Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Redemptive Thrust of Scripture

The following comes from a selected chapter assigned as a part of the Biblical interpretation class that I hope to take this summer.

When composing a lesson to teach or preach, there are two focuses/perspectives that can be taken: 1) fallen-condition focus (FCF) and 2) redemptive-historical focus (RHF).  The FCF takes the experiential perspective by focusing on Jesus as the remedy for our experience of the fall - sin, suffering, brokenness, etc.  In considering a passage of scripture it asks the question, "What aspect of the fallen condition of mankind does this passage address?"  Each passage reveals the ways that I, you, we, humanity need the grace of God.  The RHF takes the theological perspective by focusing on God's divine plan of redemption, assuming that God has a divine plan.  It asks each passage, "What aspect of the divine plan does this passage reveal?"  Every passage in every book focuses on Jesus by revealing some aspect his person and work.  Each book does this uniquely.  "These two methods keep us from preparing messages that contain true statements and good counsel but are ultimately sub-Christian because there is nothing of the Savior in them."

My thoughts and opinions
The most important thing to notice is that all of scripture points to Jesus, period!  Regardless of whether you are looking through red or green lenses, you still see Jesus; you just see him in a different light - by light of experience or theology.

As much as I like to ponder theology and learn more about it, my preferred perspective is the fallen-condition focus.  It is probably the teacher in me, because I want everyone I teach to feel the weight of their need for Jesus, so as to accept him gladly.  One of my favorite quotes says something like, "If they don't feel the weight of the problem, they won't care about the solution."  If people do not agree that they need something/someone like Jesus, then all our words will fall on deaf ears.  I want my audience to be captivated and convicted so that they are begging for Jesus' solution before I even finish.  It seems simple to me, but how can your audience not be attentive if you are talking about something they agree with and for which they crave solutions?  (I'll get off my soap box now.)

Another important consideration for the fallen-condition focus is what is meant by "fallen-condition".  This does not only refer to sin, but anything related to living in a fallen world - sin, suffering, and frustrated longings.  Suffering for example, may be experienced because of our own sin, someone else's sin, this sin-wrecked world (illness, death, natural disasters), persecution and Satanic/demonic oppression, or just plain ignorance.  So fallenness encompasses more than just sinfulness.

My questions
Nope, I liked it way too much to have questions.

Doriani, D. Getting the Message:  a Plan for Interpreting and Applying the Bible. (pp. 170-186) Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing

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