Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God— Part Sixty Seven

Tom does not tarry long over the controversial text in 1 Thess. 2.14-16. I have treated it at length in my Thessalonians commentary, and will not rehearse that here. Tom, I think, is right to conclude: 1) this is not a later interpolation; 2) it is not an anti-Semitic swipe at any and all Jews; 3) probably the term ‘Judaea’ in this case provides the clue that Judaioi here has a more restricted and geographical sense, namely Judeans, and not... Read more

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Sixty Six

By way of reminder, the three gi-normous chapters in Tom’s magnum opus, that carry most of the freight of his argument focus on: 1) monotheism redefined; 2) election/ecclesiology redone; and 3) eschatology freshly re-envisioned. We are in the midst of working through the last of these three major subsections of the study, and we will be covering the discussion in pp. 1128-51 in this post. A good deal of this material has been already covered in earlier chapters (particularly in... Read more

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God— Part Sixty Five

As Tom eloquently expresses it, the ethics of Paul is an eschatological ethic, that involves both the already and not yet of things. “The people who are called to stand at the crossroads of time, the strange interval between the now and the not yet, the present and the future, are also called to stand at the intersection of heaven and earth, sharing the pains and puzzles of the present creation, but sharing also in the newly inaugurated life of... Read more

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Sixty Four

On p. 1095 Tom begins his discussion of two important topics when it comes to eschatology— ethics and ethnics, as he puts it, the latter having to do with the future of Israel. I think he is right that Paul is the first Jewish Christian to have to think through what these categories would look like between the time when Messiah first came and his return. Jesus, for example, says nothing about how Gentiles would fit into the people of... Read more

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God— Part Sixty Three

Perhaps you thought I had forgotten about finishing the review of Tom’s Magnum Opus. You would be wrong. I just needed a break from wrestling with Leviathan. Perhaps you did as well. But this time we intend to haul in the rest of Moby Dick. You may remember that we left things, at the end of May, with Tom’s discussion of eschatology and more specifically how Romans 2.1ff. fits into the larger scheme of things. We are picking things back... Read more

‘Death before the Fall’– by Ron Osborn, Part Two

On p. 120 Ron Osborn attempts a metaphor to explain post-foundational approaches— he says this “If we think of Christian beliefs and practices as the planks that make up a vessel (the church), we can imagine these planks being replaced one by one during a long voyage so that by the end of the journey the entire boat has been transformed into a new ship that is still, paradoxically, the same ship that left port.” He talks about the flexibility... Read more

‘Death before the Fall’ by Ron Osborn— Part One

Some books can be swallowed quickly, others require slower eating, and some need to chewed very carefully (and sometimes one must carefully spit out the indigestible bits). Ronald Osborn’s book is one of the latter sort. It is an excellent read, even eloquent in places, and it does a very good job of raising a lot of the right questions about creation science, intelligent design, and Biblical interpretation in those approaches to Genesis 1-3. Osborn is a Seven Day Adventist,... Read more

Robin Williams on ‘Biblical History’

I was deeply saddened to learn today about the death of Robin Williams, who is just six months older than me. He has brought me a lot of joy and laughter in my life (even when I was grieving), both on TV and in films, that I have felt very down today, and went back to watch some of his clip highlights. Spoiler alert. There is a bit of off color language in this following video, and a bit of... Read more

From Solution to Plight: E.P. Sanders’ PAUL

It is difficult, some would say nigh impossible to do justice to Paul and his thought and ministry in a short book. While that is true, there are some short books on Paul that do him some justice, and are well worth the read. One such book is the revised edition of E.P. Sander’s Paul: A Brief Insight. The book was originally published in 1991 by Oxford and then again in 2001, and then it was picked up for an... Read more

Ranking Rankin: The Saints of the Shadow Bible

Ian Rankin is a front rank crime fiction writer, and he has the added advantage that unlike his fellow Edinburgh resident, J.K. Rowling, he sets his stories in the city he knows intimately, completely— his home town. There are many crime novels that are set in London (including the new series by Rowling under a pseudonym), but not many that feature Scotland and Edinburgh. This most recent offering in the John Rebus series of novels finds Rebus back on the... Read more