Yesterday morning I heard the news that John Sailhamer has passed away. Dr. Sailhamer taught Old Testament at Western for several years, and many in the Western community have been impacted significantly by his friendship and teaching. He had been battling Parkinson’s disease and was cared for faithfully by his sweet wife, Patty. Though we rejoice that his suffering is over, we are also deeply saddened by his death.
I enjoy making New Year’s resolutions. It’s an opportunity to put aside past mistakes and failures and start over in the coming year. I can start anew with my devotional or exercise program that I abandoned last year. My gym sent me an e-mail which declared this to be the “year of . . . you”. The e-mail went on to say, “It’s 100% your choice. It’s your decision. It’s in your hands. YOU are in control. YOU.” That’s the kind of talk I like – talk that centers around me. Of course, as a Christian I immediately recognize this to be worldly thinking, but I need to be careful. My thinking about resolutions can easily end up as worldly thinking masked by a thin veneer of Christian language.
With a few words from a stranger, one story ended and another started—suddenly and unexpectedly. The mysterious visitor had not come to bless her plans, but to announce a reality. God was calling Mary out of her story and into His.
What is essential for a great preaching? Some say creativity, others story-telling, others cite the use of powerful metaphors, and still others point to the ability of a preacher to connect a passage to one or two practical applications. While such things are not inherently bad, it is my conviction that more important than any of these is one’s underlying approach to preaching. And, of the various approaches to preaching, I am convinced of the supremacy of expository preaching.
Schreiner approaches the reformer’s doctrine of justification from several perspectives. The book breaks down into three main sections. The first section contains six chapters, and includes a study of justification during different eras of the church. In doing so, he addresses one of the common objections to the Reformation understanding of justification, namely that the reformers deviated from the way previous generations had understood the doctrine.