Pat Metheny and Jazz Fusion

For close to forty years Pat Metheny, and his right hand man Lyle Mays, have created some of the most influential and popular jazz in the whole post-Coltrane, post-Miles era, and yes he still wears his hair and his shirts as if he was a refugee from the 60s.   As is so often the case, though the Pat Metheny Group (and various individual permutations with Pat teaming up with others or going solo) has had success in the U.S., it has been even more wildly successful in Europe.   On top of all … [Read more...]

'The Debt' of Sin

Some movies are worth remaking,  and Ha Hov (the original name of the movie in Hebrew) is one of them.  Here is the publicity summary of the movie---- "The espionage thriller begins in 1997, as shocking news reaches retired Mossad secret agents Rachel (Helen Mirren) and Stephan (Tom Wilkinson) about their former colleague David (Ciarán Hinds). All three have been venerated for decades by their country because of the mission that they undertook back in 1966, when the trio (portrayed, … [Read more...]

Hurtado on Scripture and Canon


The following is a helpful post by my friend Larry Hurtado. "Scriptures" and "Canon" larryhurtado | August 30, 2011 at 10:04 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: A few days ago a former PhD student shared with me the anonymised reviews of a book proposal, one of which was a bit ill-tempered, and also ill-informed (and which also directed some of its ire against me).   One of the substantive errors was the claim that it is anachronistic to refer to … [Read more...]

9-11-01—- Ten Years After


9-11---    Ten Years After I was reading the latest issue of CT (Christianity Today) which naturally enough had quotes from various Christian leaders about the impact of 9-11.  The one that hit me the hardest and was most revealing was the one by my friend the good bishop Will Willimon.    Here is what he said: On 9/11 I thought, For the most powerful, militarized nation in the world also to think of itself as an innocent victim is deadly. It was a rare prophetic moment for me, … [Read more...]

Dialogue with Scot McKnight on 'King Jesus': Part One

Q.  Let’s start with a question I get asked a lot which usually takes the form---- ‘What!  Another book by you?   What prompted you to write yet another book and why this book in particular? Yes, I get asked that question at times, and as we enter into … what do we call this part of our careers, Ben?, because we don’t want to admit we are starting to be the veterans in the circle … the writing habit has become part of how we live. But, each book has its own genesis and this … [Read more...]

Marooned at Midnight

Type: There is something magical about going to a good concert.  It moves you, you feel good about life, you remember why you bought that CD or downloaded that song, it reaches you in places that mere words fail to reach.  I've been going to concerts since I was very small indeed, beginning with community concerts of a classical nature which my Mom took me to as a child.  I remember going to see the great violinist Isaac Stern,  who was when he caught me and my friend … [Read more...]

The Legacy of Martin Hengel–via Larry Hurtado


Whither "New Testament Studies"? larryhurtado | August 26, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: I've had advance access to a translation of a provocative essay by Martin Hengel (sadly, no longer with us), newly translated by Wayne Coppins, that re-ignited some questions about where the field of NT Studies is and is going: Martin Hengel, "A Young Theological Discipline in Crisis," in Earliest Christianity:  History, Literature and Theology.  … [Read more...]

Martin Freeman as Bilbo

It’s been all quiet on the The Hobbit front for the past few weeks, as breaks in production has caused for minimal updates to report.  We expect another video blog from Peter Jackson to be released within the next month or so, which are always a treat for Hobbit fans. A writer for the LA Times was able to share a car ride with Jackson while at Comic Con.  He had some great things to share about his thoughts on Bilbo Baggins as well as Martin Freeman playing that role.  He is what … [Read more...]

'Rebels and Traitors'— Another Uncivil War

In view of the fact that American readers of a long novel are an endangered species these days (this one clocks in at 742 densely packed pages), it may seem to my readers that reviewing this book is an exercise in futility rather than fertilty. I assure you however, this novel is well worth your time, even though, in my case I spent the whole summer reading it a little at a time.  Some books are like eating marzipan--- you only can consume a little of it at a time, but it is worth the … [Read more...]