Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sunday School Reading - November 23, 2008

This week we finished our discussion of Christ's atonement and then turned to his resurrection from the dead. I'll direct you back to last week's post for more reading on the atonement. Below are some recommended readings regarding Christ's resurrection. First the related catechism questions.

Q27. Wherein did Christ's humiliation consist?
A27. Christ's humiliation consisted in his being born, and that in low condition, made under the law, undergoing the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross; in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time.

Q28. Wherein consisteth Christ's exaltation?
A28. Christ's exaltation consisteth in his rising again from the dead on the third day, in ascending up into heaven, in sitting at the right hand of God the Father, and in coming to judge the world at the last day.

Here are some book recommendations on the resurrection. Most of these are repeats from last week as I've generally tried to find books that are on Christ's work as a whole to save money but there are a few new ones.

Resurrection and Redemption: A Study in Paul's Soteriology by Richard Gaffin - I have recommended this book before and I'll put the same disclaimer on it that I did then. It is not an easy book to read. The book is essentially an expansion and development of Dr. Gaffin's Ph.D dissertation on the resurrection in Paul's epistles. Accordingly this is a very academic book. It is also a very useful one with Dr. Gaffin's exegesis and exposition of our union with Christ as life-giving Spirit in his resurrection. It's worth reading but be prepared to go through it carefully two or three times.

Justified in Christ: God's Plan for Us in Justification ed. by Scott Oliphint - This is a repeat recommendation from last week. Again, this book is partly a response to the New Perspective on Paul on the topic of justification and salvation. For this week though I have to say that the article in here by Lane Tipton (professor of systematic theology at Westminster Theological Seminary) is one of the best things you can find on our union with Christ in his resurrection.

The Person and Work of Christ by Benjamin B. Warfield - Again, this is another repeat from last week. Again, Warfield is always worth reading and this is Warfield at his best. There is a paperback copy available from WTS Books for about a dollar cheaper.

The Work of Christ by Robert Letham - And one final repeat from last week. This is a very useful book but probably not as good as Warfield and not as comprehensive on the Resurrection as Gaffin. Still, it's also cheaper and so might fit the budget more easily.

Far as the Curse is Found: The Covenant Story of Redemption by Michael Williams - This is not a book that is really about the resurrection but is rather a biblical theology of Scripture's overall covenantal message. There are two reasons that I have it in here. First, this is the best book that I have read on covenantal theology and biblical theology and would certainly be on a list of books that I think every Christian should read (coming soon!). Second, Dr. Williams (professor of systematic theology at Covenant Theological Seminary) focuses in the opening on how Christ's resurrection from the dead is the turning point of Scripture's narrative and all of history. To see how the Scriptures place such a high emphasis on the resurrection makes this book invaluable.

Next our systematic theologies. John Calvin deals with the resurrection in Book 2, Chapters 16 and 17 of Institutes of the Christian Religion. Herman Bavinck discusses it in Volume 3 (Sin and Salvation in Christ), Chapter 8 under Christ's exaltation in his Reformed Dogmatics. Charles Hodge addresses the resurrection in Chapter 13, Section 1 in Volume 2 (warning: .pdf file) of his Systematic Theology. A.A. Hodge focuses on the resurrection in its eschatological importance in Chapter 35 of his Outlines of Theology (available online at Google books; it looks like someone bought the copy in the Shady Grove bookstore so it is no longer available there).

Finally, here are some good articles and papers that you can read for free online about the resurrection:
"The Spiritual Resurrection of Believers: A Sermon on Eph. 2:4-5" by Geerhardus Vos
"Resurrection Living" by William Dennison - This is a very good article!
"Declared to be the Son of God by his Resurrection" by Jack Peterson
"The Exaltation of Christ in the Resurrection" by Ligon Duncan - These next few articles are a series of sermons that Dr. Duncan has preached on Easter Sundays at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, MS.
"Why the Resurrection Matters" by Ligon Duncan
"United to Christ" by Ligon Duncan
"He is Risen" by Ligon Duncan
"Who Raised Jesus from the Dead?" by Richard Phillips - This is an excellent article on the Trinitarian aspect of the resurrection.
"On the Third Day He Rose Again" by Duncan Thomas
"Redemption and Resurrection: An Exercise in biblical-systematic theology" by Richard Gaffin - This appears to be an abridged article expressing many of the same things in the book recommended above. If you only read one of the articles then this should probably be the one.

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