This guest post from Robert Strauss is part 1 of 3 in the series. Reza Aslan’s recent history of Islam, No god but God, tells the story[1] of a train conductor confronting a young American couple on a coach bound from Casa Blanca on the Atlantic to the interior city of Marrakesh. The conductor, upset, speaks loudly in Arabic, falling at times in anger into his Berber dialect. Long an economic center in West Africa, Marrakesh dates from the Berber… Read more

Most people understand God’s righteousness in Rom 3:4 and Ps 51:4 as punitive, referring to God’s judgment against sin. As I show, this reading is flawed on multiple levels. Both Psalm 51:4 and Romans 3:4 refer to God’s saving righteousness. I suspect the main reason people overlook this view is they miss the structure of Ps 51:1–4. Read more

I’m grateful to let people know about two recently published reviews of my books. They have written generous critiques of each work. If anyone has not read either of these books, the following reviews offer helpful introductions. Read more

Jen Hatmaker’s arguments are flawed because of an increasingly popular but superficial way of interpreting Scripture. This post examines the specific passage she seems to use in order to justify her views on LGBTQ and same-sex marriage. Read more

Sadly, people like Jen Hatmaker give us poor examples of contextualization. She cast aside nearly every principle of biblical interpretation. Because interpretation is the first step of contextualization, various comments on the podcast superficially resemble statements I and others make about contextualization. Read more

If you ever sang “Take my Life” in church, you have probably been taught that “ holiness ” refers to a moral condition, a state or moral purity that reflects God’s unique character. Accordingly, you were taught Lev 19:2, “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.”[1] However, both the Hebrew and the Greek Septuagint of Lev 19:2 use indicative, not imperative, verbs. In other words, you are holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy. In… Read more

Section 3 of The Lost World of the Israelite Conquest is called “The Canaanites are not depicted as guilty of breaking God’s Law.” To make that claim, John and Harvey Walton make a few observations and claims that will certainly grab attention. (In this series, click for Part 1, Part 2) “What’chu talkin’ about, Walton?” As I read this book, I imagine some readers echoing Gary Coleman’s line on the 80’s show Diff’rent Strokes, “What’chu talkin’ ‘bout, Walton?” This section… Read more

Why did Israel attempt to clear the Canaanites from the promised land? Read more

Although John Walton never shies from controversial topics, his recent book is bold, even by his standards. In The Lost World of the Israelite Conquest (TLWIC), he takes up multiple contentious subjects yet without being cantankerous. It is cowritten with his son, J. Harvey Walton, who was the lead writer. Nevertheless, this latest installment of The Lost World series matches the tone and methodology of his prior works, which I’ve previously reviewed here and formally. Why review this book? The… Read more

Here are a few recent articles about the influence of honor and shame in contemporary China. I’ve included a small snapshot introducing each article. Why are women accused of witchcraft? Study in rural China gives clue (Jan 13, 2018) But a study we conducted of one Chinese region provided an opportunity to test the most common hypothesis – that witchcraft accusations act as punishment for those who do not cooperate with local norms. According to this theory, witch tags mark… Read more

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