BEN: I enjoyed the clarity of the chapter on Kingdom and Church. I don’t agree that ekklesia simply refers to the local church. Even in Gal. 1 when Paul says he persecuted ‘the ekklesia of God’ he is referring to multiple local assemblies in Judaea and also in Damascus, for example. In fact I would say that the term ‘ekklesia’ only becomes a reference to a specific local assembly when you have appended the phrase ‘in Corinth’ or ‘in Ephesus’… Read more

N.B. Scot and I often have chats about things and in the next few posts we are going to dialogue about things in his book for the sake of clarification and understanding. BEN: Scot I think there is a good deal of overlap in our views, though they are not identical. I’m right there with you on the notion that the place one finds Kingdom is where ever two or more are gathered, because of course that is where God’s… Read more

It was with great sadness I learned today of the passing of one of my heroes— Dean Smith. He had been struggling with Alzheimer’s for sometime, and passed away just yesterday. I knew him as many things. In 1967 I was privileged as a junior high basketball player to attend his camp. My special teachers at the camp were Charlie Scott, the first black person to play basketball at any ACC school, and Eddie Fogler, later a great head coach… Read more

(Image used by the permission of the author). Scot McKnight is fed up, and with good reason. He is tired of terms like kingdom and church being bandied about and slapped as a label onto any good or worthwhile thing or causes whether or not there is any Biblical justification for doing so. Here’s the Amazon summary of what’s going on in his book Kingdom Conspiracy which came out last year: “According to Scot McKnight, “kingdom” is the biblical term… Read more

David Wilkinson sent me the following prayer that he found somewhere in cyberspace. See if you recognize yourself in it, and it so, your comment should be—– OUCH. Dear Lord, Help me to relax about insignificant details, beginning tomorrow at 7:41:23 a.m. EST. Help me to consider people’s feelings, even if most of them are hypersensitive. Help me to take responsibility for the consequences of my actions, even though they’re usually not my fault. Help me to not try to… Read more

Aqueducts are a fascinating study, especially the ancient aqueducts that dot the landscape all over the former Roman Empire. You find their remains everywhere— in mountains, on beaches, down valleys, on top of hills, in flat plains, in rolling hills, near towns, and out in the country. They are ubiquitous. The two pictures you see above are mine, taken at the remains of the enormous aqueduct behind the famous theater in Aspendos in Turkey. My pastor told a true story… Read more

So I went to the movie theater one snowy afternoon and saw two films that both had drums beating all the way through them. Now I have drums beating in my head. Drummers are rather like NFL kickers, they are a breed apart. But I digress. Michael Keaton will forever be known for his star making role in Beetlejuice. He has made other good films over the years, but its hard to escape the shadow of a giant and very… Read more

The assortment of films nominated for best picture this year is really quite amazing. And it comes as something of a surprise that one of those films is a jazz film about a young drummer played by Miles Teller, co-starring J.K.Simmons (of Farmer’s Insurance commericial fame) as the abusive teacher. Considering that only about 3% of the record sales market is jazz of any sort, it was something of a gamble to make a film about this subject. Set in… Read more

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Words of course only have meanings in particular contexts. It is not true that ‘in the beginning was the dictionary, and the dictionary yea verily set meanings in stone’. No dictionaries and lexicons are studies of the uses of words in a variety of contexts to determine their semantic range. And of course sometimes words can be completely reversed in meaning, for example the term awful today means something that is bad, but awe-full meant full of awe and wonder… Read more

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