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Thankful Thursday

Such a busy day and so much for which to be thankful! I’ve spent time this week spring cleaning my bedroom. I’ve gone through everything and collected a couple of bags of things to donate to the Salvation Army and a couple of bags to go to the dump. I’ve washed walls and curtains and bedding. I’ve rearranged things. I’m thankful that I have the energy to work and that the results of my labour are so satisfying.

I’m thankful for the new sermons I listened to while I was working. I’m thankful that I have access to resources like that, and I’m thankful for the faithful men who preached the sermons.

I’m thankful for sunshine and blue skies and spring temperatures and an invigorating afternoon walk. I’m thankful for family in and out all day long. My days are never boring and for that, I am thankful.

I’m thankful that the day is nearly done and that I can rest.

I’m thankful that God is a talking God so that we can know him.

Throughout this year I’m planning to post a few thoughts of thanksgiving each Thursday along with Kim at the Upward Call and others.


Theological Term of the Week

redemptive history
God’s plan for history, which is unfolding with the ultimate purpose of uniting all things in Christ; the unified story of the Bible; also called history of salvation.

  • From scripture: 

    And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:25-27 ESV)

    Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things….” (Luke 24:44-48 ESV)
  • From The ESV Study Bible, Overview of Salvation: A Survey of the History of Salvation:

    The Bible also makes it clear that God has a unified plan for all of history. His ultimate purpose, “a plan for the fullness of time,” is “to unite all things in him [Christ], things in heaven and things on earth” (Eph. 1:10), “to the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:12). God had this plan even from the beginning: “remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose’” (Isa. 46:9–10). “When the fullness of time had come,” when the moment was appropriate in God’s plan, “God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law” (Gal. 4:4–5).

    The work of Christ on earth, and especially his crucifixion and resurrection, is the climax of history; it is the great turning point at which God actually accomplished the salvation toward which history had been moving throughout the OT. The present era looks back on Christ’s completed work but also looks forward to the consummation of his work when Christ will come again and when there will appear “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Pet. 3:13; see Rev. 21:1–22:5).

  • From Paige Britton, Reaping The Fruits of Redemptive-Historical Reading: 

    Reading with an awareness of a canon-spanning storyline is not an alien, artificial scheme that we impose on the text. Rather, it is a theological confession: namely, that the same God who authored the Scriptures also authored the events they describe, as well as the details involved in the recording of his works by human hands in human languages. A confession of God’s sovereignty over history necessarily implies that we believe events have meaning and purpose, and that everything is tending toward a particular goal, which Paul identifies as the time when all things will be “summed up” in Christ (Eph. 1:10-11, NIV). So, too, the Scriptures have a unified meaning and purpose, which is to declare the progressive revelation of God’s gracious plan to reconcile fallen humanity to himself through Christ.


    What this means is, first, that wherever we enter the text, we are entering a drama “already in progress”; and, second, that at any given moment we may legitimately point from the text to Jesus, whether directly or indirectly. Sometimes this will involve recognizing how events or people prefigure the coming and the work of Christ; sometimes this will entail receiving a theological interpretation of past events, or learning the present-day (or future) implications of what Christ has already accomplished. Even those portions of Scripture that seem to have no direct bearing on the overarching storyline (e.g., Proverbs), when viewed with an eye to their context in the canon, enrich our understanding of God’s gracious character and redemptive works. No matter where our reading intersects the biblical storyline, we may (and should) orient ourselves by looking forward and backward along the timeline of redemptive history, and direct those we teach to do the same.

Learn more:

  1. ESV Study Bible: Overview of the Bible; History of Salvation in the Old Testament
  2. Ra McLaughlin: Introduction to Redemptive History (pdf)
  3. Graeme Goldsworthy: The Main Chapters in the Biblical Storyline
  4. Tim Keller: It’s About Him
  5. Mark Bates: The Story of the Bible (mp3)
  6. Al Mohler: Studying the Scripture and Finding Jesus (mp3)
  7. D. A. Carson: The God Who Is There (series of mp3s or videos)

Related terms:

Do you have a  theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms in alphabetical order.


Round the Sphere Again: All Gospel

Preaching It
to ourselves. A quote from Jerry Bridges at Of First Importance.

Explaining It
The Sound of Doctrine pointed me to this lecture on justification by faith from Mark Seifrid. Austin Brown calls it

a refreshingly clear and helpful exposition of justification; one that is both scholarly and engaging.  You can feel his passion, even if the passion doesn’t exactly burst out and start dancing.

I really enjoyed it and recommend it to you, but you’ll have to wear your thinking cap.

Without It
A quote from John Calvin used in tonight’s address by Alistair Begg at The Gospel Coalition Conference (Between Two Worlds). Before tonight is over, you should to be able to download the whole address from here.

Diagnosing a Counterfeit
From Kingdom People:

How do you know if you have fallen for the moralistic counterfeit gospel?

Two easy diagnostics from Trevin Wax.


A Catechism for Girls and Boys

Part I: Questions about God, Man, and Sin

29. Q. What do we inherit from Adam as a result of this original sin?
      A. A sinful nature.

(Click through to read scriptural proofs.)

Click to read more ...


Round the Sphere Again: Church History

The Fathers
Michael Haykin on why you might want to the church fathers, starting, perhaps with Augustine’s Confessions.

Isaac Watts
A few things we can learn from The Reformer You Know By Heart But Not By Name (Mike Cosper at The Gospel Coalition Blog).

  • Worship leading is pastoral.
  • Contextualization is about comprehension. 
  • Worship should be concerned with truth and beauty—but beauty is a servant of truth. 
  • Worship should be both wide and deep.

Read the whole post to see these points spelled out.