A Polite Bribe– Post Screening Comments by Hurtado and Witherington

Apologies for a few four letter words from one of the panelists. BW3 … [Read more...]

Learning How to Think Biblically— Part Five

It is not enough to learn how to think Biblically in a general way about the Bible. As a Christian one needs to learn to think about the Bible and its God as the earliest Christians did. The concept of progressive revelation is key here. If it is true that the fullest revelation of the character and plan of God for humankind is seen in Christ, then we need to learn to think about the OT and about the God of the Bible in specifically Christian ways-- through the eyes of Jesus and his first … [Read more...]

Learning How to Think Biblically– Part Four

The next step in learning how to think Biblically is learning the overarching narrative of the Bible-- starting with creation, then Fall, then the various acts of redemption culminating in the Christ event, and then the Age of the Spirit leading up to the return of Christ and the new creation. Secondly, one needs to learn a good deal about covenantal theology, because mistakes on this score have led to reams and reams of problems. Christians for example are not under the Mosaic covenant, nor … [Read more...]

Stephen Colbert on God and Hell

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(image from Shutterstock)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcAgHUlE4eY … [Read more...]

Learning How to Think Biblically— Part Three

Careful, analytical reading of the Bible requires some training. As I say in the book pictured above, most people need to be trained on how to do proper detailed reading of an ancient text. One way to start being able to do that is to read the book How to Read a Book. Perhaps the most helpful thing to do in this post is to describe how I read books about the Bible, as well as reading the Bible itself. First of all, I avoid doing snippets. One of the real problems in doing 'word studies' is that … [Read more...]

Finding Jesus– Episode Four (on James)

This show just keeps getting better, and if you missed the episode last night, you missed the best episode in this six part series. Go to CNN, type Finding Jesus into the search box, and find last night's episode on James the brother of Jesus. Once again one has a variety of scholarly opinion, but in this episode we get to dip into the shady world of forgery and coping of antiquities. Copying, and labeling something a copy of say, a first century ossuary, is legal. Making replicas and … [Read more...]

Learning How to Think Biblically– Part Two

Unfortunately, we live in an age of Biblical illiteracy, and the problem is only compounded by attempts at self-education through the internet, where there is as much dross as gold, straw as silver to be found. So obviously the first step in learning how to think Biblically, including thinking critically (in the good sense of the word-- keenly, asking good questions) about the Bible is that you need to learn what the Bible actually says. Not being familiar with the scope and range of material … [Read more...]

Learning How to Think Biblically— Part One

One of the real differences between proper Biblical orthodoxy and cultish behavior is that when it comes to leadership the former works by persuasion and dialogue, and the latter works by dictatorial tactics, mind control, smoke-filled room decision making from above, and of course the claim 'the Spirit told me to say or do X' etc. The former is not afraid of questions, discussion, different points of view, the latter often claims secret revelations that only the leader has had and is 'told' to … [Read more...]

Best Books– Part Six

It's nice to be able to commend some of your contemporaries and their good serious scholarly work. One such contemporary is John M.G. Barclay, the current Lightfoot Professor of Divinity at Durham. John was at Glasgow before that and trained, if memory serves, at Cambridge. His first major book immediately got him all kinds of positive attention, and is entitled Obeying the Truth:Paul's Ethics in Galatia (1991). This is an excellent close reading of Galatians and a helpful dealing with the … [Read more...]


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