Item description for The God of Promise and the Life of Faith: Understanding the Heart of the Bible by Scott J. Hafemann...
Overview In the midst of the suffocating self-love of our postmodern culture, the Bible is clear that our real need is to know the God revealed in its pages--that we might satisfy our cravings for security (faith), purpose (hope) and acceptance (love) with the only thing that truly satisfies, God Himself. Yet the concept of studying biblical theology with its academic terminology and profound questions scares many Christians. In the tradition of Martyn Lloyd-Jones and John MacArthur, Scott Hafemann lets the Bible tell its own message, in words that speak clearly to every heart. This book provides a basic framework for understanding the Scriptures that will aid every reader and encourage them to take up the Bible for themselves to discover the secret and promise of contentment in God.
This theological primer lets the Bible tell its own message, providing a basic framework for Scripture that will encourage readers to take up the Bible for themselves and grow in faith, hope, and love.
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Studio: Crossway Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.66" Width: 5.54" Height: 0.69" Weight: 0.68 lbs.
Release Date Nov 7, 2001
Publisher Crossway Books/Good News
ISBN 1581342616 ISBN13 9781581342611
Availability 0 units.
More About Scott J. Hafemann
Scott J. Hafemann is currently the Mary F. Rockefeller Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He also taught for nine years at Wheaton College. He has written numerous books and articles.
Scott J. Hafemann has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The God of Promise and the Life of Faith: Understanding the Heart of the Bible?
Faithful Obedience Or No Faith At All Jun 30, 2006
Hafemann writes VERY well. This book is full of striking, concise phrases which penetrate and stimulate the reader.
There is plenty of room for theological discussion and disagreement with many of Hafemann's positions, but his insights into the nature and purposes of suffering are some of the best I have ever seen. That section alone is worth the reading even if disagreements over other theological issues (the nature of faith, the function and place of obedience, the limits of Jesus' atoning death and the manner of its application, baptism, etc.) might be an initial distraction.
The purpose of this book is admirable and timely. Hafemann's call for obedience and trust is a welcome reminder that nothing in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is compatible with that current Evangelical misunderstanding that is commonly called "easy grace" (see explicit statements, pg. 180ff). I suppose, apart from very strong objections to his views on certain theological doctrines, my most serious concern with this book is Hafemann's implicit or explicit focus on quantitative gains in sanctification (obedience) as the grounds for personal assurance in the life of a believer. He discounts `striving' in favor of `victory' in my reading. In his formulations he tends toward an "enlightened self-interest" as the basis of our faith, a problem he shares and perhaps derives from John Piper. I agree that yearning for the Kingdom of God and for the Glory of God through Christ is the key to our motivation and the most certain indicator of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our lives. But the blessings that accrue to us in the fulfillment of all these things is a by-product, a fruit of them, rather than the ultimate motivation for them. If we simply lived and died and our existence was given up to oblivion such that the future hope of the Glory of God through Christ would not be our experience, yet it is something to be desired and loved and cherished for its own sake. It is wonderful that God blesses us also, but it is not absolutely essential, in our regenerated hearts, that the blessing we receive must be the motivation for our actions.
Hafemann's identification of "faith" with trusting God as provider based on what He has done in the past is unnecessarily reductionist. Trusting God as provider based on what He has done in the past is one aspect of faith and a very important one, but not the sum of it. I prefer a wider-orbed definition that essentially describes it in terms of world-view. "Faith" is the manifestation of a renewed mind and heart such that a person understands and embraces all the universe, its history and its future, including himself in it, in terms of God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as is taught and revealed in the Holy Scriptures.
Essential Reading for the Biblical Theologian Apr 20, 2006
Given, I had to read this book for Scott Hafemann's Biblical Theology course, so my view may be somewhat skewed. However, I found this book to be not only a fun read, but a powerful as well. Hafemann has helped to ease the tension between the covenants, between the Law and the Gospel, and between Jesus and Paul. Showing the Bible to be one unified, Christ-centered whole, Hafemann builds on John Piper's theology with sound exegetical arguments. To give you a heads up, know ahead of time that Hafemann is a proponent of single imputation, but don't let that turn you away. For many who want to see how this doctrine is played out practically, this is a must-read. Regardless of your view on the NPP, this book will be encouraging for your spiritual walk and theological development.
A Mixed Review Apr 19, 2005
This is a book that is a good starting point for understanding God's actions throughout redemptive history. It is not difficult to read and there are many good points in it. However, there are some problems and questionable conclusions that make this book a mediocre one. However, before discussing the negatives I will first mention some of the positives.
Positives: Hafemann's discussions (chapters 4 and 7) on the what it means to truly trust God despite one's circumstances is a gem. Many readers will find very helpful pastoral-like statements that will help them understand why God's people suffer and why believers should never fall into utter despair (and why trusting in God's provisions and promises are essential in overcoming this despair). Another good discussion is how the Bible reconciles God's character and sovereignty with the existence of suffering and sin (chapter 6). Hafemann does a good job refuting the common Arminian, "open-theist", and process views of theodicy (pp. 130-5). He opts for the typical Calvinist view that suffering and sin exist within God's plan so that He can reveal His glory to the world (pp. 135-9). Hafemann's discussion on theodicy is excellent and many will find convincing reasons why the Calvinist approach is the most Biblical and rational.
Negatives: Hafemann actually denies in this book the Reformation principle of justification by faith alone. In fact, the view presented in the book is a departure from the view of justification advocated in the Formula of Concord, the Anglican Thirty-Nine Articles, the Westminster Confession of Faith, and the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689. In fact, Hafemann advocates a view of justification that is a combination of the forensic view of Protestantism and the re-creative view of Roman Catholicism (cf. p. 124). In fact, on page 180 he states: "Obeying in order to inherit God's future grace (his covenant blessings) means obeying in order not to inherit his future wrath (his covenant curses)." It is no surprise then that the "letter-spirit" approach to the Law is not widely accepted by most orthodox Protestants (cf. pp. 226-8 n. 15). Hafemann even questions the way Lutheran, Reformed, and Dispensational scholars have typically understood the Law's relationship to the Gospel (pp. 244-6 n. 6). Hafemann's view should be more accurately stated as justification by faith/works (or trust/law-keeping). This is basically a reemergence of the radical Anabaptistic view of the Law and Gospel. Many orthodox Protestants will find Hafemann's work questionable and controversial. For those who enthusiastically support Hafemann's view of the Law (and its relationship to the Gospel) should realize that they are the one's departing from the historic Protestant faith and not the Lutherans, Reformed, or Dispensationalists.
Regardless of all the questionable points made in the book it is a good place to start in understanding the hope believers have in the midst of their suffering and why God does what He does throughout history.
Building A Foundation Dec 4, 2002
Written simply and full of deep insight, this is a book that will inspire faith in the seeking heart.
I was struggling with trusting God and repeatedly prayed about it. The Lord used this book to open my eyes and give me wisdom concerning what it means to trust Him and to live a life of faith.
I learnt about obedience to God in a brand new light. I used to fear the teaching of obedience, as I always heard it taught using condemnation eg. "You must obey God or else...." It only made me more afraid, and consequently, more rebellious toward a God whom I perceived to be demanding, over-bearing, and vindictive.
This book helped to clarify so much of that wrong theology. Obedience is a Biblical concept, a must, but the way we approach it must be through the way of tenderness, grace, and kindness. Mercy triumphs in the end, not judgment, and God delights in mercy. It is ultimately His goodness that leads one to repent, to change his way of thinking, to yield and submit. The Word says : Husband, love your wives (then), wives, submit. Understanding God our Husbandman who loves us deeply is a tremendous stimulus for us (the bride of Christ) to respond with willing and eager submission.
This book is recommended reading for new believers and also for "old" believers who have somehow lost their way in the wilderness of hyper-faith teachings supported only by enthusiasm and flimsy feelings, legalistic teachings that ultimately lead to bitterness and hardness of heart, and false doctrines based only on man's word without any on God's Bible.
The book explains in detail what living the Christian life is like and how to know God. For a person seeking a relationship with God not based on subjective realism but on solid truth, this book will be a welcome addition to your library.
God bless and Jesus loves you.
Our Obedience to God for His Glory! Dec 26, 2001
There is no way to put into words how valuable this book is. Hafemann opens up the Bible in a way I have yet seen or read. Hafemann shows us how the heart of the Bible is trusting in God's provisions and being thankful, therefor honoring God as God (Romans 1). He shows us how the Old Testament Convenent was not replaced by the new, but was fullilled by it, in that we now have the Spirit and therefor the ability to obey God's commands, which both benefits us and brings Him glory! Hafemann is uncomprising in his exegesis of the Bible. There is no waterdown or health and wealth gospel in these pages. Hafemann shows how God uncondiontially elects us to serve and obey him, and uses suffering to both make us more like Christ as well as bring Himself glory by showing to the world that God's people trust Him even in adverse circumstances.
If you were going to read one book your whole life, read the Bible. But if you were going to read two books, get this book.