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Showing posts from December, 2010

Hiestand, Raising Purity: A Book Review

My thanks to the author Gerald Hiestand for a review copy of his book.  The book's website is here and you are able to download the first two chapters as well as listen to some of the related seminar material. Gerald is also a contributor to the SAET blog.

Well, the book has a smart cover, is well presented and has a nice modern crisp feel to it.  This is going to be a mixed review and I am never sure with such things whether to give the good news or the bad news first, so I am going to be nice, then nasty, then nice again, just to warn you. 

A nice bit
The first thing to say is that I liked the author, he has clearly given the issue at hand plenty of thought, has a pastoral heart and is concerned to give practical real life help to parents.  His analysis of contemporary trends in romantic relationships in chs. 3 & 4 is excellent, insightful and helpful.  It is clear that when he is talking about the sturggles different people face in these areas he knows what he is talking abo…

Brick-a-brack 30/12/10

Tim Bulkeley fires a shot across the bow of the established paradigms of theological educationRoger Olsen suggests we do theology with pre-biblical presumptions, whoever we are, and his top two are whether God can do anything and our approach to the "primitive" churchMarc Cortez gives a roundup of his top tips for theological research, you'd be a fool to ignore themThe ruthless monk starts an interesting series on Christian stereotypes and how to deconstruct/disembowel themDoug Chaplin reflects on the slaughter in Matt 2:16-18Jason Goroncy lists why we shouldn't write off John Howard Yoder even though people often look for any excuse to do so [because they are wimps]

Hezekiah: New Manuscript Discovered

Well I am pleased to be able to bring, what I think may be the first review in the biblioblog top 50 of the recently discovered manuscript of the Book of Hezekiah.  You know, the one you always look for somewhere in the minor prophets but cannot find.  As much as I hate to contradict the sagely and saintly Claude Mariottini on the origins and content of this important document it is clear that his project to reconstruct this document from oral fragments has failed to result in anything resembling an actual book.  By contrast Ian Kammann, a much neglected and misunderstood scholar of the first order, has produced what can only be described as the most convincing reconstruction of the Hezekiah tradition this century, or ever, and it is an actual book.  Not only so but it contains a limited reconstruction of the pseudopopapocryphal document, the Book of Hesitations, fitted within a radical new interpretational structure and alongside a helpful excursus on the relationship between the tw…

Thesis Now Online

Sex, Slogans and Σώµατα:  Discovering Paul’s Theological Ethic in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
My MTh thesis is now available as a PDF online. Read and enjoy! If you are new to the blog why not add me to your feed reader, you never know, you might like it and you can always delete me if you don't. 
My thesis conclusion is here and my examiners' comments are here if you want to do some research before diving right in. 
PS. If you do read it and find any mistakes or bones of contention !

No Such Thing as Evangelicalism?

Yet as soon as evangelicalism becomes a subject, it splinters and splits. Indeed, taken together, recent studies by more-or-less outsiders show there is no such thing as evangelicalism. The term represents a broad range of significantly different theologies, practices, and religious movements within Christianity, and there are often tensions among and within them. Which is no revelation at all to most more-or-less insiders, who call themselves evangelicals, however qualified, and who argue as much with others who do the same as with those of us who don't.From The Chronicle of Higher Education, HT

Popes and Bankers

OK, I have been sweating about how to review this book,



But now I don't have to, Paul Burkhart has written the review that frankly I wasn't man enough to do, and he does it so much more intelligently and gracefully than I would have.  So please read his review, because this endorsement of his review is the most I can bring myself to do towards reviewing this book.  I'm sorry to say.  Also don't miss his analysis of the author in question, he has cleared up a lot of questions for me.  It remains however that this was a brilliant idea for a book, and I'd love to see this done well.

Is Evangelicalism a Mental Disease?

At a biblical studies conference last week I was having fun asking the politically incorrect question of the people I met as to whether or not they were a Christian.  To me, one's religious committments are bound to have a big affect on your scholarship (no matter what you say about "objectivity") and so I'm always keen to know, and at least I do it in person rather than public.  Well one very civilised chap I spoke to answered my question with a scowl and the statement "well, i'm not an evangelical" which was interesting, because I do self identify as such, but the way he said it I wasn't sure we would use the word in the same way.

But then reading about street preachers on Stuart's blog it occurred to me that for many evangelical is code for intolerance, bigotry, irrationality, right wing politics, emotional instability and public outbursts of hatred.  And this is the problem, I know lots and lots of evanglicals and they are by and large open …

brick-a-brack 14/12/10

A Douglas Campbell interviewPaula Fether riffs on the theme of diasporaMarc shares a quote about an apophatic anthropologyDuane wonders where the craftiness of the serpent came from (Gen 3)Mike Bird directs us to a trio of interesting posts about women in leadership (sometimes I feel embarassed to even be having this discussion, but it still needs to be had, although one of the links in particular show how silly this can get, i'll let you work out which one)

Nicole on Biblical Egalitariansim

Roger Nicole, reformed Baptist theologian has passed on.  One thing that serparated him from many of those now extolling his virtues was his outspoken egalitarianism. Since biblical egalitarianism is still viewed by many as inconsistent with biblical inerrancy, it is desirable to state in a very brief manner my position on this subject. The matter of the place of women in the home, in society, and in the church is not an issue that can be conclusively determined by a few apparently restrictive passages that are often advanced by those who think that subordination represents God’s will for women. The starting point must be at the creation of humanity, as our Lord himself exemplified by quoting Genesis 1:27 and 2:24 in response to a question by the Pharisees (Matt. 19:4-5, Mark 10:6-7). The climactic point must be at the consummation of the redemptive plan in the wedding supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9, 21-22), as St. Paul notes in discussing marriage in Ephesians 5:22-33. These two …

brick-a-brack 10/12/10

Don't expect much from me for the next week or so, but always glad to furnish you with some fascinating reading from around the biblioblogosphere!
Steve Douglas offers his own take on the Jesus/Paul problem, i've only had time to skim it but it looks goodA moderate muslim's recommendation for a book on the history of Islam Finally a Bible translation admits what scholars have known for decades about the "inn" with no roomRobert Myles shares his paper on Jesus' homelessness in Matt 2:13-23

brick-a-brack 8/12/10

Randy Alcom takes evangelical dishonesty to task, it is a chilling article.Robin Gunston, National Director of Prison Fellowship NZ, speaks on Prisons (their rising costs), Penal Policy (our highly punitive outlook), and how ordinary New Zealanders can influence both for the better.  Lots of people have been getting excited about Scot McKnight's article on Jesus and Paul.  Stuart has a great post on preaching in a digital age.A fascinating post on Joseph's reasons for wanting to send Mary away, suspicion or humility?

It's Snow Joke

I'm away today and tomorrow at ANZABS and the next couple of weeks are my last at Carey so I will probably be doing some real work rather than getting to blog as much as i'd like, but just so you don't feel totally neglected here is something for my friends in the northern hemisphere, keep an eye on your snowmen , the BBC have even provided the audio of the 999 call! (thanks Matti)

Justice is Served

Finally the OED weighs in on the long running fight, and there seems to be little uncertainty about this vital cultural matter.

The Oxford English Dictionary may have settled a long-running argument between Australia and New Zealand over who invented the pavlova.  The dessert - meringue with fruit and cream - was named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who visited both countries in the 1920s.  Australians and New Zealanders agree on that, but not on who invented it.

In its relaunched online edition, the OED says the first recorded pavlova recipe appeared in New Zealand in 1927.  This was in a book called Davis Dainty Dishes, published by the Davis Gelatine company, and it was a multi-coloured jelly dish.  But New Zealanders claim the meringue version also originated there, with recipes for it appearing in publications in 1928 and 1929.  Dr Helen Leach from New Zealand's University of Otago is something of a pavlova expert.  "I can find at least 21 pavlova recipes in N…

Brick-A-Brack 01/12/10

Claude Mariottini gives a concise and very helpful argument that God did not command genocide in Joshua and JudgesLoren Rossen cites three historical Jesus scholars on why the non-canonical gospels are not admissible for historical Jesus research, "Two of them are secular liberals, so it's not as if plain sense flows only from Christian bias."  TVNZ reports on "a former atheist who found God and like many Christians he's trying to make the world a better place."Darrell on the modern and hypothetical ancient Greek word for blog.And something to get you in the Christmas mood,