Doctoral Thesis Defense … [Read more...]

The Dove Keepers— Masada from the Back Side

In 1981, on ABC there was a multi-part mini-series entitled Masada, starring the magnificent Peter O'Toole and Peter Strauss. It was nominated for 13 Emmy Awards and won several. It was also filmed on location at Masada. When I made my first true trip to Israel in 1985, I went to Masada, and the remnants of the seige engines built for the filming were still there below the giant butte overlooking the Dead Sea. The story called 'Masada' without question is told from a man's point of view, and … [Read more...]

Fools— April or Otherwise

"The fool says in his heart, there is no god......". Whether we are aware of it or not 'the fool', like 'the sluggard' or 'the sage/wise man' are stock characters in early Jewish wisdom literature. They occur for instance in Proverbs, sometimes in personified form (see Prov. 9-- Lady Folly), but more often just as a type of person, and some would say a stereotype. It occurred to me that it might be well to rehearse what the Bible says about 'the fool', because of course we have lots of modern … [Read more...]

The Unbearable Brightness of Light

ON THE UNBEARABLE BRIGHTENESS OF LIGHTSunrise thru stained glass To see it thru the filter, I can’t stare straight at the sun But thru the window I have won A glimpse of all God’s glory.Patterns in the glass Suggest an ordered world As if the beauty so aloof Requires a filter as the proof That we can’t bear the vision.Truth needs a mediator For all things transcendent Lest human mind Be left behind In quest to find life’s meaning.But a window with a picture Is still … [Read more...]

Fear Based Thinking vs. Faith Based Thinking

In an age of fear-based thinking, and trust me, since 9/11 America has been binging on fear-based thinking (which in part explains the dramatic rise, one could say explosion, in gun sales since then) sometimes people have even forgotten what faith looks like. In an age of fear, the lust for something concrete, something secure, some kind of absolute certainty about something is palpable. And this whole fear-based environment has effected, or better said, infected the church. People don't want … [Read more...]

Best Books– Part Seven

Obviously, one of the three or four most prolific Biblical scholars in the last half century is N. T. Wright. You see him above in Bishop Auckland Palace working on another book, a picture I took when I was visiting with him. The running joke about Tom (which has also been told about me) is that someone calls and asks the secretary for Tom. She replies he is busy writing a book. The caller says, "Well then, I'll hold".One of Tom's best gifts is his ability to write at all levels of … [Read more...]

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...]