Thursday, 19 November 2009

Missing something important

Justin Taylor asked Gerald Bray three questions to help us understand the genealogies e.g. of 1 Chronicles 1, here.

The answers were helpful but missed out the most important bit. The genealogies were given to lead up to their great climax in Christ, Luke 3 and Matthew 1. They are emphasising the flesh-and-blood historical character of the redemption we have received. They prepare for and teach the coming of the Son of God in authentic human nature, as a real man to die in the place of real men. They are part of the story of redemption - a redemption that is not worked out in some ethereal, intangible, private spiritual realm that fits in with modern secular mores. Rather, it is a redemption that took place in the very same earthy dimensions that we live, breathe, vomit and all other things in. This world belongs to the Lord - not some private thought world, whilst the real world belongs to man. He created it, he redeemed it - every part of it, seen and unseen; it was not just a redemption touching our "personal value choices" or somesuch. Jesus really did come as one of us, to save us.

Dr. Bray's answers all had something of a timeless nature about them - truths that apply in all generations. There was nothing wrong about those truths in themselves - but if we only have that bit and not the climax of it all in Christ, then it's the road to Gnosticism. Christian redemption is grounded in history - a history running from Adam down to Christ, carefully documented by the Bible writers so that we are without any excuse if we neglect it. In these days of new Gnosticising doctrines such as theistic evolution which try to have a de-historicised redemption, this needs underlining all the more.

I've expounded upon this at length and in a more rigourous fashion in my chapter of the new IVP book, released tomorrow, £7.49 including delivery from Amazon...

1 comment:

Stephen said...

Hi David,
Good points.

To be fair to Bray, I think the lack was in the questions asked of him. They were very much "what about me?" questions.