If I Wrote an Intro to the Bible Text

I have no plans to write an introduction to the Bible textbook, but if I did it would complement lectures, overlapping at times, lead students to read the Bible more and encourage them to see the grandeur of the Bible. The major idea for each chapter would have this approach: Here’s something to know so [Read More...]

Is the Story Dangerous? (RJS)

The final chapter of Iain Provan’s book Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Matters gives an answer to the question suggested by the title. Is Christianity, grounded as it is in the Old Testament Story with new dimensions from the New Testament, actually dangerous? Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion) [Read More...]

Three Ways to Avoid Reading the Old Testament

By Jayson Bradley, where you can read the full essay: What would you add to his list of three? But Jesus validates the Old Testament, and so I’ve come to a place where I enjoy wrestling with this inspiring (and often frustrating) collection of books. But there are ways that many churches and pastors handle the [Read More...]

Scripture, Church, Tradition

At its simplest, Protestants believe in Scripture alone and Roman Catholics believe in Scripture and Tradition. Postmodernity raised its hand in this discussion to remind Protestants that there is no pure “alone” and that all interpretations are mediated by both the individual interpreter and the context of that interpreter. That is, Protestants too have a [Read More...]

You Are Your Brother’s Keeper (RJS)

We’ve been slowly working through Iain Provan’s new book Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Matters. The next chapter addresses the Old Testament’s answer to the question of how we are to relate to our fellow humans.  Provan takes two major approaches to addressing this question. The first continues [Read More...]

Skeletons: Introducing Joshua Ryan Butler

I will tell you why I like Joshua Ryan Butler’s The Skeletons in God’s Closet: The Mercy of Hell, the Surprise of Judgment, the Hope of Holy War. Because he’s young and is sensitive to some of the Bible’s most sensitive issues (see the topics in that subtitle?), because he forges his way into these topics [Read More...]

The Real Living Bible (by John Frye)

The Real Living Bible (by John Frye — see here) “For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church” (1 Corinthians 4:17).  [Read More...]

Asking the Bible to do More than it does

The issue can be settled into two terms: the Bible teaches truth but it does not teach the path. These two terms are Bonhoeffer’s and emerged from the intense discussions in the Confessing Church on whether their pastors should pursue legalization under Hitler or remain “illegal” and dependent on free will offerings by the parishes [Read More...]

“Too Scandalous for Direct Speech”

If I could convince ordinary Bible readers of one thing it would be this: look up those Bible references in your Bible’s cross-referencing notes. They are not only a goldmine but the result of lots and lots of work, and they are designed to help Bible readers see that the NT authors knew they were taking [Read More...]

Reading the Bible vs. Being Read by the Bible

This set of images comes from a wonderful article by James Bryan Smith, at Friends University and with Apprentice Institute, and illustrates the differences of reading the Bible for information vs formation or reading the Bible vs being read by the Bible: [Read more...]


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