James's Weblog

"Wise men from the east"

Sun, 24/12/2006 - 22:49 -- James Oakley

Bear in mind that Matthew loves OT allusions.
Bear in mind that the magi are Gentile worshippers of Jesus.

He deliberately reports (2:1) that they came from the east.

From the land East of Eden. From Sodom and Gomorrah. From the way into the tabernacle and temple. They came from the east to Jerusalem.

Are we supposed to learn that the birth of this child is access back into the presence of God. Not just for Jewish exiles (1:17), but for Gentiles too?

There’s some good news. Happy Christmas everyone!

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Good news of great postmillenial joy I bring, to you and all mankind

Fri, 22/12/2006 - 15:27 -- James Oakley

OK, it doesn’t fit the tune, but it does fit the sentiment.

Joel Green, NICNT Luke, page 137:

In the light of the cosmic scope of the Isaianic Messianic hope Luke keeps alluding to in chapter 2, and in the light of the references to Gentiles we’ve already had this far in Luke:

This means that the expression ‘those whom he favors’ cannot be limited in application to Israel only. Rather, shalom for Israel is tied up with shalom for the cosmos. Hence, although ‘whom he favors’ is an affirmation of gracious election on God’s part, that graciousness extends to humanity. It should not be read in an exclusive sense – that is, not peace only to a select group whom he favors – but in an inclusive way: In the birth of this child, God’s mercy has fallen on the world.

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"This one was born there"

Fri, 22/12/2006 - 09:23 -- James Oakley

Rich Lusk points out in his fine book Paedofaith how the testimony of the Psalmists is of God being their trust since birth and even conception.

Psalm 87 gives another slant on this wonderful truth that the blessing of being one of the people of God can be traced back to the earliest days. (Thomas, and others who have studied the Psalms much more than I, please correct me if needs be!)

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The 12

Thu, 21/12/2006 - 08:51 -- James Oakley

Does anyone know where I can get hold of a copy of Simon Wakeling's dissertation on the unity of the book of the 12?

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McCheyne's Bible Reading Plan

Sat, 16/12/2006 - 12:23 -- James Oakley

It’s nearly New Year’s day, so time for a post or several on reading through the whole Bible. Since I was introduced to it, back in 1995, I have been a big fan of Robert Murray McCheyne’s Bible reading plan.

He devised it to help his flock spend less time deciding which portions of Scripture to read, and more time reading Scripture. (Sounds like he would be better at revising for exams than most of us!) He saw the value of a whole church reading through the whole Bible each year, and reading it through in the same pattern. Yes, there are dangers of such a scheme, but for those able to avoid the dangers, it offers an excellent discipline.

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Who do you pray for?

Fri, 15/12/2006 - 09:21 -- James Oakley

I’m a bit hopeless when it comes to lists.

But I do have a vague idea of the people I would like to pray for regularly.

Somehow, I tend to pray most for those people who are most in need of God’s help, those who are weakest, those with unrealised potential, etc.

Then I read Psalm 72.

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El Salvador

Wed, 13/12/2006 - 22:41 -- James Oakley

First taste of El Salvador coffee today.

El Salvador Finca La Fany Bourbon is a lovely surprise. More acidity than I expected, with flavours of lemon and peach. But as the cup cooled more buttery tones, even a little caramel. Creamy mouthfeel improved with cooling as well. This is a complex cup with plenty going on - highly recommended!

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