BEN: So what this really boils down to for you, is that: 1) you are convinced it is wrong to parse things so kingdom is one thing and church is entirely another (and I agree), and 2) you want kingdom mission to be church based and specifically Christian,and whatever is not an outworking of that is not kingdom mission. 3) you’re insisting that kingdom is people, not just an activity or for that matter a place. I would say that… Read more

BEN: I think I’ve begun to nail down both our similarities and differences on kingdom, church, and Israel. If we are just talking kingdom and church, I think we mostly agree. But the term Israel, especially in Rom. 9-11 absolutely does not refer to the church. It refers to Jews, period. Yes, the new Gentile people of God are grafted into the Christian Jewish root. This involves Gentiles being added to the Jewish Christian root seen as the righteous remnant,… Read more

A new series begins on CNN on March 1 which involves me in five of the six episodes. Here is the first trailer for the show at this link (cut and paste it into your browser to view).—finding-jesus-faith-fact-forgery-03-01-15.cnn-promos BW3 Read more

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

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