The Shema, from which Jesus appropriated the greatest commandment, is found in the book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is a restatement of the Mosaic covenant, which was grounded in Israel’s redemption from Egypt (Ex 2:2). This redemption was grounded in God’s covenant with Abraham (Ex 3:15). This covenant was the result of God’s gracious choice (Gen 12:1) and his plan to redeem for himself people from all nations through Abraham’s seed (Gen 12:3). Further, this covenant was rooted in God’s promise in the garden to defeat Satan with the seed of the woman (Gen 3:15). In this unfolding of redemptive history, God is actively restoring creation to its original design—a world filled with image-bearers who reflect the glory of their Creator. This is precisely what Jesus came to do.
What does it meant to be human? To err is human—yes, but even though the darkness pervades every corner of our being, sin is not essential to our humanity. Sin is a welcomed contaminant—something that has successfully baited us with high hopes of self-actualization and autonomy, but has in the end betrayed us and left us with self-afflicted adversity. Continue reading
The greatest commandment is a high calling. Loving God with your whole heart, soul, and strength is no easy task. What is the groundwork for such a command? Is this command rooted in our ability to please God and earn his favor? Or is the basis for the command who God is and what he has already done?
The following is the story of my completely unexpected struggle with depression during my first semester of seminary and the important lessons that I learned along the way. It is much better to be overwhelmed with God than with your circumstances.