Apart from the fact that (1) this view begs the question (cf. Micah 4), it must also be asked (2) why redactors felt encouraged to add these passages to Isaiah if the original form of the prophecy was so uniformly negative. Why not to Amos or Micah or Jeremiah? For that theory to be accepted, the original form of the book will have had to have contained the Judgment/Hope motif in more than a germinal way.
The chief reasons for this are theological, for it is argued that the glowing predictions of salvation to come are not to be found in preexilic prophecy. Apart from the fact that (1) this view begs the question (cf. Micah 4), it must also be asked (2) why redactors felt encouraged to add these passages to Isaiah if the original form of the prophecy was so uniformly negative. Why not to Amos or Micah or Jeremiah?
You Might also like
By Costi Hinn — 2 years ago
How easily we can overlook our own ability to bring the Word of God to bear in our daily interactions. What if we thought more deeply about our beliefs, responsibilities, and everyday choices as we dwell together before a watching world? We are resident foreigners with an eternal citizenship in heaven (1 Peter 2:11). Remembering this divine reality changes the way we interact on earth. Imagine how mighty a witness we would be as countless thousands of Christians deploy into the culture every single day with one visual in mind: We are a city on a hill.
Let’s not be surprised. The world is a dark place, and attacks on Christianity by our culture are in abundant supply. A quick scroll through your social media feed or a fifteen-minute segment of the evening news will prove that. While some might say, “It’s worse than ever!” we must admit that somewhere in the world it’s always been like this. Jesus put it this way when preparing His own disciples for His departure: “In this world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33).
As Christians, it’s more than likely that our faith in Christ will bring us attacks, slander, workplace discrimination, and the loss of friends and opportunities. In the midst of such treatment, there is a temptation to fight fire with fire. But what if we saw times like these as a great opportunity to be a witness? What if our most powerful witness was found in using weapons of warfare that look nothing like the culture’s? As Christians, we are the light of the world. We are a city on a hill (Matt. 5:14). But how can light be light when it looks like the darkness?
The Apostle Paul was no stranger to trouble and dealing with difficult people, yet he continued to encourage the church to preserve its witness in the midst of a wicked culture. “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Col. 4:5–7). These words were penned by the same Paul who was slandered by false teachers and had his integrity questioned in Corinth (2 Cor. 10–11). Yet, Paul continued to make every effort to guard his witness by proclaiming the truth and walking with integrity. His heart was wide open to the church (6:11), he exemplified his own words to “owe no one anything” but to love others (Rom. 13:8), and he poured his life out as a drink offering (2 Tim. 4:6). He was a wonderful example of truth and integrity. How can we maintain our witness in today’s culture? By reflecting the character of Him to whom we bear witness.
The enemy’s strategy has not changed. Darkness will stop at nothing in tempting you to behave like the world in times like these.
By Paul Krause — 7 months ago
If Christianity, the bedrock on which the natural law tradition was built, is destroyed, then the rule of law is destroyed alongside it. This permits the triumph of the will and the rule by arbitrary decree to take its place out of the ashes of that destruction.
When discussing the American founding, it is common to hear that the Founding Fathers were not Christian and not influenced by Christian ideas. This is patently untrue.
Yet the anti-Christian scholarship of the past century, especially the past 50 years, has “downplayed or denied the degree to which the animating ideas of the American founding were deeply indebted to the Christian natural law tradition.”
In their new book, “The Classical and Christian Origins of American Politics,” published by Cambridge University Press, professors Kody W. Cooper and Justin Buckley Dyer return our attention to the fact that Christian ideas permeated the revolutionary generation.
Scholars have recently reemphasized the American founding’s reliance on political theology and classical virtue. Many books have challenged the de-theologizing of the American founding. Thomas Kidd’s biography of Thomas Jefferson, published by Yale University Press, restored the theological spirit of his political outlook. “First Principles,” a bestseller by Thomas Ricks, recovered the debt our Founding Fathers had to Greek and Roman thought.
Cooper and Dyer join this important and growing list of authors who returned to source material from the founding generation, which modernist scholars like to deliberately misinterpret or simply ignore. Beyond the Christian impact on the founding generation, Cooper and Dyer also reveal how the classical political tradition influenced the American Revolution. These two spirits of political theory were the common inheritance of colonial America.
“When John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail,” the authors wrote, “to report news of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the British North American colonists were not yet living in our secular age.”
Classical vs. Modern Political Philosophy
What is the classical political tradition and what distinguishes it from the modern political tradition?
Classical political philosophy starts with the assertion that humans have a nature that reason can discover, that freely and knowingly choosing to live in accordance with that nature offers freedom, and that the rule of law accords with man’s nature and freedom. The Anglo-American common law tradition was premised on the classical humanism of the Greeks and Romans and the Christian natural law tradition.
Modern political philosophy starts with the power of the will and the assertion that humans are creatures of desire who act on bodily impulses. To limit this will and its right to act upon its desires is tantamount to slavery.
Cooper and Dyer explain it in even simpler terms: “The classical political tradition begins with the rule of law, but the characteristic doctrine of modern political philosophy and the modern state is the arbitrary rule of will.”
By Scott Hubbard — 2 months ago
Keep praying, keep waiting, keep looking for the kingdom you cannot trace. Set your weary heart like a watchman on the walls, asking and aching for morning. Obey your Lord in the darkness, and dare to believe that he will bring the dawn.
For some saints, in some seasons, the spiritual darkness can rest so thick, and last so long, that normal patterns of obedience begin to feel futile.
We’ve read and prayed and fought temptation, for weeks or months or maybe years. But now, perhaps, we wonder what’s the point. Why read when little changes? Why pray when God seems silent? Why obey in the lonely dark when no one seems to see or care? The days have been sunless for so long; why live as if the sky will soon turn bright?
Not all of God’s people have known such seasons. But for those who have, or will, God has not left us friendless. Here in the dark, a brother walks before us, his day far blacker than ours, his obedience a torch on the road ahead.
His story takes place on Good Friday, dark Friday, dead Friday. For some time, he had let his hope take flight, daring to believe he had seen, in Jesus, his own Messiah’s face. But then Friday came, and he watched that face drain into gray; he saw his Lord hang limp upon the cross. And somehow, someway, he did not flee. He did not fall away. He did not sink into despair.
Instead, Joseph of Arimathea “took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus” (Mark 15:43). Three nails and a spear had snuffed out his sun. And without any light to guide him, Joseph still obeyed.
Joseph’s Unlikely Obedience
In this simple account of Jesus’s burial, we find a most unlikely obedience.
First, Joseph was not one of the twelve disciples, whom we might expect to see at such a moment. Until now, in fact, he had followed Jesus “secretly” (John 19:38). “A respected member of the council” (Mark 15:43), Joseph was a disciple in high places, a man who kept his allegiances mostly quiet. Yet on Good Friday, when his allegiance was least likely to do him good, he speaks.
Second, burying Jesus would have cost Joseph dearly. Financially, he bought the linen shroud himself and placed Jesus in a tomb he had just cut — no doubt with other purposes in mind (Mark 15:46; Matthew 27:57). Ceremonially, handling a dead body rendered him unclean. And socially, he embraced the indignity of touching blood and sweat, of bending his grown body under another’s, as if he were a slave or Roman soldier.
Third, and most surprising, Joseph, along with the other disciples, had every reason to feel his hopes crucified, breathless as the body he carried. We have no cause to suspect he saw the resurrection coming. Like the eleven, huddled in that hopeless locked room, he surely expected the stone to stay unmoved.