This past week we received the latest volume in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible. It is on the first and second books of Peter and the contributor is Douglas Harink. I don't have as good a grasp on 2 Peter as I would like so I thought I would start my reading of this commentary with that book. It didn't take long for me to find pure gold. The following quote was just what I needed to hear to help me keep my apologetics interest in perspective.
"This letter as a whole raises the question of what will preserve the church from 'destructive heresies (2:1 DH) [DH = abbreviation for author's translation] or (in Paul's phrase) 'another gospel.' The answer to that question arises in the first verse of the letter: the church will be preserved in the truth of the gospel by the righteous act of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. Thus, while theologians and preachers in the church are rightly concerned--as Peter is--to refute false teachings that distort or erode the truth of the gospel, our final confidence that the apostolic message will endure does not rest in our own power of formulation, critique, or persuasion, but in the divine power of Jesus Christ who sees to it as a matter of his own justice toward us. Theologians and other erstwhile defenders of the faith have frequently succumbed to the thought that is they who both define the truth and secure the continuity of the apostolic message. Peter reminds us that Jesus Christ himself is not only the truth, but also the power of truth through time." (134)
I'm in the middle of chapter two and Harink's writing is so good that I don't want to put it down. This is a joy to read. His discussion of theosis is superb and I think he finds the right balance in discussing the role of virtues in the Christian life by solidly grounding them in the gospel (or better said, as Peter does). His discussion of heresy is extremely insightful and full of wisdom. I'd like to share a couple of paragraphs in a later post. In the span of two chapters I've been comforted, convicted, challenged and given a glimpse of the dazzling beauty of the glorious excellence of our Savior Jesus Christ. I'm not sure about you but that makes for one good commentary!
1 & 2 Peter is hardcover with 203 pages and sells for $29.99.