Fools— April or Otherwise

“The fool says in his heart, there is no god……”. Whether we are aware of it or not ‘the fool’, like ‘the sluggard’ or ‘the sage/wise man’ are stock characters in early Jewish wisdom literature. They occur for instance in Proverbs, sometimes in personified form (see Prov. 9– Lady Folly), but more often just as a type of person, and some would say a stereotype. It occurred to me that it might be well to rehearse what the Bible says… Read more

The Unbearable Brightness of Light

ON THE UNBEARABLE BRIGHTENESS OF LIGHT Sunrise thru stained glass To see it thru the filter, I can’t stare straight at the sun But thru the window I have won A glimpse of all God’s glory. Patterns in the glass Suggest an ordered world As if the beauty so aloof Requires a filter as the proof That we can’t bear the vision. Truth needs a mediator For all things transcendent Lest human mind Be left behind In quest to find… Read more

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… Read more

A Polite Bribe– Post Screening Comments by Hurtado and Witherington

[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/120187977[/vimeo] 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… 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… Read more

Stephen Colbert on God and Hell

(image from Shutterstock) 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…. 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,… Read more

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