It’s not “the Bible” but Holy Scripture (or, Who Gets Invited to the Barbecue?)

After a couple of weeks of Philadelphia heat, getting caught up on some late projects, and being held in the grip of the drama that is synchronized diving, I am back to posting on Kent Sparks’s provocative and thoughtful book Sacred Word, Broken Word: Biblical Authority and the Dark Side of Scripture. (You can find my first [Read More...]

Did Paul Have a High View of Scripture?

Yes, of course he did. He was a Jew trained in the traditions of his people. In fact, he had such a high view of scripture, for a while there he was trying to put to death those annoying Christ-followers who undermined it. That high view of scripture was not abandoned when Paul became a follower of [Read More...]

Would Paul Have Made a Good Evangelical?

No. Even when you account for 2000 years of cultural differences between Paul and Evangelicalism, the answer is no. Why? Because Paul didn’t treat the Bible the way mainstream Evangelicalism says you need to. The way Paul handled his Bible–what we call the Old Testament–would keep him off the short list for openings to teach [Read More...]

Creating the Bible in Our Image of God (or vice-versa?)

I suppose that title is a bit confusing. What I mean is this: what we think of God can be seen in what we expect of the Bible as God’s Word. Here is one example. If your vision of God is primarily (not exclusively) of a sovereign king, enthroned above, who communicates to his subjects through written decrees [Read More...]

Kent Sparks and Our Sacred, Broken Bible

Kent Sparks (professor of biblical studies and interim provost at Eastern University) has a new book due out in May, Sacred Word, Broken Word: Biblical Authority and the Dark Side of Scripture (Eerdmans). He has posted a teaser on the publisher’s blog, giving a rationale for writing this kind of book. He says that theological intransigence and [Read More...]