Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Blogging through Grudem

A few weeks ago a church member and I set ourselves the task of reading through Grudem's Systematic Theology by Christmas. Whether we'll get there or not, I don't know, but we'll try!

Anyway, I thought it would help me if I blogged my way through some parts of the said work (as opposed to blagged). It might help to introduce any readers out there to biblical doctrine in a simple way. I'm sure there'll be all sorts of attemtped humorous feedback - "You're too blogmatic", "Spare us the blogmatism" etc. But hey!

So here we go. I'll give you headings based on Grudem and some scriptures.

The Word of God (chapter 2, pp.47-53)

What do we mean by "the Word of God"?

"The Word of God" can refer to Jesus Christ

Scriptures: John 1.1, Revelation 19.13. See also 1 John 1.1.

The above scriptures are the only ones that refer to Jesus Christ as the Word of God.

In describing Jesus as the Word of God, the Bible is drawing attention to Jesus' role within the Trinity as the one who reveals God to us. In His person and words He communicates God's character to us and God's will for us.

"The Word of God" is used of speech by God

(i) The Word of God as God's decrees

Scriptures: Gen 1.3, 1.24; Psalm 33.6; Hebrews 1.3

Decree: God's spoken word causing something to happen. Creation is the most obvious example of God's speech causing things to happen or come into being.

(ii) The Word of God as God speaking directly to human beings

Scriptures: Genesis 2.16-17, 3.16-19; Exodus 20.1-3; Matthew 3.17

The above scriptures are examples of what we mean by God speaking directly to human beings. He spoke to Adam directly. He spoke directly to the people of Israel. He spoke about Jesus at His baptism.

(iii) The Word of God as God speaking through human beings

Scriptures: Deuteronomy 18.18; Jeremiah 1.9; Isaiah 30.12-14; 2 Chronicles 20.20, 25.15-16.

The scriptures above relate to Old Testament prophets. They spoke the Word of God. Anyone who claimed to be speaking a word from God, but was speaking falsely was severely punished (See Deuteronomy 18.18-22).

(iv) The Word of God as the written words of scripture

Scriptures: Exodus 31.9-13, 18, 32.16; Joshua 24.26; Isaiah 30.8; Jeremiah 30.2; John 14.26, 1 Corinthians 14.27.

Some of God's servants wrote down God's words. Moses, Joshua, Isaiah and Jeremiah are all recorded as having written down God's words. The ten commandments were actually writtend by the finger of God, in other words they were divinely scripted. In the New Testament, Jesus promises the disciples that the Holy Spirit will remind them of what He taught them. And Paul claims that his writings are words from God.

The benefits of having a written word
  • God's words are preserved for future generations
  • It is easier to study and discuss God's written word
  • God's revelation is made more accessible
The benefits of studying of God's written Word

The Bible tells us that when we study and meditate on God's written word we are blessed (Psalm 1.1-2), God grants us success as we study and obey His written revelation (Joshua 1.8)and God's Word teaches us and trains us (2 Timothy 3.16).

Some questions:

How should we approach God's Word? What sort of influence should it have in our lives? How can we get to know it better?


1 comment:

Werewolf Dude said...

I will award the first person to finsih the book a tube of Smarties.

Chris

P.S You can't blag me as I will question you on the book.