The latest addition to the 40 Questions Series, which is edited by Benjamin L. Merkle, John S. Hammett answers forty questions pertaining to Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The fact that the book only addresses these two ordinances gives the reader an idea of the author’s perspective. However, while Hammett writes from a Southern Baptist perspective, he deals with other positions in a fair and irenic manner.
The book is broken up into four parts. Part One addresses general questions about the two ordinances. Part Two deals exclusively with questions regarding Baptism, addressing the various denominational views, theological issues, and practical aspects. Part Three takes a similar format as part two, but deals exclusively with questions regarding the Lord’s Supper. Part Four briefly concludes the book with thoughts on the importance of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper for both theology and the Christian life.
Hammett is a thoughtful and clear writer. He is tenaciously committed to the text. For those interested in an evangelical understanding of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, this book would be a wonderful addition to your library.
In addition to the many other wonderful aspects of the annual meeting, these events should be on your calendar:
CBMW SBC Breakfast Panel (Must Register – http://cbmw.org/sbc-panel-and-breakfast/ )
Mon, Jun 15 @7:30am – 8:30am
McKinnely Room at the Hyatt Regency Hotel
9Marks at 9 with ERLC (Free Registration – http://erlc.com/connecting )
Mon, Jun 15 @ 9:00pm – 11:00pm
LIFEWAY GOSPEL PROJECT (Must Register – http://www.gospelproject.com/sbc15/ )
Tue, Jun 16 @6:15 am to Tue, Jun 16 – 8:00 am
Level: 3, Room: Battelle A/B
B21 LUNCHEON (Must Register- https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-baptist21-panel-tickets-16315933396 )
Tue, Jun 16 @11:30 am to Tue, Jun 16 – 1:00 pm
Greater Columbus Convention Center, Battelle Grand Ballroom A/B, 3rd level
9MARKS@9 (No Registration Required)
Tue, Jun 16 @9pm to Tue, Jun 16 – 11:30pm
Level: 1, Room: Grand Ballroom 2
See you in Columbus!
As the 33rd volume of the New Studies in Biblical Theology series, Bradley G. Green’s Covenant and Commandment – Works, Obedience and Faithfulness in the Christian Life tackles the question of the significance of Christian obedience in salvation. Green begins by outlining the debate, stating, “While evangelicals can generally agree that one enters into a covenant relationship with the God of the Bible by grace (even solely by grace) apart from works, there is often much more disagreement over how to construe the nature of works, or obedience, inside this covenantal relationship” (17). He continues, “My argument is that in the new covenant, works are a God-elicited and necessary part of the life of the converted person, a constant theme in the New Testament. In short, works are necessary for salvation because part of the newness of the new covenant is actual, grace-induced and grace-elicited obedience by true members of the new covenant” (17). Throughout the rest of the book, Green argues persuasively for the importance of works, obedience, and faithfulness for salvation in the Christian life.
As with the other works in the series, the book is very well-written, clear, and free from distracting details. Green argues thoroughly and persuasively for his thesis. And while I’m not convinced that the language of covenant theology in places like chapter 7 is necessary or particular helpful, Green’s approach does not depend upon the adoption of any particular theological system of interpretation. This book is a welcomed addition to the ongoing debate of the relationship between faith and works in the Christian life, even though it is a little disappointing that Green was not able to interact with N.T. Wright’s latest work on this subject in Paul and the Faithfulness of God, due to it being published later in 2014.
In chapter 1, on page 17, Martin writes, “The aim of the present study is to demonstrate that the land promised to Abraham advances the place of the kingdom that was lost in Eden and serves as a type throughout Israel’s history that anticipates the even greater land – prepared for all of God’s people throughout history – that will calm as a result of the person and work of Christ.” In short, he states, “The land and its blessings find their fulfillment in the new heaven and new earth won by Christ” (17). Methodologically, Martin employs biblical theology in a diachronic fashion to prove his thesis. The rest of the chapters (2-9) survey the relevant biblical text before concluding in chapter 10 with a brief theological reflection upon the implications of the study.
This book is a tremendous example of a diachronic, biblical-theological study of the Bible. Martin does a wonderful job surveying the biblical landscape while incorporating a broad range of opinions from contemporary scholarship. He argues his case clearly and convincingly without being overly polemical. He does not overstate his position, and shows great respect for those with whom he disagrees. Specifically, Martin makes a strong case for understanding the land promises of the Old Testament in light of their typological relationship to the Edenic land of Genesis 1-2 and their subsequent fulfillment in the New Testament. Any serious attempt to argue for the future, literal fulfillment of land promises to a national Israel must interact with Martin’s biblical-theological argument. If it does not, then it is not worth our attention. Martin’s argument is too comprehensive and coherent to be disregarded. I recommend it to all who would dare to have their presuppositions challenged and minds sharpened. This is an excellent book.