Paul and his Recent Interpreters by N.T. Wright– Part Nine

In a candid moment, Tom reveals that Wayne Meek's First Urban Christians provided something of a template for what he was trying to do in a major part of his Paul and the Faithfulness of God. He says this on pp. 260-61.... "One or two reviewers of my Paul and the Faithfulness of God have expressed surprise at the significant number of times I refer to Meeks’s book. There was a good reason. I envisaged Part II of my book as corresponding, in a sense, to chapters 2—5 of The First Urban Chr … [Read more...]

Paul and his Recent Interpreters by N.T. Wright— Part Eight

When one turns the page to Chapter Ten and the third major section of Tom's book, the atmosphere changes. This is in part because Tom is very affirming of the recent gains in studying Paul in light of the social history of Paul's period. He finds himself much indebted to Edwin Judge and his work in this regard, and also quite congenial with many of the insights of Wayne Meeks. It may come as something of a surprise that Tom thinks Meek's First Urban Christians is in some ways the most … [Read more...]

Paul and his Recent Interpreters by N.T. Wright— Part Seven

The concluding chapter of this second major section of Tom's book devotes itself to a rather detailed critique of the controversial and very large and detailed work of Douglas Campbell on justification and Paul. Tom summarizes Campbell's theses in this book as follows: "--- The main argument of Campbell’s book is (a) that the normal way of reading Romans 1—4 is wrong, (b) that Romans 5—8 offers an altogether superior way of understanding Paul in general and Romans in particular, and therefore … [Read more...]

A Walk in the Woods— a Little Fun on the Run movies are short and sweet, some are short and funny, and some, you're just glad they are short. This one, with an all star cast (Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, Emma Thompson, and Mary Steenbergen) is of the second sort, and really, it should have been longer (it clocks in at one hour and thirty eight minutes). Bill Bryson is a funny guy who has written a lot of travelogue sort of books which are truly a pleasure to read. But adapting a good book … [Read more...]

Paul and his Recent Interpreters by N.T. Wright– Part Six

Tom reserves his most strident critique of the apocalyptic approach to Paul for Lou Martyn's Galatians commentary and the impact it has had on Pauline interpretation. So Chapter Eight of the book is an analysis of the work of Lou Martyn and his disciples e.g. M. de Boer, B. Gaventa. The basic analysis of the apocalyptic school involves the assumption that God in Christ breaks into the world bringing new creation and overthrowing not just one religion but the whole concept of religion. There … [Read more...]

Paul and his Recent Interpreters by N.T. Wright— Part Five

The word Apocalyptic means different things to different folks. In the second major part of Tom's review of recent scholarship on Paul, he focuses in on the 'apocalyptic' approach to Paul's Gospel spawned by Kasemann and carried forward by J.C. Beker, L. Martyn and his disciples in the U.S. Tom is quite critical of this whole approach to Paul, and fundamentally the reason is because: 1) it rejects the notion of a continuous story that the Gentiles are grafted into, particularly rejecting the … [Read more...]

Ian Rankin’s ‘The Beat Goes On’


Writers of fiction come in all shapes and sizes. Some are better at short stories and perhaps the odd novella. Some are better at the full length novel. Some are good at both. But not many. Think Edgar Alan Poe or for that matter O' Henry or Ferrell Sams, or on the other hand, think of P.D. James or Agatha Christie or Ellis Peters. When it comes to mysteries or who dunnits or detective stories it does seem that the writer is either good at one sort of composition or the other. Not however … [Read more...]

The War Room— Are You Ready to Rumble? enough, making a movie about prayer can be very difficult. Movies, especially lately, are all about action, but prayer is about talking to God, unceasing talk to God. How then do you do a movie with that as the subject matter without it being an endless harangue, or invasion of privacy, or too schmaltzy and talky for words? The Kendrick Brothers, having already made a series of so-called faith-based films (Courageous, Fireproof, … [Read more...]

Four Things Boston Never Expected to Hear from Gronk and Big Papi— Well Maybe Three Don't worry, they are not quitting their day jobs just yet!! … [Read more...]