One of the most well-known and beloved verses of Christian Scripture is John 3:16. And for good reason. It’s an amazing, precious, and theologically power-packed verse.
Tim Tebow sportin’ the John 3:16 eye black.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (ESV)
While reviewing a book last semester for a seminar on doctrinal preaching I came across a gem of a description of John 3:16. The book is Kent Hughes’ homiletical commentary on Romans—Romans: Righteousness from Heaven (Preaching the Word).
The relevant snippet concerning John 3:16:
For God — The greatest Lover
so loved — The greatest degree
the world, — The greatest company
that he gave — The greatest act
his only begotten Son, — The greatest gift
that whosoever — The greatest opportunity
believeth — The greatest simplicity
in him — The greatest attraction
should not perish, — The greatest promise
but — The greatest difference
have —The greatest certainty
everlasting life — The greatest possession.
I like the way Hughes puts things. Very simple, yet superlative language regarding a verse deserving nothing less than the best superlatives we can give it.
Lauren managed to get a really nice shot of the library on the campus of Southern Seminary a few weeks ago. I think the trustees were on campus that week which explains why there were seminary banners and logos flying high.
The photo is pretty big. Click to see larger version.
I put in a request to get a reserved carrel in the library several months ago. I finally got approved and stopped in the other day to see if my carrel was reserved. Check!
Excited for the upcoming fall semester. Taking courses on preaching and rhetorical criticism, American religious history to 1860, and a preaching colloquium (though I don’t yet know what the focus of the colloquium will be). Currently taking an independent study in German through the University of Arkansas in order to satisfy one of my research language requirements.
My feeble attempt at sneaking a snapshot with my cell phone while Dr. Erickson was lecturing.
I’ve had the wonderful opportunity of spending the last two weeks being taught theology by Dr. Millard J. Erickson. Dr. Erickson has been teaching theology at the graduate level for nearly fifty years. He has authored many books and is considered by many to be Carl F. H. Henry’s successor as “the dean of evangelical theologians.”
Dr. Erickson is perhaps known best for his volume of systematic theology, Christian Theology, a work which I’ve used in various courses at three different seminaries now.
The course I’ve been sitting in for four hours a day every day for the last two weeks is titled, “The Last 100 Years of Theology.” Our course textbook was, A New Handbook of Christian Theologians.
For those interested, a perusal of the notes I managed to type during Dr. Erickson’s lectures will give you a good idea of what I’ve learned.
Dr. Erickson administered a final exam in class today. It covered quite a bit of material! We were asked about each of the following theological topics from the 20th century:
- Social Gospel
- Fundamentalist movement
- Karl Barth’s view of revelation
- Paul Tillich’s theological method of correlation and his idea of God as the ground of being
- Rudolph Bultmann’s employment of the distinction between historie and geschichte and his notion of God as the ground of all being
- Wolfhart Pannenberg’s notion of revelation as history
- Jürgen Moltmann and theology as eschatology
- Process theology’s concept of God as dipolar
- Liberation theology’s nature of theology
- African theology and indigenization
- Death of God theology
- Communicational role of narrative theology
- Vatican II and degrees of church membership
- George Lindbeck’s postliberal thoughts about the nature of doctrine
- Inclusivism and implicit faith
- Open theism
The test was no walk in the park, but all of the questions were addressed in both our lectures and assigned reading.
I feel very fortunate to have been able to take a class with Dr. Erickson. He was a very kind, professional, and sharp theological instructor. He told our class that we would likely be the last class he ever taught. What a blessing!
One of the main reasons for my several-month blogging hiatus has been school.
1 semester, 4 classes, 14 credit hours, 28 required texts, 32 papers/assignments later—and I made it! Finished my first semester at Southern Seminary.
Here is a list of the courses I took, their descriptions from the Southern Seminary academic catalog, and the required texts according to each course’s Fall 2011 syllabus:
Graduate Research Seminar—A survey of library resources and techniques for the preparation of dissertations and examination of research writing.
- Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success, by Wendy Laura Belcher
- The Craft of Research, 3rd ed., by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory C. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams
- The Oxford Guide to Library Research, 3rd ed., by Thomas Mann
- The Southern Seminary Manual of Style, 3rd ed., by Southern Seminary
- A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations, 7th ed., by Kate L. Turabian
- Style: The Basics of Clarity and Grace, 4th ed., by Joseph M. Williams
Theology of Karl Barth—An examination of Barth’s theology with a view to understanding his interpretation of the Christian faith and his signiﬁcance in twentieth century theology.
- Church Dogmatics I.2, on The Doctrine of the Word of God, by Karl Barth
- Evangelical Theology: An Introduction, by Karl Barth
- The SPCK Introduction to Karl Barth, by D. Densil Morgan
- How to Read Karl Barth: The Shape of His Theology, by George Hunsinger
Baptist Theologians in Historical Perspective—A study of selected Baptist theologians in their historical context, examining the currents which shaped their thought and the contributions of each theologian to church and ministry.
- Theologians of the Baptist Tradition, ed. David Dockery and Timothy George
- By His Grace and For His Glory, by Tom J. Nettles
- Baptist Theology: A Four Century Study, by James Leo Garrett
Hermeneutics for Preaching—An examination of the history and theory of hermeneutics for the art of Christian preaching. Modern hermeneutical theories and their impact on the preaching assignment will be carefully critiqued.
- The Right Doctrine from the Wrong Text? Essays on the Use of the Old Testament in the New, ed. G. K. Beale
- Putting the Truth to Work: The Theory and Practice of Biblical Application, by Daniel Doriani
- Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture: The Application of Biblical Theology to Expository Preaching, by Graeme Goldsworthy
- The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text: Interpreting and Preaching Biblical Literature, by Sidney Greidanus
- Preaching Christ from the Old Testament: A Contemporary Hermeneutical Method, by Sidney Greidanus
- Three Views on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, ed. Stanley N. Gundry, et al.
- Him We Proclaim: Preaching Christ from All the Scriptures, by Dennis E. Johnson
- Toward an Exegetical Theology: Biblical Exegesis for Preaching and Teaching, by Walter C. Kaiser
- The Uses of the Old Testament in the New, by Walter C. Kaiser
- Culture and Biblical Hermeneutics: Interpreting and Applying the Authoritative Word in a Relativistic Age, by William J. Larkin
- The Hermeneutical Spiral: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, by Grant Osborne
- Hermeneutics, Inerrancy & the Bible: Papers from the ICBI Summit II, ed. Earl D. Radmacher and Robert D. Preus
- Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, rev. ed., by William W. Klein, Craig L. Blomberg, & Robert I. Hubbard, Jr.
- Validity in Interpretation, by E. D. Hirsch
- Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon, by Bryan Chappell