Beale & McAtee On The Reality Of Now Resurrection

We have already seen in John 5:24-29 that the OT prophesied the last great resurrection as a one time event, but this is fulfilled in a staggered “now- not yet” fashion: believers spiritual resurrection in Christ to be followed by a physical resurrection. However, we must not underestimate the resurrection that we have been given in Christ. As Christ has been raised to a new reality so Christians united to Christ has been raised to a new reality and are to live their lives in terms of this Resurrection New Creational Kingdom (Col. 1:13f)

In I Cor. 15 Paul portrays another version of this staggered resurrection fulfillment; The Messiah is physically resurrected first, and then later his people are raised physically. Remembering that the OT appeared to prophesy that all of God’s people together were to be resurrected as part of one event, Paul views the prophecy of the end time resurrection to begin fulfillment in Christ’s physical resurrection, which necessitates that the saint’ subsequent physical resurrection had to happen. In other words the great event of the final resurrection had begun in Christ but since the event was not completed in the resurrection of others, the completion of that prophesied event had to come at some point in the future.

G. K. Beale
A New Testament Biblical Theology — pg.261

However, we must be careful of the “Spiritual” Resurrection that wherein we have been resurrected. There is a tendency for the Reformed to make “Spiritual” speak Plato as if to mean “non intrusive in our every day to day lives.”

We have been resurrected so that our relationship to the old Adam is superseded by our relationship to the new Adam. This explains why the expectation is that we would walk in “newness of life.” We are resurrected beings and though we are not yet all that we one day will be we are creatures who live in this present age as walking and living in the age to come. Like Legolas in Tolkien’s work we live in two worlds at the same time but the creational age in which we have been resurrected is impinging on all around us that has not yet been resurrected. In some sense then we, as the resurrected, are the bearers of resurrection life to all that we come in contact with.

This reality of having been NOW resurrected with Christ is why Paul can write about our now being seated in the Heavenlies with Christ. It is why he could write that we have been NOW translated to the Kingdom of God’s dear Son, whom He loves. It is why he could write that our citizenship is in heaven, keeping in mind that heaven is invading this present wicked age via His resurrected citizenry.

The “NOW” of our Resurrected status can not be hidden under the bushel of the “not yet.” The Kingdom as come and we are citizens of that future creational age Kingdom bringing the aroma of Christ and that Kingdom unto all we come in contact with.

Galatians 3:28 & Egalitarianism

‎26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Here St. Paul DOES affirm the distinctions of class, race, and gender. Paul is saying that despite these very real distinctions that exist that when it come to Justification the ground at the cross is even. The very real distinctions that exist don’t prohibit one from being justified in Christ.

Indeed, I would insist that unless these distinctions are assumed as true this verse makes no sense. Further, I would insist that the distinctions are so limited only to the question of justification, that the Church, composed of all these justified people as it is, still expects men to use the “Men’s Restroom,” and women to use the “Women’s Restroom,” while at Church. Something that would be altogether unnatural if it really were the case that Christians supported the idea of “No male or female categories or roles exist after conversion.” The fact that we still label our Restrooms suggest that we don’t really believe men and women are identically the same. Also, if no category of male or female, because of the putative egalitarianism that Christ brings, there would be therefore no reason whatsoever to object to sodomite marriage and if the implications of this passage were to be fairly traced out consistently according to the egalitarian Hermeneutic there would be no reason to object to pedophilia since the egalitarian Hermeneutic implication of this passage is that in Christ Jesus there is neither child or adult.

So, I believe that Galatians 3:26f can and should be used to refute egalitarianism in the Church and in Christian culture.

The Relationship Between Theology And Language

‎”How do you get your systematic theology if it is not at first driven by understanding the language? In order to get your systematic theology, you first have to get to the meaning of the words. It cannot be the other way round for the obvious reason: it would imply that systematic theology is developed before you understand the meaning of the words in Scripture.”

Dr. Ian Hodge
Australian Theonomist and all round great guy

Dr. Hodge’s formulation is lacking my estimation. Language doesn’t come to us disassociated from a meaning that is driven by theology. Language is not a free floating independent category that can be worked out in terms of meaning without that meaning of the language being informed a-priori by some theology. What I am insisting here is that the search for meaningful language requires a theology of language, and if we must have a theology of language before we can rightly understand language then clearly there is some sense in which theology is prior to language.

In terms of the “meaning of the words in Scripture,” it seems fairly obvious that the different conclusions (and so different translations) that people come up with in terms of word meanings reveals that language is theology (worldview) dependent. People will have disagreement regarding the meaning of language and at that point we begin to see that theology is the reason for that disagreement on the language.

I would argue that the particulars (language) and the wholes (theology) condition one another at every step of the way. I do agree with you however that paying attention to the language is key.

We might say that language without theology is blind while theology without language is empty. They need each other and are equally ultimate.