Fear Based Thinking vs. Faith Based Thinking

In an age of fear-based thinking, and trust me, since 9/11 America has been binging on fear-based thinking (which in part explains the dramatic rise, one could say explosion, in gun sales since then) sometimes people have even forgotten what faith looks like. In an age of fear, the lust for something concrete, something secure, some kind of absolute certainty about something is palpable. And this whole fear-based environment has effected, or better said, infected the church. People don't want … [Read more...]

Best Books– Part Seven

Obviously, one of the three or four most prolific Biblical scholars in the last half century is N. T. Wright. You see him above in Bishop Auckland Palace working on another book, a picture I took when I was visiting with him. The running joke about Tom (which has also been told about me) is that someone calls and asks the secretary for Tom. She replies he is busy writing a book. The caller says, "Well then, I'll hold".One of Tom's best gifts is his ability to write at all levels of … [Read more...]

A Polite Bribe– Post Screening Comments by Hurtado and Witherington

Apologies for a few four letter words from one of the panelists. BW3 … [Read more...]

Learning How to Think Biblically— Part Five

It is not enough to learn how to think Biblically in a general way about the Bible. As a Christian one needs to learn to think about the Bible and its God as the earliest Christians did. The concept of progressive revelation is key here. If it is true that the fullest revelation of the character and plan of God for humankind is seen in Christ, then we need to learn to think about the OT and about the God of the Bible in specifically Christian ways-- through the eyes of Jesus and his first … [Read more...]

Learning How to Think Biblically– Part Four

The next step in learning how to think Biblically is learning the overarching narrative of the Bible-- starting with creation, then Fall, then the various acts of redemption culminating in the Christ event, and then the Age of the Spirit leading up to the return of Christ and the new creation. Secondly, one needs to learn a good deal about covenantal theology, because mistakes on this score have led to reams and reams of problems. Christians for example are not under the Mosaic covenant, nor … [Read more...]

Stephen Colbert on God and Hell

(image from Shutterstock)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcAgHUlE4eY … [Read more...]

Learning How to Think Biblically— Part Three

Careful, analytical reading of the Bible requires some training. As I say in the book pictured above, most people need to be trained on how to do proper detailed reading of an ancient text. One way to start being able to do that is to read the book How to Read a Book. Perhaps the most helpful thing to do in this post is to describe how I read books about the Bible, as well as reading the Bible itself. First of all, I avoid doing snippets. One of the real problems in doing 'word studies' is that … [Read more...]

Finding Jesus– Episode Four (on James)

This show just keeps getting better, and if you missed the episode last night, you missed the best episode in this six part series. Go to CNN, type Finding Jesus into the search box, and find last night's episode on James the brother of Jesus. Once again one has a variety of scholarly opinion, but in this episode we get to dip into the shady world of forgery and coping of antiquities. Copying, and labeling something a copy of say, a first century ossuary, is legal. Making replicas and … [Read more...]

Learning How to Think Biblically– Part Two

Unfortunately, we live in an age of Biblical illiteracy, and the problem is only compounded by attempts at self-education through the internet, where there is as much dross as gold, straw as silver to be found. So obviously the first step in learning how to think Biblically, including thinking critically (in the good sense of the word-- keenly, asking good questions) about the Bible is that you need to learn what the Bible actually says. Not being familiar with the scope and range of material … [Read more...]