Friday, February 01, 2008

Dodgy Leviticus commentary??

I'm starting to preach on Zechariah at the moment and am enjoying a commentary in the NIV Application Commentary series by Mark Boda.

I was surprised at the series because I had always assumed that it was a light weight series for young people. This one isnt. Its fairly in-depth, and enjoyable. So I was thinking about looking out some others in the series.

Then today through my email letterbox came a missive from Matthias Media. After their usual blurb about The Briefing, there were links to a couple of other articles. One with the following title caught my eye:

Review: Leviticus, Numbers NIV Application Commentary — Leigh Trevaskis points out a major problem with a so-called ‘evangelical’ commentary.

Since the series was in my mind I thought I'd check it out.

Turns out that the guy who wrote the commentary on Leviticus is a Seventh Day Adventist - which doesn't mean he isn't a Christian, but it does raise some questions about how he regards the sacrifices and the effectiveness of Christ's work on the cross.

Here's a section of the article:
Gane unpacks the significance his interpretation has for atonement in the New Testament. Christians receive forgiveness by trusting in the sacrificial death of Christ (i.e. phase 1), but unless they live godly lives, this forgiveness will be revoked on the Day of Judgement.

You may wonder if the inclusion of SDA atonement theology warrants this book's public bagging. It does because the proposed second phase of atonement eviscerates grace from the gospel. And if busy preachers were to accept uncritically Gane's interpretation, they may follow unwittingly his conclusion that Christians who fail to live a sufficiently moral life will lose their forgiveness on Judgement Day.

A heavy reliance on this commentary will erode a Christian's assurance of salvation and confuse one's understanding of the complete sufficiency of Christ's atoning sacrifice.
Now I don't know very about Seventh Day Adventism, but I appreciated the warning that all might not be well in this commentary.

You can read the article here for yourselves.

1 comment:

Gary said...

I've met a few SDA members and they seem to have a firm foundation until further inspection. Odd differences pop up and I get the impression they want to be more Jewish (follow the Law) than Christian (trust in Christ)

Regarding any notion of salvation by "grace-plus" (and it can creep up on any one of us), we all need a thorough study in Galatians in which we cannot deny salvation comes by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. And when we really want to stop sinning we can only attempt to stop by the power of Jesus.