Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up? A Vertical Jesus in a World of Horizontal Analysis

(This lecture was given at the Greer-Heard Forum  last Saturday at New Orleans Baptist Seminary after the presentations the previous day by Bart Ehrman and Craig Evans)I listened to my scholarly colleagues yesterday give us a variety of answers as to whether the Gospels are historically reliable when it comes to their portraits of Jesus, debate differences in the accounts and their significance, talk about how we derive historically responsible conclusions about  Jesus, and speak with p … [Read more...]

Retrospective on the Career of Dom Crossan

I have known Dom Crossan for a long time and read his work since the 70s.  We have done dialogues and discussions together, and it is certainly true we disagree on many things theological, ethical, and historical.   But I admire his enthusiasm for studying the Bible in its original contexts, including most recently its archaeological ones.     I consider Dom a friend, and he has always been kind to me.  Here is an article just up on CNN in which I am quoted a good deal about Dom,  and I would wan … [Read more...]

Evangelicals and Muslims in Dialogue and Co-operation

Here below is a link to an article by one of my former students at Asbury,  Ben DeVan  who recently wrote an article for the Huffington Post based on his ThM work at Harvard on Evangelicals and Muslims.    See what you think----   BW3http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ben-devan/evangelicals-and-muslims-_b_825242.html … [Read more...]

The Historical Reliability of the Gospels— The Greer-Heard Forum at NOBTS

This weekend is shaping up to be quite the little dialogue---- Bart Ehrman, Dale Martin, and Jennifer Knust on one side,  and  Craig Evans, Craig Keener, and me  on the other, debating the historical reliability of the Gospel accounts about Jesus at New Orleans Baptist's Greer-Heard Forum on this Friday and Saturday.   Your truly will also be preaching in chapel there on Thursday, and at  Calvary Baptist on Sunday.  The person to contact about this is Dr. Bob Stewart at the seminary.     Here is … [Read more...]

What in the World is Happening in the Middle East?

Having spent a considerable amount of time in the Middle East year after year, it is clear to me that some factors are now in play that the dictators, potentates, and royal families had never counted on, or at least had seen as of negligible importance.  And this is not just in the countries which have reasonably close ties with the West.  It's happening even in a country like Iran.The first of these factors is of course social media, which some news outlets have rightly made a good deal of, … [Read more...]


After the fall of ZionAnd its temple left in dustThe faith became Word centeredNo priests left to trust.After the fall of RomeThe unholy dominion aroseLeading to lethal crusadesDisguised in ecclesial clothesAfter the fall of AuschwitzAnd the brutal revelationsThe myth of the master raceUnmasked as abominationAfter the hurricane windsAnd the waters receded withinThe calm revealed calamityThe levees didn’t hold, again.After disaster’s … [Read more...]

Inception Redux— The Leap of Faith and the Totem of Reality

When is a dream a reality and a reality a dream?   When does a movie plant an idea in your head that you just can't get out.  Well, it would have to be a very special movie, and Inception is such a movie.  We reviewed the movie when it came out, with its discussions of the possibility of extraction (taking an idea out of the mind through dreams) or inception (planting ideas in the mind through dreams)  but this time we need to focus on another feature of the film that is too little discussed--- t … [Read more...]

Of Gods and Men — a Great Christian Film Coming to a Theater Near You

This movie won the Grand Prize last year at the Cannes film festival. It tells the story of Christian monks in Algeria from 1993-96 and their decisions in the face of danger from radical Islamists.   I would urge all Christians to find a way to see and discuss this film.  A review will follow in due course.UPDATE: Linked to a better version of the trailer. … [Read more...]


One of the things that constantly strikes me about the U.S. when I come back from overseas  doing preaching or teaching or writing, or mission work of some kind, is just how spoiled so many Americans are, perhaps even the majority of Americans.  Indeed, ‘spoiling yourself’ or ‘spoiling your own children’ is seen as a good thing here.  As Americans, we think we are entitled to live the lifestyles of the rich and famous, even if it gets us into enormous debt.  We are entitled to a luxury home, a lu … [Read more...]