I had the opportunity this week to listen to a series of sermons by Warren Gage of Knox Theological Seminary in Fort Lauderdale. Gage is an Assistant Professor of OT, but he did his doctoral work at the University of Dallas on the politics of John and Revelation, and did a lot of structural analysis of the two books in the process. The talks I heard concentrated on the structure of John and Revelation, and here are some of the… Read more

Peter Stuhlmacher says in his commentary on Romans (Westminster/John Knox) that ” apostolos ” in Greek literature meant “one who leads a naval expedition” or “admiral.” Though he says this has nothing to do with the NT usage, I suspect that Luke is making some play on the term when he describes Paul’s sea voyage to Rome. There’s little doubt that Paul has become the admiral of the ship after their shipwreck. I also suspect that the word is used… Read more

Sermon notes for August 10: A Forerunner Before the Lord, Luke 1:57-80 INTRODUCTION John the Baptist’s motto was “He must increase, I must decrease” (John 3:30). Though Luke does not quote this saying, the early chapters of his gospel are written to illustrate exactly this principle. Luke tells about the greatness and miraculous conception of John (1:5-25), and then tells about the superior greatness and even more miraculous conception of Jesus (1:26-56). He tells about the birth, circumcision, and naming… Read more

I am preaching through Luke at Trinity Reformed Church, and I will be posting sermon notes at this site. Here are the notes from last week’s sermon: Things Fulfilled Among Us, Luke 1:1-56 INTRODUCTION Luke’s gospel is the first part of a two-volume work. Luke wrote his gospel to tell of the things that Jesus “began to do and teach” (Acts 1:1), and wrote Acts to tell of things that Jesus continued to do through His church. The things we… Read more

At the beginning of the worship service at Trinity Reformed Church, where I’m serving as organizing pastor, I give an exhortation. Here is the exhortation for this week: This week, the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA) confirmed Gene Robinson, an openly homosexual priest, as New Hampshire’s bishop. In a separate measure, the bishops also affirmed that ceremonies blessing homosexual and lesbian unions were “an acceptable practice within the church.” The magnitude… Read more

Bruce Ellis Benson’s Graven Ideologies , a study of Nietzsche, Derrida, and Marion, confirms something I’ve suspected from my sketchy reading of Derrida. Benson says that Derrida emphasizes that all thought is set in a structure of “not yet but still to come.” This is Derrida’s famed notion that final meaning, closure, is forever deferred. I think this is right in many respects. Consider this simple argument: Meaning is context-dependent, as everyone agrees. But the context in which things or… Read more

I’ve been reading a good bit of Mikhail Bakhtin this summer, and have come across some pretty mind-blowing passages in his Dialogic Imagination and Rabelais and his World . The following quotations have to do with the role of humor in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The laughing, parodic-travestying literature of the Middle Ages was extremely rich. In the wealth and variety of its parodic forms, the Middle Ages was akin to Rome. It must in fact be said that… Read more

Another article from Biblica , this time from 1991, on the use of ” herem ” (“the ban”) in 1 Kings 20:42, where it is part of the Lord’s complaint against Ahab after he lets Ben Hadad go free. Philip Stern argues that the author of Kings uses the word partly to highlight links between Ahab and Saul; though the stories are different, both are accused of releasing a “man of herem .” More interestingly still, Stern suggests that there… Read more

There’s a neat little study of 1 Kings 16:34 (Hiel’s rebuilding of Jericho) in a 1996 issue of Biblica . Charles Conroy, the author, begins with a structural analysis of 1 Kings 16:29-34. He points out that grammatically the passage breaks down into an introductory statement (29a), a summary of the reign of Ahab (29b-33), and a final statement (34). Hiel’s work is mentioned in the final section. Conroy then points to the parallels within the text between Ahab and… Read more

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