Review of Charles Freeman’s “New” History of Early Christianity

Over at RBL is the longest and probably the most critical review I’ve even written.  It is Charles Freeman, A New History of Early Christianity (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009). Freeman is a general historian and not a church historian and he makes a few interesting points. Otherwise he piggy backs some of the [Read More...]

Latin Anyone?


I’m not one to use Latin phrases. For one I don’t know Latin. Now I’m not proud of this. As a quasi-academic in the Christian tradition, I wish I knew Latin. Alas, we only live one life and mine does not include Latin. If your young and academically interested, Latin is a good language to [Read More...]

The Jerusalem Experience

Eran Frankel has launched an interesting video blog about Jerusalem. Over the course of various video posts, Eran takes viewers on a tour of the modern city pointing out important religious sites. The first several posts are about the Via Dolorosa. The content is a bit of a mixed bag, but if you’ve never been [Read More...]

Christianity – From Jewish Sect to Separate Religion?

Shaye J.D. Cohen in his book From the Maccabees to the Mishnah locates early Christianity firmly within the world of Jewish sectarianism. However, he does not think it remained so beyond the first century. Cohen defines a sect this way: A sect is a small, organized group that separates itself from the larger religious body [Read More...]

Conversion of Saint Paul

pauls conversion

Yesterday, January 25th, the Church celebrated Paul’s conversion. I find Paul to be such a compelling person. While Paul has been an intellectual preoccupation for 15 years, he also inspires me. His life compels me to be “all in” on what God has called me to do. This past year while sitting in the theater [Read More...]

Family Devotional for Lent & Easter


I’m searching for a family devotional for Lent and Easter that I can do with my young family. Does anyone have a suggestion of devotional material that has worked well for you? [Read more...]

Prayer for Third Week after Epiphany

Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Messiah and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, for ever and [Read More...]

Jesus Have I Loved, But Paul? – An Engagement with Daniel Kirk’s New Book

I am writing the final post on the blog tour for Daniel Kirk’s new book, Jesus Have I Loved, But Paul?. You can see all the posts on the tour here at the Blog Tour Hub. I will be engaging the final chapter of the book which is titled “Living Interpretations”. Let me say that [Read More...]

Headship, Hair, and Hats: 1 Cor 11:2-16 Oncemore

The issue of head-coverings in 1 Cor. 11.2-16 strikes readers as rather foreign and it is a difficult passage for interpreters to engage with. This passage is a good example of the cultural distance between our world and the world that Paul inhabited in places like Roman Corinth. We do not know what Paul originally [Read More...]

Who Made all the Boys Wussies?

Over at Red Church, Mark Sayers has a fascinating little piece about You Will Never Guess Who is Really Responsible For the Softening of Males in the Church. It talks about how historic evangelicalism operated as a major social and moral force that worked to reduce male aggression in Western society (HT Douglas Groothuis). Do [Read More...]

The Messianic Confession of Simon Peter


Today the church celebrates the confession of the Apostle Peter recorded in the synoptic gospels in Matt 16:16 (par. Mark 8:29; Luke 9:20). When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; [Read More...]

Five Myths about Anti-Christian Persecution

Interesting article at the National Catholic Reporter by John L. Allen about misrepresentations in media and politics about the persecution of Christians: Myth No. 1: Christians are vulnerable only where they’re a minority. Myth No. 2: It’s all about Islam Myth No. 3: No one saw it coming Myth No. 4: It’s only persecution if the [Read More...]

Epiphany Prayer for Week Two


Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Messiah is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illuminated by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Messiah’s glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Messiah our Lord, who with you and [Read More...]


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As a supplement to my previous post, “Israel’s Proprietorship”, I was reminded of Kendal Soulen’s observation of “Israel-forgetfulness” in most of the ways we describe the Canon’s narrative unity. For most Christians, with whom I regularly interact, the unity of the canon is at the expense of Israel’s story. The standard reading of the Bible’s [Read More...]

David Attenborough Documentary on Anglican Primates

This is literally LOL funny! [Read more...]