You Be— ‘The Judge’ a year where decent, never mind good movies are few and far between (indeed this may be the worst year in a half century for movies) those of us who love the silver screen are prepared to accept pretty good. And 'the Judge' as it turns out, is better than pretty good, because it has outstanding actors in it, playing believable parts. I'm on record as saying I would watch Robert Duvall play Queen Elizabeth if he tried it. He is a national … [Read more...]

Jesus is Lord, Caesar is Not– Part One

In the past several decades, one of the major trends in the evaluation of the NT has been the study of its contents in relationship to the rising tide of the Emperor cult during the first century A.D. On the surface of things, such a comparison seems promising because Jesus and one or another of the Emperors were the only actual historical figures of the era who came to be worshiped only shortly after their deaths, or in the case of some of the Emperors, even before their deaths. As is true … [Read more...]

Staring into the Valley of the Shadow

We are standing across from St. George's monastery high above Jericho, and looking at the valley of the shadow while I read Psalm 23, next to the cross tower. Notice that the cross stands tall and I stand small, which is as it should be. At least my attire blends with the color of the tower :) Thanks to Aussie friend Caleb for the picture! BW3 … [Read more...]

‘God Only Knows’— Name the Singers

His your chance to show your musical knowledge and get a free lunch with moi. The person who gets the most names of the singers (and guitar and piano and harmonica players) in this video will win a free lunch at Solomon's Porch in Wilmore, date to be determined. On your mark, get set, start naming names! N.B. I'm not looking for the names of the persons in the BBC orchestra or choir, rather only the solo singers or players.Bonus question--- who wrote the song, when was it first a hit, … [Read more...]

The Rapture ‘Uncaged’

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Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Ninety Three

p. 1504 revives Tom's earlier suggestion (see n. 74) that by Arabia is meant Sinai, and so Paul went on a little Elijah tour after his conversion. This view I think is untenable. In the first place, the old Arabia a Jew from Jerusalem would normally refer to is Petran Arabia, which Josephus said could be visible from the Judean hills on occasion in good weather. Secondly, it won't do to dismiss the fact that the Nabatean king Aretas was after Paul's hide in Damascus, which had been part of … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God— Part Ninety Two

'God was reconciling the world to himself...' What exactly did this mean? Tom (p. 1490) takes Col. 1.23 to indicate that Paul thought that in some sense the Gospel had already been proclaimed to the whole cosmos. More likely, this is a reference to what 1 Pet. 3 also speaks of Christ's on his ascension proclaims his victory over the principalities and powers, certainly a subject in view in Col. 1. If Paul really thought the Gospel had already been proclaimed to the whole human world on planet … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Ninety One

The last chapter of Tom's magnum opus is not quite what one might have expected. There are considerable reflections on modern secular Jewish thought (Benjamin, Marx, etc.) and on the philosopher Heidegger and his connection with the Nazis, and how this may, or may not have affected European theology vis a vis the Jewish character of Paul's thought. Tom thinks there is some truth in the suggestion that Paul was the philosopher who provided the ideological validation for the worldwide rule of … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Ninety

Through out this long study of Paul, there have been certain texts that are the linchpins for Tom's whole approach to the matter. Rom. 2.28-29 is one such text, but that text is part of the larger discussion in 2.17-29 where quite specifically the Jew is being addressed, not the follower of Christ, and he is being shamed by the tactic of point out how some Gentiles, who are not circumcised, do a better job of actually keeping various aspects of the Law. This is not about Christians, it is … [Read more...]