The “classic” Gospel passages for the Christmas story are Matthew 1 & Luke 1-2, but my favorite is John 1. It’s short on details, but John speaks poetically of its cosmic significance:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”…
No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
Title: Light in a Dark Place:
The Doctrine of Scripture
Author: John S. Feinberg
Genre: Theology (Bibliology)
Rating: 4.5 of 5
Future Release Date: 4/30/18 (Thank you to the author and Crossway for providing an eARC through NetGalley!)
John S. Feinberg is one of my favorite theologians, but his books are not for the faint of heart. They could best be described as academically rigorous…which being interpreted is he absolutely beats his topic into the ground. He examines every facet with precision: interacting with other scholarly treatments of the topic, exploring every possible interpretation of potentially relevant Scripture passages, and pulling together all of the strands into precise, nuanced arguments & definitions. To be honest, it can become a bit tedious and repetitive at certain points, but it is worth it as you are left with a thorough understanding of the topic.
In this particular volume from the Foundations of Evangelical Theology series (of which Feinberg is the general editor), he explores the doctrine of the Bible. He thoroughly discusses such topics as its divine origin (revelation & inspiration), characteristics (inerrancy & authority), contents (canonicity), and usefulness (illumination, clarity, & sufficiency). His conclusions are solidly within the boundaries of evangelical Christianity, but are stated with more clarity and precision than you will find in many (most?) evangelical theology books. The section on illumination, the Holy Spirit’s ministry of helping people understand God’s Word, was particularly helpful to me (exactly what is meant by understand in this definition being a key point of discussion). Overall, despite being a bit of a slog at times, this was a helpful book that left me with a greater appreciation for God’s Word.