Gary Hoag’s Wealth in Ancient Ephesus and 1 Timothy– Part Five

Q3.BEN: In terms of methodology, you decided to follow the lead of the modern rhetorical approach of Vernon Robbins and his distinguishing of various ‘textures’ in the text (e.g.ideological texture, sacred texture etc.) as opposed to analyzing the material on the basis of historical rhetorical analysis. In addition on the social front, you have chosen to follow the lead of modern cultural anthropology as applied to the NT by Bruce Malina in his influential NT World volume instead of fol … [Read more...]

Changing the Subject– When Principles are Caricatured as Prejudice

One of the classic ways to either change the subject or stop a conversation is by labeling something mere prejudice. The conversation then changes if the speaker believes they are being shamed into being quiet. Indeed, often the conversation just stops. For example, when someone objects to some aspects of gay or lesbian or transgender sexual behavior, which for thousands of years has been critiqued as forms of sexual immorality by all sorts of intelligent people (doctors, lawyers, ministers, … [Read more...]

Meditations for the Lenten Season– Part Six

JOB DESCRIPTIONWhen comfort turns to torment And solace leads to pain Then Job will find his master and Receive his life again.When ashes without number Burn on the funeral pyre Then suffering is consumed And an end is made through fire.Yet through the fire a figure Stands golden, purified The one who once was taunted Has now been justified.Not through the will of mortals Nor through the countless saints Can come the vindication Of Job’s quite just complaints. … [Read more...]

Race— A Nice Double Entendre's be honest--- racism is a really ugly sin. It has ruined far too many lives, and it is still a major problem in America. Yes, we've made some progress in my lifetime, but not nearly enough. If you doubt this, remember last year and what happened in Ferguson, Missouri or Baltimore Maryland, or, or, or... The Jesse Owens story is unfortunately not merely a story about athletic greatness, though it is that. It is also a story about the … [Read more...]

Dropping Nets– A Vital Testimony of Women and Ministry

Dr. Sue Liubinskas, who recently successfully defended her doctoral thesis on Paul and ethnography here at Asbury has graciously agreed to share her testimony as to how she came to this point in life, prepared now to assume a significant teaching ministry wherever the Lord opens the door. I am so very proud of her, having seen her persevere through many trials to get to the doctoral finish lines. I'm also pleased to give you advance notice that we are writing a book with one other person on … [Read more...]

The Struggle to Understand Isaiah as Christian Scripture– Part Thirty One

The use of the notion of prophecy and fulfillment has always been a major way of trying to relate the two testaments, and in addition the notions of type and ante-type also aided the attempt to relate the two testaments. Christian thought has always fought to insist that the whole Bible is God’s Word, and no denigration of the OT or neglect of it is adequate as Christian theology. In the name of modern inter-faith dialogue, Brueggemann and R. Rendtorf have insisted that we should hear the v … [Read more...]

The Struggle to Understand Isaiah as Christian Scripture–Part Thirty

According to Gerhard Ebeling church history is the exposition of Scripture. As Childs says in his conclusions, no one interpretative schema, singular creedal formula, or philosophical or theological system has been employed throughout the ages to make sense of Isaiah. There are however what he calls discernable characteristic features to the way Christians interpret the text, a positive repeated pattern if you will. First, and perhaps most obvious is the assumption that the Bible is the Word … [Read more...]

The Struggle to Understand Isaiah as Christian Scripture— Part Twenty Nine

The final chapter of Child’s review attends to the phenomenon known as post-modern interpretation of the Bible. He focuses on providing a critique of W. Brueggemann, sometimes a very strong critique--- “to confuse the divine Spirit with human imaginative creativity is to introduce a serious distortion into the entire theological discipline”.There are so many problems with Brueggemann’s whole approach to the Bible, that we can only list a few here that Childs mentions or alludes to:1) the … [Read more...]

The Struggle to Understand Isaiah as Christian Scripture–Part Twenty Eight

G.A. Smith (1856-1942) became principle of the University of Aberdeen, an internationally famous lecturer and preacher as well. His Expositor’s Bible commentaries first on the Book of the Twelve and then on Isaiah were enormously popular and influential, not least because of their elegant prose, detailed learning, and also moving theological reflection. While Smith’s linguistic skills were good, his real gift was in offering analysis of the prophetic structures, the poetic style and metrical ca … [Read more...]