America’s Culture of Death

When you live long enough, a certain world-weariness sets in. You grow tired of a culture's persistent pursuit of ways that lead to the destruction of life rather than it's nurture. In fact of course, we have in America two very different cultures vying for supremacy-- a culture of life and a culture of death. And death seems to be winning.On the one side of the ring is the whole health and medical industry, mostly doing everything it can to prop up life, cure disease, lengthen life, … [Read more...]

The Early Text of the New Testament– an Important Resource

Technical monographs are important, not least because they are usually repositories of detailed information that you can't very easily get elsewhere, or would have to get from a variety of sources. The new volume just published by Oxford U. Press entitled The Early Text of the New Testament (eds. C.E. Hill and M.J. Krueger, 2012) is such a work. What we have in this important work is a detailed study of the manuscript evidence for all the books of the NT up to and including the period of the … [Read more...]

The Voice— Yet Another Way to Read Scripture

Of the making of Bibles there is no end. But few Bibles have been done in screenplay format, and equally few have been done to emphasis the narratological or story side of the Biblical script in as thorough-going a manner as the Voice. Let me be clear from the outset that this Bible is not just a product of artists and the literarily gifted, though they were certainly involved. The list of Bible scholars involved in the project produces some very well known names---Darrell Bock, Alan … [Read more...]

Tertullian and Paul— on Paul’s Legacy

There are a variety of kinds of collected essay volumes that show up regularly in the field of Biblical Studies. There are Festschrifts (festal writings honoring the birthday of some senior scholar, usually put together by his doctoral students), there are collected essays by one particular scholar that reflect work he has done over many years (see my What's in a Word?), there are collected essays on a particular Biblical theological or ethic topic, say the resurrection (e.g. 4 Views on the … [Read more...]

Attention Doctoral Students— Moola for You

Larry Hurtado has alerted me to the following. I can just say... go get 'em. BW3---- Major Early-Career Award in Theology & Religions Studies by larryhurtadoI pass on notice received of the next round of Manfred Lautenschaeger Awards for Theological Promise, a remarkable award offered to outstanding early-career scholars in any aspect of theological and religions studies.Announcement: As in the previous year, in 2014 the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological … [Read more...]

The Black Tower— a P.D. James Classic

By 1975, more than dozen years since her first attempt in 1962, P.D. James had certainly hit her stride in writing psychological murder mystery novels. This novel reflects her descriptive powers in full flower, and her ability to create a mood or an ethos at it's peak. And the mood is bleak, black, cold, misty, and I could go on. This is a novel about a rehabilitation hospital called Toynton Grange near the sea, and the 'folly' the black tower, which hovers over the sea.For the sake of … [Read more...]

A Heavenly Tale

A famous atheistic philosopher died and was sent directly to the assize, the last judgment. To his astonishment he appeared before his august divine Judge, and was asked one simple question---"What excuse do you have for not believing in me???"In a small quavering voice he replied "But Lord, you did not provide enough evidence!"There was a dramatic pause.... and then the Almighty replied..."Didn't you see the black and white billboard on the highway near your house which … [Read more...]

Ken Collins’ Power, Politics, and the Fragmentation of Evangelicalism

My colleague Ken Collins has written a first rate, very stimulating book about Evangelicals and politics. In one sense, it is a history of Evangelicalism from the Scopes Trial to the present, showing the various ways Evangelicals have tried, both successfully and unsuccessfully in politics. In another sense, what it is is a calling all Evangelicals above the fray of partisan politics to a recognition that the Gospel is bigger than particular visions of social justice, economic justice etc. I … [Read more...]


BREATHLESSAir expelled, Expected to return… Fleeting, fleeing Into the atmosphereCrystaline cloud In January Yet disappearing quickly, Gone where? Does air dissipate in air?‘And God breathed Into the earth creature Adam And he quickened’Into life Into lies Into living a lie His death knell Takes your breath away….Breath/wind/ spirit It’s all the same in Hebrew/Greek All invisible Indivisible Essential Quintessential.Breathing is involuntary Until we brea … [Read more...]