December 27, 2019

James Sawyer Resurrecting the Trinity: A Plea to Recover the Wonder and Meaning of the Triune God Weaver Book Company (Wooster, OH), 2017. Availabe at Review by Dr Kate Tyler As a systematic theologian who spent the years of my thesis-writing becoming familiar with the work of Thomas Torrance, and how his doctrine of the Trinity informs his ecclesiology, it was a delight to pick up Sawyer’s Resurrecting the Trinity, with his unselfconscious acknowledgment that the trinitarian perspective developed… Read more

December 24, 2019

In the WaPo is my Christmas message for 2019. The True Meaning of Christmas: Trust God, Resist Empire. No, I haven’t gone all liberation theology, but the Infancy Narratives and Apocalypse of John, with their birth stories, are written against the backdrop of empire. Check it out! For the faithful, Christmas is a celebration that God is for us, God is near us, because God was one of us. God comes to us, in the vulnerability of child, to save… Read more

December 21, 2019

For those interested, N.T. Wright and I have done a few podcasts with some cool folks which were fun. First, I (Mike Bird) was interviewed by Matt Bates and Erin Heim for OnScript. Second, Tom was interviewed by Alison and Nich Quient for Split Frame of Reference. Read more

December 20, 2019

N.T. Wright has an article at – of all places – Time Magazine on The New Testament Doesn’t Say What Most People Think It Does About Heaven. Not a big surprise to anyone familiar with NTW and his book SbH, but is a good summary of his views of heaven as life after life after death! The followers of the Jesus-movement that grew up in that complex environment saw “heaven” and “earth” — God’s space and ours, if you like —… Read more

December 18, 2019

Grant Macaskill Autism and the Church: Bible, Theology, and Community Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2019. Available at BUP. This is easily one of my favourite books of 2019. Moreover, it is a book that I would urge every church pastor to read because all of our churches will have people, especially children, on the autism spectrum. So definitely add this to your reading list for 2020. I should note that I have a son who is on the autism… Read more

December 16, 2019

In the last few months there’s been two great articles further solidying the cas for an Ephesian provenance for Philippians. First, M. Eugene Boring, “Philippians and Philemon: Date and Provenance,” CBQ 81.3 (2019): 470-94, which provides even more evidence of an Ephesian origin for these two letters: Boring arguesthat “praetorium” refers to people rather than a building and the “emperor’s household” refers to all persons under the emperor’s control. He concludes: The resurgence of traditional arguments for the Roman provenance of Philippians… Read more

December 15, 2019

In the best display of anachronistic pseudonymity that I’ve read, Michael Gorman’s new book, Participating in Christ: Explorations in Paul’s Theology and Spirituality, includes a letter from Paul to the American churches. You can read the whole “letter” at Christian Century. Here’s part of it: To be in Christ is also to be an alternative community, even an alternative political community. Your Christian communities need to be more political. I do not mean that you should be trying to grab political power or looking for… Read more

December 13, 2019

A few months ago, over at the First Things podcast was a discussion between Rusty Reno and Lutheran Pastor Kevin Martin on “Proselytizing, a Pelagian Temptation.” Martin doesn’t think anything like personal evangelism or market-place evangelism is found in the NT. What is more, the belief that we must convert people for God – because God cannot do it without us – is positively pelagian! As someone who has done everything from street-preaching, to door-to-door visits, to counseling at altar… Read more

December 12, 2019

I had the pleasure of being involved in a terrific panel discussion at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary library about the doctrine of the church. It was a cracking good time chatting with Dr. John Hammett (Senior Professor of Systematic Theology and the John Leadley Dagg Chair of Systematic Theology) and Dr. Scott Hildreth (Assistant Professor of Global Studies and George Liele Director of the Center for Great Commission Studies) about Anglicanism, baptism, mission, and multi-site churches. There was a… Read more

December 10, 2019

I’m currently back working on the kingdom of God in the OT and second-temple Jewish literature, and I’m proposing this as a short taxonomy of views. No doubt some of these overlapped, but I think the main options are as follows: (1) Heavenly. Given that Yahweh was king of heaven (Dan 4:34; T.Abr. 7.7) and heaven was his throne (Ps 103:19), it was natural to think of God’s kingdom in heavenly dimensions, even a heavenly counterpart to Jerusalem (Gal 4:26)…. Read more

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