The Spirit and Christ in the New Testament and Christian Theology

This new collection of essays edited by Marshall, Rabens and Bennema arrived a few weeks back.  My review is below.

This volume gathers writings about the Spirit and Christ by notable scholars including Richard Bauckham, D. A. Carson, James Dunn, and many others. Covering topics that are relevant for the worldwide church today — the life-giving work of the Spirit, the Spirit in Luke and Acts, the gift of the Spirit in John 19-20, pneumatology and justification, community life through the Spirit, and more — the twenty essays included will be a welcome resource for scholars and ministers. The Spirit and Christ in the New Testament and Christian Theology is also a fitting tribute to honoree Max Turner, whose outstanding scholarship has focused on pneumatology and Christology.

Update on the SOTS Summer 2012 Meeting

Via Viv.

She’s posted more and they’re worth seeing (at the link above).  I’ll add that word that the wonderfully patient Elisabeth Harper’s departure as Hospitality Secretary is sad news indeed.  She will be missed.

Karl Barth Blog

KBarth.org has a blog to go along with their cool YouTube channel.  It, to date. has one post: on the recent Barth Conference in Switzerland.  It has neither links nor further info concerning those who post or those who organize and run it.

I genuinely hope they expand it beyond the, at present, very narrow reach, by including links to relevant blogs, the YouTube channel, other Barth resources, and their own organizational homepage.  Elsewise it will simply be, and remain, insular and rather unfriendly.

You Can’t Fool God

Sometimes people forget the most basic truths.  This is one they love to ignore-

Make no mistake about this: You can never make a fool out of God. Whatever you plant is what you’ll harvest.   Galatians 6:7.

Another Dimwitted Gun Toter: Menace to Society, The Wal-Mart in Texas Edition

Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day.  Give an idiot a gun and a conceal/ carry permit, you endanger kids at Wal-Mart.

A licensed concealed handgun owner from Waco, Texas hurt more than his pride on Monday when his weapon accidentally discharged while he was reaching for his wallet at a Dallas Walmart store.  Police said that Todd Canady, 23, was in the checkout line when he fired the pistol he was carrying inside his pants.  “The bullet struck Canady in the buttock, then ricochet on the floor and broke into pieces,” KDFW reported. Two children and a woman were also wounded when they were struck by bullet fragments.

Were it my children who were so injured I would sue the dimwit, Wal-Mart, the State of Texas, and the gun manufacturer and I’d let the lawyer keep half of whatever he got off all of them just to make the point that those who make conceal / carry possible for the idiotic should be held as responsible as the morons who play with guns.

The 34 Year Old Granny, Cocaine, And The Worst Sort of Inhumanity

She’s a Granny at 34 and her grandbaby ate her cocaine.  I think that says everything about this person that needs to be said.  It says everything that needs to be said about her parenting and it says everything that needs to be said of her decision making ‘skills’.

A 34-year-old grandmother and her younger boyfriend are being sought be Georgia cops after the woman’s grandson ingested cocaine and was taken to the hospital.  Ebony Daniel and Charlie Martin, 22, are wanted on charges of possession of cocaine, cruelty to children in the first degree and reckless conduct, said Sgt. Lee Gragg of the Palmetto Police Department.

Her boyfriend is 22…  here it comes- the question that plagues me:  why would God allow such people to have children????  And their children to have children?????  I just don’t get it.  The children born to such evil creatures will live lives of pure misery, death, disorder, chaos, and disease.  Better to be never born at all than to live under the shadow of the likes of Ebony.

Answering Your Letters: What is Your Tagline About?

Dear Jim,

I don’t read Latin but I’ve found out what your tagline says- ‘Shepherds feed, they don’t rule’.  Is that correct?  And where’s it from?

Thank you,

Cordially,

Tom

Tom, you’re right on the mark.  It’s a quote from Zwingli’s Apolegeticus Archeteles (Z I, 319).  Here’s the full context in which it occurs:

61. Ut placet id verbi: Regere ecclesiam dei, quod actorum 20. unde huc translatum est, pro pascere interpres posuit non sine sententię iniuria. Sic enim loquitur Ephesiorum episcopis Paulus [Act. 20. 28]: Cavete igitur et vobis ipsis et toti gregi, in quo spiritus sanctus vos posuit speculatores, ut pascatis ecclesiam dei quam proprio sanguine acquisivit. Ecce gregem, ecce speculatores, ecce concionem pascendam non regendam, ecce concionem non hominis sed dei, quod eam proprio sanguine invenerit. Quid tam arrogans verbum usurpastis? Pastores pascunt, non regunt.

Translated-  How this word “to rule” the Church of God pleases you! In Acts 20, whence you quoted it, some commentators put it in for “to feed,” with damage to the sense. For Paul speaks thus to the bishops of the Ephesians, “Take heed, therefore, unto yourselves and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” [Acts 20:28]. Here you have the flock, the overseers, the congregation to be fed, not ruled, the congregation, not of man, but of God, because he won it by his blood. Why do ye use such an arrogant word? Shepherds, or feeders, feed, not rule.

Discovery at Hazor: Wheat- The Silent Witness to History

Tweets the American Friends of Hebrew University-

Excavations led by @HebrewU‘s Prof Amnon Ben-Tor reveal 3,400-year-old clues to the reason for the destruction of Hazor.

Unfortunately they don’t link to further news so I had to go looking for it.

Traces of burnt wheat found in Israel’s Upper Galilee are evidence of the 13th-century-BCE Israelite conquest of the Promised Land, an archeologist said. … 

This season, the excavation, which is being conducted under the auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, uncovered a storage room in the castle. In the room were 14 large clay jugs containing seeds of burnt wheat.

Professor Amnon Ben-Tur of the Hebrew University has been in charge of the Hazor excavations since 1990. In an interview with Ynet, Ben-Tur said that the jugs were destroyed around the 13th century BCE, a period, he said, which coincided with the biblical account of Joshua’s capture of Hazor. According to Chapter 11 in the Book of Joshua, Hazor was the only city in the Land of Israel that was destroyed by fire during the conquest.

Ben-Tur’s assessment regarding the destruction of Hazor is far from being a foregone conclusion in the archaeological world. Scholars are at odds as to when Hazor was destroyed and by whom. While the most widely accepted school of thought accepts the theory that Hazor was destroyed by the Israelites in or around the 13th century BCE, there are many scholars who hold that Hazor was destroyed by either the Egyptians, the Sea Peoples, or nomadic tribes that wandered the region at the time.

Ben-Tur disagreed, noting that Hazor was not included in any of the lists of Israelite cities destroyed by the Pharaohs. Furthermore, Ben-Tur holds that the Sea Peoples traditionally stayed close to the coastline, and would not have conquered a city as far inland as Hazor.

Ben-Tur said that the recent discovery at Hazor “sheds even more light on Israelite history.”

Doubtless there will be loads of discussion about this.  As is right.

More from SBL Amsterdam: On ‘The Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception’ Project

Now this is a session I would have loved to be at!  It’s a very intriguing project which I imagine will be very useful.  I’ve been invited to contribute an essay which I’m working on at present.  Many others are as well.  It’s quite an undertaking I’m sure you’ll admit.

The EBR homepage is here, by the way, if you’re interested in looking into it.

How The Media is Distorting What the President of Chik-Fil-A Actually Said

Par for the course really.

So, did you hear about that wild quote that the president of Chick-fil-A didn’t say the other day?

Then the report cites the liars over at CNN.  Then follows the truth:

Now, one would assume — after reading a reference to the “comments of company President Dan Cathy about gay marriage” — that this interview from the Biblical Recorder in North Carolina (which was circulated by Baptist Press) actually included direct quotes from Cathy in which he talks about, well, gay marriage.  In this case, one cannot assume that.  While the story contains tons of material defending traditional Christian teachings on sexuality, the controversial entrepreneur never talks about gay rights or gay marriage. Why? Because he wasn’t asked about those issues in the interview.

Did you catch that Joel, et al?  He was NEVER asked about gay marriage so he NEVER talked about gay marriage.  Shame on all those pseudo-journalists who spewed falsehood just to make their point- on BOTH sides of the issue.

Facts- they’re a useful thing.  Sometimes folk need to get them before they spout off.  And yes, I’m looking at you, denigrators of Dan.

Picky, picky? Well, yes. It would have been so easy for the mainstream press to have reported Cathy’s remarks accurately and, then, to have accurately reported the comments of those who were more than happy to criticize the Chick-fil-A leader’s conservative views on marriage.  That equation is par for the journalistic course. But is it fair game to actually state, as fact, that the man said things that he didn’t say?

News From SBL Amsterdam

Again, via

Koert van Bekkum@koertvb  — Great, great lecture of Lourens de Vries on the Romantic turn in Bible translation.

Remember the good old days when bloggers attending conferences would tell us about them?  I guess those days are gone (along with any sense of community and cohesion amongst them).  Tragic.  Nevertheless I’m glad Koert is passing along snippets.

What Should I Work on Next?

Today with Zwingli

It was 24 July, 1520 that Huldrych Zwingli wrote his friend Oswald Myconius to discuss the potential issuance of a Papal Bull of Excommunication against Luther.  Zwingli writes

Lutheri vitae parum timeo, animae nihil, etiam si fulmine Iovis istius fulminetur; non quod excommunicationem contemnam, sed quod putem damnationes istas magis corpori quam animae infligi, si iniquae infligantur. Aeque autem an inique cum Luthero agatur, nostrum non est decernere. Ipse tamen nosti, cuiusnam sententiae sim. Ego his diebus Gulielmum, pontificium commissarium, adibo et, si sermonem de hac re serere coeperit, ut paulo ante fecit, suadebo, ut pontificem admoneat, ne excommunicationem ferat; quod putem hoc maxime e re eius futurum. Nam si feratur, augurer Germanos cum excommunicatione pontificem quoque contempturos. Tu vero bono animo esto; nunquam deerunt nostrae tempestati qui Christum germane doceant, quique vitam sint pro illo libenter expensuri, etiam si apud homines pessime post hanc vitam sint nomina illorum auditura: id quod iam olim coeptum est, nempe: hereticus fuit, seductor, nequam. Apud talia dicentes enim seductores reputantur; at veraces erunt.

Zwingli was right- the whole of Germany (save for the recalcitrant Papists) were unimpressed with the Bull. And isn’t it interesting that Zwingli always behaved in a more Christian manner towards Luther than Luther ever did towards Zwingli… Quite telling, really, that even when Zwingli disagreed vehemently with Luther, he always supported his proclamation of the Gospel as a brother. Luther was not similarly inclined.

God Sends Revival- Real Revival Anyway

The very notion that we ‘engineer‘ revival shows how far we’ve strayed from the truth that God is Lord. Michael is right to write

A revival is God’s quickening visitation of his people, touching their hearts and deepening his work of grace in their lives. It therefore begins with one person -a Sovereign God. He alone can regenerate a sin infested soul, birth it anew causing it to live and sustain it. Why does He stoop so low? Why does He even care about sinners? Well God is not willing that any of His own should perish. In short, a revival shows itself to be genuine by its effects upon the religious, the fraternal and the missionary life of the church.

If the heretic Benny Hinn thinks the death of Graham will bring revival he’s wrong. But then he’s always wrong and that he has followers proves how far they’re distant from true Christianity.