May 3, 2011

Big news novel fans.  Cokesbury has given a good thumbs up review of our latest novel,  Papias and the Mysterious Menorah,  and is now offering the novel for sale for a limited time for  30% off.   Here is the link— http://www.cokesbury.com/forms/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=923710   and you are looking for: Papias and the Mysterious Menorah: The Third Art West Adventure Ben Witherington III and Ann Witherington, Pickwick Publications, May 2010 ISBN 9781608994601 Reg. $29.00 The discount is good from May 1 for the next… Read more

May 3, 2011

In recent years Constantine has come in for some extremely heavy criticism.   On the one hand he has been accused on imposing Christianity on a reluctant and mostly pagan empire.  On the other hand he has been accused of polluting Christianity, and not even being a genuine Christian.    On the one hand he has been accused of simply being politically astute and backing the right horse (namely Christianity) without himself ever really becoming a Christian,  and on the other hand… Read more

May 2, 2011

I was in the Speer library at Princeton Seminary in the summer of 1976 and I was looking for the Loeb edition of  Eusebius’  Church history.  The card catalog said it was on the shelf,  but in fact it was not.  I notified the dower old librarian of the fact, and she went to look for herself, not trusting a mere student like me.  She came back and confirmed it had gone missing.  I decided she hadn’t likely smiled in… Read more

May 1, 2011

There are voices that are unmistakable,  iconic, always familiar and reassuring in one’s life.  Woody Durham’s voice was one of those voices for me.   You see for die hard Carolina fans,  Woody Durham was the voice you’d turn off the TV to listen to on the radio, while you watched Carolina basketball or football.  He was the play by play announcer for the Tar Heels for 40 years,  indeed my whole adult life from the time I was at Carolina… Read more

May 1, 2011

One of the texts most frequently used to prove Paul believed that in the end all human beings would be saved is of course the material in the Christ hymn in Phil. 2.5-11, particularly the line “every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord….”   The problem with this conclusion is two fold.     1)  The partial quotation of Isaiah 45 provides a clue as to Paul’s thinking at this juncture since Isa. 45.24 refers not… Read more

April 30, 2011

(What follows here is a small excerpt from my forthcoming full dress socio-rhetorical Philippians commentary for Eerdmans, due out later this year.  See what you think). A Closer Look: Honor, Shame, and Apostolic Life The honor and shame culture Paul lived in was far different from contemporary Western culture and its values. “Honor” and “shame” in this context do not primarily refer to feelings of honor or shame, though feelings would be involved, but rather to being honored or disgraced in public. Paul’s… Read more

April 29, 2011

Here is an article by Heather Hahn discussing the clause in the Apostle’s Creed which reads ‘he descended to the dead’.  Check it out. http://www.umc.org/site/apps/nlnet/content.aspx?c=lwL4KnN1LtH&b=5847223&ct=9359507&notoc=1. Read more

April 29, 2011

Closure The darkening of the day. Full stop. The light dies away. Closure It’s all dead and gone. Time’s up. You’re left to carry on. Closure Tying up of loose ends. Completion. A new chapter begins. Closure Signed on the dotted line Well done. Some things left behind. Closure Yet there seems to be a void. Finished. Yet some things you avoid. Closure You’ve passed on the torch No worries You’re rocking on the porch. Closure But He’s not done… Read more

April 28, 2011

The Relationship of the OT to the NT according to John Chrysostom (This is a post from 2007 back by popular demand). Reflecting on texts like Hebrews 10.1 “the Law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming– not the image/portrait (eikon)/ realities themselves” John Chrysostom (which means golden mouth), the greatest preacher and teacher of the Greek-speaking Fathers who commented on the NT in detail (mainly in Antioch and Constantinople–349-407 A.D.) has some interesting reflections on… Read more

April 27, 2011

I intend soon enough to do a full review of Peter Leithart’s interesting book Defending Constantine but for now,  I want to focus on one aspect of his approach to religious matters that deserves closer attention.  When Constantine had gained power, beyond his military command,  he and Licinius  issued a proclamation now called the Edict of Milan.  This was an important edict of what we would call religious tolerance, and it set in motion a situation in which there would… Read more

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