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God’s People in the Wilderness: The Church in Hebrews

, 2009
ISBN: 9781845504779
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What is the Church? If we want to minister to today’s broken world we need to understand what Scripture means by the Church. New Testament writes about the body of Christ and the Kingdom of God. For the writer to the Hebrews, the Church of today finds its most proper definition in terms of the historical experience of the old covenant people of God “in the wilderness” during the days of Moses. For him, the Church is: God’s people in the wilderness. His unifying perspective on this vital question of the Church’s self-definition provides fresh insight into the nature of the Church—an insight that has the promise of reviving and redefining the life of Christ’s people even today. Rooted in the redemptive experience of the old covenant people of God, this life-shaping self-definition may provide much-needed aid to the confused state of churches in Christ for the 21st century. Palmer Robertson will help us consider the nature and mission of the people of God in today's world as defined by Hebrews.

Resource Experts
  • Examines the New Testament doctrine of the church
  • Explores the ecclesiology of the book of Hebrews
  • Connects the experience of the church to Israel’s journey in the wilderness
  • The Wilderness Theme Throughout Scripture
  • A New People of The Wilderness–A People of the Covenant
  • A New People of The Wilderness–A Unified People
  • A New People of The Wilderness–The Tension of Life in the Wilderness
  • The New Wilderness Community in Worship
  • The Final Goal of the Wilderness People
  • Practical Implications for God’s People in the Wilderness Today

Top Highlights

“the need for the church of Jesus Christ to understand itself correctly” (Page 7)

“The idea of revelation in the epistle is viewed not merely as the communication of facts necessary for salvation, but as God’s entering into living relationship with the redeemed, an idea closely related to the heart of the covenant.” (Page 33)

“The wilderness appears as a region of great danger, and at the same time as a place of wondrous deliverance.” (Page 11)

“Hebrews 3:6b–4:13 present the tension involved in the Christian life as clearly as any passage of the epistle.” (Page 66)

“Hebrews which presents the new covenant people of God as a wilderness people” (Page 8)

The appearance of this volume is most welcome. Its substance in an earlier form helped considerably in shaping my own overall understanding of Hebrews and appreciation of the centrality there of the church as the new covenant wilderness community. I commend it as a worthy addition to the libraries of pastors, teachers and other serious students of Scripture.

—Richard Gaffin, Jr., Emeritus Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia

To have a full-orbed view of the Church, one must consider what all of Scripture says about her. Robertson well enlightens us on Hebrew’s emphasis that the Church is in the “wilderness.”

—Robert J. Cara, Professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina

  • Title: God’s People in the Wilderness: The Church in Hebrews
  • Author: O. Palmer Robertson
  • Publisher: Mentor
  • Print Publication Date: 2009
  • Logos Release Date: 2019
  • Pages: 160
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Bible. N.T. Hebrews › Criticism, interpretation, etc; Church
  • ISBNs: 9781845504779, 1845504771
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T00:13:30Z

In the Logos edition, this digital volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English Bible translations, and important terms link to a wealth of other resources in your digital library, including tools for original languages, dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, and theology texts. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

O. Palmer Robertson gained his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Westminster Seminary and his Master's and Doctorate from Union Theological Seminary, Virginia. Dr. Robertson was active in the establishment of the Presbyterian Church in America and has worked in various church ministries as well as seminary teaching. He has numerous books in print, including Psalms in Congregational Celebration. He is a frequent lecturer and conference speaker in Africa, Europe, Latin America, and North America.

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  1. Ken McClurkin

    Ken McClurkin


    Something to be considered in contra to the so-called Judea-Christian movement of today: "In the earliest days of the Christian church, it had been possible for the followers of Christ to celebrate the Jewish passover as well as other feasts of the old covenant alongside their participation in the Christian Lord’s Supper. Now, however, the mutual repudiation of Judaism and Christianity forces a decision. A total break with the practices of Judaism becomes necessary. Only ‘outside the camp’ in identification with Christ may the Christian adequately express his willingness to abandon himself to Christ (13:13). This reference to joining Christ outside the camp sheds considerable light on the concrete situation to which the author addresses himself. The loss of security available for those remaining ‘within’ the camp cannot refer merely to a break from the world by Christian people. The alternative seems clearly to be between Judaism and Christianity, between ‘those who serve the tabernacle’ and those who suffer rejection by the socio-religious order of the day through being identified with Christ, who is himself ‘outside the camp’. So going ‘outside the camp’ to eat of Christ’s altar vivifies the choice between partaking of Jewish festivals such as the passover or partaking of the Christian festival of the Lord’s Supper. To partake of the Christian communion service is to place a person once and for all outside any acceptance that might be found in Judaism." page 97


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