Sam Storms on “The Word Became Flesh”

Just got emailed this lovely poem from Sam Storms about the incarnation, a beautiful Christmas message:

The Word became flesh!

God became human!

the invisible became visible!

the untouchable became touchable!

eternal life experienced temporal death!

the transcendent one descended and drew near!

the unlimited became limited!

the infinite became finite!

the immutable became mutable!

the unbreakable became fragile!

spirit became matter!

eternity entered time!

the independent became dependent!

the almighty became weak!

the loved became the hated!

the exalted was humbled!

glory was subjected to shame!

fame turned into obscurity!

from inexpressible joy to tears of unimaginable grief!

from a throne to a cross!

from ruler to being ruled!

from power to weakness!”



Guide to the Lament Psalms

What is your best guide to reclaiming biblical Lament for the church? I've been doing a good bit of work on biblical Lament in recent months. I have two publications, which are substantially the same, that will be coming out later next year called "Following the “Man of Sorrows” - Jesus’ Path toward Openheartedness for Survivors of Sexual Trauma: A Reflection on Embodiment and the Practice of Lament" (ch. in a forthcoming Moody Press book edited by Andrew Schmutzer) and "Following the “Man of Sor … [Read More...]

Advent Wishes from The Willitts’ Family . . . Well from Zion

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“A heart made secure by grace” – An Advent Reflection

I recently watched an excellent film called The Book Thief. It was a story set in WWII Germany between the years of 1937 and 1945. The focus was on a young orphan named Liesel, played by a beautiful young young actress named Sophie Nelisse. The film demonstrated the devastation of war as well as the … [Read More...]

The Meaning of the Birth of Jesus

The virgin conception is not a Christianized version of pagan mythology, nor an odd tale of God’s one time enterprise of running a Galilean fertility clinic for teenage girls. The virgin conceptions tells us about Israel’s hopes coming true, God’s Son made flesh, the Spirit’s power in Jesus’ life, a … [Read More...]

Latest Issue of Journal for the Study of the Historical (2014)

Some neat articles in the latest issue of JSHJ 12.1-2 (2014):Fernando Bermejo-Rubio Jesus and the Anti-Roman Resistance: Reassessment of the ArgumentsMichael R. Licona Historians and Miracle ClaimsRobert J. Miller The Domain and Function of Epistemological Humility in Historical Jesus … [Read More...]

Book Notice: Tremper Longman on the Psalms (TOTC)

Tremper Longman Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary (TOTC) Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2014. Available by Amazon.comBy Rev. Jill Firth, Adjunct Lecturer in Hebrew and Old Testament at Ridley CollegeHow is the new Tremper Longman TOTC Psalms commentary different from all other Psalms … [Read More...]

Book Notice: Psalms as Christian Lament

Bruce Waltke, James M. Houston, & Erika Moore The Psalms as Christian Lament: A Historical Commentary Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2014. Available at Amazon.comReview by Rev. Jill Firth, Adjunct Lecturer in Hebrew and Old Testament at Ridley CollegeThe Psalms as Christian Lament … [Read More...]

Mike Bird’s “The Gospel of the Lord” wins CT Book Award For Biblical Studies

I am elated to announce that my book The Gospel of the Lord: How the Early Church Wrote the Story of Jesus has won the Christianity Today's 2015 Book of the Year for Biblical Studies. Second year in a row that an Aussie has taken out this gong. Last year it was won by Con Campbell for his book Paul a … [Read More...]

Book Notice: Jesus, the Temple, and the Son of Man

Robert H. Stein Jesus, the Temple, and the Coming Son of Man: A Commentary on Mark 13 Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2014. Available at Amazon.comRobert Stein has written some great books on the Gospels, climaxing in his Mark commentary for the BECNT series. Here he attempts the first real … [Read More...]

An Australian Perspective on CIA Torture Report

Glad to see that my former boss, Dr. John Blaxland, is now a senior fellow at ANU's Strategic and Defence Studies Center. He provides a great response as a defence analyst to the recent CIA report on interrogation and torture (see here as well). Listen to it here, goes for 6 mins. His opening quote f … [Read More...]

Louisville Conference in January on Interpreting the NT

I'm glad to report that I'll be teaching a course on "Grace & Eschatology" at Houston Baptist University in the first two weeks of January.After that, I'll be speaking at a one day conference at 2nd Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Kentucky on 17 January on Reading the New Testament in the … [Read More...]

Faith Debates – What Does the Church Offer the Next Generation

A somewhat intriguing and slightly disturbing discussion at Lancaster University about what the COE can offer the next generation.I have to say that the only real thing that the Church of England, or any Church for that matter, has to offer is Jesus. Not its clergy, its bishops, its synod, i … [Read More...]

Helen Bond on Sexism in NT Studies

Over at The Jesus Blog, Helen Bond has a great and somewhat confronting piece about sexism in NT studies.The line that struck me was: Over the years, I’ve sometimes found unexpected allies. Older male colleagues with adult daughters develop great insights into what it’s like for women in the pro … [Read More...]

The New Big Thing in Pauline Studies

The big and messy debate in Pauline studies at the moment in "salvation-history" vs. "apocalyptic" interpretations of Paul.Scot McKnight has an excellent write up on this debate that you can view here.This debate goes back to Krister Stendahl and Ernst Kasemann back in the late 70s.  It co … [Read More...]