A Brother’s Wisdom 50

The next seven verses are some of the most fought-over verses in the Bible. These verses led Luther to his famous “right strawy epistle.” It led him to put James further back in the German New Testament. Calvin wrestled these verses into shape. We fight over these verses because they appear to be teaching what [Read More…]

Justification and New Perspective 4

We are discussing Tom Wright’s new book , a book that responds to John Piper’s criticism of Wright and the New Perspective (Justification: God’s Plan & Paul’s Vision ). The 2d chp of this book deals with the rules of engagement. Here is Wright’s simple approach: “The rules for engagement for any debate about Paul [Read More…]

The Bible and Knowledge 3 (RJS)

We continue our discussion of Kent Sparks’s book God’s Word in Human Words (GWHW) moving into Chapters 2 and 3:  Historical Criticism and Assyriology and The Problem of Biblical Criticism.  Before diving into the topic of Biblical Criticism, Sparks considers Historical Criticism in the context of the study of the history and languages of ancient [Read More…]

Kingdom Gospel 1

If “kingdom” is the solution, what is the problem? Jesus’ gospel message of the kingdom of God is itself a blue parakeet for many today. In fact, many have tamed Jesus’ blue parakeet message of the kingdom and this chapter may well provide a reason why some feel this way. Encountering Jesus’ kingdom gospel not [Read More…]

A Brother’s Wisdom 49

These two verses are considered by some to be the most difficult verses in the whole Bible to interpret. Questions abound for all. Here’s the NIV translation of James 2:18-19: 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what [Read More…]

Courtly Love in the Courts of God

This was posted last week at Out of Ur blog but I’d like to re-post it here. A peculiar development occurred in the medieval age about love. Behind closed doors and in the rush of brief encounters there developed what has been called “courtly love” or “romantic love.” Married men found themselves emotionally carried away [Read More…]

Try this on a computer life style

Henry David Thoreau, in Walden (Everyman’s Library) , observed: “For the improvement of ages have had but little influence on the essential laws of [our] existence: as our skeletons, probably, are not to be distinguished from those of our ancestors” (11). That is, we are prone these days to sail away with our observations about [Read More…]

Prayer for the Week

Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with [Read More…]

Weekly Meanderings

Kris and I fly to Paris and then down to South Africa today (and tomorrow!), where I will be giving some lectures in Pretoria and Stellenbosch about a variety of topics, including a conversation between professors and pastors about the Book of Acts and Missional Theology. It is unlikely that we will have regular editions [Read More…]

What’s your favorite …

Beatles song? Well, this one’s hard, but my son Lukas got me into this song: [Read more…]

Friday is for Friends: Matt Edwards

On Fridays we often post material from our readers, and this is the last on my recent submissions. So, if you have something you think would fit on this blog, send it in … This one is from Matt Edwards. From Matt Edwards: During his Sex God tour, Rob Bell reportedly said that people have [Read More…]

The Bible and Knowledge 2 (RJS)

I don’t ever jump in to introduce posts by RJS. But this post today is a summary and sketch of a very serious proposal for how to understand the doctrine of Scripture and our knowledge of Scripture/theology. Give this a good read and join in on the conversation. SMcK Chapter 1 of Kent Spark’s book [Read More…]

Justification and New Perspective 3

We are discussing Tom Wright’s new book , a book that responds to John Piper’s criticism of Wright and the New Perspective (Justification: God’s Plan & Paul’s Vision ) and we want to dip today into chp one and Tom’s graphic opening image. But first another point: read this book, please read this book. If [Read More…]

The Bible and Coal

The story is told of an old man who lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern West Virginia with his young grandson. Each morning Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading from his old worn-out Bible. His grandson who wanted to be just like him tried to imitate him in [Read More…]

A Brother’s Wisdom 48

The last lines in James 2:14-17 simply put forth what has been implicit all along: 14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, [Read More…]

The Power of “With” 3

The most controversial conclusion Andrew Marin has come to, found in his new book, Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation With the Gay Community , is the connection in the gay community between personal identity and sexual behavior. Before I attempt to describe his conclusion, I want to mention that I know Andrew is [Read More…]

Historical Jesus Studies: A Dead End?

Let me define historical Jesus studies as the attempt to get behind the canonical Gospels to discover what the real Jesus was like. Inherent to the historical Jesus discipline is the belief that the canonical Gospels and the Church got Jesus wrong or are biased — or should I say that the Church believes too [Read More…]