Friday Five Interview: Lynn Cohick
Keeping your eyes on the horizon.

For today's entry in the Friday Five interview series, we catch up with Lynn Cohick.

Lynn Cohick is professor of New Testament in the Department of Biblical and Theological Studies at Wheaton College. Cohick has published several books including,Ephesians in the New Covenant Commentary Series andWomen in the World of the Earliest Christians. Her latest volume, Philippians, is one of the first two volumes in Zondervan's The Story of God Bible Commentary series which launched this past October.

Today we chat with Lynn about the importance of Philippians, joy and contentment, and the goal of a believer's life.

It's not just pastors and professionals using biblical commentaries these days, is it? Who else uses these volumes?

The average interested believer and the lay leader are interested in exploring the biblical text more deeply. And the wider public is engaged more and more with questions about the truthfulness of Christianity and the Bible, so believers want to be better informed about what the Bible says.

Also, two trends are important within the Evangelical church that factor into a larger readership of commentaries. First, there is renewed interest in the social and historical world of the Bible. In the case of the New Testament, we find questions about the Roman political system, the Hellenistic social and cultural system, the ancient religious practices among Jews and Gentiles—these factors are recognized as important contexts for understanding the message of the Bible. Second, there is a rediscovery of God's redemptive story that sweeps across the ages and the pages of the Bible. Believers are reading not only deeply into individual books, but are appreciating anew a canonical reading that integrates across the Testaments, and among the books of each Testament.

Talking now specifically about Philippians, what is the importance of this particular book in the Bible?

One could argue that it is not what is said but how it is said that makes Philippians so special. As in other of Paul's letters, we have evidence of Christ's deity and humanity—but the Christ Hymn of chapter two sings down through the ages, fixing these great doctrinal truths into the heart of the church. Again, we have mention of the importance of Christian unity, but in Philippians, Paul's great joy in his fellowship with them shines through and adds joyful energy to his exhortations for unity within that local church. Thirdly, we find the promise of resurrected life, but in Philippians Paul presents his own passionate desire to know Christ and the power of his resurrection. Moreover, Paul encourages the believers that their Savior is returning, and will transform them by this resurrection power.

January 20, 2013

Displaying 1–1 of 1 comments

cody whitmoyer

February 01, 2014  4:52pm

There are two different parts in this that i absolutely love! The first is under the question "You say that the goal of union with Christ is not a happier...", where he talks about watching the ground or the horizon. I the illustration makes sense! We should be focused on where he will return, not whats right in front of us. We need the drive to keep going, when you see the horizon, it gives you a sense of "I can do this", and you want to continue. But when you watch the ground right in front of you, it seems you just want to give up all hope, and stop there, because it seems like the end, is never to come. The second part i love, is in the end, speaking about Philippians 4:13. This for a long time was one of my favorite verses. I completely agree that it doesn't apply to every goal we have. Rather, we should use this verse as encouragement when we face trials in leadership in our lives, just as Paul did.

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