Searching for the Political Messiah

Some signs would suggest that we’re finally seeing the decline of the Donald Trump candidacy/reality show. If so, Republicans and the evangelical “base” will go on in search of their candidate of choice. And GOP candidates will go on trying to convince us that they are the next Reagan, and the anti-Obama. Vetting the candidates [Read More...]

Reading Noah

In my last post, I discussed the Book of Noah, a semi-lost text that presently survives in very partial form in the Book of 1 Enoch. Here, I want to suggest some of the things we can learn from reading this book. Why should we read Noah? I should add that, as I mentioned in [Read More...]

Welcome to New Blogger Dr. Beth Allison Barr!

Beginning this week my Baylor colleague Dr. Beth Allison Barr will be joining the roster of the Anxious Bench bloggers. Dr. Barr is Associate Professor of History at Baylor and a Resident Scholar at Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion. Her research focuses on women and gender identity in medieval and early modern English sermons, as [Read More...]

Noah’s Book

At my church not long ago, the Sunday reading was from 2 Samuel, giving David’s unforgettable lament for Jonathan. Preceding that, though, was a cryptic reference attributing a statement to the Book of Jasher. That is not the only Biblical reference to a now lost book: we have (or to be more precise, don’t have) [Read More...]

Adam, Billy Graham, and Biblical Authority

Last week, I excerpted some highlights from a recent intra-evangelical debate about Adam’s historicity in the (online) pages of Book & Culture. Today, some commentary. I agree with William VanDoodewaard that the somewhat lopsided nature of the debate is itself remarkable: “Combined as participants we present one quarter committed to the historical Adam of historic [Read More...]

“You Know Where Else They Have May-Day Military Exhibitions?”

DSC_0155 Feb 16, 1968

Wes Craven wasn’t the only rebel at Wheaton. Many students in the 1960s and 1970s echoed his cultural critique. Much of the dissent centered on the mandatory ROTC program at the college. Support for ROTC weakened in the mid-1960s, as did support for the elaborately staged annual Veterans Day chapel services and the regular features [Read More...]

Jonathan Edwards and the Sanctified Emotions

A recent e-mail conversation with Lauren Winner raised an important question – in the view of Jonathan Edwards and similar eighteenth-century evangelicals, do the emotions become more, or less, central to the Christian life as the believer proceeds in sanctification? After the resurrection, and during the millennial reign of Christ, will believers’ emotions be “engaged and [Read More...]

Zechariah’s Angels

The Old Testament book of Zechariah challenges a lot of conventional assumptions about the development of Second Temple Judaism, and its chronology. Conventionally, historians of Jewish thought trace a series of very significant trends that emerged from the fifth century BC onwards, and which reached fruition only in the second century BC. Most strikingly, these [Read More...]

The Historical Adam

Books & Culture recently hosted a symposium on the “historical [or not] Adam,” organized by Karl Giberson and John Wilson. Eight participants posted brief essays on the subject, followed by a round of responses. Here are some highlights from each: Peter Enns, Eastern University: “the modern study of the ancient world of the Bible has [Read More...]

Outsourcing Death and Dying in America

This marks my last regularly-scheduled post for the Anxious Bench as the demands of my new position at Hannibal-LaGrange University dictate a reprieve from writing deadlines.  It seems fitting that a fitting bookend would be my first official Anxious Bench post as a regular contributor.  So from the archive, here is “Outsourcing Death and Dying [Read More...]