Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Reading Through the Psalms in 30 Days

This plan gives the reader about the same amount to read each day. The reader will also notice that I have divided Psalm 119 so that one section of the psalm is read each day for 22 days. It seems to me that this gives the reader time to savor the psalm a little bit at a time. Otherwise, the variations get lost in reading through it in one or two days.

Day 1: Pss 1-7; 119:1-8                                 Day 16: Pss 74-77; 119:121-128
Day 2: Pss 8-14; 119:9-16                            Day 17: Pss 78-80; 119:129-136
Day 3: Pss 15-18; 119:17-24                         Day 18: Pss 81-85; 119:137-144
Day 4: Pss 19-22; 119:25-32                       Day 19: Pss 86-89; 119:145-152
Day 5: Pss 23-28; 119:33-40                      Day 20: Pss 90-95; 119:153-160
Day 6: Pss 29-33; 119:41-48                       Day 21: Pss 96-102; 119:161-168
Day 7: Pss 34-36; 119:49-56                       Day 22: Pss 103-105; 119:169-176
Day 8: Pss 37-39; 119:57-64                       Day 23: Pss 106-107
Day 9: Pss 40-44; 119:65-72                       Day 24: Pss 108-112
Day 10: Pss 45-49; 119:73-80                    Day 25: Pss 113-118
Day 11: Pss 50-55; 119:81-88                     Day 26: Pss 120-129
Day 12: Pss 56-60; 119:89-96                    Day 27: Pss 130-136
Day 13: Pss 61-66; 119:97-104                   Day 28: Pss 137-142
Day 14: Pss 67-69; 119:105-112                  Day 29: Pss 143-146
Day 15: Pss 70-73; 119:113-120                  Day 30: Pss 147-150

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Biblical Portraits of Creation, Walter Kaiser and Dorrington Little

This is a very useful little book. It is taken largely from sermons by the two authors. Kaiser, of course, is the well-known Old Testament scholar and emeritus president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Little is the senior pastor of the First Congregational Church on Hamilton, MA. In the book, they trace the theme of creation (and new creation) through Scripture by focusing on selected texts. Obviously Genesis 1 is included, as well as such other passages as Proverbs 8, Psalm 29, and Psalm 104. With regard to new creation, Little deals with Matthew 1 and 2 Corinthians 4 and 5. Kaiser deals with Isaiah 65 and 66.

The author gives an exposition of each passage, ending each chapter with a restatement of the conclusions and a list of study and discussion questions for small group use. The chapters are directed primarily to the non-professional, and are written accordingly. Contrary to what some might think, it is much more difficult to write for a popular audience than it is for a technical one, as a great deal of attention has to be paid to keeping the language clear, and explaining any technical terms that must be used. Both authors are to be commended for meeting this exacting standard.

The book concludes with an appendix, which is essentially a reprint of Kaiser’s article “The Literary Genre of Genesis 1-11,” which initially appeared in 1969. In this article he argues for reading Genesis 1-11 as straightforward “historical narrative-prose.” I think the article is convincing. However, such self-identified evangelical scholars as Peter Enns (formerly of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia) and John Walton (currently at Wheaton College) are currently insisting that Genesis 1-11 (especially Genesis 1-3) is really myth. I think the article would have been strengthened if Kaiser had rewritten it in order to take the views of Enns, Walton, and others into account. But that is a relatively small complaint.

By and large, I have no hesitancy in recommending this work for personal and/or group study on the doctrine of creation as set out in many key biblical passages.