‘Captain Phillips’ and his Pirate Days

Let's be clear from the outset. If your vision of pirates is the Pirates of Penzance or Peter Pan and Captain Hook, or for that matter that good Kentucky boy Johnny Depp, then you have a totally romanticized, and wrong vision of pirates. Pirates, ranging from Blackbeard off the coast of North Carolina to the Somalia pirates in the movie Captain Phillips are nothing like that. They are not swashbucklers-- whatever that may be.They are often ruthless, heartless, cut throats. Indeed, they are … [Read more...]

N.T. Wright’s Pauline Perspectives–Part Three

BEN: One of your earliest important works was entitled The Climax of the Covenant. On the surface at least, this book seems rather different than your later work when it comes to 'the New Perspective on Paul', particularly on the issue of the so-called boundary defining things in early Judaism-- circumcision, sabbath keeping, food laws. What was it that did or didn't convince you about the arguments of Jimmy Dunn and others that when Paul refers to 'works of the Law' it is a sort of code … [Read more...]

Why I’m Not a Calvinist

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjUYw6Vg0bQ#t=64 … [Read more...]

The Sermons of John Wesley– A New Edition

For over a century there have been proper critical editions of the works of Luther and Calvin. But it has only been in the last fifty years that we have begun to have a proper critical and annotated edition of the works of John Wesley. It it thus not entirely a surprise that what was available when I was young when it came to Wesley's Standard Sermons were actually reprints of nineteenth editions of his works. Now that we do have the four volumes of his sermons in the Wesley works series with … [Read more...]

N.T. Wright’s Pauline Perspectives– Part Two

BEN: Another major theme in several of these essays is justification, a subject which you have written a full book on, reviewed on this blog some years ago. Here I would like to ask--- How has your mind changed over the years, or stayed the same, on this subject, if it has? If there is a constant thread for you in your thinking through this issue over thirty-five years what is it? Can you summarize for us how your view on the righteousness of God is similar to, or differs from the classic … [Read more...]

N.T Wright’s Pauline Perspectives– Part One

My friend and colleague Tom Wright now has two new big books on Paul coming out, the first is a collection of his many essays on Paul over the last 35 years (640 pages, out with SPCK first) and the second is his magnum opus on Paul (which we will deal with in due course). Since these essays are mostly all previously published, I thought it would be helpful to do a dialogue with Tom on some of their major themes and trajectories in a several part series. Here is his response to my first … [Read more...]

The ‘Gravity’ of the Situation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OiTiKOy59o4Make no mistake, 'Gravity' is one of the most visually stunning movies to have ever been made (especially in Real 3-D), and one of the most sophisticated ones made in the CG era. And as space movies go, this one certainly wins the prize for seeming to be real, and putting you right on out there in 0 gravity with George Clooney and Sandra Bullock. Granted there are better places to meet them than out there in a bulky space suit, but still, it's fun. … [Read more...]

Hobbit 2— Smaug Alert

Let's just say Hobbit I was something of a disappointment. It had its good moments, but there was too much helter skelter fighting, and the fighting scenes went on and on. In other words, sometimes while the action was vivid the story was draggin'. And speaking of dragon here is the new trailer for the movie that will be released .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnaojlfdUbs … [Read more...]

Clayton Croy on Moss’ Misrepresentation of Early Church Martyrdom

[Here is a excerpted portion of the very recent RBL review of Candida Moss's recent book on martyrdom by Clayton Croy, a fine NT scholar at a Lutheran Seminary in Ohio. Permission to post the excerpt was granted by the Society of Biblical Literature. See what you think. My view is that her book is revisionist history at its worst. BW3].-------Chapter 2 explores “Christian Borrowing of Jewish and Pagan Martyrdom Traditions.”Early Christian martyr acts occasionally allude to the Mac … [Read more...]