Monday, August 25, 2008

I keep this blog open mainly comment on blogger blogs;

but I converted over to Wordpress and am now at

Monday, April 28, 2008


Welp, I guess I'll be over here now.

Come on over and let me know what you think.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

RBL additions

Here are acouple of the more interesting RBL additions for your consideration:

Joseph A. Fitzmyer
The One Who Is to Come
Reviewed by Jeffrey L. Staley
another good book on Jesus and various messianic expectations of his arrival.

Claus Wilcke
Early Ancient Near Eastern Law: A History of Its Beginnings: The Early
Dynastic and Sargonic Periods

Reviewed by Michael S. Moore
This is good for better understanding the law sections of the Pentetuch.

Hillary Rodrigues and Thomas A. Robinson
World Religions: A Guide to the Essentials
Reviewed by Joseph Matos
(might be a college level book, but it never hurts to have a decent reference book for world religions - this might be a good one).


Monday, April 21, 2008

Is Evangelical theology, Pauline theology?

Robert Menzies in his book Spirit and Power, co-authored with his father William Menzies, discusses an issue in hermeneutics - the role of narrative in forming theology. Typically, in the past narrative has been mostly viewed as historical and not theological - that instead narrative provides the historical basis for theological formulations. However, in time biblical scholars have come to see what most of the rest of us probably already knew, that narrative is often both historical and theological, history but with a purpose. Interestingly, many have been okay with this in regards to the Old Testament narratives, but when it comes to the book of Acts they break the rules and insist that it is only a historical account of the early church. They contradict themselves.

Anyways all that to highlight an interesting point he makes when interacting with a claim Gordon Fee makes in his book, How to Read the Bible for all its Worth where he states: "unless the Scriptures explicitly tell us we must do something, what is narrated or described can never function in a normative way." (this is footnoted from pg 97 of the 1981 edition - I have no idea if this was changed in response to Menzies or not). So Menzies goes on to respond with a barrage of questions,
"Today, for many, it is difficult to imagine how such a restrictive approach came to be axiomatic for Evangelical interpretation. After all, doesn't this principle sound very much like a canon within a canon? Doesn't much of the theology of the Old Testament come to us in the form of narrative? Didn't Jesus himself often teach by relating stories or parables? Doesn't such a theory tend to reduce the Gospels and Acts (as well as other narrative portions of Scripture) to a mere appendage to didactic portions of Scripture, particularly Paul's letters? (Perhaps this explains the overwhelmingly Pauline character of much of Evangelical theology. When all is said and done, has not Evangelical theology tended to be Pauline theology?) In any event, even the most casual reader cannot help feeling the tension with 2 Timothy 3:16. "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness" (pg. 38-39).
So the question becomes, is Evangelical theology indeed, Pauline theology? What do you make of this quote?

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If Gordon Fee was a Pastor

In his book, Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God, Fee recalls a time when during a coffee hour at Regent College, one of his students asked, "If you were to return to the pastoral ministry, what would you do [meaning, How would you go about it? What would you emphasize?]?" Gordon Fee's answer was without hesitation:
No matter how long it might take, I would set about with a single passion to help a local body of believers recapture the New Testament church's understanding of itself as an eschatological community pg49.
If we could do that here, that would be completely amazing!

by the way, Nick will probably want to move this to the top of his list when he realizes there is a chapter called 'The Spirit and the Trinity' - a topic not often explored in Trinitarian discussions.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

searching books

This will sound a bit dunce, but I am just now figuring out how to search books on Amazon... so with that I have been enjoying searching through Harold W. Hoehner's Ephesians: An Exegetical Commentary. One problem, if the wifey figures this more book (or commentary) buying! :( (or it will be harder to convince (or justify to) her of such.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

on learning the biblical languages

Eric Sowell over at Archaic Christianity has a couple of really good post on learning the biblical languages.

Should you learn Greek or Hebrew? Here is a key quote that is important to take in:
Let me make this very clear, though it should be obvious to everyone. Learning a foreign language well is a time-consuming process. There is no getting around that. There is no fast-track to learning a language in two weeks. There is no surgery for language gain. There are no pills you can take that will make it quick and painless. I think it is worth it, but you need to be ready for the amount it work it will take.

Do you "know" Greek or Hebrew? Here is a significant quote to consider:
However, we all need to be humble when it comes to what we think we know about the original languages. We should think of ourself rightly, accurately. We shouldn't teach with bravado from a text, disagree with the translations and say "but they're wrong because the original says x" and whatnot, unless we are really good at the language. It's kind of hard to measure that, but I'll give you a hint. If you've only studied the language for a couple of years, you're not. If you took classes in it and have been studying it off and on for a decade or so, you are probably not really good at it. When will you get there? Well, it takes a lot of time and effort. For some it takes more than others. What you need to be is very humble about it until you've spent a long time in the language.
Check it out. Let me know what you think!


J.I. Packer on Pentecostalism

In the Easter edition of Today's Pentecostal Evangel, and weekly publication of the Assemblies of God there is a conversation with J.I. Packer eminent theologian and professor emeritus at Regent College. I post a portion of the conversation below:

tpe: Why is Pentecostalism growing around the world?
PACKER: The Pentecostal emphasis on life in the Spirit, which became a big thing at the turn of the 20th century, was absolutely right. It was an emphasis that hadn't been fully grasped by other evangelicals for a long time. The up-front quest for fellowship with God that grabbed the whole of the heart and therefore had emotional overtones and the openness to a recurrence of some of the signs of the Kingdom was right. In the early 20th century evangelicals didn't accept Pentecostals, and Pentecostals found themselves tempted to say, "We're the only fully fashioned Christians in the world today." Only during the last 50 years has real partnership and mutual respect become reality.

It's simply a marvelous work of God that when the Pentecostal version of the gospel has been preached all around the world for the past half-century there has been a tremendous harvest. It's a wonderful work in our time, which we can set against the decline of Christianity in North America and Western Europe. Most notably in Africa and Asia, Christianity has been roaring ahead through the Pentecostal version of the Christian message and life in the Spirit. I celebrate it and thank God for it. There have been older evangelicals who have set themselves against distinctive Pentecostal emphases as if there's something wrong with it. I have not lined up with those folk and indeed have argued that their attitude is mistaken.
Thanks for the plug, Dr. Packer!


new blogroll additions

Along with nearly everyone else in the universe I added Nathan Stitt to my blog roll - unlike me where I kind of just do my own thing - Nathan's figured out a niche for the moment that people like: NT Greek (for now at least).

I followed his lead too and added "Roger Mugs" (he really doesn't want folks in his church knowing he blogs (I guess that could cause a boatload of problems). So he writes under a pseudonym (a good one at that). He is a pastor and attends RTS so he has some interesting posts and things to say!



Friday, April 18, 2008

This is for Nick

This is for Nick: 25 worst rappers of all time. Any disagreements?


Why study the nature and implications of the Trinity

It is a key essential doctrine of the historic Christian faith - salvation lies on its assertion. Learning more of the doctrine helps us learn more of the God who is indeed Trinity.

I can teach us about:

The oneness and unity of God (with implications for unity in the Church).
The diversity of God (with implications for diversity in the Church).
The holiness, jealousy, and wrath of God.
The Lordship and Divinity of Jesus Christ.
The deity and work of the the Holy Spirit.
The role of the Father, Son, and Spirit in the life of the believer and the Church.
The Nature the Church (reflects the nature of the Trinity)
The mission of the Church (reflects the mission of the Trinity)
Love (as the essence of who God is).
Community (Trinity as ultimate model of community).
Relationships (God is relational, so are we).
Mutual submission (reflects the inner dynamic of the Trinity).
Interdependence (reflects the inner dynamic of the Trinity).
The Nature of Marriage (reflects the intimacy within the Trinity).
Etc, etc, etc.

Really, the list can go on and on.

Really now, why study and read up on the Trinity!? Indeed!

Update: Professor John Stackhouse of Regent College has some thoughts on the implications of the Trinity for the gender debate....which is, not a lot. (HT to Bryan L).