Mere Anglicanism Conference in 2015

Wish I was going to the Mere Anglicanism Conference in Charleston, South Carolina, 22 January 2015. The line up of speakers includes: Ross Douthat, Mary Eberstadt, Os Guiness, Alister McGrath, Bishop Michael  Nazir-Ali, and N.T. Wright. The theme is: Salt and Light: The Christian Response to Secularism. Actually, come to think of it, I might [Read More…]

Happy Feast of St. Peter and St Paul!

Sunday 29th of June is the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul according to the martyrological calendar. Think I’ll celebrate by re-reading Markus Bockmuehl’s chapter on Peter and Paul’s “tense but vital” relationship in his The Remembered Peter in Ancient Reception and Modern Debate. [Read more…]

John Wesley on How to Preach the Gospel

In a letter to Ebenezer Blackwall, dated 20 December 1751, John Wesley explains his evangelistic method with a view to balancing law and gospel: I mean by ‘preaching the gospel’ preaching the love of God to sinners preaching the life, death, resurrection and intercession of Christ, with all the blessings which in consequence thereof are [Read More…]

Paula Fredriksen’s Verdict on N.T. Wright’s PFG

Through a friend I came across Paula Fredriksen’s review of N.T. Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God, which includes this rather damning indictment of his work: [Wright’s] interpretive context is generated not by a critical sifting of primary evidence but by the requirements of his master narrative’s plot: how Paul invented a triumphalist, eschatologically realized Christian theology. In [Read More…]

Book Notice: Eddie Byun, Justice Awakening

Eddie Byun Justice Awakening: How Your Church Can Help End Human Trafficking Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2014. Available at By Kara Martin Eddie Byun’s book, Justice Awakening, gives such a biblical response to this issue, as well as optimistically claiming to teach, “How you and your church can help end human trafficking”. That is [Read More…]

Christology is King

Gradually working my way through Oliver D. Crisp and Fred Sanders (eds) on Christology Ancient and Modern. Thought Crisp and Sanders gave a great opening quote: “There can be no Christianity without Christ. There can be no Christian doctrine without Christology. And there can be no future for a church that does not take seriously the dogmatic [Read More…]

Can Secular and Religious Bodies Work together for Progressive Causes?

Over at the SMH, religion journalist Barney Zwartz has an interesting piece on Secular and Religious Progressives Can Work Together.  In it he shows that religious conservatives are on the decline in the US, in terms of both numbers and influence, which has lessons for Australia. Zwartz gives a good picture of the status quo [Read More…]

Sabbatical Humour I

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Reflections on Jesus as Lord

What does profession “Jesus is Lord” mean for us today? Well, some time ago H.A.A. Kennedy opined that “the term ‘Lord’ has become one of the most lifeless words in the Christian vocabulary.” When the title “Lord” lost its reverence it also lost its relevance and the title was reduced to something like “a spiritually [Read More…]

“Like the Dead Sea”

The Lumineers are right about the “Dead Sea”! [Read more…]

Torah as Interpretation and Paul’s Dying to the Torah (Gal 2:19)

We know the Torah, in this case I mean the book of Moses, was a central element of “Common Judaism” of the late Second Temple Period, the historical period of the New Testament. Jesus’ lifestyle was shaped by it as were the lives of the Apostles and earliest Jewish believers in Jesus. But something that [Read More…]

Rhyne Putman on the Development of Doctrine

Rhyne Putman (NOBTS) has a volume coming out on the development of doctrine from a distinctly evangelical perspective. It is called In Defense of Doctrine: Postdoctrinal Doctrinal Developments and Hermeneutical Phenomenon (Minneapolis: Fortress, forthcoming). This book is great with an important contribution and let me tell you why. On some accounts, the Bible contains “doctrine” [Read More…]

The Bible’s Attitude to Rape

My friend Dr. George Athas (Moore Theological College) has a great presentation on “The Bible’s Attitude to Rape.” The subject of rape is monstrous and disturbing. A lot of what the Bible says about rape in Pentateuchal case law and in narrative seems culturally strange and in some cases morally revolting. Thankfully, however, George gives [Read More…]

The Disinheriting of the Promise Land to Inherit the World? . . . “Wait what?!”

When Paul said “Inheriting the world” (Rom 4:13) did he universalize the Abrahamic blessing? Yes and no. I have read and heard commentators (e.g. Tom Wright – but many more) who think that Paul’s statement in Romans 4:13 means that the Land promise to Israel has been universalized to the exclusion of the concrete promise [Read More…]

I’m on Sabbatical … Huzzah!

After nine years of theological education on two different continents and in three different colleges, I am finally on my first ever sabbatical. No doubt the angels in heaven are weeping with joy and my students are moved with joy to the pit of the bowels knowing that they’ll be free from my antics for [Read More…]