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Reflections on the Supremacy of Christ (Part 1)
In my previous post I argued that the Bible tells a story in which the culminating event – the coming of Christ – reframes everything that preceded it. Though it is all inspired, not everything in it should carry equal weight for us. Rather, everything leading up to Christ, including the portraits of God, must be reframed in light of the revelation of God in Christ, and especially in light of the crucifixion (which, as I’ve argued before, discloses the theme of everything Jesus was about).
This revelation disclosed a significantly new understanding of God that led to a significantly different way of reading the Old Testament. Speaking specifically about Paul, Neil Richardson notes that the revelation of God on the cross not only provided him with “ a new language about God, but also a new understanding of God.” In other words, the revelation of God on the cross reframes everything.
Jesus and the New Testament authors provide the precedent for this way of reading the Old Testament. In this and subsequent posts, I’m going to give a dozen or so indications from the New Testament that the revelation of God in Jesus, thematically centered on the cross, should be placed over, not alongside of, other portraits of God in Scripture.
At one point in his ministry Jesus said, “I have testimony weightier than that of John” (Jn 5:36). Interestingly enough, Jesus elsewhere claimed that, “among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist” (Mt 11:11). Jesus placed the words and ministry of John above any of the Old Testament prophets, and yet he told us that his testimony is “weightier” than John’s!
It’s clear that, while Jesus affirmed the inspiration of the Old Testament, he believed that John’s ministry and teaching carried more weight than any Old Testament writer and that his own testimony carried more weight than both. This means that, while everything in Scripture is inspired, not everything carries equal weight. We must consider all that we learn about God and his kingdom from Jesus to have more authority than everything that preceded him.
Think about it, and stay tuned for the second reflection of the supremacy of Christ in the next post.
 N. Richardson, Paul’s Language About God (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1994), 133.
Image by Kevin Dooley. Sourced via Flickr.
What is the Kingdom of God (Part 1)
We all know what the Kingdom of God is, right? But this is precisely the problem. Since we are all to a large extent products of our culture, what seems obviously true and right to us will be at least influenced, if not determined, by what seems obviously true and right to our culture. This,…
The Key to Understanding Revelation
The most important key to interpreting John’s violent imagery is found in the heavenly throne room scene in chapters 4-5. (For the first entry in this series on the violence in Revelation, click here.) This throne room represents heaven’s perspective on events that are occurring on earth, which is contrasted throughout Revelation with the false…
How To Fix The Church: The Kingdom of God (Part 4)
God has leveraged everything on the Church loving like Jesus loved, as outlined in our previous posts in this series. “By this the world will know you are my disciples,” Jesus said, “by your love” (Jn 13:35). By God’s own design, Christ-like love is supposed to be the proof that Jesus is real. In John…
Reflections on the Supremacy of Christ (Part 2)
Whereas most Christians place the revelation of God in Christ alongside of other portraits of God and end up with an amalgamated image of God, we at ReKnew encourage believers to base their understanding of God completely on Christ, and especially on Christ crucified. And we encourage disciples to work to reinterpret through the lens…
The Cross and the Witness of Violent Portraits of God
In my previous post I noted that the prevalent contemporary evangelical assumption that the only legitimate meaning of a passage of Scripture is the one the author intended is a rather recent, and very secular, innovation in Church history. It was birthed in the post-Enlightenment era (17th -18th centuries) when secular minded scholars began to…
What to Do If You See God as Violent
God really is as beautiful as he is revealed to be on Calvary. Communicating this is my goal in everything I write—especially Crucifixion of the Warrior God and Cross Vision. But for many, to see him as being that loving, is not easy. We have to make a concerted effort for our brains to adjust…