Aug 20, 2011

Challenges for Biblical Archaeology

“Today biblical archaeology is facing many of the same challenges encountered in biblical studies during the past 15 years. It is ironic that a wealth of archaeological and epigraphic finds has become available just as the prevailing intellectual trends of our time tend to discount the concepts of history and purposeful text. According to this late modern view, little of the Bible’s historical record can be trusted, regardless of ‘objective’ evidence. Paradoxically, the ‘Battle for the Bible’ has migrated to the realm of history, language, and archaeology at precisely the moment when corroborative evidence, which abounds as never before, is intentionally swept aside.”

John M. Monson, "The Role of Context and the Promise of Archaeology in Biblical Interpretation," in The Future of Biblical Archaeology, ed. James K. Hoffmeier and Alan Millard (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004), 315–16.


Aug 19, 2011

Seminaries Are Changing

See this article.

Latest Issue of Review of Biblical Literature

The latest issue of Review of Biblical Literature is out. Reviews can be accessed by clicking the links below.

Cheryl B. Anderson
Ancient Laws and Contemporary Controversies: The Need for Inclusive Biblical Interpretation
Reviewed by William R. G. Loader
Joshua Blau
Phonology and Morphology of Biblical Hebrew: An Introduction
Reviewed by Jeremy M. Hutton
J. Harold Ellens
The Son of Man in the Gospel of John
Reviewed by Cornelis Bennema
Shelly Matthews
Perfect Martyr: The Stoning of Stephen and the Construction of Christian Identity
Reviewed by Robert Brawley
Reviewed by Richard I. Pervo
Allan J. McNicol, David B. Peabody, J. Samuel Subramanian, eds.
Resourcing New Testament Studies: Literary, Historical, and Theological Essays in Honor of David L. Dungan
Reviewed by M. Eugene Boring
Daniel C. Snell
Religions of the Ancient Near East
Reviewed by Gert T. M. Prinsloo
Robert B. Stewart, ed.
The Reliability of the New Testament: Bart Ehrman and Daniel Wallace in Dialogue
Reviewed by Tony Costa
Reviewed by Michael R. Licona
Bruce K. Waltke and James M. Houston, with Erika Moore
The Psalms as Christian Worship: A Historical Commentary
Reviewed by Eduan Naudé

Aug 18, 2011

Atonement Models

Michael Jensen has a helpful table of atonement models or views here.

Red Sea or Sea of Reeds?

See this article at Bible and Interpretation.

Themelios 36.2 Out Now

The latest issue of Themelios has just been released. You can access it in pdf format here. This issue contains the following major articles.
  1. D. A. Carson, Editorial: Generational Conflict in Ministry
  2. Carl Trueman, Minority Report: A Word to the Conscience
  3. Scott M. Manetsch, Is the Reformation Over? John Calvin, Roman Catholicism, and Contemporary Ecumenical Conversations
  4. John C. Peckham, Intrinsic Canonicity and the Inadequacy of the Community Approach to Canon-Determination
  5. Mark R. Saucy, Canon as Tradition: The New Covenant and the Hermeneutical Question
  6. Dan Strange, Not Ashamed! The Sufficiency of Scripture for Public Theology
  7. Sinclair B. Ferguson, A Preacher’s Decalogue
HT: Andy Naselli

Aug 17, 2011

Two Posts on the Lord's Supper

See these posts here and here on the Lord's Supper.

What Seminary Cannot Do

I am a big fan of the fictional Letters Along the Way, a book written by John Woodbridge and D. A. Carson. There are some great insights to be had here. In the following excerpt, the fictional Dr. Paul Woodson, Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology writes concerning seminary.

" . . . recognize that the seminary cannot make you into a man of God. The seminary is a peculiar, somewhat distorting institution. We require that you spend a disproportionate percentage of this part of your life in study. But we are not a local church, with its diversity, many kinds of ministry, different ages and interests, and so forth. There are some experienced people here who will teach you out of the fruit of their own study and out of the years of their own considerable experience of ministry and mission. What the seminary does, it does reasonably well. But it cannot guarantee spiritual maturity; and it operates best when its students are well-grounded in local churches and actively engaged in some form of Christian ministry. The ratio of hours spent in such ministry, to hours spent in study, will vary enormously from student to student; a host of factors intrudes. But no thoughtful student can afford to let his entire life revolve around the seminary" (p. 171).

You can access a free PDF copy of Letters Along the Way here.

Aug 16, 2011

Flash Mobs and the Feeding of the 5000

Read this irreverent but funny explanation of the feeding of the 5000. Come to think of it, this is as reasonable as some of the far-fetched explanations that seek to explain the miracle in a naturalistic way.

Glib Preaching

"How can Christian preaching ever be glib? The gospel can be turned into trivia only by an act of deliberate homiletic sinfulness. To preach the gospel is to do theology at a profound, if quite practical, level."

David Buttrick, The Mystery and the Passion: A Homiletic Reading of  the Gospel Traditions (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1992), 11.

Aug 15, 2011

Hamilton on 1 Corinthians

Some might be interested in James Hamilton's recent video lecture on 1 Corithians. See here.

Pastors and Prayer

View this interesting infographic on what pastors pray for. 


Interview with Dr. Larry Waters on Suffering, Disability, and the Bible

I recently posted an introduction to a new book entitled Why O God: Suffering and Disability in the Bible and Church. One of the editors of this helpful resource, Dr. Larry Waters, has graciously agreed to the following short interview.

Dr. Waters is presently Associate Professor of Bible Exposition, and also teaches for the World Missions and Intercultural Studies department. Before joining the faculty of Dallas Seminary he served as a missionary in the Philippines from 1973 to 1999. His worldwide ministry continues, primarily in the Philippines. He is the author of Bible and Missions curriculum for the Internet Biblical Seminary connected with BEE World, and a New Testament Survey for a large missionary organization. Larry also serves as a Member of the Bibliotheca Sacra Editorial Advisory Committee.

Question: How did you first become involved in this project?

The book is a result of a course that a former student, Daniel Thomson, and I developed over 2 years ago on “The Theology of Suffering and Disability and the Church.” The class consisted of 19 different speakers on varied subjects about personal suffering, suffering in the Bible, disability ministries of all kinds, bioethics, and two entries by Joni Eareckson Tada. Joni & Friends not only visited the campus, but Joni gave two chapel messages. I suggested that we put the lectures and experiences of the contributors into a book, and use it as a text for future classes. However, the book is more than a textbook, and should appeal to church leaders, teachers, those who deal with disabilities on a daily bases, and many more. Daniel is a physical therapist and is working on his PhD at the present time.

Question: What do you see as the overall thesis or main idea of the book?

The main thesis of the book revolves around what we believe are weaknesses in many churches, and the Christian community as a whole, concerning a proper application and biblical response to suffering and disability. For the most part the Church today is failing to properly present the biblical view of suffering, and is not involved in developing a ministry for the disabled and then involving them in their ministry. “There is no disability or suffering ministry until the disabled and suffering are ministering.”

Question: How did this book most impact your own life and ministry?

First of all, it opened my eyes to a world I did not really understand: the world of disability. Second, it was a long-time goal of mine to put into print information on a BIBLICAL approach to suffering. That is, what does the Bible have to say about suffering and how should we, individually and the Christian community, respond to it. I feel that this book is the first step in helping reach this goal. Third, I am now in contact with a number of people who are actively involved in a suffering or disability ministry, which has broadened my own ministry. Finally, the response to those who have read the book has encouraged me and assured me that the book fulfills a need in the Christian community. (Read this review by a pastor at

Question: Who do you think should read this book?

A number of people in the Christian community can benefit from the book: Pastors, missionaries, counselors, healthcare workers, parents who have children with disabilities, spouses who have a wife or husband suffering from a physical or mental disability, teachers in all areas of ministry. The book even deals with the issues of why Christians suffer and why does evil exist. So, it would appeal to the seeker and the theologian too. The diversity of the topics in the 22 chapters allows for a varied appeal to readers.

Question: What do you hope to accomplish through this book?

Here are some of the objectives:
1. Make the church aware of its need to minister to and involve the disabled in their ministries.
2. Give a biblical foundation for understanding the existence of suffering, how suffering is used by the Lord, and how we can respond biblically both individually and collectively to the problem of pain and suffering.
3. Comfort for those who are suffering.
4. Encouragement to those who have struggle so long and so hard to start a disability and suffering ministry in their church.
5. Encourage other institutions of learning to use this book as a text or suggested text for a similar course on “A Theology of Suffering and Disability.”

Aug 14, 2011

The Resurrection

"The belief that Jesus did in fact rise from death is the basis of the faith of the Christian community. The Church is from its beginnings not a band of men honouring the memory of a founder who has passed from contact with them (like the followers of Epicurus), but a corporate body which feels itself animated by the Spirit on One whose rising is the guarantee that He lives and will come again, and which regards the period between that rising and that coming again as a transitory phase of history between the old order and the new." 

Arthur Darby Nock, Early Gentile Christianity an its Hellenistic Background (New York: Harper & Row, 1964), 105.