Speak in Time

I’m doing a good bit of reading on the issue of the “Abba, Father” prayer in preparation for SBL. The history of the prayer’s interpretation over the early to late 20th century is a fascinating study. There were at least two major driving factors at work in how it was read. First, German scholarship was […]

Ordering Chaos

Genesis 1 is magnificent: from tohu vebohu, desolation and deserted, the world is given order. Chaos is pushed back. Life emerges. I like to imagine that imitation of God includes little acts of bringing order out of chaos. I’m not a clean freak, or a tidy freak. But when the chaos has encroached too long, […]

Problem Passage: Blood on Us

When Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ was ramping up for release, it was widely scorned as anti-Semitic. One particular point of contention came from Gibson’s choice to include the self-imprecation of the Jews from Matthew’s Gospel: Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere and that a riot was starting. So he took water […]

Homosexuality: Identity and Scripts

I’d like your help. I’m involved in some discussions about homosexuality in the church, and we’re using Mark Yarhouse’s book, Homosexuality and the Christian as our jumping-off point. There are two ideas he puts forward that I would love some broader feedback on. First, Yarhouse issues a word of caution about quickly embracing the idea […]

Jesus Eschatology

When I last made an impassioned plea for eschatology, I said that eschatology is what happens when the people of God, not seeing the promises of God with their own eyes, nonetheless continue to believe that God will make good on what God has promised. More specifically, I suggested that eschatology needs to be read […]

On Reading the Bible

Barth finishes ch. 3 of the Dogmatics with a section on reading the Bible. As we have been noting through the review of Christian Smith’s work, reading the Bible is not as straightforward as one might guess. There is a historical sense to be had–or at least, to be approximated and approached. But articulating what […]

Don’t Give Up on Eschatology

With great confidence (and financial expenditure), May 21, 2011 is declared to be the day of Jesus’ return. Or the rapture. Or whatever. But, of course, it wasn’t. Neither was 1994 or 1982. When the obsession with eschatology (ideas about “the end”) produces such crazy results, it’s tempting to leave eschatology aside altogether. Let the […]