The December Intermission: From Christology to Celebrating Roe’s Demise to 2023

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This December, Christ Over All celebrated more than the standard Twelve Days. Over the last month, we published sixteen biblical and theological reflections on the Incarnation and what it means that God the Son took on flesh and dwelt among us.

Indeed, after dedicating the Fall season to considering how the reality that Christ is over all (September) informed the life and thought of Francis Schaeffer (October) and how it engages Evangelicalism (November), it was refreshing to simply ponder the imponderable—the birth of the eternal Son of God.

From biblical meditations on Emmanuel, to theological considerations on things like the extra-Calvinisticum and something called excarnation, this past month offered a wide-ranging and deeply edifying look at who Christ is, what he has done, and what Christmas means. I am biased as I say this, but it has been an absolute delight to publish these essays. See the full list below.

Why Christ Over All Exists

As we have shared in a few places, Christ Over All exists to edify Christians with evergreen content that will help the church think in biblical categories and apply Christ’s preeminence to all areas of life. For the last four months, the Lord has sustained and enlarged that vision. And as we enter the New Year, we are looking for friends, prayer partners, and supporters to join us in bringing this kind of content to life.

In the next podcast, I will lay out the vision for 2023, but it includes things like defining biblically what love is, remembering J. Gresham Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism, doing a deep dive on Civil Rights, outlining the tenets of Progressive Covenantalism, and considering the (de)merits of this thing you may have heard about—“Christian Nationalism.” In short, as the Lord allows, we have an important and exciting year planned out for 2023.

To help us get the word out in 2023, we would ask for prayer, ongoing help in sharing Christ Over All’s content, and joyful generosity to support this work. As we look back in 2022, strategic gifts enabled this work to get off the ground. But if we are going to continue, we know that we need and are praying for the Lord to provide a team of people and churches to help underwrite this effort. As 2022 ends, would you prayerfully consider a gift to help Christ Over All continue to bring out biblical and theological content that equips the church and engages the culture?

For those who keep up with such things, our budget for 2023 is $35,000. At present, we have a small group of churches and individuals who will meet much of that need, but not all it. And so, we are seeking the Lord to raise up friends who might assist us, even allowing us to enlarge the outreach of this ministry in 2023 and beyond. Again, if the Lord has given you means to join this effort, would you prayerfully consider giving to Christ Over All as this year ends? Or even more, would you sign up to make a monthly contribution in 2023?

Looking Back at Christology at Christmas

As we round out 2022, we look with awe at the eternal Lord who was born in Bethlehem. He is our Savior and the sovereign provider for all our needs. And with that confidence, we can trust him in our day-to-day lives and for our eternal life

In these sixteen essays, you can find great assistance in knowing the Lord, as well as resources to pass on to others.

O Come Emmanuel, and Ransom Captive Israel: A Christmas Meditation By Nicholas Piotrowski – What does the well-known Christmas Carol “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” actually mean? And what would Matthew’s gospel say that Christmas is all about?

Pastor, Preach Christology At Christmas By David Schrock – Should pastors preach the birth narratives in Luke and Matthew every Christmas? What allies stand ready to aid the preacher of God’s Word in December?

The Word Became Flesh: An Advent Meditation from John’s Prologue (longform essay) By Ardel Caneday – Like a parent with a child, God stoops and uses our toddler-like language to allow us to understand who He is by way of analogies: He is Father, Shepherd, and Word. See how Dr. Ardel Caneday fleshes out a concept with awe-filled ramifications.

Emmanuel (God with Us), Even Now By K.J. Drake – There is a glorious truth hiding behind the intimidating theological term “extra Calvinisticum.” Find out what this is and why it is so awe-some.

What Did Mary Know? Faith to Know the Triune God By Keith Goad – Out of nowhere, an angel appears to a girl and tells her that God has a Son, who she will bear, and that this will happen by God’s Spirit. How would you respond?

Let Us Worship the Divine Priest-King: An Advent Meditation from Hebrews By Thomas R. Schreiner – If Hebrews 1 was the only part of the Bible, what would we know about Jesus? That He is extraordinary.

Putting Everything Under His Feet: Structure and Meaning in Hebrews 2:5–9 By Jim Hamilton – Why was Jesus’s incarnation necessary for salvation in the book of Hebrews? And how does Psalm 8 relate to this question?

Christ and the Spirit in Christian Theology and Devotion By Kyle Claunch – Do we emphasize Jesus so much that we sometimes neglect the Holy Spirit? Why don’t we have any holidays that focus on the Spirit’s role in salvation?

A Chalcedonian Christmas By Michael Wilkinson – How do you celebrate Christmas? Would you be willing to consider a new tradition to help slow things down a bit and focus on the moment when the divine Son became a man for us and our salvation?

Incarnation Versus Excarnation in Culture and Church (longform essay) By P. Andrew Sandlin – How has Gnosticism—an ancient idea that we must escape our physical bodies—influenced transgenderism, euthanasia, and 120-pound women beating grown men in martial arts movie scenes? And why the double decker bus? Check out this hard-hitting longform piece from Dr. Andrew Sandlin.

Let Us Worship God the Son Incarnate: A Christmas Meditation on Philippians 2:5–11 By Alex Tibbott – How can the unchangeable God bear the vicissitudes of life, take our suffering unto himself, and receive the kiss of death? Only through a human nature.

Jesus Understands: How the Sympathy of Christ Sustains the Church By Trent Hunter – What is Jesus’s disposition towards those who deem themselves to be past all hope? See how the sympathy of Christ is one of the greatest Christmas blessings.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel: Echoes of Incarnation in the Old Testament By Sam Emadi – Did the incarnation—God taking on human flesh—come from nowhere? Or were there Old Testament pointers that hinted at a human being who was also divine?

Christmas, Incarnation, and Particularity By Brad Green – Do you have to be of a particular nationality, ethnicity, sex, or marital status to understand something about someone in those same categories? And how does the second member of the Trinity thread this needle on this question of universality versus particularity?

Give Diamonds, Not Coal: Why Prosopological Exegesis is Not the Gift You Are Looking For By Michael Carlino – Prosopological Exegesis capitalizes on ambiguity in certain biblical texts and seeks to put a “face” (Greek; prosopon—thus the terminology) or “person” to these alleged ambiguous speakers behind the writings of the inspired authors. Should Christians use this method to understand the Bible?

10 Truths Everyone Must Know about the Incarnation By Stephen Wellum – If everyone could know ten things about Christology, what should they be? Dr. Stephen Wellum distills the core truths to one of the most important Christian doctrines.

Looking Ahead to Roe v Wade

In the month of January, we will remember Roe v Wade, a court decision that opened the door for more than 64 million babies to be killed in eutero through the heinous act of abortion. For those counting, January 22, 2023 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Roe. Thankfully, the Dobbs decision reversed Roe, an act of the Supreme Court that was many years and many prayers in the making. God had mercy in reversing Roe, and yet some of the most important work for protecting life in our country, our states, and our cities is still ahead.

To that end, we will reflect on this vital subject in the month of January. Getting help from Kevin DeYoung, Virgil Walker, Mark Coppenger, Marla Helseth, and others, we will address the matter biblically and theologically, but also legally, practically, and politically. Our first longform will come from David Closson (Director of the Center for Biblical Worldview at the Family Research Council). Condensing fifty years of history into his essay, he reviews the court cases leading up to Dobbs and previews the way churches can continue to stand for life.

After that, I will offer a biblical theology of personhood that will help Christians ground their ethics, actions, and politics on solid biblical ground. And in between, we will address matters related to the law, economics, culture, and ethics. In short, because Christ is Lord of all creation, every part of the fallen world can be and must be addressed by God’s people, who are led by God’s Word. And with hope that God will answers prayer to end abortion completely, we will offer these essays to equip the church to further protect life.

Looking at 2023 and Looking for Writers

Beyond January, we have a full slate of themes that cover 2023. Here’s a quick preview (some titles are subject to change):

  1. January: Roe v Wade at 50 After Dobbs
  2. February: (How to) Love Thy Neighbor
  3. March: For the Beauty of the Church: Men’s and Women’s Roles in the Church
  4. April: The Good News: Meditations on Christ’s Death and Resurrection
  5. May: Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism Revisited: A 100 Year Appreciation
  6. June: Cultivating a Christian Home: A Biblical and Practical Guide
  7. July: Civil Rights (and Wrongs): What the Church Needs to Know and (Un)Do
  8. August: Genesis 1–11: A Theological Examination
  9. September: A Primer on Progressive Covenantalism
  10. October: Christian Nationalism
  11. November: Culture Building
  12. December: Miscellanies

The best-laid plans of men are at best feeble plans when matched against the Lord. So, we offer this preview of 2023 with a large caveat that says, “If the Lord wills.” But as the Lord wills, these are the themes we intend to address.

Already, we have contributors lined up for many of these months. But we are looking for more. So, if you are a writer, or know of a writer, who shares the same convictions that you have seen at Christ Over All, please get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you and to receive your proposals.

Until Next Year

As 2022 comes to a close, we at Christ Over All are deeply thankful for the interest, encouragement, and support we have received from so many. We do what we do because we want to bless you with resources that magnify Christ and build up the church. To that end, we step into 2023 with confidence that Christ is Lord over all, and because he is Lord of all, let us endeavor to exalt the name of Christ.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author

  • David Schrock

    David Schrock is the pastor for preaching and theology at Occoquan Bible Church in Woodbridge, Virginia. David is a two-time graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a founding faculty member and professor of theology at Indianapolis Theology Seminary. And he is the author of Royal Priesthood and Glory of God along with many journal articles and online essays.

David Schrock

David Schrock

David Schrock is the pastor for preaching and theology at Occoquan Bible Church in Woodbridge, Virginia. David is a two-time graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a founding faculty member and professor of theology at Indianapolis Theology Seminary. And he is the author of Royal Priesthood and Glory of God along with many journal articles and online essays.