Posted by: Billy Marsh | December 12, 2007

The Supremacy of Christ in Paper Writing

Jesus’ AscensionWhen Jesus tells the eleven and the Emmaus road disciples in Luke 24:44, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled,” what does this mean for biblical hermeneutics, theological interpretation, and every theological discipline? Obviously, this has major implications for personal spirituality, but what about everyday Bible study? Luke follows up Jesus’ statement with the words, “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures . . . (Lk 24:45)” On a very surface level analysis, it seems that the proper reading of the OT was a Christological one, especially in light of Jesus’ clarification and correction of the disciples’ and his followers’ misunderstandings concerning his relationship to the Hebrew Bible.

This area of study has been one of great interest for me this past year. Well, in all honesty, the Lord has dramatically opened my eyes up to a whole new world of understanding the Scriptures in 2007. So much so, that I don’t really know how I studied the Bible beforehand and ended up where I am now. But, isn’t that true for us all when the Lord leads us to some new type of revelatory principle or lesson that we’ve passed over time and time again, and radically changes our whole identity in Christ. However, when he does enlighten our hearts to it, I think you have a close sense of what it may feel like to find some long ago, lost and hidden treasure.

If I could summarize the one aspect of my walk with the Lord this year that has taken precedence over every other facet of my spiritual growth, it would be the focus on “Gospel-centeredness” or “cross-centeredness” in my life, as well as in mine and Kim’s marriage. I will not go into detail on that matter now; I only mention it so as to show where this paper was birthed.

I grade for a professor in the College at Southwestern, and he had me write a handout for the Senior seminar students on how to choose a research thesis topic. The very first admonition I proposed was for them to pick something that interested them and also complied with the class assignment. I mean, there’s no need to write about something willingly that you have no affection for. Well, that’s how I picked this paper topic.

This semester, I had a class entitled, “Theological Method” with Dr. Gerardo Alfaro, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at SWBTS. As part of the fulfillments of the class, we had to write a paper on our own theological method. After much thought and failed attempts at formulating one, the light switch flipped on (figuratively of course). So, I decided to research and construct a theological method that was purely Christ-centered. Now, I’m not a pioneer on this issue by no means. There’s actually quite a bit out there on it, but in my opinion, not near enough. In other words, this method has not be exhausted at all. The title of my paper is “A Christocentric Theological Method“. As a disclaimer, I must warn you that much of what I have written are things that I am testing out, but believe to be valid. This area of study could very well be the path that my Ph.d studies may take (if accepted), which I might add, feels me with excitement and anticipation. I only write this post making known that I have uploaded this paper to my “Theology” page so that you might find it of some use. As far as critique goes, I’m sure I’m going to get plenty of that from the grader/professor. However, I feel very strongly about writing for the Church, and concerning the amount of time and heart that I try to put into each of my papers, it is upsetting to think that they’re only beneficial for grading purposes. Like a good pastor once said, “I’ve never had an original idea.” I agree with that statement wholeheartedly; I’m too aware of how much I lean on other people’s writings to think that my own are so unique and isolated that I should keep them locked away and buried in the ground, only to become some lost and hidden treasure, of value to no one but myself.

So, in light of the topic of my paper, I pray that Christ reigns supreme not only in my paper’s thesis, but also in my approach in writing it, and then, in some small way, making him supreme on this earth and in his Church.

“For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

~ Colossians 3:3-4 ~

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Responses

  1. “it would be the focus on “Gospel-centeredness” or “cross-centeredness” in my life, as well as in mine and Kim’s marriage.”

    I find this amazing, and also another occasion to give praise to our great God. My prayer for you and Kim this entire semester has been from Philippians 2:21-30, especially verse 27!

    Love you brother,

    Bret


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