The Trials and Tribulations of Temptations– Part Two

Human beings have a rather infinite capacity for rationalizing or justifying their bad behavior. And one of the favorite tricks in the arsenal of self-justification is ‘objectifying’ things. In the old TV show Flip Wilson, whenever he was caught doing something he ought not to do would immediately exclaim ‘the Devil made me do it’. Interestingly, the Bible, at least when it comes to believers, does not agree with this theology. In fact it doesn’t much agree with objectifying one’s… Read more

The Trials and Tribulations of Temptation— Part One

peirasmos and its cognates are interesting words. The noun form can refer to trials or temptations, ordeals or enticements. In other words, it can refer to something that could possibly strengthen your character or alternately in other contexts refer to something that could destroy your character. By definition God tempts no one, and cannot be tempted (see James 1.13). God is absolutely not the source of evil, including allurement into sin. We have some difficulty in translating this word when… Read more

Paul and Covert Ops

Proving that Paul may not be Harvard’s type, but he is Harvard’s typo is the following discovered by alert reader and colleague Philip Jenkins…. Paul the Covert??? I have to share this. One of the classic works on Judaism and early Christianity is Alan Segal’s Rebecca’s Children (1986). Through the centuries, debate has raged over exactly what St. Paul was doing when he took the Jesus Movement on its new directions. I am struck, therefore, to find that the Harvard… Read more

NT Theology and Ethics is Coming!

Looking for a good textbook to introduce your audience to both the theology and the ethics of the NT? Well IVP is producing an edited down, simplified version of my The Indelible Image in a 2 volume paperback set. It should be out in the late Fall, and I believe it will be Kindle-ized as well :) The way this stands out from other volumes is that it doesn’t just treat either NT theology or NT ethics, but treats them… Read more

Nova Scotia– Part Six

In this final post on my visit to Nova Scotia, I will take you on a lovely walk through one of the finest Arboretums (both gardens and greenhouse) I’ve ever seen as a small college. The Irving Arboretum is in addition one of the newest buildings on campus, and is the very spot where major lectures are given. Here is the schematic of the arboretum…. The plants shown above are on the garden trails, and so can grow outdoors in… Read more

Nova Scotia– Part Five

When I came to Wolfville, I must admit, I did not expect it to be not much different in size and design from Wilmore Kentucky— but it isn’t. Like Wilmore, it is a town, when the students are there, of about 6,000 people, and like Wilmore it has exactly two main streets, one of which Acadia University, once Acadia Baptist College, is on. The town is full of beautiful little cottages that could be founded in any little New England… Read more

Nova Scotia– Part Four

As I mentioned earlier, Nova Scotia is very much like northern New England in terms of terrain and flora and fawn. It is also like northern New England in its little fishing villages full of lobster pots and nets. This little village, called Hall’s Harbor looks almost identical to Rockport in Massachusetts right down to the red barn. There is also the same rocky and scenic coastline and very very cold water! No swimmers here. Hall’s Harbor has a nice… Read more

Nova Scotia– Part Three

Besides the Covenanter Church in Grand Pre, there is also the Grand Pre Winery, which specializes in ice wines, wines in which one has left the grapes on the vine into the winter months, and then harvested them. To be honest, I had never heard of ice wines before I visited Nova Scotia, but I gather they are also produced in snowbound U.S. places like Buffalo as well. The process is such that this concentrates the sugars in the grape… Read more

Nova Scotia– Part Two

When I landed in Halifax, I was taken immediately to Victoria’s Inn in Wolfville, where I was to stay all week, and where, clearly, the Queen had never stayed. It is a… wait for it…Victorian Inn converted into a B+B. Once I stepped out of the car at the Inn I was immediately overwhelmed by the smell of lilacs everywhere. The lilacs and the horse chestnuts and much else was all in bloom. It felt much like a Spring day… Read more

Nova Scotia— Part One

Nova Scotia— New Scotland. It’s almost an island off the east coast of Canada. It’s where various immigrants came, escaping harsh conditions in Scotland and elsewhere, only to discover that Nova Scotia was not exactly the Bahamas. For a good many of these immigrants Nova Scotia was terra incognita– an unknown land, and that’s still true today for many Americans. The sign I took a picture of above in Wolfville where Acadia University is (where one finds Acadia Divinity College,… Read more

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