Avengers are Mine– Sayeth Stan Lee


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAUoeqvedMoJosh Whedon is a director I have admired for his Firefly series, and several of his cinema projects. In the case of Avengers: Age of Ultron he is all in--- both the writer of the script and the director of the mayhem. I suppose its appropriate that May begins the summer blockbuster season with Mayhem. And there is indeed mayhem aplenty in this two hour and 21 minute film (certainly one of the longest, if not the longest of all the Marvel films). … [Read more...]

The Connectional Table says Farewell to the Connection

In a recent vote (26-10 with one abstention), the Connectional Table of our UMC made rather plain that it is prepared to give up on our connectional and covenantal system entirely in order to satisfy the clamoring by a minority of United Methodists for gay marriage and the ordination of openly gay persons. Never mind that the Connectional Table does not in any way speak for our UMC, and whatever pronouncements they make have no juridical force whatsoever. Never mind that going in this very … [Read more...]

Life Goals— Have You Any?

I am on record (see my book Is There a Doctor in the House) in regard to how I ended up being a professor of NT. This post will not be about that. This post is about setting Christian goals for your life and working on them. One of the problems of course is that sometimes we make plans and set goals on the basis of what we are not good at, like a church in an overwhelmingly senior citizen neighborhood that thinks that the key to the survival of that church is to have a better youth ministry … [Read more...]

A Day at the Ole Ballpark


I freely admit it. I love baseball, and have since I was a child and my Dad used to take me to see the Greensboro Yankees. That was a long time ago in the late 50s and early 60s. I collected baseball cards, and watch ole Dizzy Dean sing the Wabash Cannonball on the Game of the Week on Saturdays, back in the day when ballparks had fences that were 500 feet from home plate, and home runs were really home runs. Back in the day when baseball really was our pastime and national game, rather than … [Read more...]

A.D. The Bible Continues— Episode Seven

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the best of episodes, it was the worst of episodes. On the down side--- we have the Emperor Tiberius and his mad relative Caligula visiting Jerusalem, something that absolutely never ever happened. Tiberius was a recluse, and even when Caligula was later Emperor, the only part of him that got near to Jerusalem but in the end didn't make it was his statue. But that's a story for another day. Less problematic are some of the little … [Read more...]

Houston Baptist and Old Friends


Houston Baptist University and Seminary is an up and coming school, and I was honored to be asked to come and give a plenary lecture there on 'The Social Identity of the Earliest Christians'. The plenary lectures were held in the beautiful new chapel at the Seminary which has a huge organ and colorful stained glass window....The chapel has rounded sides with huge clear glass windows to let the light in. On the night I was giving my lecture there was an enormous thunder and lightning storm … [Read more...]

Alister McGrath’s C.S. Lewis a Life: Part Thirteen

Ben: I found your balanced analysis as to why there has been yet another resurgence of interest in Lewis’ writings right on target. The appeal to story, to narrative, to imagination to emotion is seen as much more winsome than dry rational apologetics. Do you think this is why Lewis’ A Grief Observed’ resonates with so many millenials, especially in terms of its honesty and expression of raw emotions?Alister: Yes, although there is more that needs to be said. Lewis’s raw and brutally honest … [Read more...]

Alister McGrath’s C.S. Lewis: A Life– Part Twelve

Ben: I find it interesting that those who most objected to Lewis’ orthodoxy and orthopraxy, past or present, on this side of the pond, were either real fundamentalists who especially despised his social practices, or those of a hyper-Reformed orientation who found his more gentle Arminian musings beyond the pale. Yet he continues to speak to a huge lay audience over here, especially those not enamored with denominationalism or dogmatic theology. It appears that lay theology tends to have more l … [Read more...]

American Mythology– You Can Be Whatever You Want to Be


When I was young (and foolish), I wanted to be Spiderman, or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof. I even once leaped off a large dollhouse in the backyard of a neighbor, to impress a girl. I broke my arm. It was a crystalizing moment for me at nine years of age. I realized there were limits to what I could be despite the Army poster then in vogue with the slogan 'Be All You Can Be'. There were various things I couldn't be, and one of them was Spidey, the old webslinger. Some fantasies … [Read more...]