Like the Beach Boys, I’ve been all around these States of ours in the last three years, and I have an observation about church unity: everyone between 20 and 40 packs a computer, reads blogs, and dresses the same. Even […]
This is our last in the series on Roger Olson’s book, Arminian Theology. Myth #10 is that Arminians adhere to the “governmental theory of atonement.” Most may not know what this theory holds, and most may never have heard that […]
My grandmother, at the time over 90, worried to my father that she was pregnant. Her worries did not come from some kind of Sarah-for-our-time miracle but instead from the gradual loss of her mind. My grandfather, who landed in […]
Commentaries on Psalm 119 fade. That is, they treat each paragraph in sum and make only brief comments. I suppose this saves space because Psalm 119 can be treated as 22 individual psalms. Today I’ll look at the flow of […]
Last Thursday, Friday and Saturday we were at Westminster Theological Seminary where, at the initiative of the student body, a conference was hosted about the emerging movement. First of all, Kris and I want to express publicly our gratitude to […]
James Vanoosting, in the introduction And the Flesh Became Word, says something that struck my inner chords: “Given half a chance, I’ll write an essay before a book, after a book, between books, and (my favorite) instead of a book.” […]
Psalm 119, captured by some as Torah piety, is a “medley of praise, prayer and wisdom” (R. Allen, Psalms 101-150, Word). This Psalm, noted above by it being an acrostic with eight lines beginning with the same Hebrew letter (vv. […]
Please add your prayers. For BeckyR, we pray for continued recovery. Lord, hear our prayer. For Mike, we pray for health and restoration. Lord, hear our prayer. For Joel and Karla, for the “good” news that they will have twins. […]
The Prayer of St. Francis: Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred let me sow peace; where there is injury let me sow forgiveness; where there is doubt let me sow faith; where there is […]
The Nativity Story. This movie, which I’ve read as a screenplay, is about as faithful to the Gospels as a movie from Hollywood can be. Yet, I wonder…
Here is news that most don’t want to hear: a new archaeological dig might suggest that Norman Golb is right. In brief, Golb argued that the Dead Sea Scrolls were the deposit of a diverse library from Jerusalem, placed at […]
Friends, it is sometimes said, don’t talk to one another about politics. I beg to differ, but I add a requirement: friends can talk about politics if they behave themselves, talk to one another with civility, and carry on their […]
Myth #9 from Roger Olson’s Arminian Theology is appropriate for me today: I’m at Westminster Theological Seminary, one of America’s foremost bastions of reformed theology. The myth is this: that Arminians deny justification by faith alone through faith alone. At […]
Nearly 125 posts later we come to the end of this series on Romans and the commentary by NT Wright on Romans. I wasn’t sure how long it would take, nor did I really care. (Our next series will be […]
Added later: I’m at the Chestunut Hill Coffee Company outside Philadelphia; best Latte I’ve ever had in my life. As we age, so I’m told, we don’t need as much sleep — or, with a darker twist, as we age […]
Who are your favorite preachers? When I was in college, I loved to hear a Baptist preacher from Lansing, MI, named Howard Sugden. In seminary the red-letter days in chapel for me were when John Stott showed up at TEDS […]
In Romans 16:21-24, Paul trots out his companions who wish to offer their greetings to the Roman Christians.
From Linda: Bob’s bloodwork came back ok, but he now has a more serious problem now.Â FriÂ in the middle of the night (of course!)Â his BP surged very high…so high we were ready to go to the ER again […]
When it comes to being made in God’s “image,” what I call being an Eikon of God, Sarah Sumner’s Men and Women in the Church opens up 1 Corinthians 11:7 and dwells on Augustine’s interpretation, and suggests that Augustine’s theory […]
What, LeRon Shults asks, is “knowledge” like for God and for us — that is, after the turn to relationality? His answer is very important for each of us. What God knows cannot be reduced to cognition, or to knowledge […]
Wright has impressed me with the need to see the divisive nature of the threat to the Roman church, and that a passage like Romans 16:17-20 is not just a final idea to raise while Paul thinks of closing his […]
Evidently, the African context is about the same as the North American context: some do and some don’t think women in teaching positions is a good idea. In the Africa Bible Commentary there is an essay on “The Role of […]
Myth #8: Arminians do not believe in predestination. Not so, says Roger Olson in Arminian Theology. Predestination, because it is in the Bible, is believed by Arminians. Here’s his point: predestination is God’s sovereign decree to elect believers in Jesus […]
NT Wright, who admits up front that we should exercise caution, suggests that the list of names in Romans 16:1-16 points to the social make-up and to the number of house groups in Rome. He sees five or six house […]
Kris’ sister’s name is Pat and she is married to Bob; their daughter’s name is Kari. And Kari is a senior at the University of New Hampshire and, when we visit her, we like to stay at Hickory Pond Inn. […]
Everyone approximately my age, and the detail itself need not be mentioned, from Freeport Illinois knows the story of Midnight Mary. So, when I saw that James VanOosting published a novel, called Walking Mary, and built the central character on […]
Paul gives a long list of greetings in Romans 16:1-16. Wright suggests the reasons for such a list is because Paul doesn’t want to create new divisions — so he mentions all the house churches he knows.
For Bob Robinson — for healing, for renewed strength. Lord, hear our prayers.
A blessing from the Celtic Book of Prayer: May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home […]
This week in travels: I will be speaking Thursday and Friday at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. My subjects are the emerging movement and atonement.
We come to the end of Joseph Epstein, Friendship: An Expose. It’s been a good book to provoke thinking about friendship, and of course his prose is excellent. He’s not as funny here as he in his essays, which of […]
William Mounce, Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (MED). For decades the lay person has been given Vine’s dictionary in order to see an overview of the meaning of words, but Mounce has raised the level: […]
Before Paul heads to Spain, Romans 15:25-29 tells us, he will return to Jerusalem with a bundle of money and gifts for the saints in Jerusalem. Wright sees the theology of Paul, as expressed in Romans (esp 14–15), in this […]
Myth #7: Arminianism is not a theology of grace. Olson contends that the “material principle” of Arminianism is prevenient grace and that all of salvation is “wholly and entirely of God’s grace.” So there.
It is boilerplate to state that one-volume commentaries on the Bible are never deep enough. Which, of course, is followed with this: Unless you are a Bible reader who just needs brief comments on the whole text. Which is exactly […]
Paul says his task is to go to unreached peoples — to go to new areas — to spread the good news to people who have not heard — to avoid treading on the turf of othes and simply begin […]
So when people call themselves “traditionalists” with respect to the role of women, esp in ministry, what do they mean? And, are there traditionalists today? Sarah Sumner’s book, Men and Women in the Church, chp. 3, discusses such questions with […]
Almighty God, who didst inspire thy servant Luke the physician to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of thy Son: Graciously continue in thy Church the like love and power to heal, to the praise and […]
Paul has undoubtedly heard of what God is doing through the gospel in other places, but his priestly offering that he can take pride in is the work he has done: “I have reason to boast of my work for […]
Any church that prohibits women from minstering in ways that women minister within the pages of the Bible, regardless of the text that church chooses to use in order to restrict women (usually 1 Cor 14:34-35 or 1 Tim 2:11-15), […]
I’m among the world’s worst “rememberers of birthdays.” At one time I seriously considered sending out cards to every family member on January 1st just to make sure it got done. The problem stems from the fact that I’m not […]
“Of the three late modern trajectories,” LeRon Shults concludes at the end of chp 7 of Reforming the Doctrine of God, “the renewal of eschatological ontology may be the most difficult to understand for many Western readers.” Indeed. And this […]
We can now see the landing field from our window as Paul banks to the side. Romans is about over. (By the way, we’ll do Psalm 119 next.) In the rest of Romans 15 (vv. 14-33), Paul explains his “apostolic […]
This weekend Kris and I were guests of Irving Bible Church in Irving, Texas. Wow. We had a great time. We had a public event Saturday evening — I spoke for one hour about the gospel of Embracing Grace and […]
Myth #6 in Roger Olson’s book, Arminian Theology, is another oft-repeated accusation against Arminians: that Arminian theology is a human-centered theology with an optimistic anthropology. In fact, Olson argues, Arminian theology is every bit as God-intoxicated as Calvinist theology when […]
As NT Wright goes to great pains to show, Romans is about including both Jews and Gentiles in the one people of God. Paul urges the Romans, in 15:7, to welcome one another for, and here is a significant perspective […]
For the good news that Becky, one of our blog community, received good news that her thyroid cancer is now gone. Thank you, Lord.
We had trouble with these yesterday, so I’m posting it again today. Kris and I will be flying next weekend to Durham, New Hampshire, to visit our niece. Lovely area to visit.
This prayer, a collect from The Book of Common Prayer, is one of my favorites: Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: […]
A former student (from my first year at TEDS) and now a pastor in the area, Kent Palmer, and his blog-reading wife, Phyllis, are in Maine and sent this picture to me to let me know that the Jesus Creed […]
Something happened this morning to these; they were’nt showing; sorry. Kris and I will be flying next weekend to Durham, New Hampshire, to visit our niece. Lovely area to visit.
Here’s my question: How do you teach students to do word studies? But, here’s the kicker for me. All the student has is (1) a Bible [NIV, TNIV, NRSV, etc] and (2) a computer. There was a day when more […]
Joseph Epstein’s fine study, Friendship: An Expose, has a chp on “friendlessness.” The chp, which speaks of a few kinds of friendlessness, led me to ponder a number of things.
Deafness. Here is our dog, Webster, asleep during a lightning and thunder storm. For years he was petrified of storms and would hide under the bed or descend into the basement where he could neither hear nor see the storms. […]
I like the prayers of the Bible that begin with “May the God of …”. Paul’s prayer of this sort at Romans 15:5-6 is about God creating unity and together praise Jesus Christ. Here are some more prayers like this […]
I had a great time with the leaders from The Chapel in Akron on Monday. Before I say anything else, I must admit that it was special for me to see one of my all-time favorite students at TEDS, Jay […]
Chp 6 of LeRon Shults’ absolutely breath-taking (and not easy to read) book Reforming the Doctrine of God deals with “reviving trinitarian doctrine.” The recent revival of trinitarian thought shows an affinity for the Cappadocians, and also for Luther and […]
Paul doesn’t often appeal to the teachings of Jesus. Sometimes Paul simply takes a big global snapshot of Jesus — like one of those pictures from the space rockets of planet earth. In Romans 15:3, Paul says “For Christ did […]
RT France’s last chp in Women in the Ministry of the Church deals with women who are examples of ministry in the Bible. It begins with the Old Testament: Miriam (Ex 15:20), Deborah (Judg 4:4-5), Huldah (2 Ki 22:12-20), Noadiah […]
Here is the next letter from my correspondent: Dear Scot, wow, i am honored to be gifted with so many words that are full of grace and love.
One of the most interesting features of reading Paul is that it is like listening to one end of a phone conversation. And, all we have is a taped recording of the conversation. And we are listening almost 2000 years […]
The following letter and my response are posted here with permission. Please sit down because this is real stuff — stuff out of a heart spiritually abused. I know from other letters that she is not alone, and we pray […]
In RT France’s Women in the Church’s Ministry, chp 3, France looks at the contested passages in Paul’s letters: 1 Cor 14:34-35 and 1 Tim 2:8-15. I’ve loaded the texts into this post to make life easier for us today. […]
I was reared in the kind of Christian faith that made this category of “stumbling blocks” a big issue. There were lots of things we were told — mild way of saying it — not to do because it could […]
We were not only shocked by the graphic horror of those small kids in that schoolroom being murdered in cold blood, but at the same time dumbfounded by the simplicity of the Amish children and community in their unified response. […]
Myth #5: Arminian theology denies the sovereignty of God. The fundamental expression Roger Olson uses, in his book Arminian Theology, is that “God is in charge of everything without controlling everything.”
Here’s the singular principle of Paul that enables Christians to dwell together in unity is to live “to the Lord.” The alternative is to live to the flesh, or as Paul puts it in Rom 14:7-9, “to ourselves.” It is […]
We are grateful today that Bob Robinson has returned home. Thank you Lord. We rejoice with our friends who discovered this week that they are pregnant. Thank you Lord. Lord, hear our prayers. Please do chime in with requests and […]
From the Celtic Book of Prayer: Christ, as a light illumine and guide me.
The rumors in the news media here in Chicago revolve around these four names: Joe Girardi, Lou Piniella, Bob Brenly, and Bruce Bochy. Steve Stone is not being mentioned except by the fans. I wish Billy Martin were still alive […]
On behalf of our BTS Dept and the North Park, thanks to Phyllis Tickle for the sparkling lectures for our annual Kermit Zarley Lectures. (Picture, L to R: SMcK, Phyllis, Kermit Zarley)
In Embracing Grace I suggested there are two ways to discuss “human nature,” or what makes us Eikons — by comparing us to other created things (like chimps) and by seeing how we are like God. Time magazine reports about […]
Friday may be for friends, but sometimes friendships fade or, sadly, are broken. Epstein’s 17th chp of Friendship: An Expose is about broken friendships. A little dreary of a topic for the day that ushers us into the weekend, but […]
We need to resume our look at LeRon Shults, Reforming the Doctrine of God. He speaks of God’s infinity and Trinity and futurity, and I have called this the “in-God and un-God” because his study deals with terms like infinity […]
If food laws can be a source of disruption in a local church, so can holy days — and it is not clear (according to Wright) if the holy days are Christians wondering if they should participate in Roman holy […]
From Linda: Yep..he’s free!Â We got home around 7:30pm (the process started at 11!)Â He’s quite tired, but in much better shape than when he came home from Mercy!Â He still isn’t where they want him on his clotting times,so […]
Marko has tagged me. He asks me to record some reflections on what youth ministry will be like in the next 50 years in light of the CT article. Of course, I don’t know what will happen — but, in […]
Myth #4: the heart of Arminianism is belief in free will. Nonsense, Olson argues in his must-read Arminian Theology. The heart of Arminian theology is the character of God, God’s goodness, and its system yearns to glorify God by exalting […]
“Welcome,” Paul starts chp 14 of Romans, “those who are weak in faith.” As NT Wright shows, we can’t be sure who the “weak” and the “strong” are — Paul thinks he is one of the strong — but the […]
Amazing but true they were going to send him home today, but his white blood cell count is slightly up. They will do some tests to find out what is causing this. He also has double vision off and on, […]
In chp 2 of RT France, Women in the Church’s Ministry, the subject of authority is addressed. France contends that at the bottom of the discussion about the role of women in ministry among evangelicals in the Anglican communion was […]
One of our readers has asked about cremation vs. burial. Tacitus, the Roman leader, once said that the Jews “bury rather than burn dead bodies” (Hist. 5.5). Not all have agreed with this ancient tradition, though. What do you think? […]
Eschatology is cast through the prism of light in Romans 13:11-14: it’s all about living in the light: “the night is far gone, the day is near.”
Happy Birthday to Annika (my favorite daughter-in-law), Kari (my niece who stars on the Univ. of New Hampshire track team) and Pat (my wonderful sister-in-law and a terrific basketball coach)! The first pic is of Annika, with Lukas in Ixtapa; […]
Here is an encouraging letter from a woman who dwells with gifts among the Plymouth Brethren. She wrote this, and with her permission, I think we all need to read it:
Paul argues that to love your neighbor as yourself, from Leviticus 19:18, is (1) our only debt to one another and (2) is the fulfillment of the law because it sums up the whole law.
Our Annual Kermit Zarley Lectures are possible because of the donation of a good friend and former touring professional golfer, Kermit Zarley. If you want to know what a student athlete looks like, look at him: he won the NCAA […]
In Roger Olson’s Arminian Theology, chp. 3, a 3d Myth is addressed: that Arminianism is neither orthodox nor evangelical. I cannot say that I have ever heard anyone say Arminians are not orthodox, but I have heard more than I […]
Last Friday we observed that Jesus himself knew that the sons of the kingdom were free from the Temple tax (Matt. 17:24-27), but to avoid scandal his followers were to pay the tax. Paul goes one step further: he thinks […]
Well, the last few days have been rough…he’s felt worse each day instead of better.Â He hasn’t been sleeping at night because of pain, and has been going into atrial fibrillation quite a bit.Â He was most miserable today at […]
One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him […]