December 12, 2018

A fantastic article by Andrew Sullivan over at Intelligencer on “America’s New Religion.” Yes, many Evangelicals are among the holiest and most quietly devoted people out there. Some have bravely resisted the cult. But their leaders have turned Christianity into a political and social identity, not a lived faith, and much of their flock — a staggering 81 percent voted for Trump — has signed on. They have tribalized a religion explicitly built by Jesus as anti-tribal. They have turned… Read more

December 11, 2018

I’m embarrassed to say that I am only now getting into Jonathan T. Pennington’s The Sermon on the Mount and Human Flourishing: A Theological Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2017). There are some great SOTM books out there, Charles Talbert and Scot McKnight are on my shelf, but this is a welcomed addition to the collection. Pennington examines the historical contexts, literary dimensions, and theological themes of the SOTM, he compares the Sermon with the Jewish and Greek virtue traditions, and the philosophical-theological question… Read more

December 10, 2018

Over at the Acton Institute, Anthony Perkins has a nice review of Eastern Orthodox theologian and ethicist Vigen Guroian’s new book The Orthodox Reality: Culture, Theology, and Ethics in the Modern World (Baker Academic 2018). Rather than trying to fight a losing battle to reclaim the lost Christian culture of pre-Enlightenment Europe, Guroian argues that Christians need to create a new organic version: an Orthodox- Catholic culture that grows out of our complete dedication to our mutual, sacramental, credal, and evangelical… Read more

December 9, 2018

Over at Themelios is a good article on “Why Paul Wrote Romans: Putting the Pieces Together,” which gives a good summary of the manifold reasons why Paul wrote: missionary, pastoral, and apologetic. Timmins provides a sensible overview of the textual data, deals with the issues it throws up wisely, and offers insights into recent scholarship too. What did Paul write Romans? Paul wrote Romans to conduct an apologetic pastoral ministry among the believers of Rome—or a ministry of pastoral apologetics—designed… Read more

December 8, 2018

Steve Walton, Paul R. Trebilco, and David W. J. Gill (eds.) The Urban World and the First Christians Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2017. Available at Amazon.com In the tradition of The First Urban Christians by Wayne Meeks, this edited volume explores the relationship between the earliest Christians and the urban environs of the Greco-Roman world. The contributors look at how the urban physical, cultural, and social environments of the ancient Mediterranean basin affected the ways in which early Christianity progressed. They then turn to… Read more

December 8, 2018

Only six weeks until the release of The New Testament You Never Knew Video: Exploring the Context, Purpose, and Meaning of the Story of God. Filmed on location by N.T. Wright and Mike Bird in Israel, Greece, and Rome! Sessions include: 1. The Story of the New Testament. 2. The World of Jesus 3. Life and Death of Jesus 4. The Resurrection of Jesus 5. The Apostle Paul 6. The Early Christians 7. The Mission of the Church 8. How the NT… Read more

December 6, 2018

Hopefully, you are already listening to the Ask N.T. Wright Anything Podcast, if not, there are some videos available, like this one, where Justin Brierly asks Tom some questions about the atonement and sacrifice. FYI, I honestly don’t think I’ve ever heard such a condensed and compelling summary of the Pentateuch like the one Tom gives off the cuff. Read more

December 5, 2018

Patrick Schreiner The Kingdom of God and the Glory of the Cross Short Studies in Biblical Theology; eds. Dane Ortlunc and Miles van Pelt Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2018. Available at Amazon.com This is a short yet informative book on the kingdom of God in the biblical story. Schreiner (son of St. Tom “the Exegete” Schreiner) covers how the kingdom is related to each biblical sub-corpus: The Law: Reviving Hope in the Kingdom The Prophets: Foreshadowing Hope in the Kingdom The Writings:… Read more

December 2, 2018

Whereas patristic, medieval theologians, and early Reformed confession began with God as the starting point for theology (e.g. Apostles’s Creed; Origen, First Principles; John of Damascus, Orthodox Faith; Anselm, Prologion;  Peter Lombard, Sentences; Aquinas, Summa Theologica; Augsburg Confession; Calvin, Institutes; Scot’s Confession; Tetrapolitan Confession), it was the Second Helvetic Confession, followed by the Irish Articles and Westminster Confession, that broke the mold by putting the doctrine of Scripture first in the order of topics covered in theology. This Protestant move is… Read more

November 29, 2018

As a tekton, what was Jesus’ vocation? In most translations of Mk. 6.3 (cf. Mt. 13.55; Gos. Jas. 9.3; Justin, Dial. Tryph. 88) it is usually assumed that he was a carpenter, making ploughs and yokes according to Justin. However, the word has a fairly broad meaning and it can denote a general “craftsman” a “builder” or most often I find a “stonemason”. Unfortunately due to a history of translation, not to mention the near-canonical status of Josh McDowell’s book More than… Read more




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