As mentioned on last week’s program, most commentators tend to argue that Genesis 32 is about Jacob’s refusing to let go of God until he received his desired blessing, which of course is something that all believers should strive to do as well. Or is it? On this episode the hosts continue to explore the idea that Jacob was literally “in the dark” about his assailant’s identity and may even have thought he was fighting his own brother, Esau. If so, this would indicate that he was still trying to secure the blessing of firstborn status by his own efforts. So what’s the ultimate point of this passage, and how does it relate to the Gospel in Genesis? Tune in to find out as Shane Rosenthal continues his conversation with Matt Foreman and Doug Van Dorn.
When it finally dawns on Jacob that he has been wrestling with God, he doesn’t boast about his victory but instead confesses that “my life has been delivered” (Gen. 32:30). So at the end of the day, the amazing thing is not that Jacob is so strong that he can overcome God in a wrestling match. What’s amazing is that God allowed himself to be defeated and that he would permit Jacob’s life to be delivered. So at the end of the day, this is not a story about Jacob’s striving, but it’s a story that centered on God’s weakness and condescending grace. In fact, according to Augustine this account from Genesis 32 actually prefigures the crucifixion of Christ.Shane Rosenthal
The Angel of the Lord
Authors: Matt Foreman & Doug Van Dorn
In the early books of the Old Testament, the mysterious “Angel of the Lord” repeatedly appears—visibly, audibly, even physically—to the Patriarchs, to Moses, to the Prophets. Who is this Angel? Exploring the biblical texts, the testimony of church history, and the insights of Systematic Theology, Matt Foreman and Doug Van Dorn argue that the answer is beyond doubt: the Angel of the Lord is a manifestation of God the Son. Even more, they argue that this Angel appears more often than people realize, because he appears under different titles, including: the Word, the Name, the Glory, the Face, the Right Hand, even the Son. They show that even some of the ancient Jews spoke of a Second Yahweh in the Old Testament. Christian theologians throughout history have taught this same understanding. Christians today need to be taught again how the Person of Jesus appears throughout the Bible and how he speaks to us today.
The Gospel Driven Life
Author: Michael Horton
In his well-received Christless Christianity Michael Horton offered a prophetic wake-up call for a self-centered American church. With The Gospel-Driven Life he turns from the crisis to the solutions, offering his recommendations for a new reformation in the faith, practice, and witness of contemporary Christianity. This insightful book will guide readers in reorienting their faith and the church’s purpose toward the good news of the gospel. The first six chapters explore that breaking news from heaven, while the rest of the book focuses on the kind of community that the gospel generates and the surprising ways in which God is at work in the world. Here is fresh news for Christians who are burned out on hype and are looking for hope.