Rock n’ Roll and Me—- Part Four

A Rack Jobber? Perhaps you’ve not heard of the term. It’s a person who puts record products up on prominent racks in the record store in order to promote those records. They work in tandem with promoters. Ahhhh…. promoters. They were some of the great evangelists of the 70s who were never recognized as such. I remember very well the day in 1973 that Mr. Grand Funk Railroad promoter landed in the Record Bar in Charlotte. He was flogging the... Read more

Parochialism in a Global World

(That’s me preaching on Phil. 2.4-11 and Sam is translating it into Hindi). That’s me preaching in yet another country last Sunday. Somehow the list has gotten long. This month I added India to the list of where I’ve preached and taught. I did not realize when I signed up for the itinerant Methodist thing, that it would involve going to dozens of countries. I was thinking a dozen appointments perhaps in good ole North Carolina. Something happened along the... Read more

Troubled Waters— a New Review

Here is an interesting new review of my little book on baptism, entitled Troubled Waters. See what you think…

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

Chapter Three of Tom Wright’s magnum opus is a first rate summary of Greek philosophy insofar as it has relevance to understanding the thought world and writing of Paul. Particular focus is given to Stoicism (including helpful discussions of Seneca and Epictetus of course). Such a precis is important because, as Tom stresses, Paul believed he was offering an essentially Jewish message to a largely pagan world (p. 200) and he wanted it to be a word on target, a... Read more

On the Separation of Church and State– Lincoln Weighs In

Here is a fascinating article about the blurring of the lines of the separation of church and state during the Civil War (an excerpt of which you will find below). It is a story about a North Carolinian, Presbyterian minister named Samuel B. McPheeters (a graduate of UNC and Princeton Seminary), who ran into trouble in 1863 in St. Louis due to his neutrality on the war, and finally ended up in ‘my ole Kentucky home’. See what you think….... Read more

Hurtado on Early High Christology

“High/Early Christology”: An Emerging Consensus? by larryhurtado Almost exactly a year ago, I posted on a very informative and judicious (in my view) review of recent scholarly work on the emergence of “high” christology (which = Jesus regarded and treated as in some meaningful way “divine”) by Dr. Andrew Chester (Cambridge University), my earlier posting here. Given the tone of one or two recent comments, claiming, e.g., that any such view reflects some sort of theologically “conservative” cabal, I thought... Read more

The Crux of the Matter

There has been some recent debate about whether persons were crucified in the nude or not, and whether there is evidence that could settle this issue. There is no real historical doubt Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate (a punishment referred to by Tacitus himself who tells us Christ suffered ‘the extreme penalty’ which was crucifixion). But in fact there is evidence in Artemidorus about whether the crucified person was nude or not— in fact he was. Here is what... Read more

Graffiti in the Church of the Nativity

Matthew Kalmann has recently written an interesting article for the Guardian on the Church of the Nativity. Below you will find a small excerpt, and immediately below you will find a link to the article. It turns out, graffiti may have been a sanctioned practice in medieval churches and even earlier ones…. “Much of the graffiti is more suited to a park bench than the birthplace of Jesus. Mazen and Mustafa simply wrote their names. Hassan signed each of... Read more

Orthodoxy on Coffee

Here’s a nice post from the folks at….. which I, as a former coffee shop owner where we have theologically named sandwiches (e.g. the Wesley Club, the Fo’ Sure Not Kosher, etc.). —- Your local coffeehouse may be a hotbed of heresy. Check the following list and see how yours measures up. Decaf is Docetic because it only appears to be coffee. Instant is Apollinarian because it’s had its soul removed and replaced. Frappuccinos are essentially a form of... Read more

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

Rehearsing a fair bit of the data Tom covered at length and well in Resurrection and the Son of God, Tom reminds us that the future hope of early Jews was basically not of an other-worldly nature. Very few texts (perhaps Wis. Sol. 3.1ff.) in fact take a non-material view of the afterlife. Thus Tom stresses that what answer you get from texts to a real extent depends on what questions you ask of a text— If you ask What... Read more