This course explores 2 Peter with special attention to Peter’s use of redemptive history in his depiction and defense of the Christian life as oriented toward Christ and the future. By the righteousness of Jesus Christ, we have embarked on an eschatological pilgrimage down a path out of this world (1:4) and into his eternal kingdom (1:11). But along the path are cunning enemies, scoffers and mockers, who would cause us to turn back in unbelief, misattributing eternity to the present world order rather than to the kingdom (3:4). Alert to this danger, Peter mounts a defense that will endure these “last days” (3:3) in which we find ourselves by reminding the church of Christ’s promise to come again in power with new heavens and a new earth—a promise given long ago through the prophet Isaiah (1:4; 3:13) but now more fully confirmed by the corroborating witness of the apostles (1:19; 3:1–2). Peter exhorts the church not to overlook the Holy Spirit-inspired history of special revelation as it foreshadows this coming reality (1:21), including Noah and the flood (2:5), Lot and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (2:6–8), the restraint of Balaam (2:15–16), the approaching Day of the Lord (3:11), and even the transfiguration of Jesus Christ on the mountain as a witness to his royal sonship (1:17–18).
This course will demonstrate what Geerhardus Vos meant when he said, “The Bible is not a dogmatic handbook but a historical book full of dramatic interest.” It will also explain the typological use of the Old Testament. Finally, it will shape and transform us as our minds are set on the eternal kingdom—where Jesus is and so our hearts too.
Course handouts v.1.1 (with recommended resources and discussion questions)