December 18, 2018

The Denver Art Museum. The Rembrandt special exhibit at the Denver Art Museum featured Rembrandt as a sketcher and etcher, with only a few of his paintings thrown in for good measure. This however was very interesting because it demonstrates how good he was in various mediums, like Da Vinci. Apart from the usual self-portraits, the exhibit was dominated by Rembrandt’s sketches of Biblical scenes and persons, but it also included an oddity— Rembrandt’s only still life of an object,… Read more

December 17, 2018

Our second stop along the Historic Churches tour is St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral. This congregation began in the 19th century, as did the city of Denver itself, and the first cathedral was built downtown in 1882, and burned in 1903, due to arson. The present church, which is not really downtown but considerably closer than the Orthodox Cathedral, was built between 1909 and 1911, and has been a bastion of liberal Christianity throughout most of it’s existence (for instance its… Read more

December 16, 2018

The Catholic CathedralBasilica of the Immaculate Conception is the real highlight of the historic churches tour. This is a towering edifice, which in its brightness and whiteness reminds one of beautiful Yorkminster in York, England. It’s windows are also spectacular, not to mention all the Carrara marble in the Cathedral. Pope John Paul II (the sequel) has visited this church, as we shall see. When one enters the cathedral, one meets a saying of Pope Francis— But already at the… Read more

December 15, 2018

My wife and I went to Denver the week before Thanksgiving to attend the annual SBL meeting. For me, it was a time of bittersweetness, as some of my best friends in the guild were being feted with a festschrift in advance of retiring and others had just retired. I must confess I hardly recognize most of the names of people giving papers at the annual meeting any more. But I was very happy to see a good number of… Read more

December 14, 2018

AGE’S AGENDA We all do it We all have it We all live in one. At what age does one become aged? When has one’s age had its day and ceased to be? Are we like a popular tune, Here today, played for a while, Gone tomorrow? Or is aging about accumulation, Of wisdom through increased experience? Is the proverb true— ‘We are too soon old, And too late smart?’ Age is not just a number Or someone who no… Read more

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

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