Tommy Tomlinson’s and Alexander Wolff’s Tribute to Dean Smith

Here is a wonderful brief tribute to Deano from Mssrs. Tomlinson and Wolff. It's very appropriate as well to add, and ask that you pray for that good Baptist Dean Smith, as he suffers now from dementia. I remember Dean well, and personally. You see I went to his basketball camp in Chapel Hill in the summer of 1967. I was coached by Eddie Fogler and Charlie Scott at the camp. At the time, I thought I might become a basketball player. But I never grew any more after the ninth grade. What did … [Read more...]

Noah Redivivus— Revisiting Gen. 6-9

The key here is Walton's statement that we must understand the text literarily before we can understand it theologically, and only then can we begin to understand what sort of historical or empirical claims the text is making (BW3). … [Read more...]

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

The discussion which begins on p. 690ff. about Jesus as risen and enthroned Messiah begins by stating one of Tom's key theses for this whole project, namely that there were several reasons why Jesus' first followers cane to think of him as the embodiment of the returning Yahweh, the first having to do with messiahship, the second with their sense of his presence through the work of the Holy Spirit in their hearts. The question of course to be asked about the first of these is--- did the … [Read more...]

The History of the Eagles Tour

Of the bands that arose in the early 70s during the rising tide of folk and country rock, the Eagles have turned out to be the group with the greatest ability to sustain large audiences, even 30-40 years later. Whether the History of the Eagles Tour currently finishing its run through the States and heading for Europe is indeed their last hurrah or not, it is an interesting exercise to compare them then.....and now. I saw them when they had exactly one hit (Take it Easy, actually by Jackson … [Read more...]

Pat Metheny’s Unity Group— KIN

At some point it must have dawned on Pat Metheny that in order to do jazz fusion, a keyboard player is a necessity, not a luxury. That epiphany apparently happened between the release of the Unity Band CD, and the new Unity Group CD, (complete with keyboard player named Guilio Carmassi, who in polymath fashion plays a dozen other things as well, and does all the singing). The result is much better. While the Unity Band CD had its moments, it frankly was much less satisfying than the new CD, … [Read more...]

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God— Part Twenty Six

On p. 675, Wright suggests that the reference in the Christ hymn in Col. 1 to Christ being both the beginning and the image would send the knowledgable reader back to Gen.1. The question is, were there such readers in the Colossian congregation? On p. 676 Wright insists on the stronger reading of the text of 2 Cor.5.16-19- 'God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not merely 'through Christ' but in Christ, because Paul included Christ within the divine identity, expressed in … [Read more...]

For the Love of the Word, for the Love of God

In his splendid book Monuments Men Robert Edsel tells the following tale about the liberation of Buchenwald....Walker Hancock when he got to the vicinity of Buchenwald was visited by a Jewish chaplain ministering to to the surviving victims in Buchenwald. Hancock had recently recovered a Torah scroll, and when the Jewish chaplain visited, he lamented that what the persons in the camp most longed for, was the symbol of their faith and spiritual life--- a Torah scroll. Hancock, fortunately had … [Read more...]

The Monuments Men— The Book by Robert Edsel

Fortunately, it has been rare in my life when I have been confronted with the face of extreme human evil. There have been a couple of times in my life, and it made me extremely uncomfortable. When you read the true story recounted by Robert Edsel (with Bret Witter of Louisville) you are slapped in the face again and again by the true fallenness of humankind, but also its capacity to act bravely and self-sacrificially. A careful reading of Monuments Men makes very clear that the old adage "all … [Read more...]

The Salt of the Earth

We live in a culture in which condiments, like salt, pepper, mustard, ketchup, are so readily available that we take them completely for granted. We have lost our connection with the past, and are unlikely to understand metaphorical phrases like "you are the salt of the earth" in an age and a culture of excess. A healthy reminder comes from the recent excellent book The Monuments Men (both the movie and the book on which it is based reviewed elsewhere on this blog). What Edsel and Witter … [Read more...]