February 27, 2020

“Before telling Moses his Name, God prepares for doing so by saying, ‘I will be who I will be’ (Exod. 3.14). God is the one who freely determines who he will be. He is not the God of Israel because he, as it were, finds himself that. Rather he freely chooses to be Israel’s God and commits himself to Israel. That was then [at the burning bush]. Now God says ‘I will be gracious to whom I am gracious and… Read more

February 26, 2020

ASH WEDNESDAY OFFERING The painter said, ‘these are my prayers,’ And he wept at his unfinished paintings. Conceived with inspiration, Unfinished in frustration, A source of agitation, But still, offered up…. Still, not cast out. Somewhere between vision and verisimilitude Between conception and execution Lies a chasm, That may or may not be bridged. If you falter, have you failed? If unfinished, of no avail? Or is it like Schubert’s ‘Unfinished’ Symphony? Ironically, yet truly Full of revelation The best… Read more

February 26, 2020

The following is Neibuhr’s accurate summary of the ‘Gospel’ of ‘progressive’ Christianity, which frankly is no Gospel all, because at the heart of the Gospel is repentance, the atoning death of Christ, and fundamental change to human lives. In other words, while God begins with us as we are, he never ever wants to leave us there in our narcissistic, fallen condition. Here is how Neibuhr (who I was blessed to sit under at Harvard), sums things up. “A God… Read more

February 25, 2020

“I used to think that wrath was unworthy of God. Isn’t God love? Shouldn’t divine love be beyond wrath? God is love, and God loves every person and every creature. That is exactly why God is wrathful and against some of them. My last resistance to the idea of God’s wrath was a casualty of the war in former Yugoslavia, the region from which I come. According to some estimates, 200,000 people were killed and over 3 million displaced. My… Read more

February 24, 2020

Kregel has done us all a good service in publishing, in two volumes, the earliest manuscripts and pieces of manuscripts we have of the Greek NT. The editors of the volume are Philip Wesley Comfort and David Barrett. The two volume set, hardback, is available for $66.00 from Amazon, and is well worth the investment. My one complaint is that the black and white representations of what these manuscripts look like are not all they could or should be. Nevertheless,… Read more

February 23, 2020

Can you decline the decline And still keep learning? Is aging ‘maturing’ Or just fantasy’s yearning? Do you mind when your mind Keeps on wandering? Or is that exploring, Not really time squandering? What about senior moments When you know that you know it, But the recall is stalled And the lapse will show it? Or you recognize a face But you can’t place the name You stall and stutter And you blush from the shame? Or your running has… Read more

February 22, 2020

The New Introduction by Wright and Bird comes with a Workbook. This particular one involves straightforward questions, to test how well the reader has taken in the material in a given chapter. But there are also Multiple choice items included, matching, and opportunities to agree or disagree, and say why, about some of the fundamental issues raised in a chapter. The Workbook is set up to correspond to both the order of chapters in the book and the order of… Read more

February 21, 2020

The following letter just arrived from my Cambridge editor—– Hello Ben I am delighted to report that your book Biblical Theology is the co-winner of the PROSE Award in the field of religious studies.  Congratulations! (Your book tied for the prize with N.T. Wright’s History and Eschatology.)  The PROSE awards, administered by the American Association of Publishers, are considered the non-fiction equivalent of the Booker Prize, or the publishing industry’s equivalent to the Academy Awards. Winning a PROSE award is, therefore, a significant achievement. Let… Read more

February 21, 2020

There are many positive things that can be said about this Introduction to the NT. It is beautifully produced and carefully proof-read. It has excellent quality pictures and good bibliographies. It gives us the analysis of two mature scholars on top of their discipline. It is written in an appealing and inviting way. One of the best features of the volume is that it tries to do justice not just to the theology of the NT, or just to the… Read more

February 20, 2020

As I’ve already suggested, the quality of the production of this Introduction to the NT, and also its DVDs is second to none. It’s excellent. This post will be mainly about the 37 lessons on the DVDs. The first, and lasting, impression is there is a lot of telling, and not enough showing, by which I mean that while some of this material is filmed in Israel and elsewhere in the Lands of the Bible, there is not a lot… Read more

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