Samuel Adams— the Man not the Beer

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Samuel Adams, the man not the beer,though he and his father were indeed 'maltsters' as they were called in the 18th century, is of course best known for his role in prompting the American revolution, having something to do with: 1) the protest that led to the Boston massacre; 2) the Boston tea party; 3) the forming of documents that led to our Declaration of Independence (see picture above of him in Faneuil Hall pointing to the Massachusetts charter), and 4) had more than a little to do with the … [Read more...]

Vince and Amy– El Shaddai

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Hurtado on the Ascension

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(here's a helpful post by Larry Hurtado on the Ascension). Jesus’ “Ascension” by larry hurtadoWell, another dreadful "thought for today" on Radio 4 this a.m., this one ostensibly taking as its pre-text (and I use the word advisedly) that today is Ascension Day, and opining that Jesus' Ascension (portrayed solely in Luke-Acts in the NT) means that Jesus has deaked out and we're on our own! So, children, the moral lesson is that we should just face up to it and learn to cope. Hmm. Well, … [Read more...]

Hurtado on Wire on Mark as Performance Literature

Larry Hurtado offers the following critique of Antoinette Wire's case that Mark is the text of a particular performance.My review of Antoinette Clark Wire's book, The Case for Mark Composed in Performance (Cascade Books, 2011) has now appeared in Review of Biblical Literature: I posted on the book earlier this year: … [Read more...]

Were the Images Altered or Enhanced? More on the Jonah Patio Tomb Ossuary


Professor Jim Charlesworth (see previous blog posts on the Patio Tomb) has shared with me the following letter from the producer of the 'Jesus Tomb Discovery' about the images which were the basis of his analysis.Dear Prof. Charlesworth, Attached are two best images of "Yonah" inscription in question. One image came from the high definition camera and the other one from the fiber-optic video probe. None of these images were altered, enhanced or even colour corrected. The difference in … [Read more...]

Top Ten Reasons to be a Methodist

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(with apologies to and adaptation from Robin Williams Top Ten Reasons to be an Episcopalian).10. No snake handling (a real sales feature in Kentucky).9. You can believe in dinosaurs.8. Male and female God created them, male and female we ordain them.7. You don't have to check your brains at the door.6. Even cross and flame boxer shorts are not considered a tacky Christmas gift for clergy in the UMC.5. The church year is color coded, to make it easier to follow. … [Read more...]

‘It is Not Good for Man to Be Alone’– Five Months Later

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To the right you will see me and my family in an old style photo shot in Silverton Colorado. We were on our Wild West trip of a lifetime in 1992 which took us from New Orleans to San Antonio to Carlsbad Caverns to Tucson to the Grand Canyon to Four Corners, to Grand Junction and to various places in Colorado finishing in Denver. It was a terrific trip, and a good time was had by all. That's my Christy standing behind me to the left.But now she is gone to be with the Lord for five … [Read more...]

The Problem with PhDs

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I've been asked frequently of late about where and whether to do a PhD if one wants to pursue a career in teaching the Bible. First of all, let me be clear that it depends on what sort of teaching you have in mind. If by teaching the Bible you mean at the level of a Christian high school or in the church, then no.... you don't need a PhD. If by teaching the Bible you mean in various places on the mission field, then again, no, you don't need a PhD. If however you feel you are called to … [Read more...]

The Theology of Gift— an Other Directed Blessing


Sometimes it's discouraging how loosely we use the English language. One thing we hear from time to time on TV is 'give a gift to yourself'. From a theological point of view, that's an impossibility. If it's something you can give to yourself, then you already have it, or have the resources to get it. It therefore falls into the non-gift category. Gifts, by definition are things you give to someone who, usually and normally, don't have it. And furthermore, there is a character of … [Read more...]