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Author Archives: Kevin DeYoung

Can that be Right? The Use of Old Testament Prophecy in the New Testament

It’s Christmas season and that means renewed attention on Messianic prophecy. Ah, the familiar sounds of “a virgin shall give birth,” “the government shall be upon his shoulders,” and good ole “Bethlehem Ephrathah.” It makes a churchgoer feel all warm and cuddly inside.

And frankly, a bit confused.

If we’re honest, the way the New Testament uses the Old Testament seems a little far-fetched. I mean, we can see, just like the scribes did, that Micah 5:2 is a foretelling of the Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem (Matt. 2:1-6), but was Hosea really making a prediction about the Christ just because he happened to mention “Egypt” (Hos. 11:1) and Jesus’ family fled to Egypt (Matt. 2:15)? If we interpreted Scripture like Matthew does, we’d be chased out of our pulpits and small groups, right?

The New Testament’s use of the Old Testament is a complicated subject. Even evangelical scholars don’t agree on all the particulars of the best approach (see for example this book and D.A. Carson’s review). Still, there are several principles, clarifications, and reminders that can help us make sense of the Apostles’ seemingly willy-nilly use of the Old Testament.

(For the most part, the following points were gleaned from Doug Moo’s chapter “The Problem of Sensus Plenior” in Hermeneutics, Authority, and Canon [edited by D.A. Carson and John Woodbridge]. Jared Compton makes many of the same points in his fine Themelios piece “Shared Intentions? Reflections on Inspiration and Interpretation in Light of Scripture’s Dual Authorship.”)

1. Keep in mind …

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Monday Morning Humor

I hope this guy enjoyed his money, his scooter, and his fireplace. He earned ‘em.

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2015 Magnify Conference Now Available

The six sessions from the 2015 Magnify Conference are now available on both the Magnify site and on our church’s webpage. I was especially helped by the conversation Ligon and I had on Friday evening. The last ten minutes (starting at 46:00) were deeply moving as Ligon talked about the Lord’s work to sanctify him over the past several years.

All six sessions can be accessed at the links above.

Session 1 (Duncan) – Work Because God Is at Work Within You (Philippians 2:12-13)
Session 2 (DeYoung, Duncan) – A Conversation Between Kevin DeYoung and Ligon Duncan
Session 3 (Duncan) – Kill or Die (Romans 8:12-13)
Session 4 (DeYoung) – Sanctification Struggles: What We All Agree On, and What We May Not Agree On
Session 5 (Duncan) – The Marrow, Marshall, and Murray Oh My! How Reformed Theology Has Wrestled with Sanctificaiton
Session 6 (DeYoung, Duncan) – Question and Answer

You may also want to check out Ligon’s Sunday morning message from 1 Peter 1:3-5, Born Again to Hope.

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A Modest Proposal: Don’t Tell Everyone about Every Shooting

I have a modest proposal for our networks and news shows and the rest of our 24 hour media: don’t tell everyone about every shooting.

Seriously.

Make a pact to hold your peace. Be rogue and go silent. Decide ahead of time to treat the next story as a non-story. We don’t need to know every bad thing that happens everywhere.

Local reporters, local stations, local pundits—go ahead and report on local news. If a shooting happens down the street, we should know about it. We may need to take precautions. We may have friends in the neighborhood. Our lives may be directly affected. But why turn every local tragedy into a national nightmare?

This isn’t about indifference to suffering or refusing to hear about other people’s problems. This is about putting sanity ahead of selling advertisements. It’s is about journalists prizing accuracy over urgency. It’s about media outlets having enough self-restraint to realize a ratings explosion isn’t worth the price of panic and misinformation. We don’t have to stop the world yet again to let another killer have his day. I’m not saying we cease trying to find solutions to widespread societal problems. But it’s usually difficult to tell what those solutions are in the moment. The grief and sadness are obvious, the sensationalism and posturing don’t have to be.

No one considers it insensitive that we don’t hear about every car accident or every cancer case or everyone who falls off of something—even though Americans are more likely to die by each of …

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Monday Morning Humor

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Stuffed With Gratitude

John Piper explains how gratitude crowds out nastiness and the smallness of your heart:

Gratitude is such a great and wonderful think in Scripture that I feel constrained to end this chapter with a tribute. There are ways that gratitude helps brings about obedience to Christ. One way is that the spirit of gratitude is simply incompatible with some sinful attitudes. I think this is why Paul wrote, “There must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks” (Ephesians 5:4). Gratitude is a humble, happy response to the good will of someone who has done or tried to do you a favor. This humility and happiness cannot coexist in the heart with coarse, ugly, mean attitudes. Therefore the cultivation of a thankful heart leaves little room for such sins. (Future Grace, 48)

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An Ancient Prayer of Thanksgiving

From the Didache, Chapter 10 (late 1st or early 2nd century):

We give you thanks, Holy Father,
for your holy name, which you have caused to dwell in our hearts,
and for the knowledge and faith and immortality that you have made known to us through Jesus your servant;
to you be the glory forever.

You, almighty Master, created all things for your name’s sake,
and gave food and drink to humans to enjoy, so that they might give you thanks;
but to us you have graciously given spiritual food and drink,
and eternal life through your servant.

Above all we give thanks to you because you are mighty;
to you be the glory forever.

Remember your church, Lord,
to deliver is from all evil and to make it perfect in your love;
and from the four winds gather the church that has been sanctified into your kingdom,
which you have prepared for it;
for yours is the power and the glory forever.

May grace come, and may this world pass away.
Hosanna to the God of David.
If anyone is holy, let him come;
if anyone is not, let him repent.
Maranatha! Amen.

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But Where Are the Nine?

Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising god with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?” (Luke 17:15-17)

Everyone reading this blog has reason to give praise to God. The question is whether we will go on our thankless way like the rest of the former lepers, or turn around and fall at Jesus’ feet like the Samaritan. Are you part of the one or one of the nine?

I find it easy to ask God for things. I find it relatively easy to confess sin, perhaps because I have so much of it and feel guilty for it. It is harder for me to give thanks, not because I think I’m too proud to say thank you, but because I don’t have my eyes open to see all that God has done and is doing.

All of us, I imagine, got sick in the past year. And almost all of us got better. Have we given thanks? If we are getting sicker, maybe even approaching death, have we given thanks for the grace to make it this far and for the grace that will lead us home?

There is so much God has done for us: jobs, paid our bills, paying our bills at church, safe travel, safe surgeries, miraculous provision for little babies over the past year. We’ve had good test …

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Doctrine Matters: Eternal Life Depends Upon It

Let us not send people out into the world with merely a vague notion that Jesus saves without teaching them the doctrine of the Jesus who does save.

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Monday Morning Humor

Chick-fil-A is coming to Lansing?! Brings a tear to the eye.

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