Reflections on Rom 7:7-25 – Part 4

Thesis 4: Rom 7:7-25 is an “Open” Text I want to suggest here that a little dose of reader-response criticism might actually be helpful for understanding this passage. Since Paul does not explicitly nominate the identity of the speaker in the speech, the identity of the “I” remains quite “open,” perhaps deliberately. The open-endedness of [Read More…]

Reflection on Marlena Graves’s New Book: A Beautiful Disaster

The doctor opened the door for a second time while I waited in a small examination room. She apologized for delay; I’d been sitting in the empty room for 15 minutes waiting. Apparently the Infectious Disease specialist was in a meeting. She sighed with force, “Of all days he had a meeting!” My chest X-ray [Read More…]

Working for Theological Education and Religious Reconciliation in Nigeria

Over at the Aussie Bible Society website, my Ridley student Sophie Timothy has an interview with my former HTC colleagues Fraser and Dawn Jackson about their ministry in Jos in northern Nigeria. A great read if you want to know about what is happening in Nigeria and what it is like for a missionary working there. [Read more…]

Twenty-Five Blogger in One Sentence

Over at Think, Andrew Wilson sums up 25 bloggers in one sentence. Even yours truly gets a mention: Mike Bird: “You should all be Anglicans, but you can still be both biblically faithful and good-humoured about it, sport.” Plus these: Scot McKnight: “Hey, here’s an interesting leftish quotation that I’m not going to comment on [Read More…]

Book Notice: David deSilva on the Jewish Teachers of Jesus, James, and Jude

David A. deSilva The Jewish Teachers of Jesus, James, and Jude: What Earliest Christianity Learned from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha Oxford: OUP, 2012. Available at David deSilva (Ashland Theological Seminary) has produced a book that achieves two key functions. First, it is a great introduction to apocryphal and pseudepigraphal literature (i.e., Ben Sirach, 1 [Read More…]

Larry Hurtado Reviews Bart Ehrman on HJBG

Over at his blog, Larry Hurtado reviews Bart Ehrman’s HJBG with some juicy points of affirmation and criticism. On these and a few other matters, in short, Ehrman’s discussion is misinformed, which is curious given that the jacket promotional blurb describes the book as the product of eight years of research and writing.  But, notwithstanding [Read More…]

Reflections on Rom 7:7-25 – Part 3

Thesis 3: The “I” is a composite character. There are echoes of Adam, Israel, and especially God-fearers who tried to live under the law but see in hindsight that they had always failed to keep it. To begin with, there are some striking parallels between Genesis 2–3 and Rom 7:7-25. For instance: “The serpent deceived me, [Read More…]

Jesus’ Descent to the Underworld

Jesus Descended into Hell, Kind of By Justin W. Bass St. Augustine asked in the fifth century, “Who, therefore, but an infidel will deny that Christ was in hell?” (Ep. 164) And in just the last few decades Wayne Grudem wrote an article (reflecting the views of many of the Reformed persuasion today) entitled “He [Read More…]

What does it Mean to “Obey the Gospel”?

In traditional Reformed theology there is often posited a strong contrast between Law and Gospel. Gospel tells you how to receive eternal life, Law tells you how to do God’s moral will. Don’t confuse the two, cause you might end up as a legalist. Now if you read Galatians (esp. 3.1-5), you can see how [Read More…]

New Testament Job Opening at Gordon-Conwell

There is a NT job opening at the prestigious Gordon-Conwell Seminary, looking specifically for but not limited to a Synoptics person. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary ( announces a tenure track faculty position in the area of New Testament beginning in the fall of 2015. The seminary is an evangelical multi-denominational school with campuses in South Hamilton, [Read More…]

Reflections on Rom 7:7-25 – Part 2

Thesis 2: The “I” is not a normal pre-Christian experience of wailing in guilt and then finding a deliverer. As far as we know, Saul of Tarsus did not have a guilt-ridden conscience and was not waiting for a divine messianic figure to die an atoning death to save his troubled soul from the flames of [Read More…]

TGC review of Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy

Over at TGC, Ken Stewart has a good review of Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy that is worth checking out. I thought Stewart gave a generous conclusion: What does this “proxy-struggle” for the future of evangelicalism tell us? That there’s a huge overlap of theological concern in the constituencies respresented by Mohler, Bird, and Vanhoozer and that [Read More…]

First Things on Matthew Vines

Over at First Things Owen Strachan and Andrew Walker have written a response to Matthew Vines’ book God and the Gay Christian. The final paragraph was a knock out: We do not judge a Christian teacher only by his age or experience, to be sure. But the new progressives have an authority problem. Whether their own family [Read More…]

Reflection on Rom 7:7-25 – Part 1

Thesis 1: The “I” in Rom 7:7-25 is not a Christian and cannot be a Christian. While many might take great comfort in a Christian reading of Rom 7:7-25, furnishing proof that even the Apostle Paul struggled with sin in his Christian life, providing hope and succour for the rest of us in our struggle [Read More…]

Jonathan Edwards and the Church

My colleague Rhys Bezzant has a great book on Jonathan Edwards and the Church (New York: OUP, 2013), which should be necessary reading for anyone interested in American church history, doctrine of the church, or part of the YRR crowd. Interest in the life and writings of Jonathan Edwards has never been higher. Academics, pastors, and a [Read More…]