease

2009 July 2

Filed in:

The Bible is a Book of Tales (Narrative Theology)


I was listening to the Jamie Soles‘ song “Jealousy Test” about Numbers 5 from the Album Memorials.
I suddenly had a mental flash that I ran to check out, and I think it pays off:

Compare Numbers 5.11-31 to Exodus 15.22-27 [Click to read at BibleGateway].

Both passages contain:

The Waters of Marah/Waters of Bitterness:

Numbers 5.18, 19, 23, 27  —    —  Exodus 15.23

A Test

Numbers 5.15, 29-30        —    —  Exodus 15.15

for Faithfulness

Numbers 5.12                     —    —  Exodus 15.26


Numbers 5.21-22, 27        —     —  Exodus 15.26

I don’t have a conclusion here, but the connections must be drawn before the questions can be asked.

But I do want to point out this oddity:

Immediately before the “Waters of Marah” in Ex 15.22, is 15.21:

“And Miriam sang to them:

“Sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously;the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.”

She also protected Moses in the water (Ex 2.4), but the Song of Marah is “The waters of the Lord tested between the faithfulness of Israel and the unfaithfulness of Egypt.”

Egypt was plagued with diseases and the loss of children (Compare Ex 11, Num 5.28).


Another MARAH – Mary, was not “put away for unfaithfulness” but was alowed to bear a very important child.  Who was the only real “faithfulness” for Israel unto God.  (Matt 1.19-25).

Law and Gospels – part 1

2008 November 23

First let’s survey a summary of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20.1-21, Deuteronomy 5.)

—  1  Purity of Devotion: No other gods

—  2  Purity of Worship: No idols

—  3  Sanctity of God’s Name: Not taken in vain

—  4  Sabbath: Remember the “Rest” to keep it holy

—  5  Honor father and mother

—  6  Honor God’s image: Do not murder

—  7  Purity of Marriage: Do not commit adultery

—  8  Sanctity of property: Do not steal

—  9  Sanctity of speech: No lies to harm your neighbor

–10  Guard your heart: Do not covet


The scope of the Decalogue – the Ten Commandments – is far reaching.  It addresses your

Internal Relation to God                 Internal Relation to neighbor

1                                                    10

External Relation to God                External Relation to neighbor

2, 3, 4                                             5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Interesting to note that #10 Covetousness, leads to #6-8: Murder, Adultery, Theft.

When we look in the next post to the Sermon on the Mount, we will need to key in on the fact that God was ALWAYS concerned with internal heart motivations.  Not just outward actions.  Jesus is making a big deal of this fact.

Sermon (02/03/08): The Glory of God, The Word of God, The Son of God [4]

2008 February 3

Now I am working on the opening illustration. To do this I must identify my direction in the sermon and my goal, and my language to express the point. The illustration should be in the same language and format as the way that the point is expressed.

Here are my four [I know, breaking the 3 point rule!] points:

  1. Jesus is supreme over the Law; he is the highest Law, a living Law.
  2. Jesus is supreme over the Prophets; he is the highest prophet.
  3. Jesus is supreme over the Kingship; he is the King of Kings.
  4. Jesus is supreme over death; he is the resurrection, conquering death.

Jesus is the supreme point; he doesn’t get rid of the former things, he fulfills them! He doesn’t throw out the law the prophets and the kingship; he overshadows them and outshines them by being the highest and the best. And he doesn’t merely despise death and act unafraid, but he took it on himself, and with death upon him, he dragged it down under the ocean and put death to death, so that with the authority to take up his own life again, he could be raised to a world where death could not threaten God’s people.

We become focused on the keeping of rules, instead of loving the man who gives us the rules [and don’t forget that he gives the law to his loved and forgiven people so that they can ENJOY him more].

We sometimes get focused on eternal life, instead of focusing on the fact that our eternal life is WITH JESUS.

We get focused on the forgiveness of sins, instead of on the freedom to be WITH JESUS that COMES FROM the forgiveness of sins.

So now to the opening illustration. It needs to focus on the above structure and language.

Options good or bad:

  1. Addition and subtraction are lower orders to multiplication and division – when we learn the skills of multiplication and division, we don’t get rid of addition and subtraction; in fact, without addition and subraction, we wouldn’t have the foundation to understand multiplication and division. The former things are a foundation, but the later things are the goal. But there are things you learn in early math that just aren’t true, and later math has to throw them out. You can’t subtract a big number from a small number…later we find that you can. You can’t divide by zero. Later they tell you that you can. The former things you learned were limitations, but the later things are liberation from those limits.

Actually – I think I am going to stop with that, and head on to the sermon outline on paper.

Thanks for coming along for the process.



The church we are part of:


If you are interested in a Bible-believing church that worships in the Anglican way, and you live in the Baltimore / Annapolis area, you might consider Emmaus Anglican Church (Catonsville). Click here for the church website.



Emmaus Anglican Church is a parish of the Anglican Mission in the Americas – a mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Rwanda, a Church in full communion in the Global Anglican Communion.

Sermon (02/03/08): The Glory of God, The Word of God, The Son of God [3]

2008 February 3

Again, We have a supremacy issue:

  1. God told Moses to bring forth the Law; Jesus was called to be them Law.
  2. God told Elija to bring forth kings; Jesus was called to be the King.
  3. And where Moses and Elijah had both been fleeing to save their lives Jesus was running toward his death.

Luke 9 adds these things:

“And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem” (9.30-31)


“And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!'” (9.35).

Psalm 2

The issue here is Jesus’ messiahship.

Son of God and Chosen One are both terms that mean the same thing to Jesus’ contemporaries – “King / Messiah”. Remember the Story of David’s call…

1 Sam 16.1-2, 8-11, parts of 12-13.
Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” … Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the LORD chosen this one.” And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” … Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward.

If you look at Psalm 2, which is about David, you will see all these things: 1) the idea of the chosen King, 2) the Annointed/”Messiah,” 3) the Son of God, 4) enthronement on the holy mount of God.

“Son of God” is a term used by Israel and all surrounding cultures to refer to a divinely chosen and supported king. [In the New Testament, we get the nice surprise of it taking on a REAL deific meaning too]. But in the time of David, “Son of God,” meant “Messiah” meant “Chosen One” meant “King of Israel.”

See 2 Sam 7.4-16, and Ps 89. David’s son was to be king.
You would really have a big clue to the messiah if you could get someone called, “David, God’s Son, the Chosen One” and if you could catch him on God’s holy mountain.

This is what we have in the Transfiguration. Yes, it is a reference to Mt. Horeb of the Exodus, but it is also a reference to the Davidic/Messianic declaration of choice – who would be anointed, and exalted as the true “Son of God”?

Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” (from Matthew 17)

“This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!”

(from Luke 9)



The church we are part of:


If you are interested in a Bible-believing church that worships in the Anglican way, and you live in the Baltimore / Annapolis area, you might consider Emmaus Anglican Church (Catonsville). Click here for the church website.



Emmaus Anglican Church is a parish of the Anglican Mission in the Americas – a mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Rwanda, a Church in full communion in the Global Anglican Communion.