Old Testament Law and New Testament Ethics – 3: Practices and Priorities

We’ve been discussion the relationship between Old Testament law and New Testament ethics. What we have discussed thus far is a sort of teaser, a taster, some initial sorts of sorties to help us loosen our grip on certain assumptions by bringing our attention to features of the biblical text that often get overlooked — overlooked especially in the heat of the rhetoric of the so-called culture wars. We yet have a way to go in gaining traction on a huge number of the relevant issues and questions and texts. So, again, you’ll need to be patient. The first two posts were:

In this post I’d like to attempt a few analogies that could help us move forward in our wide-ranging explorations on this very large subject. Imagine situations in our own day when one might assign certain practices for the service of certain ends, and not as ends in themselves. It may sound a bit paradoxical, but let me explain.

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Old Testament Law and New Testament Ethics – 2: Love and Leviticus

Old Testament Law and New Testament Ethics

2 – Love and Leviticus

Note: If you haven’t read the previous post, you shouldn’t be starting here. Just do the right thing and behave yourself. Please. 

The first post in this series was a bit of stream of consciousness, sometimes minus the stream, at other times minus the…. (Look, please avoid micro-aggressions this early in the series.) I hope you didn’t mind, even if you wanted to ask “but what about?” from time to time. As I noted, we’ll eventually get to some, or most, if not all of the but what abouts that might come along. For now, in this post, I’d like us to explore some things often overlooked about the law, Leviticus, and love. 

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Old Testament Law and New Testament Ethics – 1: Prefatory Playfulness

1 – Prefatory Playfulness

I think it is high time to post a series of ruminations on the relationship between Old Testament law and New Testament ethics. There simply are so many mistakes to be made and mishaps to muddle through on this subject, not to mention the myriad of simply sincere disagreements. And there are so very many attendant and related issues. In fact, the wide significance of the subject is such that one could suppose that it touches on all of Scripture, and perhaps on all of life.

Old Testament Law & New Testament Ethics

This scale of significance can be downright off putting. It would be a sign of hubris to suppose that one has figured out all the issues, solved all the problems, and mastered all the implications. It would be worse still if one supposed not only that but also that one was able to persuade all people of these profound truths.

What I would like to offer are some observations and suggestions for your consideration. But I do beg your patience: I’ll leave comments on for this series of posts simply, though most are likely to be disregarded. Time is short. There is much to be done in life. And I really want to avoid the inevitable horde of but what abouts. On this subject, as on none other save perhaps eschatology, does one find conversation partners blurting “but what about” with such haste, rapidity, and regularity. I imagine that a number of but what abouts will be addressed in due course, anyhow, but I’d like to keep the relevant material in the posts and not in an unwieldy wake of comments. So, again, I’ll beg your patience on that front.

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Learning to Love Leviticus

Isn’t that a great title? It is the title of a helpful essay by Christopher J.H. Wright published in Christianity Today. Here is the full title: “Learning to Love Leviticus: Even Those Passages about Shellfish, Mixed Fibers, and Animal Sacrifice.” You should read it.

As I read the essay, the one thing I wish Wright had discussed would be God’s persistent disapproval of what I term “the trinity of inhumanities”: idolatry, immorality, and injustice. We encounter divine disapproval of these elements throughout Scripture. Instead, Wright focused more on those items that do not persist, or that persist only in a kind of principled fashion. Regardless, it is a helpful essay. You should read it. But there is more…

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10 Facts to Memorize about the New Testament Canon

Last year I posted a robust series of links to Dr. Michael J. Kruger’s work engaging 10 Misconceptions about the New Testament Canon. If you haven’t taken time to read those, you simply must. Must! Dr. Kruger is a very careful scholar and a very clear thinker. You’ll enjoy reading him. And here is his big book on the subject.

Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Books

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More recently he has completed a series entitled, “10 Basic Facts about the New Testament Canon that Every Christian Should Memorize.” How’s that for a challenge? Are you ready to get to work. Here is the list:

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10 Misconceptions about the New Testament Canon

The links below provide an education in themselves. Really. Truly.

If you take the time to read even what is posted online — not to mention Dr. Kruger’s fine book — you will have a greater knowledge about the canon of the New Testament than the vast majority of seminary graduates and pastors today. Seriously. Truly. So, read on . .  .

UPDATED • 06 December 2012 

Dr. Michael J. Kruger, author of Canon Revisited, is publishing online a series discussing 10 Misconceptions about the New Testament Canon. Below are links to the posts already online. I’ll update this post as the others become available. In the meantime, there is much already here to consider and enjoy.

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10 Misconceptions about the New Testament Canon (Updated)

The links below provide an education in themselves. Really. Truly. If you take the time to read even what is posted online — not to mention Dr. Kruger’s fine book (linked below) — you will have a greater knowledge about the canon of the New Testament than the vast majority of seminary graduates and pastors today. Seriously. Truly. So, read on . .  .

UPDATED • 15 November 2012: See the new link below . . .

Dr. Michael J. Kruger, author of Canon Revisited, is publishing online a series discussing 10 Misconceptions about the New Testament Canon. Below are links to the posts already online. I’ll update this post as the others become available. In the meantime, there is much already here to consider and enjoy.

Continue…

10 Misconceptions about the New Testament Canon (UPDATED)

UPDATED: See the new links below…

Dr. Michael J. Kruger, author of Canon Revisited, is publishing online a series discussing 10 Misconceptions about the New Testament Canon. Below are links to the posts already online. I’ll update this post as the others become available. In the meantime, there is much already here to consider and enjoy.

Continue…