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...]

No Magic Book (by John Frye)

No Magic Book, by John Frye Because the Bible is a supernatural book does not mean it is a magic book. The Bible is supernatural in that God the Creator chose to speak to the human race in its own language—human speech and writing, using as his agents the various authors of the Bible books [Read More...]

Reading the Bible Backwards

Historians want to know what happened, if possible why it happened, and then they want to string what happened into a narrative that makes sense of what happened. Bible historians tend to devalue the interpretive layer of the Old Testament, like the one that says Israel’s condition was shaped by its choice to obey or [Read More...]

Bible Reading Destroys the Church (Paul Penley, pt 2)

Bible Reading Destroys the Church (Part 2 of 2) Church division does not have a single all-encompassing “cause.” Events in a complex system rarely do. The notable correlation between increased personal Bible reading and new denominations does not imply singular causation. The mathematical formula in my first article (my preferred meaning + the Bible = [Read More...]

The World is Sacred Space (RJS)

In his new book Seriously Dangerous Religion,  Iain Provan begins by sketching the vision of the world and of creation that the authors of Genesis portray.  This vision is contrasted with that of other religious views (Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.), with the philosophy and religion of the Greeks, and with the ancient Near Eastern (ANE) religions.  Today [Read More...]


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