Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Prayer, Wisdom and Biblical Theology

A few weeks back in Ethics, Brian Rosner briefly outlined St Paul's use of scripture. His thesis was that Paul repudiates the Law, as Law; but reapropriates the Law as prophecy and as wisdom for christians.

In my neck of the woods, the reappropriation of the Torah as prophecy has been pushed quite hard (think Graeme Goldsworthy, Biblical theology, typology etc.), often at the expense and ridicule of more allegorical readings of the Old Testament.

What hasn't been pushed so hard is the reappropriation of the Old Testament as christian wisdom. Many now look at the Old Testament as something that makes sense, is all about Jesus, but has no direct use or impact on them, other than to provide a little filler for our concept of Jesus.

Recently I've been reading Charles Spurgeon on prayer. It is incredibly refreshing, for a number of reasons, one of which is his use of the Old Testament as wisdom. CH is no slouch when it comes to understanding typology and fulfillment in Jesus, and yet is far happier to treat say, the psalms, as a book of prayers that are useful to look at when thinking about prayer.

The same thing struck me with Barry Webb's sermons at college, because the scriptures are about Christ, and we are in christ, they are about us too.

Just for further reference, Spurgeon's essay "Order and Argument in prayer" is the most useful short article on prayer I've read. Especially useful for biblical enrichment of public prayers. Take a look. I found it in "Spurgeon on Prayer and Spiritual Warfare" published by Whitaker house

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