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...]

Hurtado on Christian Symbols

Earliest References to Christian Symbols by larryhurtadoI've just returned from a mini-conference held in Oslo, "Between Image and Text: The Early Medieval 'Iconology' of Graphic Representational Signs." As the title suggests, the participants were pretty much all people with expertise in the medieval period . . . with me being a conspicuous exception! But the principal investigator of the funded research programme behind the conference generously invited me to contribute from within the … [Read more...]

Bob Dylan Deserves the Noble Nobel

Here is a portion of a nice piece by Bill Wyman from last Sunday's times. See What you think. BW3 ---- The Quotable Bob DylanBill Wyman (no not the one who was the Stones bass player)THIS year’s Nobel Prize in Literature should be announced in early October, and over on the tony British betting site Ladbrokes, Haruki Murakami of Japan, riding the waves of acclaim for his fantastical novel “1Q84,” is the favorite. Other well-known names — Milan Kundera, Philip Roth, Joyce Carol Oate … [Read more...]

Lightfoot Quote of the Day

The doctrine of the Λόγος grew up between the close of the Old Testament era and the opening of the New. It was an important period of preparation, the value of which cannot be overrated. The seething of all the diverse elements, the fusion of opposites in the order of thoughts, it was when the ‘fullness of time’ (τὸ πλήρωμα τοῦ χρόνου--- Gal. iv.4) had come, that God sent into the world his Son, born of woman.’ The more one studies history, the more one feels the force and significance of St. … [Read more...]

The Problem with Preaching– Part Seven

It is certainly true that preaching can be an act of folly if done poorly or stupidly or in a boring fashion. So it might be worthwhile to serve up a Top Ten list of things Preachers Ought Not to Do:10. I once saw a preacher do a front flip off the pulpit into a chair below. I would say don't try this in your home church. If you miss, you will never live it down. And what was the point. This is about as dumb as a glassblower inhaling and making a spectacle of himself :)9. No snakes! … [Read more...]

The Problem with Preaching– Part Six

The real job of the preacher is to point away from themselves, not to pander.The endless drive by preachers to pander to their audiences, by trying to look cool, hip, relevant, with it, a man of the people etc. is an act of desperation. This is no way to identify with your people at their best. If you identify with them at their worst, why should they think they must change?The preacher is the agent of Christ. He is called to please God and help the people. He is not called to be a … [Read more...]

The Problem with Preaching– Part Five

A few things need to be said about the ethos of the preacher. Bad ethos can nix a good sermon. What do I mean by ethos? I mean the way a preacher comes across--- aurally, visually, personally, tone of voice, gestures etc. As the rhetoricians will tell you, you need to establish rapport with your audience at the outset, and if you have some 'inhibiting' factors to establishing that positive rapport, then you need to overcome your ethos liabilities. For example, let's say you have a tic--- … [Read more...]

Prisoners— a Thriller

Most folks don't like to go to movies that play out on a big screen every parent's next to worst nightmare---your kids are snatched. I say next to worse, because what is worse is when your child suddenly dies--- trust me, I'm sure about this one. This movie may however prove to be the exception, because it is exceptionally well done, and has enough twists and turns to make it very interesting. There are several times in this movie where you have your suspicions, but then you end up saying--- … [Read more...]

The Problem with Preaching– Part Four

For preaching to be 'good preaching' it needs to be a word on a target. But if the preacher doesn't know the target, he is unlikely to hit it. What this in turn means is that he or she must know his or her people. The more one knows one's people, the easier it is to know what a word on target will amount to. Of course some preachers prefer the buckshot method-- spray a variety things out on the audience and hope something strikes home. It's like a game of paintball where you are aiming at … [Read more...]