Monday, December 14, 2009

An Introduction to the Old Testament - Introduction

Dillard, Raymond B. & Longman, Tremper III. "Introduction."  An Introduction to the Old Testament.  Grand Rapids: Zondervan. 1994.  17-36.

Introductions to the Bible or the Old or New Testament are very common, being written fairly constantly since the Reformation, though not before then. This introduction is theologically evangelical and self-consciously conservative.  It purposely discusses the various views of liberalism which are contradictory to the conservative evangelical stand.

In the scope of the book we will see a special introduction book by book, reflecting on theological concepts specific to the book.  Because of the amount of material to be covered in the text it only hits the high points in scholarship.

Major topics of each chapter include the historical background of the book of the Bible, a literary analysis of the book, and a summary of the theological message. Each chapter has a section on the New Testament view of the Old Testament book.

Within the introduction there is a lengthy explanation of the authors' overall philosophy of history.  There is also an introduction to the basic categories typically found within literary analysis.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Agricola Urbanus - Problems of a Cash Society

We realize that money is a useful tool.  But there are some problems inherent in depending exclusively on a cash economy.  I'd like to list and illustrate four of those drawbacks.

1) Cash flow from employment and manufacture may be irregular.  Just about everyone knows someone who is unemployed.  Most of us have had periods of unemployment, though hopefully brief ones.  They are unsettling.  Our employment is a tenuous thing.  Are we ready to go without a job if need be?  An assumption that the paycheck will arrive regularly and become bigger year after year is not necessarily grounded in reality.

2) Everyone who produces something for sale wants to make a profit.  When you buy something you provide the profit.  This is good and right.  This is how all of us actually make our money.  What we do is worth more to someone else than what we think it costs us.  Yet it is something to remember when we are on the purchasing end as well as when we are on the production end.

3) The more people who work with products the more we pay.  If the product has been through multiple levels of resale before it reaches our shopping cart we may pay many times the actual cost of the materials and original labor.  It may have been transported multiple times, possibly across multiple national borders.  It's been packed, unpacked, counted, put on shelves, cleaned, any number of operations.  See point #2 above and do the math yourself.

4) Taxes and other government fees currently consume about 50% of a person's total earnings.  This means if you buy a $10 product you need to earn more like $20.  This in itself is daunting.

What's the bottom line?  Buy what you need, make it last, use it up, wear it out, and if you don't need it, do without.  If you can produce what you need yourself it may save you a surprising amount of money.  Simplicity has some serious financial benefits.

Dave Spotts
blogging at and

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

An Introduction to the Old Testament

I've wrapped up a long time spent writing summaries of articles in All Theology is Christology.  Now it's time to turn my attention to some of the preseminary studies.  If I'm going to ask people to pray for and encourage our family in this time, they may as well get some of the benefit of the reading I do.  I'll put the titles on these posts as "An Introduction to the Old Testament" followed by the name of the chapter of the book I read, which is normally the name of a book of the Bible.  The book I managed to dig out of a CTSFW bookstore stock list happens to be one given to me as a Christmas present many years ago by pastor Bob Jones of Grace Fellowship Church in Hurricane, WV.  He's now on faculty at SEBTS in Wake Forest, NC.  The text is by Raymond B. Dillard and Tremper Longman III, entitled An Introduction to the Old Testament.  Publication date 1994, Grand Rapids: Zondervan.  

There are lots of chapters.  This is going to take a while.  But I'll make sure the summaries have good post titles and can be easily distinguished from the Agricola Urbanus and any other routine updates.

Dave Spotts
blogging at and