Over at the Church Times is an excellent interview with Prof Judith Lieu, The Lady Margaret’s Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University, about scholarship, her own career, Paul, Marcion, and what people should know about church history. People’s ideas about the Early Church can be a fantasy, ignoring the realities of slavery, which even early Christian writings take for granted, or the restricted roles available for women; and, although we appeal to ideas of family, family meant something very different in that… Read more

Over at Public Discourse, I have an article on Religious Freedom as Freedom to Discriminate? There I argue, among other things: The current suite of religious exemptions to anti-discrimination laws could be swept aside and replaced with more robust protections of religious freedom defined not by what is exceptional but a positive account of freedom of thought, speech, conscience, and association. In the long run, exemptions should be replaced by vigorous reasonable legislation for religious freedom modelled on the Universal Declaration… Read more

I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a big Jonathan Edwards fan (Irenaeus is my homeboy!). I’ve always found Edwards elegant yet verbose, passionate while prolix, dry in places though wonderfully dramatic elsewhere. Plus the dude owned slaves which has always bummed me out. However, I’ve been revising Evangelical Theology for a second edition and I have – if only to satisfy my colleague Rhys Bezzant – been reading a fair bit of Edwards of late, and I’m glad I did. I… Read more

Paul B. Duff Jesus Followers in the Roman Empire Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2017. Available at Amazon.com This is a helpful book on how the churches were similar and different to the pagan context of the Roman empire. It includes a good summary of Greek culture, Jewish religion, and Roman power; the early years of the Jesus movement; and the spread of Christianity into the eastern Mediterranean. Duff also uses Gal 3:28 as a kind of hermeneutical to examine Judaism, Hellenism,… Read more

Now available for pre-order! The N.T. Wright and Michael Bird DVD, The New Testament You Never Knew, a series of talks about the New Testament! In this 8-session video-based study, leading New Testament scholars, N.T. Wright and Michael Bird, hope to take you on a tour of the New Testament Story, from Galilee to Golgotha, from Jerusalem to Rome. They will look at who Jesus is, the real meaning of his death and resurrection, the expansion of the church in the… Read more

David Smith On Christian Teaching: practicing faith in the classroom Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2018. Available at Amazon.com What does it mean to teach ‘Christianly’ (other than perhaps avoiding the use of words like ‘Christianly’)? In On Christian Teaching David Smith answers this question. His interest is not simply in teaching Christian content, or in teaching within a Christian ethos. Instead, Smith argues for an approach to teaching and learning, the pedagogical process itself, that is explicitly shaped by Christian faith…. Read more

Many theologians describe the dual divine-human authorship of the Bible through the analogy of incarnation. So it goes, the Bible is a theo-anthropic book, it is divine and human, and Christ’s incarnation provides us with an analogy as to how the Bible is simultaneously divine and human.  Gregory of Nyssa used the word anakrasis (mingling or mixing) to describe the relationship between the divine Logos and the words of Scripture, a term also used by the Cappodocian Fathers to describe the… Read more

Over at ABC Religion & Ethics, I have a piece on Franklin Graham is Coming to Australia: Here’s Why I Won’t be Attending. I’m a Billy Graham fan and I support the work of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Organization, but Franklin Graham has tethered himself to Trump in a way that is just not tenable. I’m not a hysterical anti-Trumpian, but I can’t stomach a syncretistic blend of Trumpism and Christianity. I argue, among other things: My opposition to Franklin Graham… Read more

In a recent Guardian article, Christina Rees offers her own diagnosis and prescription for how to revitalize the Church of England. As an Anglican priest and a British expat living down-under, I can relate to the issues that Rees raises because we face many of the exact same issues in Australia. I think Rees also points out a problem with an ecclesial system centred on the local parish. The reality is that the village church or suburban church was a… Read more

The dynamic theory of biblical inspiration sees a concursive operation of divine and human elements involved in the process of writing Scripture. The Spirit of God directed the writer’s thoughts and concepts, while allowing their respective personality, style, and disposition to come into play with the choice of words and expressions. Here inspiration is largely conceptual.[1] Bloesch states: “The writers [of Scripture] are assisted and led by the Spirit of God rather than being pens of the Spirit, who alone… Read more

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