BEN; One of my very favorite early Jewish books is the Wisdom of Solomon. I have argued at some length that it influenced both Jesus and Paul in some of their teachings in my book Jesus the Sage, though I was not focusing on the possible influence on their theologies of grace. Do you see evidence of some influence of Wis. Sol. on Paul’s theology of grace? JOHN: There are well known parallels between Paul (esp Romans 1-2) and Wisdom… Read more

Here is an important article, about the finding of an early (1604ff) notebook of one of the Cambridge translators of the KJV. See what you think, BW3®ion=top-stories-below&WT.nav=top-stories-below&_r=0 Read more

BEN: In various ways, Lou Martyn seems to have anticipated a few of the themes emphasized in the New Perspective discussions, particularly in regard to ‘pistis Christou’, and in fact, I would suggest he influence Richard Hays when he was writing his dissertation on Galatians at Emory. To what do you attribute the rather huge animus directed against Lou Martyn’s ‘apocalyptic ‘ approach to Paul’s thought from various folks in the Reformed camp, in particular Tom Wright? It’s not like… Read more

BEN: Dealing with Barth or Bultmann’s treatment of Paul is of course difficult in the span of just a few pages, but at least on a surface reading it would appear appropriate to say that Barth emphasizes Paul’s belief that special revelation is required for salvation, and therefore ‘natural theology’ based on general revelation in creation, if not impossible, at least can be said to be non-salvific. By contrast, Bultmann wants to analyze Paul starting with Paul’s anthropological terms, and… Read more

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“To suppose that a direct road leads from art, or morals, or science or even from religion to God is sentimental liberal self-deception.” K. Barth Epistle to the Romans p. 337. Read more

BEN: In your lengthy third chapter reviewing what could be called the history of interpretation of Paul’s theology of gift and grace, you deal with Marcion, Augustine, Luther, and Calvin, in what I will call the ‘historic’ treatments of Paul, but nothing on someone like Arminius or Wesley, both of whom had a great deal to say about Paul’s theology of grace and gift, and perhaps importantly on the notion of prevenient grace. While I realize you could not treat… Read more

So you can take pictures in the Met Museum of Art, but not in the two smaller museums near the Met— the Gugenheim and the Neue Gallerie (and don’t ask me why it has a French name when in fact it only houses German and Austrian art!). The first museum I visited was the Neue Gallerie which had exactly one room open, full of G. Klimmt’s art, including much of his Impressionist work, and his now more famous gold period… Read more

You can see most anything in NY, even on Fifth Avenue itself. So lets take a stroll and check out the good the bad, and everything else….. Of course there are the skyscrapers… which give you neck pains…. And of course there are the shops for your essential computer and cellphone needs…. Personally, I think its the height of stupidity to stand in line for 3 hours and more to buy one of the first Iphone 6s’s, but apparently this… Read more

While I was in NY last month, I was able to take time on a Friday night to see the musical entitled Amazing Grace. Unlike the film (and book) of the same name, this production focuses not on William Wilberforce but rather on the life story of John Newton, including the story of his romance and finally his marriage to his childhood sweetheart. Along the way, you get the tale of his being involved in the slave trade, being shipwrecked… Read more

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