A.D. The Bible Continues— Episode Ten

It is tricky business to fill in months and years of gaps in a story that is episodic, as the storyline in Acts is. In this episode we are properly introduced to two new characters— James the brother of Jesus, and the more exotic Ethiopian eunuch, coming to the temple for the feast of Yom Kippur, the once a year forgiveness festival. Let me just say that there is not much brilliant about most dramas of this sort, but the… Read more

Movies You May have Missed– Part Two

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) was a Victorian novelist of note, influenced especially by Dickens and George Eliot (i.e. Mary Ann Evans– see Silas Marner), in terms of his realism in the narrative, and by Wordsworth in terms of his romanticism. Of his famous novels (The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the D’urbervilles, Far from the Madding Crowd, Jude the Obscure) in my book the best and most romantic is indeed Far from the Madding Crowd. Yes, it is a Victorian period… Read more

American Pharoah— AMAZING TRIPLE CROWN WINNER!

[Picture Courtesy WinStar Farms] Three years and a bit ago, a small foal was born on Stockplace Farms on the east side of Lexington. There was a contest to name him, and the winner had picked American Pharoah, yes with the wrong spelling. But that was going to be the only slip up when it came to this horse. Bob Baffert is the only trainer in history to have had four cracks at being the trainer of a Triple Crown… Read more

From Austin to Asbury– A Week to Remember

Austin is one funky town. One of their mottos is— ‘Keep Austin Weird’. I’d prefer Austin. Where the Odd get Even. Not odd at all is my old friend Stan Reid above in front of the old timey grocery store. Stan’s the head of Austin Graduate School of Theology. There is a certain bohemian quality to Austin, it wants to be both nouveau and old school all at once. For example, on the one hand it specializes in old fashioned… Read more

Love and Mercy– A Story of Abuse and Survival

I was thirteen years old, and ‘I Get Around'(1964), was definitely going round and round on turntables all over America. The Beach Boys were topping the charts, and the Beatles were moving up quickly in the speed lane. None of us then knew the tragic story of a gentle musical genius named Brian Wilson who had been abused by his abrasive and controlling father, and then fell into the hands of an equally abusive and controlling shrink, which took him… Read more

Movies You May have Missed— Part One

While the movie Mr. Turner seems to have eluded many movie goers, it did not elude the critics who loved it. It was nominated for four Oscars, and Timothy Spall who plays Turner (who viewers will recognize as playing in the Harry Potter movies) won for Best Oscar at the Cannes Film Festival. It is now available on Blue Ray (and even on You Tube), and is well worth the time to watch, especially if you love art. Indeed, the… Read more

More from Philip Jenkins on True Scholarship

[Here is more from Philip Jenkins on how to distinguish real scholarship from mere advocacy] The Monte Verde Principle May 15, 2015 by Philip Jenkins I have been discussing fringe or marginal theories that run contrary to the scholarly consensus in a given field, and why we need to be very careful about rejecting that mainstream opinion. Just because an idea seems bold or iconoclastic does not make it right. You may at this point be thinking that I am… Read more

‘Dreams and Visions’– The Muslim Encounter with Isa

Tom Doyle has spent a lot of time in predominantly Muslim countries ranging from Egypt to Afghanistan. And what he has noticed repeatedly is that Jesus has found a back door way into the heart of Muslims whose country is basically closed to Christianity, or worse, martyrs any Muslims who become followers of Jesus. When I say back door, I don’t mean undercover missionaries or secret shipments of Bibles, though that can be involved as well. I mean direct divine… Read more

Why Arguments Against Women in Ministry Aren’t Biblical

(This is a re-post of a piece I wrote for Beliefnet many years ago, back by popular demand. BW3) Most of you who know me, know that I did my doctoral thesis on women in the NT with C.K. Barrett at the University of Durham in England. My first three published scholarly books were on this very subject. One of the reasons I did that thirty some years ago was because of the controversy that raged then over the issue… Read more

A.D. The Bible Continues— Part Nine

The Emperor Tiberius died in Italy in A.D. 37, leaving mad Caligula in charge of a massive Empire. Though Caligula never visited Jerusalem (contra the portrayal in the last couple of episodes of A.D.) he did nevertheless want his visage displayed in the temple in Jerusalem– a sort of in your face use of his face. Caligula only ruled from A.D. 37-41, and it was in A.D. 40 that he cooked up the idea of having a statue placed in… Read more

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