On earth, a fountain is one thing, light another. When you are thirsty, you look for a fountain, and to get to the fountain you look for light; and if there is no daylight, you light a lamp to get to the fountain. But He is both a fountain and a light: to the thirsty he is a fountain, to the blind a light. Let [your] eyes be opened to see the light; let the lips of [your] heart be opened to drink of the fountain. That which you drink, you see and hear. God becomes everything to you, for He is the whole of the things you love. If you attend to visible things, well, God is neither bread nor is He water, nor light, nor a garment, nor a house. For all these things are visible, individual, and separate. What bread is, water is not; what a garment is, a house is not; and what these things are, God is not, for they are visible things. God is all of these things to you: if you are hungry, he is bread to you; if you are thirsty, He is water to you; if you live in darkness, he is light to you, for he remains incorruptible. If you are naked, He is a garment of immortality to you when this corruptible shall put on incorruption and this mortal shall put on immortality.
– Augustine, Lectures on the Gospel of John, tract. 13.5 (on John 3:22-29)
In the fourth place the Reformed theology has with greater earnestness than any other type of Christian doctrine upheld the principles of the absoluteness and unchanging identity of truth. It is the most anti-pragmatic of all forms of Christian teaching. And this is all the more remarkable since it has from the beginning shown itself possessed of a true historic sense in the apprehension of the progressive character of the deliverance of truth. Its doctrine of the covenants on its historical side represents the first attempt at constructing a history of revelation and may justly be considered the precursor of what is at present called biblical theology. But the Reformed have always insisted upon it that at no point shall a recognition of the historical delivery and apprehension of truth be permitted to degenerate into a relativity of truth. The history remains a history of revelation. Its total product agrees absolutely in every
respect with the sum of truth as it lies in the eternal mind and purpose of God. If already the religion of the Old and New Testament church was identical, while the process of supernatural revelation was still going on, how much more must the church, since God has spoken for the last time in His Son, uphold the ideal absoluteness of her faith as guaranteed by its agreement with the Word of God that abideth forever. It is an unchristian and an unbiblical procedure to make development superior to revelation instead of revelation superior to development, to accept belief and tendencies as true because they represent the spirit of the time and in a superficial optimism may be regarded as making for progress. Christian cognition is not an evolution of truth, but a fallible apprehension of truth which must at each point be tested by an accessible absolute norm of truth. To take one’s stand upon the infallibility of the Scriptures is an eminently religious act; it honors the supremacy of God in the sphere of truth in the same way as the author of Hebrews does by insisting upon it, notwithstanding all progress, that the Old and the New Testament are the same authoritative speech of God.
(“Hebrews, the Epistle of the Diatheke” in Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation, pp. 232-33)
So apparently Andy Stanley is under the impression that we cannot use the phrase “biblical marriage” to define marriage. His reasoning;
“The more we know about the nature of a biblical character’s marriage relationship the less likely we are to reference them So… Let’s start talking instead about NewTestament marriages. Easier to define. Easier to defend.”
A couple of problems come to mind.
1)For one, we aren’t trying to model marriages off the characters in the bible. He’s confusing Holy Scripture’s descriptive character (for example, the hundreds of Solomon’s concubines) with Prescriptive character (for example, God’s Laws on marriage). There are points where the bible describes what the character does (descriptive) going against God’s laws (prescriptive). So Andy, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” (2 Tim 3:16)
2) Christ references the OT in defining marriage (Mark 10:8) as does Paul (1 Cor 6:16;Eph 5:31) in describing its telos.
Andy wants to focus on the NT teaching on marriage, but in doing so, one would still have to go back to the OT, which the NT presupposes in its teaching.
“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Rev. 18:4)
Dr. Greg Beale makes an interesting note of this passage, and how it alludes to Genesis 19. I’ll summarize a brief point he makes in the beginning
Particularly v.13-22 it’s repetition of the commands “Get Out! Up! Escape!” in light of the coming judgment of the city. Another note he makes is the force in which the angels took in getting him out. They not only commanded them to leave, but because he “lingered” ” the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand” and this was paired with “the LORD being merciful to him”. Then they commanded again to “Escape”.
The LORD’s commands, Lot’s refusal, and The LORD’s force and constraint in the obedience of those commands against his “lingering”. This says a couple of things, mainly that the LORD is sovereign, and concerning us, He is merciful on us despite the fact that we linger in sin, in dragging us out of it.
The audio is here
Some of Beale’s works are here and here
Dr. Gregory K. Beale is Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia