Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Why I'm not a Cessationist

If you want to know why I'm not a cessationist, then read this article here.

On a totally different subject I have just had a profound revelation (further proof that I'm not a cessationist):

Baseball is a derivative of cricket that was created for people with Attention Deficit Disorder! At last, I think I understand the game.

Would love my co-blogger to respond!

Off to BNTC 2006

I'm off to Sheffield, the patch of James Crossley and other scholarly luminaries, for the 2006 British New Testament Conference. This will be my last conference following the on-slaught of Tyndale House, SNTS, and EABS in recent times. My papers include:

Historical Jesus Seminar
Who comes from the East and West?: The Historical Jesus and Q 13:28-29

Acts and Synoptics Seminar
The Unity of Luke-Acts: A Review of the Debate and Its Significance

I look especially forward to the main papers by Graham Stanton, Peter Williams and Maurice Casey which are all on topics that interest me.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Christians in the Middle-East Crisis

Christianity Today has a thought provoking post with quotes from Christians who are in Lebanon. The article is entitled: We're Not Spectators.

Here's a couple of juicy quotes:

Western Christians "who have but disdain for Arabs" weren't spared Accad's anger: "World events in the last few years—even decades—have had as their main catalyst tens of thousands of evangelical Christians … who believe that apocalyptic destruction of all but their beloved Israel will be a precursor to global salvation."

Less it be conceived as being anti-Israel, the article also makes mention of Hezbollah fighters shooting persons who tried to escape the Christian areas.

The Katyusha rockets that struck Nazareth, Mansour wrote, reminded the church there that their calling was obvious. "We had simply neglected it. Our calling as the remnant of Christians in the birthplace of our faith is to pray for the people of this broken land." Likewise, these voices call us not to throw up our hands, but to fall to our knees. Like the Katyushas, the comments sometimes miss the mark (yes, ours too). But they also remind us that as both Americans and Christians, we're already part of this conflict. We're not distant spectators.

Scot McKnight on Neo-Fundamentalism

Scot McKnight has some interesting things to say about the trend towards neo-Fundamentalism (see Post 2 and Post 1) beginning to flower in some Evangelical circles. I think Scot hits the nail on the head when he diagnoses the root cause of Fundamentalism as a "Remnant Theology", i.e. we alone are the church and we are alone have the truth.

Guy Prentiss Waters replies to Nick Perrin

Guy Waters presents a final reply to Nick Perrin over at Reformation 21. This article builds upon the exchange between the two in Westminster Theological Journal. Incidentally, I have my own take on the Perrin vs. Waters debate discussed in an appendix to The Saving Righteousness of God (forthcoming 2006!).

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Baptist Catholicity

I'm a Historic-Christian first, an Evangelical second, I'm Reformed third, and Baptist at a distant fourth. From that order you can tell that I'm not the type of person who wakes up every day saying: "Hooray and Hoorah for Baptists cause we totally rock". I find that the words "exciting" and "Baptist" do not naturally go together. But one book that has got me excited about being Baptist is: Steven R. Harmon, Towards Baptist Catholicity: Essays on Tradition and the Baptist Vision (SBHT 27; Carlisle, UK: Paternoster, 2006).

Harmon's primary concern is to root Baptist theology, faith, and liturgy in the Niceao-Chalcedonian tradition of the Church. In his opening essay: "Catholic Baptists' and the New Horizon of Tradition in Baptist Theology," Harmon offers a seven point plan for Baptist Catholicity:

1. Catholic Baptists recognize tradition as a source of theological authority. Less this be confused let me explain. Scripture is, to use Grenz's term, theology's "norming norm" but all Scriptural reflection occurs in a horizon of tradition whether we choose to believe it or not. The Tradition that provides the framework for biblical faith is the Niceao-Chalcedonian confessions.

2. Catholic Baptists see a place in Baptist ecclesial life for the ancient ecumenical creeds as key expressions of the larger Christian tradition.

3. Catholic Baptists give attention to liturgy as the primary context in which Christians are formed by tradition.

4. Catholic Baptists locate the authority of tradition in the community and its formative practices. That means that biblical interpretation and theological reflection is not not a matter of the individual (i.e. soul competency) but occurs in the context of faith communities.

5. Catholic Baptists advocate a sacramental theology. Sacrament here does not signify a means of imparting salvific grace in the Roman Catholic scheme, it means rather "a theology that understands the sacraments of baptism and the Eucharist as paradigmatic of the relation of God to the material order that is disclosed in the Incarnation."

6. Catholic Baptists engage tradition as a resource for contemporary theological construction.

7. Catholic Baptists promote a thick ecumenism.

I don't know if I'd follow this manifesto to the letter, some points I'd want to qualify urgently, esp. tradition and ecumenism, but it sounds quite interesting to me.

The Baptist Faith and Message

Many years ago I was given a copy of the Baptist Faith and Message (1963) which I read so that I could become more familiar with what it meant to be a Baptist. When I became a Christian in the mid-90's I found myself as a "Baptist" by virtue of the fact that a Baptist church was the only church I had ever attended, but since then I have not found any compelling reason to depart from my Baptist background (though gosh it has been tempting at times). Recently I have been wondering, if I ever moved to the States (no plans to though) which Baptist group would I belong to? In Australia we don't have this problem as there are only really two options. First, the Baptist Union of Australia who range from solid evangelical to charismatic to mild-liberal. And then there's the Independent Baptists, KJV only, no-alcohol, anti-charismatic, and anti-lot's of other stuff too. America certainly has a lot more "Baptist" options. One denomination that intrigued was the Baptist General Convention of Texas. In particular they have on their website a comparison between the 1963 and 2000 Baptist Faith and Message (BFM) which I thought was riveting. I knew "of" the 2000 BFM ratified by the Southern Baptist Convention but didn't know its significance apart from making complentarianism a matter of doctrinal discipline. As far as I can tell the most significant change is that whereas the 1963 BFM stated that Baptist Faith and Practice is grounded in "Jesus Christ whose will is revealed in the Holy Scriptures" the 2000 BFM declares that, "Our living faith is established upon eternal truths". That entails a switch from "Jesus Christ" to "eternal truths" as the foundations of faith and fellowship.

Let me make it clear that I'm not an SBC member and I'm not someone who makes a hobby out of knocking the SBC since I have many SBC friends. Perhaps there is a reason for the 2000 BFM change anchored in the Moderates vs. Conservative battles of the 1980s which I am not privvy too - I welcome correction. But for the life of me I just do not understand how you can make anything other than Jesus Christ the centre of Christian theology and Christian faith. I don't know whether "eternal truths" means Scripture, Doctrine, or Confession, but either way if you make anything other than Jesus Christ the establishing principle for faith I think you've got problems. I have often rolled my eyes at liberal who say that Evangelicals believe in: "God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, and God the Holy Bible". But at moments like these I think they might actually be onto something.

I have been present on ocassions where someone has asserted that Jesus Christ is the centre of faith and practice and the same person has been lampooned as being purely "Barthian" [note: no offence to Alan Bandy and one of his recent posts, I have other people in mind]. To that I say: (1) So what? Barth isn't the boogey-man that many Evangelicals make him out to be (and let me say also, I'm definitely not Barthian). (2) Let's not commit the genetic fallacy of confusing the truthfulness of a certain view with its origin. Truth is truth wherever you find it, whether that's on the lips of Karl Barth or Satan himself and I'm convinced that these two are not strictly identical. (3) Analogy does not mean genealogy. Just because I espouse a christocentric view does not mean I get it from Barth. I think simply reading the NT is enough to indicate that Jesus is the central theme of the NT.

I rather like Michael Pahl's statement that:

"The foundation of our faith and of the Church is Jesus Christ, not Scripture; the ultimate revelation of God is Jesus Christ, not Scripture; the written Word of God (inspired Scripture) is a witness, along with the Spirit and the Church, to the spoken Word of God (the gospel of Jesus Christ) and the living Word of God (Jesus Christ himself), and it is in Him, not Scripture, that all the facets of salvation find their source. All this is Scripture's own self-testimony, the testimony of the Church historic and universal, and the testimony of my own experience in concert with other believers."

Interested parties should read Andreas Kostenberger's response "Jesus and the Bible" to Dan Wallace's piece "My Take on Inerrancy".

Please note, I'm not trying to knock the SBC. But I think it is worth having a solid and frank discussion about the place of Bibliology in Theology and its relation to Christology. Although this might be an intra-Baptist dispute, I imagine that the topic is of interest to others as well. Let me ask everyone: What is more central, Jesus Christ or Scripture, or is this a false dichotomy? And why do you think so? I'd like to hear from those in the SBC, non-SBC Baptist's, and other interested parties.

Euangelion has moved!

By the time you read this post, I hope that the blog web address has moved to:


This is Euangelion's new webaddress!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A funeral: the first event of the semester

Today I attended a funeral for the brother of a student of mine. Last year I taught at NPU as an adjunct. One of my students from that class will be in my John course this semester. On Thursday this week I ran into him on campus and was excited to touch base about the upcoming semester. After a short greeting he told me his brother was shot and killed in his home over the weekend.

Today I attended the funeral for Marquis Lovings to support Brandon. Many of Marquis's friends and family members stood and spoke of him. They spoke of his laugh, his love and his life. I did not know him, but by the end of the "celebration" I wished I had.

I was very thankful to have been able to be there for Brandon. This is what I love about teaching and what I signed up for. In the end, teaching is so much more than what we do in the classroom.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Euangelion Will Be Moving Shortly

Soon we will be moving Euangelion to a new web address which is NOT named after Michael Bird. As soon as I know what that new address is, I'll post it here! So watch this space. Otherwise, find the new site by Googling the words "Euangelion's New Webaddress".

Mike Bird

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Teaching, Course Prep and Resources

Most of us who embark on teaching careers have been ill-equipped to actually teach. If your experience was anything like mine -- and admittedly this is a bit more of a problem in British programs than American -- you had no pedagogical training or experience in your doctoral program. Fortunately, I had spent many years doing student ministry prior to pursuing an academic career and that has been a big help for me, but still there is so much to learn.

I am of the mind that good teaching is extremely important, and for me it is as important it not more important than good writing. But it appears to me that we spend much more of our time trying to be better researches and writers than we do being better teachers. Perhaps this is because it is in writing that we can make a name for ourselves (but that is another issue).

I have been collecting good resources for course preparation and teaching and I would like to know if you can recommend some.

Recently I came across this resource and it really helped prepared my courses for this senester; I would highly recommend it:

L. Dee Fink. Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses.

You can also find the meat of the book on the web; Fink published an article entitled A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning.

Response to Scot McKnight's Advice

Over at JesusCreed.org, my colleague at North Park Scot McKnight has done what every young scholar/teacher would wish for--he, as a veteran, has given me advice as I begin my teaching career. I would encourage any of you who identify with me as an emerging teacher (and perhaps Christian!) to check out Scot's 19 points of advice. They are golden.

Admittedly, I don't know that I will follow all of his advice -- how can I he wants me not to watch the Yankees! But I can promise that I will take each of these points to heart and seek to live into them.

For me, I think the biggest challenge of the list is number 16 ("avoid publication commitments when you are young. Get a feel for what you can do, when you can get it done, and what you'd like to dedicate you time to. Then work on a writing career"). I have already agreed to do a couple of things that will take a good deal of my time. The problem is that as a young scholar you feel so excited to be invited to write something--anything--so you say yes. You have spent years of your life writing things that no one cares about and then all of a sudden opportunities come your way as people invite you to write things. It is a bit intoxicating because it is self-esteem lifting. So I will take this to heart and be much more cautious. Besides I have a couple of things I am really passionate about that I need to make room to pursue. I need to set my own research agenda and I am finding that it is easy to allow outside things to take you away from what you want to be about.

It is important for me to be a part of the life of my university. I am very student centered and I want to be involved in the life of the college. For example, I talked to the Baseball coach and asked if he would allow a prof./ball player wanna-be to throw batting practice and shag fly balls in the outfield during practice. This would be such a fun activity for me and a way to support our university. He said yes!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Short quote from Leander E. Keck

“The correlation between Jesus’ obedience and God’s rectitude [i.e. righteousness] implies that what Christ did and what God did are two sides of the same event. Consequently Paul could assert that ‘God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinner Christ died for us' (Rom 5:8).”

Leander E. Keck, “Paul in New Testament Theology: Some Preliminary Remarks,” in The Nature of New Testament Theology, eds. Christopher Rowland and Christopher Tuckett (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006), 114.

Zwingli Book Buying Bonanza

For the Zwingli buffs out there (both of you), you'll be glad to know that James Dickson books has got some very cheap Zwingli works for sale including:

1151, ZWINGLI, Huldrych Zwingli Seine Entwicklung zum reformator 1506-1520 488pp illus. Edt. by O.Farner, £ 8

1152, ZWINGLI, Huldrich Zwingli Reformatorische Erneuerung von Kirtle und Volk in Zurich 1525-1531. Zurich-1960 d.w. 574pp, £ 9

1153, ZWINGLI, Zwingli, der theologe [teil 3]. edt by T. Pfitzer. Zurich-1980 364pp, £ 8

1154, ZWINGLI, Huldrych Zwingli. Seine verkundigung und ihre ersten fruchte 1520-1525. Zurich-1954 615pp, £ 8

See the complete list of books here and check out the James Dickson website on my sidebar.

I scored some cheap copies of E. Lohse on Colossians and J.C. Beker's Theology of Paul.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Value of New Testament Theology

Do we need another NT Theology? I ask this because one day I'd like to write one, so I have a vested interest in the discipline. I know however that there is a proliferation of NTT's out there, only recently we have I. Howard Marshall and Frank Thielman, and with more to follow in the near future from Thomas Schreiner and Ben Witherington. In such a context, I did found this quote from Luke Timothy Johnson quite interesting:

"Those who are expert in Scripture and also committed to the shared practices of faith can probably best serve theology within the church, not by writing books called the theology of the New Testament, but by enabling and participating in the practices and joining in the conversation, viva voce and vulnerable, together with other, less learned perhaps holier, fellow believers."

Luke Timothy Johnson, “Does a Theology of the Canonical Gospels Make Sense?” in The Nature of New Testament Theology, eds. Christopher Rowland and Christopher Tuckett (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006), 95.

Provocative stuff, of course the same thing could be said of commentary writing, something that Johnson excels in (in fact, his Hebrews commentary is just about to come out). But hey, who needs another commentary on Hebrews - we have Koester, Bruce, Lane, Attridge, and Ellingworth? Now I would acknowledge that Christian scholars should not be ivory tower theologians or remain too distant from the life of the believing community, otherwise they go off on weird tangents. Jim Hamilton of the blog For His Own Renown is a good example of NT Professor who pastors a church on the side, a quasi-liturgical Baptist church too, and keeps his feet planted firmly on the ecclesiastical ground. So, taking Johnson's warning to heart, I still think that there is a place for a good NTTs to be written. Two reasons come to mind:

1. I think of the profound impact that G.E. Ladd's NTT had. It was in many ways responsible for taking a large number of Evangelicals away from a "classic" Dispensationalist theology and into a more biblical view of eschatology, it gave excellent summations of the theology of John and Paul, introduced students to scholarly debates about the text, Ladd demonstrated how eschatology undergirds much of the NT, and he strove to show the unity within the witness of the NT.

2. I've inherited a number of libraries from pastors who have retired. Every single one of them had a copy of Donald Guthrie's New Testament Theology. Thus, a good NTT can still be of value and constitute a great resource for those in ministry and for people of faith.

I think that the entrprise of writing a NTT, is both possible and worth while.

Ten Characteristics of the Gospels

L.T. Johnson lists ten characteristics shared in the canonical Gospels:

1. All four Gospels are realistic narratives

2. All four Gospels have specific historical roots in first-century Palestine.

3. All four Gospels explicitly connect the story of Jesus to that of Israel, using the texts and stories of the Torah and Prophets to express the identity and role of Jesus.

4. All four Gospels emphasize the way that humans respond to Jesus.

5. All the Gospels climax in the passion of Jesus.

6. All the Gospels share an understanding of the resurrection of Jesus that is continuous with his human existence and sustaining of the relationships formed in his human ministry.

7. The Gospels, despite their manifold differences, agree in their portrayal of Jesus as a human sent from God for the sake of other humans, who speaks and acts as God’s representative, even as he is also radically committed to the obedience to God.

8. In all of the Gospels God is at once the father of Jesus and the God of Israel.

9. In the all of the Gospels, God’s triumph is still in the future.

10. In all of the Gospels, despite their divergent portrait of the disciples, they agree that discipleship means walking the path of radical obedience to God and living in service to Jesus Christ.

Notably, these characteristics are not shared by the apocryphal Gospels!

Johnson also believes that the differences among the Gospels make it hard to write a theology of the Gospels. Instead, he thinks it better to ask what kind of theology does the canonical tradition support and what kind theology is incompatible with it. In his mind it supports an orthodox faith as espoused in the "rule of faith" and the classic creeds like the Apostle's creed. The theology of the Gospels is inconsistent with a Gnostic theology.

Luke Timothy Johnson, “Does a Theology of the Canonical Gospels Make Sense?” in The Nature of New Testament Theology, eds. Christopher Rowland and Christopher Tuckett (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006), 93-108.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Christological Interpretation

I have been thinking some recently about the Gospel writers' use of the OT. This has been an interest of mine for quite some time, but it came into greater focus recently when I was interviewed for a documentary on the Messiah. I have always been one who believes that the context is important for interpreting OT texts in the NT and anyone could verify this by checking out the couple of articles I have written on Paul's use of the OT in Galatians.

Furthermore, I am quite convinced by C.H. Dodd's arugment in his wonderful piece According to the Scriptures that the NT writers did not generally take verses atomistically from the OT to make their case, but the texts that they did call upon were connected to the whole of a passage and to larger "plots". The use of one verse was only the tip of a much larger iceberg of text that was shared by early Christians. These "plots" may explain why Gospel writers were able to appeal to texts that in their original OT contexts were not Messianic or predictive prophesy (e.g. Zech 11:13/Matt 27:9and the 30 pieces of silver).

The idea is that the early Jewish believers in Jesus believed that Jesus was the promised Messiah and they undertook the task of reflecting on the significance of the kerygma [the events surrounding Jesus-his death and resurrection] in light of the Scriptures. For Dodd, the early Jewish believers in Jesus' view of history influenced them to see God's work in and through Jesus of Nazareth as the final and climactic fulfillment of his patterned dealings with Israel.

Don Juel's book Messianic Exegesis attempts to move beyond Dodd by suggesting that the use of Scriptures by Jesus' followers was not for the purpose of arguing "in behalf" of the Gospel, but rather "to understand" the Gospel. According to Juel, the Scriptures were used to "clarify" the implications of faith in Jesus.

There is definitely something in what Juel is suggesting and it has got me thinking since it is clear that the Gospel writers (Jewish believers--Luke was likely a God-fearer) began with the events concerning Jesus and sought to comprehend their significance by reading them in light of Scripture. In other words, the presupposition about the identity of Jesus made the "plots" in the OT visible. Perhaps it is like that illusion where a picture hidden in a collage of dots is visible only with the rose-colored glasses.

Dan Wallace on Inerrancy

For a good read about inerrancy and evangelicals see Daniel Wallace's on-line essay. Dan is apparently responding to some vitriolic ("Reformed" always with the Reformed!) critics. He also presents a good case for an inductive approach to bibliology and notes that one does not have to believe in inerrancy to be a Christian!

HT: Michael Pahl

Stuff added to the sidebar

For readers note:

1) The Amazon.com book selection is bit of a Witherington-fest, with several of his books due out in the later half of this year which I thought I'd draw attention to them.

2) Below I've included links to articles written by my co-blogger, Joel Willitts.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Notes on the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs

In reading through T12P a number of things caught my eye:

- The emphasis on avoiding sexual immorality (e.g. T.Reub. 5.1-6; T. Levi 14.6-7; T. Iss. 7.1-3; T. Dan. 5.5).

- The emphasis on keeping the law of God (T. Levi 13.1-9; 19.1-3; T. Iss. 5.1; T. Zeb. 5.1; T. Dan. 5.1; T. Benj. 10.1-11; T. Dan. 6.11 [righteousness of the law]; T.Gad 4.7 ["For among all men the spirit of hatred works by Satan through human frailty for the death of mankind; but the spirit of love works by the Law of God through forebearance for the salvation of mankind])

- The many references to the Book of Enoch (T.Sim. 5.4; T. Levi 10.5; 14.1; T.Jud. 18.1; T. Dan. 5.6; T. Naph. 4.1; T. Benj. 9.1)

- The existence of two messiahs: Aaronic and Davidic (T.Sim. 7.1-3; T.Jud. 21.3-4; T. Naph. 8.1-5; T. Benj. 11.1-5; cf. 1QSa 2.11-21; CD 11.23; 14.19; 19.10; 20.1; Zech. 4.14)

- God's righteousness (T.Levi 3.2; 18.1-14; T.Jud. 22.2)

- The "Two Ways to Live" in T. Asher 1.3-5.4; cf. Deut. 30.15; Josh. 24.15; Jer. 21.8-14; Sir. 15.11-17; 2 Enoch 30.15; Mt. 7.13-14; Ep. Bar. 17; Did. 1; Clem. Hom. 5.7; Clem of Alexandria, Strom. 5.5.

- NT parallels like Eph. 6.13 with T.Levi 8.2 [putting on armour]; Rom. 9.22-23 with T. Naph. 2.2-4 [rights of the potter]; John 19.11 with T.Naph. 8.9 [greater sin].

- Hope for restoration (T. Levi 16.5 [compassion after dispersion]; T. Levi 17.1-10 [restoration after desolation]); T. Asher 7.5-7; T. Benj. 9.2;

- A mixture of grace and ethical rigorism:

"Therefore my sons, do righteousness on earth in order that you might find it in heaven." (T. Levi 13.5)

"And unless you had received mercy through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our fathers, not a single one of your descendents would be left on the earth." (T. Levi 15.4).

Also, T. Asher 5.2 and 7.6

Interesting stuff with respect to NT Background!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

L.M. McDonald's SNTS paper

Over at Evangelical Textual Criticism I've posted a summary of L.M. McDonald's SNTS Paper: "Ancient Manuscripts and the NT Canon".

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Evangelicals and the Book of Revelation

In a recent essay, Adela Yarbro Collins says this:

“[E]vangelical and other conservative Christians of our time who can read or hear the apocalyptic narratives of the New Testament in a way similar to the precritical, realistic mode described by Hans Frei. Some of these readers, like Hal Lindsey, take the texts literally and still work at harmonizing their diverse perspectives and expectations. Others take them seriously, but not quite so literally. The important thing for them is the fulfilment of prophecies about the return of Christ and the last judgement, to be followed by appropriate rewards and punishments.”

Adela Yarbro Collins, “Apocalypticism and New Testament Theology,” in The Nature of New Testament Theology, eds. Christopher Rowland and Christopher Tuckett (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006), 43.

Question: Is this an accurate depictions of how Evangelicals read the book of Revelation? Would you pin this description on either Gregory Beale, Ben Witherington or Grant Osborne?

A new member of the Willitts' family

Today Karla and I are bringing a kitten home. It is a breed called Tockinese (check it out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonkinese_%28cat%29). I'll post pics in the days to come.

Now I have to be honest, I have never been a cat guy. I am a dog lover through and through, but things change. And it is amazing the influence the wife has on a man. So I will be a proud manly cat owner. However, the pup is coming soon . . . I made Karla swear!

Is the "Kingdom" simply a metaphor?

I am reading Brian McLaren's book The Secret Message of Jesus. You can find good reviews of the book as a whole elsewhere (I can think of McKnight's at Jesuscreed.org).

I want to point up a pervasive view of the "kingdom" that McLaren reflects in his book. For starters, I really like much of what the book is about, but as I was reading I had a sense that I was uncomfortable with something, but could not put my figure on it until I came to chapter 16: "The Language of the Kingdom".

In this chapter the issue that had been lingering for me came into view. In this chapter, McLaren attempts to contemporize the metaphor of "kingdom" for a 21st century audience. He believes that it is necessary to update Jesus' outdated "kingdom" language because in his view it carries the negative baggage of imperialism, colonialism and dominiation. He suggests several alternatives: dream of God, revolution of God, mission of God, party of God, and dance of God. Now I would agree that these metaphors can be useful in communicating the message of the NT at some level.

However, my question is: Is the "kingdom of God" simply a metaphor that can be updated? Or is the "kingdom of God" actually a concrete entity that must continue to be explained and announced in contemporary preaching and apologetics? In other words, I wonder if there is a complete misunderstanding of what is the "kingdom of God" that Jesus/apostles preached that is reflective in McLaren's suggestion!

Anti-Judaism and the Passion Narrative in Luke and Acts (Lloyd Gaston)

The article by Lloyd Gaston, "Anti-Judaism and the Passion Narrative in Luke and Acts" is available on-line and includes a sterling quote like: "In any case the paradox remains that Luke-Acts is one of the most pro-Jewish and one of the most anti-Jewish writings in the New Testament."

Monday, August 14, 2006

Secularism and Biblical Studies

In reading over John Barton's article "Biblical Theology: An Old Testament Perspective" in The Nature of New Testament Theology, eds. C. Rowland and C. Tuckett (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006), 27-29, he makes some remarks about secularism and biblical studies.

First, Barton nominates the OT studies department in Sheffield, UK as a place that is decidedly secular and "not interested in theological issues" and such departments exist also in the USA. I wonder if secular is readily translatable into either anti-theology or only disinterested in theology which are not the same thing - which one is true of Sheffield?

Second, he writes: "OT study has always until very recently, been a largely theological discipline. I do not say that essentially in either praise or blame, but as a statement of fact. But my own opinion is that, though it need not remain a theological discpline to continue to be worthwhile and have its own integrity, it probably has more of a future if it does. For it will continue to be the case that the majority of people who take an interest in the OT will be those for whom it is religiously significant. In other words, I do not regret the establishment of secular departments in biblical studies ... But I still think that the most important aspect of the OT is the theological content of most of its texts, and that it is therefore natural for this to continue to be the focus of interest in the future as it has been in the past."

That leads me to ponder a bit about the call for the "secularisation" of biblical studies by Matthew Fox and company.

(1) At the end of the day biblical scholars are dealing with religious texts that by their very nature attract religious people. If one dislikes being around persons of religious disposition, either working with them, teaching them, sitting beside them at conferences, reading books written by them, then find a new job without religion. I can understand the plight of secularists who may feel alarmed at the incursion of religious ideologies into their field and lament the fact that their job prospects are not as broad as those of scholars with religious leanings. But that is, to put it grimly, the nature of the beast.

(2) I find it hard to understand the tirade of certain persons who imply that all faith-based scholarship is little more than a type of pseudo-academia, this is far from the case. Biblical studies from a secular perspective is a recent newcomer to a discipline that is now over 2000 years old and has operated for the most part with religious perspectives. The more militant secularists would have us believe that until they came along that there was no serious academic scholarship, they think that they are the bibical academy, and the rest of us are plebs blinded by the opium of the masses. This may all be rhetoric designed to bring attention to the secularist cause, but even in the politics of universities and academic societies this revisionistic and self-serving agenda is not helping anyone. Furthermore, the texts that biblical scholars study frequently speak of mercy, love, kindness, and grace - something that biblical scholars of all persuasions should be willing to demonstrate in public discourse. If not, one must wonder if any of us have learned anything at all from our endeavours and question whether what we do really leads to the enhancement of the human condition.

(3) Scholars of faith (diverse and pluriform) continue to be the leading lights in our discipline. I need only mention the names of Bauckham, Allison, and Hengel to speak of a few scholars who have positively impacted their discipline and extended our corporate knowledge of the ancient world. In fact, we could say that the shoe is on the other foot and that some secular authors like A.N. Wilson, Gerd Luedemann, James Tabor, etc. are the one's who produce works so strewn with secular ideology and so blatantly biased against anything religious that their works can scarcely be counted more than fanciful secular dogmatics. In fact, religious scholars could be said to have an advantage over secular scholars in that they possess an ability to empathize with a text and so come closer to the ethos of the author, and have an ability to identify with the world of the text in a way that secularists cannot.

(4) We can agree that fundamentalism of any kind obscures and hinders serious academic study. But that applies equally to secular fundamentalism as it does to religious fundamentalism.

(5) Is there a place for secular scholars in the biblical academy - of course - but (like it or not) they will always be a minority. Furthermore, secular scholars bring their own atheological perspective and can make valid contributions to the furthering of our discipline so, viva la differance! But no single group regardless of denomination, affiliation, religious conviction (or lack thereof) should arrogate themselves by implying that they alone are the academy and they are alone are the one's engaged in true academic study.

Well, that's my take on it anyway.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

NTT Quotes (1)

‘The historical component in theological interpretation of the New Testament is essential if Scripture is to remain definitive of Christian belief. It helps preserve the givenness of revelation ab extra and makes possible some degree of consensus about valid meanings by excluding arbitrary interpretations from doctrinal contexts.’

Robert Morgan, ‘Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God (2),’ in Reading Texts, Seeking Wisdom: Scripture and Theology, eds. David Ford and Graham Stanton (London: SCM, 2003), 34.

‘Any New Testament theology worth its salt must be seen to offer a meaningful interpretation of the NT to the community for which it was written.’

John Ashton, ‘History and Theology in New Testament Studies,’ in The Nature of New Testament Theology, eds. Christopher Rowland and Christopher Tuckett (Oxford: Blackwell, 2006), 10.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Andreas Kostenberger on Johannine Chronology

Over at his blog Biblical Foundations Prof. Andreas Kostenberger posts some interesting thoughts on chronology and the Fourth Gospel.

Mention should also be made of one of Kostenberg's students, Alan Bandy, and his blog Cafe Apocalypsis (the coffee is aweful but the studies are good!) who has been making some sterling posts on Revelation, especially in relation to the issues of date, the identification of "Satan's Throne" (apparently not Washington!), and whether or not Domitian was really a nasty guy afterall.

Ben Myer's on Theology for Beginners

Over at Faith and Theology my favourite Evangelische Barthian friend has started a series of posts on Theology for Beginners.

Perhaps we have history in front of us as Ben Myers lays out the blue print for some kind of future magnum opus on Church Dogmatics.

Interview with Steven Harris

There is an interview of Mike Bird over at Steven Harris' website Theological and Biblical Studies. Apparently, some people find me interesting.

The Unity of Luke-Acts

The unity of Luke–Acts has been an axiom of modern scholarship ever since Henry Cadbury’s work on the subject The Making of Luke-Acts in 1927. Monographs abound on Luke-Acts tackling issues diverse as Luke's view of the Jews, the Law, Gentiles, and especially the Holy Spirit (I believe that the NT guild should demand a 10 year moratorium on Ph.D's on Luke and the Spirit - it is being done unto death!). In every case Luke-Acts is treated as a single literary unit with two-parts and authors simply assume the literary and theological unity of Luke-Acts. But what if the unity of Luke-Acts is a modern invention?

Mikael Parsons and Richard I. Pervo challenge this assumption in Rethinking the Unity of Luke and Acts (1993). They draw attention to the differences in genre, narrative, and theology between Luke and Acts and highlight a number of authorial and canonical questions posed by Luke and Acts. At stake is whether we link Luke and Acts with a hyphen (Luke–Acts = a close connection) or with a forward slash (Luke/Acts = a loose connection). Gregory writes:

A second-front against the unity of Luke-Acts has opened up from studies in reception history. Andrew Gregory's book The Reception of Luke and Acts in the Period Before Irenaeus (WUNT, 2.169; Tübingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 2003) argues that Luke and Acts were not read together in the second century with the exception of the Muratorian fragment and Irenaeus. Luke was normally read with the tetraevangelium (four Gospels) and Acts was read in the company of the Apostolos (collection of catholic letters).

Behind this question lies the modern assumption that Luke and Acts are two volumes of one longer work, each of which was written by the same author. Therefore it is important to realise that Luke–Acts as an object of study, two separate texts linked by a hyphen, is in fact a modern construct. Of course this is not to deny that Luke wrote two successive volumes – and perhaps even set out to write two successive volumes – each of which largely coheres with and informs the other. Rather, it is simply to note that for much of their subsequent history Luke’s two volumes have not been read in this way and, consequently, that it is not possible to assume that the knowledge and use of one of these texts by a subsequent reader or text need in itself require or indeed make probable the knowledge and use of the other. Nor do we know if ever they circulated together in this period, for once Luke released each volume he would have had no control over its circulation and copying.
I see two primary questions emerging from all this:

(1) Literary critics frequently assume that Luke and Acts were written as part of the one work, but were separated early in the second-century. Is this assumption valid? Does the fact that Luke and Acts were rarely (if ever) read together count against a unity of Luke and Acts?

(2) To what extent do we allow the second and third century authors to inform us of the authorial intention, initial reception, and interpretation of a first century writing? How close is Irenaeus to the mind of Luke and is the absence of evidence the evidence of absence regarding their being read together? How much continuity should we posit between first century and second century readings of these documents?

Such is the topic of my paper at the BNTC later this month.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I've Been Tagged . . . Unfortunately

Scot McKnight tagged me so I will play the game. I must admit, I don’t like these kinds of games. I can never think of good answers and I spend too much time racking my brain trying to come up with intelligent answers. My wife loves to ask questions and she even has one of those books that has like a million questions—I hate it! Here it goes:

1. One book that changed your life: Search for Significance by Robert McGee. I read it when I was in college and it really helped me deal with my personal baggage of divorce, abuse, and insecurity.

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders.

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: Bible.

4. One book that made you laugh: I can’t think of one.

5. One book that made you cry: D-Day by Stephen Ambrose.

6. One book you wish had been written: 1,000,001 Questions—It’s not really a book, but you know those question books—I don’t like them.

7. One book you wish had never been written: I can’t think of one.

8. One book you’re currently reading: The Secret Message of Jesus by B. Mclaren.

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: The Politics of Jesus by Yoder.

EABS 2006 Report

Back from the European Association of Biblical Studies held at Pázmány Péter Catholic University in Budapest, Hungary. There were some good papers including:

Tom Holmen
'To the Pure All Things are Pure': The New Testament Concept of Cleasing Puirty and its Roots in the Mission of Jesus

Very similar to Blomberg, Chilton, and Borg in terms of purity rather than impurity acting as a contagion for Jesus. Even James Crossley liked it, and thought that he presented a better expression of the position than Craig Blomberg's book.

Michael Bird
The Early Christians, the Historical Jesus and the Salvation of the Gentiles

This prosaic paper looked at the continuity and discontinuity between Jesus and the early church regarding the salvation of the Gentiles.

Riemer Roukema
Jesus, Gnosis, and the Church

This paper argued that the Gnostic Gospels (like Judas) give us no knowledge of the Historical Jesus, but the Synoptic Gospels do!

James Crossley
From Jesus Observing Food and Purity Laws to Some Christians Not Bothering: A Causally-Based Approach.

This paper was essentially a precis of Jim's forthcoming book on Christian origins. Jim is not trying to throw out the theological explanations of developments, but wants to bring sociological analysis into the picture as well. Abandoning the food laws (when Jesus didn't) was a much easier of way of holding together a variety of divergent groups.

On Tuesday we were at the Károli Gáspár Reformed University and there were several papers of note given there:

Daan van Wyk
The Death of Jesus: Discontinuity in Content and Material Continuity

A very Wright/McKnight approach to the Historical Jesus' view of his death. I remain unsure of his view that the Jesus Tradition had no reference to Jesus' death, while the Kerygmatic tradition did.

Marvin Meyer
Jesus and Judas in the Gospel of Judas

Marvin spoke with great gusto and enthusiasm on this subject and clearly Judas is something that interests him. Marvin gave an overview of Judas and its implications for understanding Sethian Gnosticism and Judas in the Jesus Tradition. There were laughs when I suggested that a "Coptologist" was someone who studied police forces!

Outi Lehitpuu
Biblical Body Language: The Spiritual and Bodily Resurrection

An interesting, albeit unconvincing paper, on resurrection in the early church where the Christians initially adopted the Hellenistic model of describing the post-mortem psyche (soul) in corporeal categories. I wish I had on hand a copy of Stan Porter's essay on how resurrection (not merely a non-bodily soul with bodily description) is featured in some Greek literature!

At the conference I also met Kevin A. Wilson of the blog Blue Cord and we had a drink together, lunch, and I helped him understand that the only way to cure the Anglican communion of its woes was to amputate it's gangrenous limbs (i.e. extreme liberal elements within the American Episcopal Church). Kevin also made me grateful that I'm a Baptist. Another good part was sharing some time with Stanley and Wender Porter and finding about what is going on at MacDiv. Otherwise, it was nice to meet a number of fellow "evangelical-esque" persons from around Europe.

Next year's EABS will be held in Vienna!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Lost Sheep of the House of Israel

The title of the dissertation I successfully defended at Cambridge recently is "Matthew's Messianic Shepherd-King: In Search of the 'Lost Sheep of the House of Israel'". Here is a synopsis of the thesis.

Unique to the First Gospel are two sayings of Jesus that have proved controversial. As many of you will know, the controversy arises not least because of the exclusivity of their contents. In two places in the Gospel (Matt 10:5b-6; 15:24) the Messianic mission of Jesus and the mission of his disciples are limited to a group that Jesus himself calls 'the lost sheep of the house of Israel'. My study investigated these logia in order to determine the identity of the group.

In light of Matthew's intense interest in Jesus' Davidic Messiahship (e.g., 1:1), I argued that the way forward in ascertaining the meaning of the logia is within the trajectory of the Jewish Shepherd-King traditions surrounding King David.

The research approach I followed can be illustrated as a series of concentric circles. The study divided into three parts with each serving as a circle of context within which the others were viewed, ultimately illuminating the logia.

The outer circle considered the Messianic Shepherd-King motif in its native Jewish milieu. This involved first a consideration of the origin of the tradition in the historical and the prophetic literature of the Jewish Scriptures. Then, following this trajectory, relevant literature of the Second Temple period was considered. While not a widely used motif in the Second Temple period (this came as a surprise to me), the Messianic Shepherd-King motif did function significantly for at least one sectarian Jewish community in first century Palestine, namely, the community who composed and edited the Psalms of Solomon. This motif functioned as a vehicle of hope for a political-national restoration of the kingdom of Israel; vital to the motif is a belief in the territorial restoration of the Land of Israel.

The next circle of the interpretation focused on the Matthean use of the Messianic Shepherd-King motif. Three passages were studied ( Matthew 2:6, 9:36 and 26:31) in order to establish the presence of the motif in Matthew and show its continuity with the Jewish background highlighted in the previous section. I argued, in line with both the Scriptures and the Psalms of Solomon, that Matthew maintains a hope for the restoration of Israel not only spiritually, but also politically and territorially (this of course is completely outside mainstream Matthean scholarship). Within this circle I also wrote a chapter defending the claim that Matthew maintained an abiding hope for territorial restoration (again controversial).

[A side note: I presented the chapter on territorial restoration in Matthew at the Tyndale Fellowship Conf. last year. After I finished the paper Donald Hagner asked me the first question and he wanted to know if I was a dispensationalist -- Thanks! Only dispensationalists I guess would pursue a research interest as crazy as this. To which I responded something like: "On this issue I guess I could be a dispensationalist to the extent that dispensationalism accurately reflects first-century Jewish thinking." Honestly, I don't think I am a dispensationalist anymore; but that is for another posting.]

In the final circle of the study, Matthew 10:6 and 15:24 were specifically studied. Read against the background of a concrete expectation for the restoration of Israel, my thesis is the 'lost sheep of the house of Israel' refers to remnants of the former Northern Kingdom of Israel who continued to reside in the northern region of the ideal Land of Israel. Thus, the Matthean Jesus' earthly missional scope was limited geographically and ethnically to those who were residing in the northern region of the Land.

What are your thoughts on this bizarre hypothesis??

Monday, August 07, 2006

CBA Was Extremely Productive

My time at the CBA meetings yesterday was very good. The interview over the topics of Satan and Messianic Prophecy lasted over two hours. The interview was definitely a very interesting experience beginning with the make-up session before going on camera. And although I had been given the questions a couple of days before the interview, it was also a very challenging experience; I am hoping that I did not say anything that was completely false, misleading or just plain stupid. The process is slightly awkward as the interviewer is off camera asking you questions and you have to respond with declarative statements. Thankfully, the producers were very pleased with the interview and were very encouraging. The documentary probably will come out sometime later this year on something like the National Geographic or Discovery channels.

After the interview I presented a paper that was essentially a synopsis of my doctoral dissertation. My thesis was on the question of the identity of the ‘lost sheep of the house of Israel’ in Matthew 10:6 & 15:24. The paper was well-received and this was extremely encouraging to me, not least because a Matthean scholar of the likes of Daniel Harrington was present. I spent about an hour afterward with a scholar named Scott W. Hahn in a nice discussion over various topics related to paper. The interaction was significant because he has been thinking along similar lines.

I really enjoyed CBA. Next year it is in Santa Clara, CA – perhaps I will attempt to go.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

CBA Annual Meeting

Tomorrow I am participating in the annual meeting of the Catholic Biblical Association. This is my first time attending the conference, but I am anticipating a good time. I am giving a paper on "The lost sheep of the house of Israel" from Matthew's Gospel. This is the topic of my Ph.D. disseration so I am excited about test driving my hypothesis. As promised, I will blog on this next week.

I am also participating in a documentary produced by a company called Paulinst Productions. They are interviewing some NT scholars on the topics of Satan and Messianic prophecy. This is the first time I have done anything like this so I am more than alittle fearful. I am afraid I will not be erudite enough or worse say someting inaccurate or incorrect. I am, however, grateful for such an interesting opportunity. If you think about it, I would covet your prayers. Thanks.

Friday, August 04, 2006

My Inaugural Blog

Let me begin by saying a special thanks to Michael for the opportunity to partner with him at Euangelion. I have been following the blog since its inception, but have declined his invitation to join in for months. I promised him that after I completed my Ph.D. and survived my Viva I would consider it. So here I am.

I briefly thought of beginning my own blog a while back, but two things hindered me. First, I didn't think anyone would read it. And second, Mike beat me to the punch: honestly -- and this is a little scary -- had I thought up a blog, I would have named it something like Euangelion and given it the same kind of tag: A Post-Modern Blog on New Testament Studies, Christian Origins and Following Jesus -- in fact, I might be more 'post-modern' than Mike is. .

So, Mike's invitation to join the blog, then, is a fantastic solution for me: he has created a readership and I can identify and contribute to this blog. Cool!

I am going to blog over the next week on my dissertation which I recently completed at Cambridge University. I worked under both Markus Bockmuehl and Peter Head. Both of these men have left an indelible imprint on me as a Christian and as a scholar. I will always be a huge fan of both these guys.

More later.

Off to Budapest for EABS

I'm off to the EABS conference in Budapest to join James Crossley at the Historical Jesus seminar. There are some good papers listed in the abstracts. Forget Bird vs. Crossley, I think the main event on the Historical Jesus seminar will be Tom Holmen vs. Crossley since both of these guys are doing papers on Jesus, purity, and law.

Ecce Homo: Introducing Dr. Joel Willitts

My new co-blogger is not, as was forecast, Jeb W. Bush (he turned me down). It is none other than the Rev. Dr. Joel Willitts of North Park University.

Here's my interview with Joel:

1. Joel, tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? What ministry experience do you have? Why did you want to become a NT scholar? Where did you study? Who are your academic heroes?

I am originally from the State of New Jersey, but when I was a young teenager my family moved to Florida. So I consider Florida my home. Karla and I met in college and were married over 13 years ago. She is from Chicago and since we have now lived in Chicago for nearly 5 years at different points through our married years it too is home. We will now live in Chicago for the foreseeable future as I begin teaching at North Park University.

I never intended to be a NT scholar. In fact, it is werid for me to even think of myself as one. When I graduated from college back in 1993, I thought I would be a youth pastor my whole life. However, through the course of my graduate studies I became intensely passionate about study and teaching, although my passion for ministry to students is still as strong as ever. After 7 years of full time youth ministry in Texas, Florida and Chicago, I changed course and began pursuing NT research. I earned a Th.M. from Dallas Seminary in 2000 and then a M.Phil (2002)and Ph.D. (2006) from Cambridge University.

The scholars who have had the greatest impact on my academic development and are my academic heros are Daniel B. Wallace, Scott Hafemann, Markus Bockmuehl and Scot McKnight.

2. Where do you teach now and what are your research interests?

I teach at North Park University as Assistant Professor in Biblical and Theological Studies.

My research interests are Jewish Christianity, Jesus & the Gospels, Hasmonean & Roman Archaeology, Dead Sea Scrolls & NT.

3. How does academic study impact your faith?

Simply stated, my scholarship is an expression of my faith and my faith is an expression of my scholarship. I advocate a view of scholar and scholarship that is confessional in nature, by which I mean one that embraces faith-based presuppositions, although not necessarily Christian or even religious. As such, the scholar and her scholarship are humble and accountable within both her confessional community and within the wider scholarly community. Perhaps J. P. Meier's 'unpapal conclave' of a confessional Catholic, Protestant, Jew and agnostic (and/or even an atheist) can be reintroduced here with significant modification (Marginal Jew I). In my approach this conclave would be locked up in the bowels of a library not until they achieved a 'limited consensus', but until they reach a mutual understanding of each other's views; views based on their distinctive presuppositions and consequent procedures. This setting would not be any less scholarly of an endeavour as their views would be defendable and rooted in the history and culture of Second-Temple Judaism. Yet, rather than being forced to create a document that states the least common denominator, they were forced to listen to each other and learn from each other in the context of community; rather than check their convictions at the door and pursue consensus, they participate in full awareness of themselves and the others and pursue understanding; rather than debate in order to win, they discuss in order to understand, acknowledging that the truth is both self authenticating and convincing in the first instance when demonstrated in life.

4. What do think is the calling of a NT professor?

The calling of a NT professor is not primarily to impart historical and exegetical knowledge and analytical skills to students as important as these are. Instead, empowered by the Holy Spirit and at the impulse of the sovereign God a professor's teaching should lead students into a God-enraptured worldview. I believe my teaching must reach deep into the affections and capture the heart as well as the mind. By the grace of God my students will leave my classes not merely with an exegetical and theological toolbox accompanied by an analytic mind, but knowing God better than they know anything and they enjoy him more than they enjoy anything.

5. What is your relationship to the devilishly handsome Michael Bird who is your co-partner for Euangelion?

I have known Mike for over three years now. We were (and are) modern day 'Pen Pals' as he was living in Australia and I in England (now GB and USA). Back then Mike listened to a paper I had given on the Historical Jesus at the annual meeting of ETS and wrote me a letter . . . yes a letter . . . introducing himself. Who actually writes letters anymore? Well that was the start of a great friendship. The more I learn of Mike the more I like him -- he is like a good beer. Theologically we have a great deal in common, although there are some differences (e.g. he has much to optomistic view about the Thrid Quest and he wants to be the next Stanley Porter).

6. What is your favourite book of the NT and what is your favourite NT text book?

My favourite book in the NT is the Gospel of Matthew.

My favourite NT textbook (at least right now) is P. Tomson's book "If this be from Heaven" Jesus and the New Testament Authors in Their Relationship to Judaism.

7. What is distinctive about being an "evangelical" NT scholar?

I think the distinctive is related to what I discussed about faith and scholarship. The word 'evangelical' means different things to different people. Evangelical scholars, in my view, have a high view of Scripture (not necessarily equated with inerrancy) and are missional (scholarship is not just an academic exercise).

8. Why did a gorgeous and intelligent lady like Karla marry a scrawney little chap like you?

My laid-back personality and sense of humor.

We can now look forward to many pearls of wisdom and gems of learning from Joel in his posts, and we can look particularly forward to his inaugural post!

On behalf of Euangelion and Biblioblogdom - Joel, welcome to the Blogosphere!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

He is Coming!

No, not Jesus (although he is indeed coming again); but another blog member is to be added to Euangelion in the very, very, near future.

I thought it time to inject some fresh material and a new face onto the blog. The guy in question will do all of that and more! In any event, it will be a welcomed change to my normal rantings.

Watch and wait!!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Jesus and the Stoic Tradition

Jesus’ wisdom does not consist of pious, timeless aphorisms on an allegedly Cynic model, as a contingent of New Testament scholars have tried to show. The true analogue between Jesus and the Stoic-Cynic tradition is rather what might be called an eschatological-ethical theme: the gods will reward and sustain the king who honors virtue, who is humane, and who is characterized by prudence (phronesis), temperance (sophrosune), justice (dikaiosune), and courage (andreia).’
H.C. Kee, The Beginnings of Christianity, 459.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Colloquium 38.1 (2006).

The journal Colloquium is the official publication of the Australian and New Zealand Theological Society, which frequently depicts some of the best articles in Antipodian scholarship. The latest issue includes:

Oliphant, Rachel and Paul Babie. ‘Can the Gospel of Luke Speak to a Contemporary Understanding of Private Property? The Parable of the Rich Fool.'

Pembroke, Neil. ‘A Pastoral Perspective on the Suffering of God.’

Tovey, Derek. ‘Stone of Witness and Stone of Revelation: an Exploration of Inter-textual Resonance In John 1:35-51.’

Rivka Ulmer, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur, ‘The Boundaries of the Rabbinic Genre Midrash.’

Whibley, M.E.L. 'A Postmodern Paradox: Collective Repentance in an Age without Sin.'