Mercy— Shut UP!

Here is an interesting post from my friend Philip Jenkins. See what you think--- BW3 --------MERCY – SHUT UP! April 18, 2014 By Philip JenkinsEaster is a time for sober reflection on matters of death and Resurrection, and not, one would think, an occasion for humor. Throughout history, though, some Christians at least – including major cultural figures – have so relished the news of Christ’s triumph that they cannot contain their glee in declaring the good news. Without apology, then, … [Read more...]

Hurtado on Christology and Wright

Messiah and Worship by larryhurtadoIn Tom Wright's new opus on Paul, there is a section headed "Jesus as Risen and Enthroned Son of God" (pp. 690-709), where he offers a proposal for how Jesus came to be regarded as in some sense "divine" so quickly after his execution. To cite his own words: ". . . the resurrection, demonstrating the truth of Jesus' pre-crucifixion messianic claim, joined up with the expectation of YHWH's return on the one hand, and the presence of the spirit of Jesus on … [Read more...]

Critical Judgment and the Allure of the Internet

Virtual reality is an interesting thing. With the help of technology it is now possible to make unreal things look entirely real--- and scary. The above is a picture of Herod's hand built seaport. It's clearly a painting and not a picture of course, but with CG it would be possible to create such a scene that is convincing to the naked eye. See for example the scene at the beginning of the movie Alexander where the harbor and the lighthouse are shown in the background while Anthony Hopkins, … [Read more...]

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

On p. 1021, Tom again broaches the subject of theosis, or divination. Though he does not give us a succinct definition of what he means, I take it that he is referring to God dwelling within his people, not just in their midst but actually within them "Christ in you the hope of glory". Col. 1.27. Another way of putting this would be the Spirit of the Lord dwells in his temple, the temple being both individually and collectively the people of God. What Tom does not say (and I would guess would … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Fifty Eight

One of the regular critiques of Wright's views from the Reformed side of the equation comes from folk like Carson and Seifrid who stress that in the Hebrew Bible the term berith and the term sedeq almost never occur in close proximity. Tom counters this observation by pointing to Gen. 15. But this is problematic as well, because in Gen. 15 itself, Abram's faith is credited as righteousness PRIOR to there even being a covenant made between God and Abram. Indeed, when Abram asks 'Lord how can I … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Party Fifty Seven

In this post we cross the Rubicon of p. 1000 in Tom's tome. That is to say, we cross the two-thirds mark in this massive study. It is worth pointing out that there is a lot of repetition in this detailed study. A lot. The reason for this is, at least in part,because so many seem to have misunderstood, or misrepresented, or simply rejected what Tom has said in the past, sometimes said in passing, that here he wants to leave no doubts about what exactly his views are on monotheism, election, … [Read more...]

The Examined Life— by James Howell

The following is a helpful post by James Howell, my friend and fellow Um minister, who pastors at Myers Park UMC.---- The Examined LifeSocrates was right: "The unexamined life is not worth living." The depressing vanity of our culture is that we just seem to live thoughtlessly, bouncing from one experience to the next, too busy to stop and wonder about the Why of it all.Everything we read about Socrates indicates that (1) he was exceedingly wise, and that (2) he almost never … [Read more...]

Timothy George on the Churches of Rome

I am not a Roman Catholic, but I love the churches of Rome. Where else on earth is there such a concentration of hallowed houses of worship, sermons in stone and light, in art and architecture, that reveal so completely the antiquity and historical density of the Christian faith? That is why I was delighted to see George Weigel’s beautiful new book, Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches (New York: Basic Books, 2013).Many of the churches in Rome are built over or near the tombs of the m … [Read more...]

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

Tom, on p. 984, makes much of Phil. 3.2 'we are the circumcision'. He is right that this is a statement about who is part of the new covenant community, namely all Jews and Gentiles who confess Christ and have been indwelt by the Spirit, and worship the Lord in spirit and in truth. It will be noted that what Paul is talking about with this metaphor (for his audience is not all Jews, and indeed Paul warns against the Judaizers whom he calls polemically 'the mutilators of the flesh') is those … [Read more...]