Posts by Nick Batzig

 

In seminary, a friend of mine would often challenge me on my insistence that whatever portion of Scripture we preach, we ought to get our hearers to the cross. Whether we are preaching glorious cross-centered texts like Galatians 2:20-3:1 or Romans 5:6-11 or whether we are preaching any given part of the Sermon on the Mount, the minster must get his hearers to the cross for pardon and power. On one occasion, my friend responded by suggesting that we don't have to do so because "Jesus didn't do so." He said, "Jesus preached lots of things without mentioning His atoning work on the cross." So how should one respond to such a claim? I would suggest that a biblical-theological approach to reading the Scriptures contains the answer to such a faulty understanding of the message of Scripture.

 

Recently, I have had an extraordinarily unusual number of people ask me what the Scriptures teach about burial verse cremation. Not being the sharpest tool in the shed, I did not put together that this is most likely on account of the economy. Yesterday, I happened to be speaking with the owner of a funeral home who said, "People just aren't dying like they used to." Immediately thinking, "He can't mean that people aren't dying at the same rate as they used to, " I thought, "he must mean that they are opting for cremation over burial for economical purposes." This was precisely what he was suggesting. In fact, he told me that there are even cremation services that are advertising on television now. You can get a $9.99 special at one such place in the area. So, the question remains: What, if anything does the Scripture say about burial? The answer might surprise you.

 

Sometimes in the name of zeal for biblical fidelity we can inadvertently correct others where no correction is needed. I’ve had the infelicitous experience of being corrected, on numerous occasions, for something for which I ought not to have been corrected. I have also been the culprit of such uncharitable action. I have, at times, made assertions about certain portions of Scripture (e.g. certain chapters in Genesis, Romans, Galatians and Hebrews) being greater than others. In response, I have been on the receiving end of well-meaning Christians firing something back along the lines of, “Every portion of Scripture is important. We shouldn’t say that one part is greater than another.” So the question is, "It right or wrong for us to speak of some portions of Scripture as being greater, or more important, than others?"

 

The enormous privilege of being a pastoral intern with Phil Ryken at historic Tenth Presbyterian Church afforded me many other undeserved and exciting experiences. One of the most special of these experiences was the opportunity to help Linda Boice--Dr. Boice's widow--break down her husband's library that had continued to remain in the church office seven years after he went to be with the Lord.

 

When I was a new convert--having been brought from spiritual death to spiritual life--one of the things that I distinctly remember seeing with new eyes were trees. This was, in large part, because the Lord was enabling me to understand in all the Scriptures the redemptive-historical nature of trees from the Garden to the cross to the new creation. Little did I know then the depths of the theological significance of the two Adams (i.e. Adam and Christ) and the two trees (i.e. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Cross) in Scripture.