From Kevin Vanhoozer:
Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension [and Pentecost] are the embodiment of all God’s promises, cosmic and historical, and hence the fulfillment of the purpose of creation and covenant alike.
The Drama of Doctrine: A Canonical-Linguistic Approach to Christian Theology (Louisville: WJK, 2005), 55.
Christ’s life, death, resurrection, ascension, and giving of the Spirit at Pentecost are “part of Christ’s work, part of the climactic action of the theo-drama.” They are, in other words, all part of what we call “the gospel.” This gospel is primarily narrative in character, in that it relays the story of Jesus the Christ’s restoration of God’s people Israel, and through Israel the world, but also dramatic (Vanhoozer’s words) in that it calls the audience of the evangelion to respond.
The relationship between science and Scripture is a hot topic today. I am of the opinion that, too often, Scripture is asked to accommodate to the positivist rationalistic assumptions and conclusions of modern scientific inquiry. Here are Vos’ insightful words on the subject:
“At present many writers take exception to [death entering the world through Adam’s sin], largely on scientific grounds. With these as such we have here nothing to do. But, as is frequently the case, strenuous attempts are made to give such a turn to the Biblical phrases as to render them compatible with what science is believed to require, and not only this, some proceed tot he assertion that the Scriptural statements compel acceptance of the findings of science.
Attempts of this kind make for poor and forced exegesis. Scripture has a right to be exegetes independently from within; and only after its natural meaning has thus been ascertained, can we properly raise the question of agreement or disagreement between Scripture and science.”
Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology: Old and New Testaments (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1948; repr., Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2012), 36-37.
. . . a book that begins with the assertion that ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’ establishes, through the comprehensiveness of its scope, the expectation that the narrative will lead eventually to an equally comprehensive goal – as indeed it does, in the creation of new heavens and a new earth at the close of the book of Revelation. The universal horizons of this narrative do not permit the extraction of ‘the story of Jesus’ to serve as the legitimation-myth of a small community in its self-imposed exile from the world. Over against the apolitical parochialism of some postmodern narrative theology, the story of Jesus must instead be interpreted as the midpoint of time, deriving from the universal horizon of the creation of the world and of humankind in the likeness of God, and pointing towards the universal horizon of an eschaton in which the human and non-human creation together reach their appointed goal.
Francis Watson, Text, Church and World (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994), 153.
The true meaning of Scripture can only be disclosed contextually. The basic rule for biblical interpretation is therefore this: first, last, and always consider the context – the immediate context, the extended context, ultimately the context of God’s Word in its fullness. Piecemeal, fragmentary, proof-textish exegesis of loosely dangling bits of biblical information does violence to the narrative flow in the history of redemption. Those who choose to engage in such malpractice forfeit all claim to biblical support in their hermeneutic undertakings. For the authority of any given passage of Scripture is bound up intimately with its creationally based, covenantally focused, kingdom-oriented, Christ-centered thrust. Woven into the fabric of its many stories is its single story. And that biblical message must define our biblical method.
Gordon Spykman, Reformational Theology, 127
This quote from Peter Leithart (Between Babel and Beast, xiii) cuts deep:
Remember who you are, and to whom you belong. Remember that you belong to Jesus first and last; remember that the church, not America, is the body of Christ and the political hope of the future; remember that no matter how much it may have served the city of God, America is in itself part of the city of man; remember that the Eucharist is our sacrificial feast.