December 13, 2018

Here is a helpful post by friend Larry Hurtado on the problem with the notion that ancient texts were performed ‘from memory’, rather than read out loud to an ancient audience…. “The Great Divide”: Orality and Texts Trying to catch up on recent journal articles after my prolonged confinement in hospital, I came across the article by Paul S. Evans, “Creating a New ‘Great Divide’: The Exoticization of Ancient Culture in Some Recent Applications of Orality Studies to the Bible,”… Read more

December 12, 2018

John Grisham is nothing if not prolific. His latest offering, The Reckoning is a thriller which involves the battle for the Philippines during WWII. Indeed, the book is divided into three parts and almost the whole middle part (of 420 pages) is a graphic description of among other things, the Bataan death march. I do not recommend this thriller for pre-Christmas joy, it’s more like a buzzkill in various ways. That said, the story is gripping, terrifically told, and this… Read more

December 11, 2018

Scholars have long puzzled over the meaning of Gal 3.1b, which reads literally “before whose eyes Jesus Christ having been crucified was put on public display”. For various opinions see my commentary Grace in Galatia. Did Paul put on some sort of early version of a passion play? These questions however tend to reflect how little some scholars know about Paul’s use of rhetoric, and in this case the rhetorical device known as ekphrasis. I commend the chapter on this… Read more

December 10, 2018

In preaching on 1 Pet. 3.13-16 Kingsley Barrett says, quoting the text: “‘Who is he that will harm you if you are zealous for what is good?’ Zealous for what is good— that is the point. The trouble with the lot of us is that we are zealous about what is bad, but that we are not zealous for the good. Not many of us, none of us, would say like Richard III ‘I am determined to prove a villain.’… Read more

December 9, 2018

In preaching about 1 John 2.15-17 ‘love not the world’ Kingsley Barrett says: The old King, Edwin X of Northumbria to whom the Christian missionaries came, compared the life of the human being to the fluttering of a bird for a moment out of the dark, cold, rough night into the light and warmth of the house, then out again, and into the cold rough night. If only that moment of light could last! If only we could root ourselves… Read more

December 8, 2018

In speaking about teachers and 1 John 4.1-6, Kingsley Barrett says this: “You will agree with me that it is important for a student, and quite indispensable for a teacher to be able to distinguish between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. This does not mean simply that such a person should know his facts, and know them accurately, though he must and heaven help him if he doesn’t. No one who has seen the errors of… Read more

December 7, 2018

Kingsley Barrett in an Easter sermon, says: “Sin stings because it cuts us off from one another, because it cuts us off from God; this is the dreadful wound it inflicts. And God has dealt with it. ‘God commends his love to us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.’ So be reconciled to God, accept what God offers, the victory has come, and the sting is gone. Pain is not gone, sadness has not gone,… Read more

December 6, 2018

I felt sure that Creed I was the end of the line for the Rocky franchise, what more could be said or done that wouldn’t be redundant? Well…. I was wrong. This is not primarily a boxing movie, though there are two major fight scenes in it, including one at the climax of the film. This is mainly a family drama about Adonis Creed getting married, having a baby with his new bride Bianca, thinking about what’s really important in… Read more

December 6, 2018

In regard to love Kingsley Barrett says this: “The NT is not speaking of trivial passing affection, nor does it mean a merely sentimental emotion. It means a firm, constant, disciplined direction of the will, which has nothing to do with feeling good in a Sunday…service, and everything to do with the way you treat your family, your employer, your employees, and your friends on Monday morning. There is a special quality of love within the Church which belongs within… Read more

December 5, 2018

Kingsley Barrett was preaching on the importance of evangelism and told this story: “Ernst Kasemann was telling me of his friend Steinbauer, one of the most courageous Christians of the Third Reich, who spent nearly as long in prison as Martin Niemoller [or D. Bonhoeffer]. We do not know his name as well because, I suppose, he lacked some of Niemoller’s gifts. I had not heard of him until then. But he was a man of surprising courage. He had… Read more

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