New Date, Final Cover, Big News #DGKJ

After sprinting the final couple miles of a marathon, just this morning I have turned in my final revisions on Did God Kill Jesus: Searching for Love in History’s Most Famous Execution. The on-sale date has been pushed back a week to make room for production issues, so mark your calendars for March 24. There will be a book release party in the Twin Cities, at the On Being studios. I will also be in Chicago the previous week, and preaching at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan on March 22. After the book releases, I’ll be in New York City and environs for about 10 days, including Holy Week.

And finally, I am at liberty to reveal the front cover the book:

[Read more...]

No One’s Heard of Paul Ricoeur

Paul Ricoeur

Paul Ricoeur

I’ve spent the last week at academic conferences on religion (honestly, the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society is only vaguely academic — it is primarily fideistic, it seems). To wander around among 10,000 theologians, biblical scholars, and professors of religion at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion is a great way to nerd out with your geek out. That is, if you’re into theology and religion.

But most people aren’t.

At AAR you can hear presentations with titles like,

  • “The Path has a Mind of its Own”: Eco-Agri-Pilgrimage to the Corn Maze Performance — an Exercise of Cross-Species Sociality
  • Seeing the Things You Cannot See: (Dis)-solving the Sublime in Interreligious Aesthetics through the Paintings of Hiroshi Senju

  • Yoga Body, Yoga Pants: The Feminization, Sexualization, and Pornification of Yoga

One of my commitments this week has been to make a short speech at the Society for Beer Lovers and Assorted Academic Research, a couple hundred young scholars who bring killer microbrews from all over the world to share at AAR. It was a pretty awesome night, with high octane brews being poured in a hot and humid church basement.

Here’s what I told them: [Read more...]

What Happened to Evangelical Theology? [#ETS2014 Liveblog]

This weekend I’m attending the Evangelical Theological Society and American Academy of Religion, and I will be liveblogging some of the sessions that I’m attending.

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Assessing Stanley Grenz’s Contribution to Evangelical Theology: 10 Years Later,” that’s the name of the session I’m attending at ETS. But Stan’s death isn’t the only thing that happened ten years ago at ETS. That was also the year that ETS voted against Open Theology, for all intents and purposes expelling people like Greg Boyd, Clark Pinnock, and John Sanders. Now, when you look through the program book, in addition to the annual reaffirmation of inerrancy in the image above, you will see that many sessions are dominated by Southern Baptists.

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8:50am Jason Sexton just presented Edna Grenz, Stan’s widow, with a volume of 20 essays in his honor. She implored the gathered scholars to not just continue Stan’s theological rigor, but to also treat one another with humility and respect as they debate one another.

8:54am Sexton continues that many, looking back, do not think that Stan really understood postmodernism. Some also incorrectly believe that he had departed evangelicalism before his death. This would only happen, Sexton says, if we look exclusively at Stan’s academic work and ignore his spiritual and ecclesial life.

Sexton also thinks that Stan is unfairly criticized for his book on homosexuality,Welcoming but Not Affirming: An Evangelical Response to Homosexuality. Instead than being a recalcitrant evangelical, Sexton says, Granz was “ahead of us” on sexuality, women, postmodernity, and the Trinity.

Who’s the real Stan Grenz? That’s what Sexton tried to discover in his dissertation, but he says Stan cannot be found in the secondary literature — the books and articles about Grenz. That’s because, “Maybe we’re afraid of what we might find, how the real Stan Grenz might push us beyond our own boundaries.”

9:05am Derek Tidball takes on the topic of Stan Grenz and Evangelicalism. He says that evangelicalism is virtually impossible to define doctrinally, so others define it historically. But Grenz argued that evangelicalism is a living, mutating organism. By seeing the Bible as the book of the community, Grenz was faithful to his Baptist roots, and that’s something that evangelicalism at large should heed. Stan is wrongfully called the “godfather of the emerging church.” [Read more...]

Doctrine DOES Change

Pope Francis arrives at the Synod on the family.

Over the last two weeks, Pope Francis made some courageous steps in dragging the Catholic Church into the 21st century. First, he called a Synod to discuss non-traditional family arrangements, including divorces, those raising children outside of wedlock, and gays and lesbians. Then he began the synod by telling the assembled bishops to speak their minds honestly, not holding anything back.

Halfway through the synod, the Vatican released a provisional report on what they were discussing, and it contained language so welcoming to gays and lesbians that it ignited a global debate. After another week, the final report was released, and it lacked much of the language that welcomed gays, lesbians, and those who choose to raise children without getting married. Andrew Sullivan called it, “Two steps forward, one step back.”

What has most surprised Sullivan and others who watch the Vatican closely is that instead of just releasing the final report, the entire report was released — including the defeated paragraphs — along with the vote tally for each paragraph. This kind of transparency from the Catholic magisterium is a revolution itself, and its possible significance should not be underestimated.

Sullivan concludes his post on the Synod, [Read more...]


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