News from around the Net

Sad news, last night we heard reports of the passing of Dallas Willard (known for his work on Christian spirituality) and Geza Vermes (known for his work on Jewish Roman history, Dead Sea Scrolls, and the historical Jesus). On the CBE blog is an interesting piece, Is Egalitarianism a Slippery Slope? I used to think this, [Read More...]

Infanticide Blitz

Okay, the news and net is flooded with stuff on infanticide. Here is some of it. Top of the list is that the Journal of Medical Ethics has dedicated a whole new issue to the infanticide debate which includes a range of views about infanticide. The journal editor Julian Savulescu writes in his editorial: In [Read More...]

What does “historical” mean when it comes to the Gospels?


When I was doing my Ph.D. on Matthew I remember having a conversation with my supervisor Markus Bockmuehl, I think it was in the accompany of others, about the question of historicity in the Gospels, particularly the Transfiguration. Markus has a high view of Scripture, but holds it critically. I was thankful for a mentor [Read More...]

Evangelical Faith and Historical Criticism

As a follow-up to my earlier post where I pointed out that the rhetoric of the new atheist’s does not bother college-age Christians as much as historical criticism does, I’m glad to announced a forthcoming book edited by Christopher Hays and Christopher Ansberry on Evangelical Faith and the Challenge of Historical Criticism which is an edited [Read More...]

Gay NZ Man Takes Church to Court for Refusing to Ordain Him

We all knew this was coming. In this report a gay man in a partnered relationship in New Zealand is taking the Anglican Bishop of Auckland to the Human Rights Tribunal for discrimination because the diocese will not ordain him to the priesthood. Ironically, the Anglican Church of NZ is very likely to ordain open [Read More...]

SPCK Classic – Burridge on the Four Gospels

I’ve taught NT in three different theological colleges across the world.  In the Introduction to the Gospels course taught in all three colleges each one had Richard Burridge’s Four Gospels, One Jesus? A Symbolic Reading on their reading list! There is a reason for that, Burridge has written a rather useful intro to the four Gospels. In [Read More...]

Orthodoxy is Winning

Interesting article in TimeIdea on In the War Over Christianity, Orthodoxy is Winning by Mary Eberstadt. As changing views on gay marriage, among others, go to show, secularization marches on. Traditionalists may be on the losing end of historic real estate, at least for now, as well as booed out of the public square for [Read More...]

From Paul to Nicea

I’ve just finished reading Christopher Bryan’s The Resurrection of the Messiah (Oxford: OUP, 2011) and I rather liked this quote in his conclusion: Paul, the earliest of our witnesses is, as we have seen, particularly clear. We have noted how, in I Corinthians 15:27-28 he spells out, in his own way, precisely the point that Nicea would  eventually make [Read More...]

A Little Known Mark Commentary you Should Know About

I have more Mark commentaries than other book of the NT. There are so many really good one’s. Vincent Taylor, C.E.B. Cranfield, R.T. France (good old British one’s), Rudolf Pesch (best German commentary), Craig Evans (good on religionsgeschichte), A.Y. Collins (dense and nearly definitive), M. Eugene Boring (great on literary theological themes), Ben Witherington (Mark [Read More...]

Why We Need to Teach Historical Criticism

In the latest issue of Theology 116.3 (2013) is a series of articles by Aussie authors about the New Atheists and Biblical Study. Articles include: Mark G. Brett “Dawkins and Badiou: Two Atheist Approaches to the Bible.” Dorothy A. Lee “The New Testament and the New Atheism: Alternative Narrations.” Neil Pembroke “Young Australian Christians reading Dawkins [Read More...]

Audio Lecture: What is “evangelical” about Evangelical Theology

Now available on-line is the audio for my inaugural Ridley College public lecture on “What is ‘evangelical’ about Evangelical Theology?“ [Read more...]

Book Notice: Exploring the Religion of Ancient Israel

Chalmers, Aaron. Exploring the Religion of Ancient Israel: Priest, Prophet, Sage, and People. Exploring Topics in Christianity Series. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2012. By Graham Scott (Crossway College) Exploring the Religion of Ancient Israel is a concise and well-written introduction to Israelite religion. Chalmer’s analysis devotes key chapters to each of the three key roles in [Read More...]

Book Notice: Heaven on Earth

R. Alan Streett Heaven on Earth: Experiencing the Kingdom of God in the Here and Now Eugene, OR: Harvest, 2013. My friend Alan Streett, Research Professor at Criswell College, has written a useful introduction to the meaning and relevance of the kingdom of God to Christian life. This book is well informed about empire [Read More...]

Romans 1:18-32 – A Paraphrase

Roman 1:18-32 could be called “Mapping the Crack Shack of the Human Heart. ” Here is my paraphrase, comments welcomed! The Pagan World in the Grip of Sin (Rom 1:18-32) In speaking of God’s saving justice, we cannot forget his punitive justice against evil either. For the righteous rage of God is even now being [Read More...]

Introducing the Bible while Introducing English

I’ve taught in a number of colleges where for many students English is not their first language. It is always a struggle then to find them good quality literature to read that is also written at a fairly easy comprehension level for people who don’t yet  have the best English-reading skills. A book like that [Read More...]