Monday, December 15, 2008

Joel Beeke: 'How to Read Thomas Goodwin'

Courtesy of Michael DeWalt's blog, Gospel-Centered Musings:

"How should a beginner proceed in reading Goodwin’s works? Here is a suggested plan. (Note: Books marked by * have been printed at least once since the 1950s.)
1. Begin by reading some of the shorter, more practical writings of Goodwin, such as Patience and Its Perfect Work,* which includes four sermons on James 1:1–5. This was written after much of Goodwin’s personal library was destroyed by fire (2:429–467). It contains much practical instruction on enhancing a spirit of submission ..."

This makes my day ...

This won't seem like a big deal to many of you, but it struck me as a thing of beauty.

Recently, a fellow named Keith Mathison posted a list of what he feels are the "Top 5 Commentaries on Ephesians" on the blog of Ligonier Ministries.

In particular, I was very pleasantly surprised by how Mathison handled the work of Harold Hoehner, a scholar whose views are different from his own. To be specific, Mathison is a covenant theology guy, and Hoehner is, like me, a dispensationalist (I actually took a course or two from Hoehner while I was at Dallas Seminary).

Now behold:

Mathison writes with maturity and magnanimity. I understand that he is addressing a Reformed/covenantal audience, so I am not offended that he feels compelled to warn them about Hoehner's 'dispensationalism shining through.' I would do the same if I were presenting a covenantal text to a group of laity at my own church.

And I find it very big of Mathison that he can still recommend Hoehner's work, as something that contains material that will benefit his audience, even though he knows they will have to be discerning in their use of it.

Instead of hardening me in my own hermeneutical stance, I am drawn by Mathison's charity to open up to the claims of his tradition, and to dialogue. This is the way forward.

Thank you, Keith Mathison, for showing us how to agree to disagree. We need much more of this kind of thing in the evangelical 'discussion' that takes place on- and offline.


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