Sunday, 23 January 2011

A Narrative of a surprising conversion

Since my most significant conversion from darkness to light when I was born again almost 25 years ago I have undergone a few more "conversions". The first one the move from Pentecostalism to evangelicalism. The second one to a reformed position, this was followed by my conversion from being one of the frozen chosen to a defrosted Calvinist. None of these were surprising with the exception of the first, my latest conversion however has caught me completely by surprise, it is the conversion to Biblical Theology. I have always loved the Bible and from a very early point after my initial conversion feel in love with theology too. One thing I didn't like was the subject called Biblical Theology, and resented the name. It seemed to me that it was eisegesis, a reading into the text or  a spiritualising away the true meaning. It reminded me of the joke about the Children's Sunday school teacher who asked "What is grey or red, eats nuts and has a bushy tail?" One child turns around to another and says, "It sounds like a squirrel to me but the answer is always Jesus". Yet I struggled how to apply much of the Old Testament as I don't agree with the usual moralistic/ example preaching.  Last year was a turning point as all the pieces fell into place reading Mark Dever's sermons on the whole bible, hearing Paul Lees at Charlotte Chapel do the talk on biblical theology for a IX marks conference and finally reading Michael Lawrence's Biblical Theology in the life of the Church. I came to realise that I didn't like it because I had misunderstood it, it is not spiritualising the text but reaching out from the text to Jesus to us in our time. It is nothing more than the seeing where the text comes in the grand scheme of redemption and how it relates to the fuller revelation. At HTC we had a good biblical theology lecturer but sadly I never heard him because I would just switch off. Now I am converted but I am at the start of the process and am looking forward to unpacking it over the coming months and years. I'll probably say more on this in the coming months!

May God Bless You