Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Scholarly Bunfight Brewing Over Peter

If you like a good scrap between Bible scholars (and I do!) you should get in at the start of emerging hostilities between Larry Hurtado and Robert Gundry. They are both top rank NT scholars (IMHO) but come from very different approaches.

Larry started it in this scathing review of Robert's latest book about the apostle Peter.
For readers of any persuasion, however, the thesis advanced in Gundry’s book will come as something of a shock. Gundry insists that, just like Judas Iscariot, the Peter of the Gospel of Matthew is presented in a very negative light as a total and final failure. Other scholars might hesitate to defend such a view, given that it appears that no one previously in the 1900 years of reading of Matthew has advocated it.
While Robert has riposted on Scot McKnight's blog with a equally scathing attack on Larry's review.
In every instance of my argument, observes Hurtado, I have “to urge an interpretation, an inference” (emphasis original) rather than something “explicit.” Is that observation an argument? It sure looks like one. For if not, Hurtado needn’t have made it. But if so, am I to understand that he and others don’t engage in interpretation and inference?
Hopefully this is only the beginning of an all out flame-war between the two of them and their acolytes! Keep it clean chaps, Marquis of Queensberry rules!

Beards, Beards, Beards.

While I have commented before on the theology of beards in the feeds last week there were two beard related articles worthy of mention.

One on the health benefits for all humanity

And one on the missional benefits for Anglican clergy in London

Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Call for Posts and Free ANE Resources

Tim Bulkeley is looking for posts for this month's biblical studies carnival, drop him a line if you want to nominate a post.

Tim has also has a chapter in a new SBL publication, THE BOOK OF THE TWELVE AND THE NEW FORM CRITICISM, Mark J. Boda, Michael H. Floyd, and Colin M. Toffelmire (eds), which is, amazingly, available for free download! Not only that but they have a whole series of impressive tomes on the ANE available for free download.

SBL are to be commended for such a commitment to open source scholarship and genuine "publication."

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A New (to me) Blog!

Just come across this blog through a friend's facebook feed, been very impressed with the range and quality of the writing.

It's called Thicket of the Jordan by one Esau McCauley, an African-American Anglican Pastor.

Among other things, he writes about being a Black Anglican,
Easter and the Lord of the Rings,
and Star Wars.

Check him out and enjoy.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Chicken Theology


This came through the post on Facebook, thanks to G.E. Cockrell (a coincidence? IDK). Some deeply insightful analysis here:




Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? (Theological Version)

Rick Warren: The chicken was purpose driven.

Pelagius: Because the chicken was able to.

John Piper: God decreed the event to maximize his glory. OR . . . it was an act of Christian hedonism. The chicken realized that his greatest joy would only be found on the other side.

Irenaeus: The glory of God is the chicken fully alive.

C.S. Lewis: If a chicken finds itself with a desire that nothing on this side can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that it was created for the other side.

Billy Graham: The chicken was surrendering all.

Pluralist: The chicken took one of many equally valid roads.

Universalist: All chickens cross the road.

Martin Luther: The chicken was fleeing the Antichrist who had stolen the Gospel with his papist lies.

Tim LaHaye: The chicken didn’t want to be left behind.

James White: I reject chicken centered eisegesis.

John Wesley: The chicken’s heart was strangely warmed.

Rob Bell: The chicken. Crossed the road. To get. Cool glasses.

Joel Osteen: The chicken crossed the road to maximize his personal fulfillment so they he could be all that God created him to be.

Roger Olson: The chicken recognizes no clear evangelical boundries.

Driscoll: A [bleeping] chicken crossed the road to go get a beer.

Gary Demar: The chicken was fleeing the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. That’s it.

Jim Wallis: The chicken is an organizer for Occupy Barnyard.

Emergent: For this chicken, its not the destination that’s important. Its the journey itself.

N.T. Wright: This act of the chicken, which would be unthinkable in British barnyards, reeks of that American individualism that is destructive to community.

Al Mohler: When a chicken begins to think theologically, he has no other alternative but to come over to the Calvinist side of the road.

Michael Horton: The chicken was forsaking the kingdom of this world to live solely in the Kingdom of Christ.

John Frame: The chicken had an existential need to change its situation according to a new norm.

T.F. Torrance: The inner logic of the incarnation proved an irresistible draw to the other side of the road.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: He was abandoning cheap grace for the costly discipleship of risking the dangers of crossing the road.

Karl Barth: The crossing of the road, like all true theology, was done for profoundly Christological reasons. Because Christ came as the judge to be judged, all chickens cross the road in the end.

Paul Tillich: Because he sensed that the other side of the road represented the ground of all being.

New Ager: Because he saw the light beckoning him forward.

Fundamentalist: Because his pastor told him so.

Any additions you would make? :-)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

December 2015 Biblical Studies Blog Carnival

It's been a while since I have been active with the carnival in any capacity whatsoever, and in all likelihood that is not about to change but it is good to see it is still going strong. Check it out. I probably will while I'm waiting for my brother and fam to arrive from the UK at some unearthly hour tonight. :-)


PhD Scholarships with Torrance and Wright

So personally, being overseen by both Alan Torrance and NT Wright sounds terrifyingly intimidating, but if that floats your boat there is still time to apply.
The University of St Andrews and the Templeton Foundation are funding six doctoral scholarships to cover all fees for doctoral research undertaken in the Logos Institute for Analytic and Exegetical Theology in St Andrews. This is open to overseas, European and UK students.
Studentships will be awarded to doctoral research in the following general subject-areas: 
1. The relationship of God to time/history;
2. The Christian doctrine of forgiveness - its grounds, nature and implications;
3. Personhood: divine and human;
4. Human uniqueness and the question of human purpose.

Barclay on Grace

Barclay's 2015 book on grace, Paul and the Gift, has been gathering momentum as a push back against the New Perspectives' (alleged) minimisation of the radical nature of Paul's view of God's grace. There is a nice interview in  CT about it, which also presses him to apply (albeit too briefly) his view of grace to churches today:
That’s why some of the most exciting churches today are not necessarily the big ones, but rather the small, multicultural, urban churches where you discover that different ethnicities and languages don’t count before God. Our education, our age, our job, the kind of music we listen to, the books we read—these do not ultimately define us. What defines us is who we are in Christ. We all are on the same level together and are therefore able to form countercultural relationships despite our differences. And that opens up the possibility for hugely creative Christian communities.