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The Progress of Redemption: The Story of Salvation from Creation to the New Jerusalem Paperback – February 1, 1996
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Traces the biblical unfolding of God's redemptive plan through 12 epochs. Praised by covenant and dispensational theologians alike.
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This is the book to read when Christians are ready to venture into the "deep end of the pool" in their search for a closer relationship with God.
Disciple of Christ
Redeeming the text by incorporating this synthetic hermeneutic involves 3 elements of interpretation: 1) by establishing its proper place in the story of salvation history 2) by applying a sensitivity to literary forms that establish content as either normative or indicative 3) and by grasping the impact the original parts of the whole had on the diverse recipients of written revelation across the broad spectrum of time and place. Van Gemeren's proposal of a trifocal approach seeks to harmonize the unity of Scripture, and relates to modern believers the relevance, and thereby the uniformity that completed canon has today and for all time.
'By the 1800s, however, education was passing out of the hands of the church into the state, leaving many untaught in the basic principles of the faith.' p 426
40 chapters, 25 figures, 14 tables and 12 epochs later, the depth of Van Gemeren's scholarship emerges as an interdependent, factual, homogenising encyclopaedia of God's inescapable wisdom and forethought. The structure of his theological system is essentially that of the biblical narrative. The writing, however, is monotonous. Van Gemeren is unable to sustain his thesis as he continuously interrupts thought patterns with untimely excerpts from both the Psalms and prophets, or opposite Testaments, or unbefitting spontaneous doxology - an indication that his proposed 'synthesis' requires strenuous artificial effort. At the apparent cost of proving his system, reading progress is stopped midstream and momentum is repeatedly lost through an overly sophisticated analysis of critical theories - frustrating all attempts to gather a workable knowledge of his understanding of hermeneutics. Even scholars would find the effort required to glean rare instances of original insight, trying. Newcomers to Biblical Theology should definitely look elsewhere so to those interested I would rather recommend an excellent alternative such as According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible by Graeme Goldsworthy.
'John's redemptive-historical place is that of a prophet. John, the last prophet of the Old Covenant, baptized Jesus. His greatness lies not in the number of his prophecies but in his unique position as one on the threshold between the old and new eras. Nevertheless, Jesus looks forward to the future as He promises that the least in the kingdom of God is greater than John (Luke 7:28)'. p 338
As an illustration, here Van Gemeren's eschatology goes awry, whereby he sees the kingdom as a dispensationalist would. The correct interpretation would surely be that with the Messiah's coming, the kingdom now also has come, and a redemptive-historical watershed has been attained. Hence, John the Baptist, as the last Old Covenanter, was not able to 'enter' the kingdom and achieve actual kingdom status in his earthly life, whereas all others following him whom believe on Christ, 'enter' and achieve actual kingdom status. It 'would seem to be that John, as the forerunner of Christ, still belonged to the old age, instead of the new age of the kingdom.' A Hoekema, The Bible & the Future p 30