On this special BONUS edition of the White Horse Inn Michael Horton and David Zahl explore many of the rich themes found in Victor Hugo’s classic novel, Les Miserables. This discussion is especially relevant in light of the highly anticipated release of a film adaptation of Boublil and Schönberg’s musical of the same title which will appear in theaters on Christmas Day. In particular Horton and Zahl discuss the themes of grace and redemption as it unfolds throughout the story, and the way in which the two characters, Javert and Jean Valjean, end up personifying both the unbending nature of the law, and the incredible liberation of the gospel of grace.
Isaiah’s mission was to pronounce both law and gospel. As God’ prosecuting attorney, he was called to pronounce the covenant curses on unfaithful and disobedient Israel. Yet in the midst of all these “woes,” we continue to discover more and more about God’s messianic promise. In the days of this coming redeemer, Jerusalem will become a “herald of good news” and God will “tend his flock like a shepherd.” On this program the hosts will walk through chapters 26 through 40 of Isaiah’s amazing prophecy.
In chapter 11 of his prophecy, Isaiah writes that, “[t]he wolf shall dwell with the lamb.” Many interpret this literally as referring to some utopian period way off in the distant future. But is this really what Isaiah’s imagery is pointing to? What does he mean when he says that a shoot shall come forth “from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit”? On this program the hosts will discuss these questions and more as they interact with chapters 10 through 25 of the book of Isaiah.
In this section of the book of Isaiah, we see the beginning of Isaiah’s prophetic call. Though he has already pronounced the covenantal “woes” against unfaithful Israel, here we see him exclaim, “Woe is me!” when confronted with God’s infinite holiness and majesty. The hosts evaluate the significance of this event along with numerous messianic prophecies that begin to appear in chapters 5 through 9 on this edition of White Horse Inn.
Part of the Israelites’ new responsibility after the Exodus from Egypt was to serve “eviction notices” to the pagan nations then occupying the land. Over time, however, God’s covenant people disobeyed him and eventually became indistinguishable from their pagan neighbors. Through the prophet Isaiah, God responded to this unfaithfulness and told his people they too would soon be evicted from the land. The hosts continue their exploration of the book of Isaiah and discuss how God begins to reveal more about the coming messianic deliverer, not only through Isaiah’s words of judgment and condemnation, but also through promises of comfort and grace.
What was the role of an Old Testament prophet, and how are we to interpret this kind of literature in our own day? What are the particular themes and messages that the prophet Isaiah addresses? How are the blessings and curses mentioned throughout this prophecy related to covenants already established? How is Christ revealed throughout this book? The hosts will deal with these questions and more as they begin a new six-part series on “The Gospel According to Isaiah.”
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The following is by Rev. Andrew Compton, associate pastor of Christ Reformed Church in Anaheim, CA. Rev. Compton is one of the bloggers at The Reformed Reader I recently read Kevin DeYoung’s latest book, The Hole in our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness. I had two reasons for [...]
What is covenant theology and why is it crucial for our overall understanding of Scripture? How does covenant theology relate to our understanding of law and gospel? What is the difference between the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants? On this edition of White Horse Inn, Michael Horton will discuss these important issues with Mike Brown and Zach Keele, authors of a new book, Sacred Bond: Covenant Theology Explored.
One of the banners that was popular at the time of the American Revolution declared, “We Serve No Sovereigns Here!” But what are the effects of this democratic spirit on American Christianity? How has the erosion of authority in the wider culture affected our view of God, or the authority of Scripture? How has it changed the way we view our pastors and elders? On this program the hosts will discuss these issues as they conclude their series on “Recovering the Lost Tools of Discipleship.”