Banning Circumcision: Scandinavia Merely Following the Legacy of the Gentile Church

There was a recent news report, perhaps you’ve seen it, that Scandinavian countries are seriously considering a ban on ritual circumcision. The Huffington Post reported: In September 2013, the Child Rights International Network released a joint statement from the Nordic Ombudsmen for children and pediatric experts which said, “As Ombudsmen for Children and pediatric experts we [Read More…]

Col 1:15-20 and Kingship

Over at the Logos blog, Jonathan Watson pulls out a blast from the past by posting a quote from my Colossians commentary on Col 1:15-20. I stand by my remarks on the origins of the hymn and especially its relationship to Wisdom traditions and a Jewish theology of creation. Even so, if I had to write [Read More…]

ETS, IBR, and SBL Humorous Observations

Okay, I’m in the process of renewing my memberships with some learned scholarly societies about biblical and theological studies so I thought I would make some humorous observations about each one, namely, ETS, IBR, and SBL. Now Australians tend to have a very deprecatory sense of humour and we like to make fun of some [Read More…]

Book Notice: Craig Keener, Acts 3:1-14:28

Craig S. Keener Acts: An Exegetical Commentary – Volume 2 Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2013 Available at The latest installment in Craig Keener’s epic four volume Acts commentary – the mother of all Acts commentaries – is now available. It covers Acts 3:1-14:28. All I can say is whoa! The first thing I checked [Read More…]

CBMW Review of my Bourgeois Babes Book

Over at CBWM Griffin Gulledge offers a very gracious but not uncritical review of my ebook about women in ministry called Bourgeois Babes, Bossy Wives, and Bobby Haircuts: A Case for Gender Equality in Ministry. Griffin takes issue with a few of my exegetical decisions here and there, esp. about 1 Cor 11:2-16, but is [Read More…]

Book Notice: The Unrelenting God

David J. Downs & Matthew L. Skinner (eds.) The Unrelenting God: God’s Action in Scripture: Essays in Honor of Beverly Roberts Gaventa Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2013. Available at Beverly Gaventa is a brilliant scholar, having made contributions to the study of Luke-Acts and Paul. She is now at Baylor Uni having taught for [Read More…]

Tom Schreiner Reviews N.T. Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God

The latest issue of Credo Magazine is out with a specific focus on “Justification: The Doctrine of Which the Church Stands or Fall.” In it, Tom Schreiner has a piece on N.T. Wright Under Review: Revisiting the Apostle Paul and His Doctrine of Justification. For a summary of the main arguments, see Justin Taylor’s overview [Read More…]

Review of Denny Burk: What is the Meaning of Sex?

Denny Burk What is the Meaning of Sex?  Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013. Available at By Kara Martin Denny Burk is correct when he says that we live in a world confused about sex. The link between the biblical understanding of sex and relationships that defined the mores of society has almost completely disintegrated in [Read More…]

Sorry Tully, God Wants us to Be Good Samaritans

Over at TGC, Tullian Tchividjian offers an interesting spin on the Parable of the Good Samaritan. He writes: If Jesus had been asked, “How should we treat our neighbors?” and had responded with this story, perhaps “Be like the Good Samaritan” would be an acceptable interpretation. Instead, Jesus was asked, “What must I do to [Read More…]

A More Compassionate Christology – Grief-Generated Grace

One of the themes of which I’ve been personally preoccupied in recent months is the idea of the suffering of God. I was just journalling this morning about my desire to be even more focused on this theme. I have been finding of late that my imagination has a significant amount of power in creating [Read More…]

Book Announcement: How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature – A Response to Bart Ehrman

Bart Ehrman has a new book due out in March titled, How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee (New York: HarperOne, 2014). I blogged about it earlier here. The blurb for the book on reads: New York Times bestselling author and Bible expert Bart Ehrman reveals how Jesus’s divinity became dogma [Read More…]

Biblical Illiteracy is a Sign of Ignorance of Religion, History, Literature, and Art

The renowned American New Testament scholar Richard Hays was  in Australia last year attending a conference in Perth. While on a train, he got talking to someone who asked him what he was doing in Australia. He replied that he was attending the Society of New Testament Studies conference. Sensing the person’s confusion he clarified [Read More…]

“The Jews” in John’s Gospel

I’ll be teaching a course on John’s Gospel next month for Logos for their Mobile Ed program. I’m looking forward to it although it will be a new experience. It will be an additional treat to go out to the Seattle area for a week.  I’ve been teaching John at NPU for as long as I’ve [Read More…]

A New Criterion in Historical Jesus Research

Thanks to Chris Keith, Dale Allison, and Anthony Le Donne, no one seems to believe that the various criteria of authenticity can really prove or disprove any element of the Jesus tradition. So, I’ve come up with a new, very Australian, criterion of authenticity. I call it the “criterion of the vibe.” See the video [Read More…]

Why I’m Looking Forward to a Sabbatical

Over at TGC is a great piece by Michael Morgan on What I Learned About Sabbaticals by Finally Taking One. Despite teaching biblical studies and theology for nearly ten years I’ve never had a sabbatical. Since I’ve changed institutions twice (began at Highland Theological College went to Brisbane School of Theology then to Ridley Melbourne) [Read More…]