Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Thirty Two

Beginning on p. 728, Tom will deal with monotheism and the single united family of God. Here the basic thesis is--- "It is after all the unity of the Messiah's followers that will demonstrate that they are indeed the new humanity, the true people of the one God of Israel." For Tom this segment, and the focus on the community is crucial not least because mere new ideas are not sufficient to create a new worldview. He puts it this way on that same page--- "the symbolic praxis of the worldview, … [Read more...]

The Grand Budapest Hotel

I've spent a lot of time in hotels in my life--- little ones, big ones, new ones old ones, cheap ones opulent ones. I have to confess, I love grand old hotels. Some of the old European ones have an especial charm to them. This movie, which was filmed basically in Germany, in particular in Gorlitz and other parts of Saxony, takes us back to a bygone era, the early thirties, only just before the rise of Hitler and the Nazis. As for particular hotels, existing locales such as the Grandhotel Pupp … [Read more...]

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

On p. 722, we have a brief discussion of what the 'obedience of faith' means for Paul, and a connection between Rom. 5.3-5 and Rom. 8.27ff. in regard to what is said about the love of God. Tom suggests that in Rom. 5 the focus is on our love for God, as it is in Rom. 8.28. He asks, following Caird what sense it would make to speak of God's love for his people in 'our' hearts. I see what he is driving at, however, the text says the Spirit is pouring out this love into our hearts. It's source … [Read more...]

The Gospel of Jesus– Kindle Edition

O.K. Kindle hounds, you now have another good offering available to you from yours truly-- The Gospel of Jesus. One could call this Ben's Diatesseron, if you know what that is. Many centuries ago, Tatian, a church father sought to combine the stories in the four Gospels to provide one seamless narrative. That is not quite what this is--- this is the singular oral story behind the various Gospel tellings of the life of Jesus, as I have reconstructed it. So, it involves both historical … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God— Part Thirty

There are important points along the way where Tom helpfully summarizes what he is arguing for or believes, and this helps provide clarity to the discussion. For instance on p. 710 we hear: "with both christology and pneumatology it seems that the normal assumption of many [modern] writers is radically mistaken. It is not the case that the NT is unclear or fuzzy on these subjects, and that the early Fathers invented a high view of Jesus and the spirit which was then wrongly read back into the … [Read more...]

Ephesian Miracle— Now Available for Kindle

O.K. all you Kindle hounds, the Kindle edition of 'Ephesian Miracle is now available for less than $10! Here's the link---http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J9XUQSA.It's a a steal, and complete with pictures too. The first to do a good lengthy review on Amazon can have a free (different) book, my new Gospel of Jesus book, from me if you will send me a self-addressed, stamped mailing envelope to my school address--- ATS, N. Lexington Ave. Wilmore, Ky. 40390. Enjoy the fun....BW3 … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Twenty Nine

In order to get clarity on Tom's argument about various Pauline texts referring to 'the return of YHWHW' being associated with the incarnation of Jesus, I have asked Tom to state as clearly as possible which texts in Paul definitely refer to the second coming. His short list, sent to me via email includes the following--"clearly Phil 3.20f., 1 Thess 1.10 and 1 Thess. 4 of course, Col 3.4… and I assume that Jesus’ coming/appearing is the central feature of the ‘big picture’ passages such as Rom … [Read more...]

Stephen Saylor’s– ‘Raiders of the Nile’ (or a ‘Bandit’s Life for Me’)

There is a rather fine line between pandering to one's audience, and seeking to please them. Sometimes even very good writers cross the line. Stephen Saylor is indeed an excellent novelist of ancient Rome and its environs and I would recommend his sub Rosa series to anyone interested in learning more about that culture and time. Indeed, I have used one of his novels in a NT class (A Mist of Prophecies). I approached the reading of this novel with a bit of hesitation and trepidation because I … [Read more...]

What’s Wrong with ‘Just Win Baby’?

It was reportedly Vince Lombardi who said 'winning isn't everything, it's the only thing'. This mantra replaced 'winning isn't everything' and the earlier one 'it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game'. And when winning became the be all and end all of all sorts of sports and competitions, ethics went right out the window, down the street, to the airport, and flew off into the sky never to return. Things have gotten progressively worse in big time college athletics, but … [Read more...]