First-class bible teaching stands out in theological college journal

Mar 23, 2020 by

by Julian Mann:

‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised’ (Job 1v21 – NIV).

Eric Ortlund’s piece of Bible teaching in the latest Commentary from Anglican evangelical theological college Oak Hill stands out amidst the cultural analysis and the systematic theology.

Of course, analysing culture from a biblical perspective and addressing a doctrinal topic are important. The articles of this kind in the Commentary are most helpful. But if theology is about personally getting to know God better and learning to love him as he deserves, then the article, ‘Job’s story, our story,’ by Oak Hill’s Old Testament and Biblical Hebrew lecturer does the (short ‘o’) job:

‘When Job makes his tear-stained, beautiful confession (in the quotation above), blessing God’s name just as sincerely when God takes away as when he gives, he does more than just prove his love for God. He seals himself in it. Job’s confession is similar in significance to wedding vows, which do more than express inner emotion, for most lovers affirm the equivalent of “in sickness and in health” to each other many times before saying so during their marriage ceremony. Rather, the wedding vows seal and objectively emphasise the relationship in a way which no other private declaration of love can.

‘Job’s confession does the same. When he blesses God’s name in the midst of terrible loss instead of cursing, he “receives the outcome of his faith” (1 Peter 1:9) and sees God as God in a whole new way. He is able to receive God in all of God’s fullness in a way he couldn’t before. Almost the last thing Job says, in chapter 42, is, “Now my eyes have seen you”. He is caught up with the all-surpassing worth of knowing God (Philippians 3:8), and receives the object of his confession, God and more of God.’

Incidentally, why is it that Anglican evangelical organisations seem to be proliferating with ‘directors’ of this, that, and the other? Why don’t they rebel against the cultural trend towards careerist self-importance and find some more modest titles for their staff like ‘minister for’ or ‘secretary of’?

If this trend doesn’t stop, major building works may be required at various evangelical HQs so that some people can get their heads through the door.…


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