10 New Testament passages that shape how I think about God

1. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his suffering by becoming like him in his death… (Phil 3:10). Both suffering and resurrection—times of great difficulty and times of triumph—are expected and normal parts of the Christian life. 2. …unless you change and become like children… (Matt [Read More...]

biblical violence and reading the Bible like Jesus did

Today’s post is an interview with Derek Flood, author of Disarming Scripture: Cherry-Picking Liberals, Violence-Loving Conservatives, and Why We All Need to Learn to Read the Bible Like Jesus Did, which has just been released this week. The book deals with the problem of violence in Scripture, tackling a wide range of troubling passages—from commands [Read More...]

God likes stories, and science agrees

In The Bible Tells Me So, I have a section called “Stories Work,” which is my conclusion to chapter 3, “God Likes Stories.” The writers of the biblical narratives were storytellers. They recalled the past “often the very distant past, not ‘objectively,’ but purposefully. They had skin in the game. These were their stories. They wove narratives of [Read More...]

10 Old Testament passages that shape how I think about God

1. …for the Lord does not see as people see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). God is not impressed with what we call success but with what is deep within us, perhaps even deeper than we ourselves can see. 2. Besides being wise, Qoheleth [Read More...]

St. Nicholas: what can I say, he was a beast

In church today, our rector handed out a card with a icon of St. Nicholas, similar to the one on the left. On the back of the card read the following: Nicholas was born in the 3rd century in Asia Minor. He used his entire inheritance to help the poor, sick, and children in need. He gave in [Read More...]

is there payoff for the church in reading the Bible critically?

At this year’s annual “help me I’m wearing tweed in San Diego” conference (a.k.a. Society of Biblical Literature) I was part of a panel discussion on “Reading the Bible in the 21st Century: Exploring New Models for Reconciling the Academy and the Church.” On the panel with me were N. T. Wright, Barbara Brown Taylor, [Read More...]

what would the apostle Paul think about evangelicals and the conflict in Palestine?

It is for this reason that Paul would have scratched his head over the current Evangelical fascination with the modern secular state of Israel and its supposedly Bible-mandated right to do what it pleases with Palestine and its inhabitants. This way of reading the Bible misses the whole point of the story; it robs the [Read More...]

does an inerrantist culture “do good or do harm”?

Today’s guest post is by Carlos Bovell, a frequent contributor to this blog. Bovell is a graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary and The Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto. He is the author of Inerrancy and the Spiritual Formation of Younger Evangelicals (2007), By Good and Necessary Consequence: A Preliminary Genealogy of Biblical Foundationalism (2009), an edited volume, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Authority of [Read More...]

watching young scholars grow up on the internet

While I was a faculty member at Westminster Theological Seminary, a colleague (not in biblical studies) wrote a rather heavy-handed response to a well-known biblical scholar. I felt embarrassed by it, so much so that I wrote the scholar in essence apologizing for the school and assuring him that the biblical studies department did not share [Read More...]

10 books that made me rethink the Bible

This is not my 10 “best” books list, nor am I suggesting these are “must reads” for everyone (though they are all great books). These are books that crossed my path 20-25 years ago, mainly while in graduate school, that influenced my thinking in new and heretofore largely unexplored directions, and so opened my eyes to the larger world of [Read More...]

“aha” moments: biblical scholars tell their stories (18): Rob Dalrymple

It’s been a while since our last “aha” moment, but I told you they’d be coming in now and then, and I’ll post them as they do. I don’t mind telling you, nothing I’ve ever posted here on Patheos has elicited as many private emails and Facebook messages as this series. There are a lot [Read More...]

is the “wrath of God” wrath?

Here is Luke Timothy Johnson’s comment on what Paul means by “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven” in Romans 1:18. …it is precisely the sort of expression that would have been instantly grasped by Paul’s first hearers but seems puzzling and off-putting to present-day readers.  The “wrath of God” (orge tou theou) is not a psychological category [Read More...]