God as administrator

Photo by ohad

Recently at Oak Tree Church I taught on Ephesians 1:7-12, emphasizing the freedom we gain through Christ’s salvation. (You can listen to the message on our church website.)

However, in this passage there is an important phrase that I did not have time to address. Paul wrote:

In him [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us in all wisdom and insight. He did this when he revealed to us the secret of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, toward the administration of the fullness of the times, to head up all things in Christ– the things in heaven and the things on earth. In Christ we too have been claimed as God’s own possession, since we were predestined according to the one purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, would be to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:7-12

What in the world does “toward the administration of the fullness of the times” mean in verse 10?

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The Story of the Old Testament

Based on Dr. Paul Benware’s book, Survey of the Old Testament, I taught a nine-week class on “Old Testament Survey” for Oak Tree Community Church‘s Learning Center. In this class I showed that only 11 out of the 39 books of the Old Testament actually carry the “big story” forward. The rest add details, but do not really drive the story.

As a part of my preparation for the class, I wrote “The Story of the Old Testament.” In about 20 pages, I give a summary of those 11 books plus a few charts to help put them into perspective. I also included three articles I wrote:

  • “The Abrahamic Covenant” – why God’s promises to Abraham are central to understanding the Old Testament correctly
  • “The Mosaic Covenant” – why God does not expect us to obey the Old Testament Law
  • “Is God a Genocidal Murderer?” – how we are to respond to God’s command for Israel to annihilate various nations and tribes in ancient Canaan
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Book Review: Couples Who Pray

Couples Who Pray:
The Most Intimate Act Between a Man and a Woman

Squire Rushnell, Louise DuArt

(Note: This book was provided free for review by the publisher. This did not affect the review in any way.)

As a part of Thomas Nelson’s BookSneeze book review program, I get to choose books that the publisher will send me to read and review here on my blog. I thought that Couples Who Pray would be good for both my wife and me and as a resource to offer to other couples.

I was wrong.

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