Monday, December 28, 2015

God, Guts and Guns


Sorry, but Christians only have the right to bare arms.




Matthew 5:44

I was watching James White's Dividing Line on Youtube the other day. At fifty-one minutes in, White started talking about a John Piper article on guns written the day before (23/12/15) that several of his listeners were urging him to respond to. Back in '08, in response to another, shorter Piper post on Christians and self-defence, White had written an equally brief retort on his website, outlining his contrary blow-em away theology. White's vlog comments were more or less a repeat of what he'd said back in 2008 because, as he noted, he hadn't had time to read Piper's latest article in its entirety. Consequently, White's comments and Piper's article were focused on different aspects of the larger issue of Christian Pacifism.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

“Coin-eh” or “Keen-ee”?


How do you pronounce Κοινή?







Like most English-speakers who learn Koine Greek, I learned Erasmian pronunciation, the standard academic method for non-Greeks since, well, Erasmus of Rotterdam produced his Novum Instrumentum omne in 1516; and judging from this post on the Logos Bible software blog, "Academic," it will remain so for a long time to come.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

What's Wrong with This Picture?




A display of Greek Geek cred


Update 17/11/15

Well, I feel a bit of a fool...

In an email conversation, the author of the book below, Dr. James Grimshaw, associate professor of history, politics, and religious studies at Wisconsin's Carroll University, pointed out that his book was one of a series the publisher had put together; so the cover wasn't unique to his book.

Of course; a series. The "Studies in Biblical Literature" series as mentioned right on the cover! I guess I couldn't see the English forest for the Greek trees. I'm not only a Greek Geek; I'm blind, too. Oh well, I still enjoyed tracking down the text and highlighting it.

Oh, and three cheers for Dr. Grimshaw for taking the time to hit me hard with the clue bat!


Saturday, October 3, 2015

On "Eject the Evil"


An Exegetical Essay on 1 Corinthians 5:9-13



The Apostle Paul wrote his “first” letter to an astonishingly depraved Corinthian church rife with syncretistic factionalism (1:12, 3:4), sexual immorality (5:1) and shameless self-promotion (5:2, 6). Whether dragging their internecine disputes before the gentile magistrates of the public courts (6:1-8) or conducting themselves deplorably at the Lord’s Supper (11:17-22), inside and outside the church, the Corinthians continually debased the name of Christ and shamed the Family of God. In anticipation of his imminent arrival (4:19), Paul’s epistle puts the whole church on notice by unflinchingly detailing every unseemly issue and unchristian practice he intends to correct when he gets there.



Saturday, September 19, 2015

On "The Apostle of England"


A Brief Sketch of William Tyndale



William Tyndale


From its earliest days, the Church has relied on the act of translation to pass on and preserve the Word of God. From the insular Semitic consonants of the Lord’s Apostles, the Gospel of Jesus Christ was reworked into the transnational dialects of the Greek Koine and spread to God’s people beyond Judea. It later moved into the imperial majuscules of the Holy Roman Latin of Western Europe, where it stayed, a prisoner of a calcified ecclesiology, until the Protestant Reformation twelve-hundred years later. In Great Britain, it was the reformer and gifted linguist William Tyndale (c.1492-1536) who, in translating the New Testament directly from Greek to English, liberated it from the Latin fetters of the clerics and made it available to even the ploughboys of England.



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

On "Christianity Meets Modernity"


New Worlds, New Challenges and New Churches





The nineteenth century gave no respite to a traditional Christianity still reeling from the social upheavals of the 1700s. After such seismic shocks as the Enlightenment, the French and American Revolutions, the rationalism of Leibniz and Kant, and the first of the Great Awakenings, the traditional churches of Europe and America tumbled into the uncertainties of modernity off-balance, unsure and, for the most part, unprepared. All the consequences of the movements begun in the previous century would be visited upon the Church throughout the modern era. Change was definitely in the air and the social, political and spiritual landscapes of Europe and America would be altered forever.



Sunday, June 21, 2015

End of Year Two


Last assignment submitted on Moodle


It's all downhill from here.



This time last year, I posted about having just submitted my final assignment for the second semester of the first year of my Bachelor of Theology (BTh) degree at Laidlaw College. Well, yesterday I just submitted my final assignment for the second semester of my second year. Yippee, another year over!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

On "Two Debts Cancelled"


An Exegetical Essay on Luke 7:36-50


A Sinful Woman Forgiven

In the anointing pericope of Luke’s Gospel (Luke 7:36-50), Jesus is attended to by a weeping "woman...who was a sinner" (37), while dining at Simon the Pharisee’s house. Through an analogic parable about two debtors (Luke 7:41-42), Jesus does three things: First, he confirms that he is the Messiah, then he teaches a lesson on God’s counter-intuitive mercy and, thirdly, he illustrates the equality of sinners before God, regardless of their visible inequality. A great deal of interpretation of this passage has understandably focussed on the woman, emphasising her importance in determining Luke’s message. However, as we shall see below, Simon the Pharisee plays a far more pivotal role than is generally believed.




Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Quick Case for Ceasationism


Phil Johnson puts up a reasonable case for Ceasationism



I'm encountering a fair bit of sub-biblical nonsense these days at Laidlaw College and feel the need to push-back, even if it is only here on Blogger. The vid below is a cogent and succinct argument for Ceasationism by Phil Johnson of Grace to You, John MacArthur's Empire:

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Piper on Hope and Plunder


I finally enjoyed a John Piper video.



Whenever modern Reform theologians are discussed, the name John Piper will always come up. This is due, I believe, in large part to his having penned The Justification of God, wherein he conducts an “objective, historical-grammatical exegesis of Romans 9:1-23”1 and provides one of the most unassailable apologetics ever on the doctrine of election. It's a great book and Piper is a terrific scholar, but I have to say, as a preacher and pastor, I’ve always found him less than appealing ... until today, when I got this in my Twitter feed:

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Whatcha Watchin?



Calling all Church History buffs who are addicted to YouTube!



If you’re like me and spend an inordinate amount of your free time on YouTube AND you can’t get enough of Early Church history, then my latest Facebook post is for you. Although the video is primarily about the Apostolic Fathers, there's also a particularly good section on the Didache in it; it's worth watching the whole thing just for that bit.

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Moment on Matrimony


Traditional Christian marriage owes more to Rome than Jerusalem.






As a Christian in the developed world it is nearly impossible to avoid the debate raging in the public arena between the proponents of gay marriage and those who cherish its traditional form. Now, I have no intention of joining the fray with this post, but I would like to take a look at one feature of the argument of those Christians who are promoting the traditional view of marriage. Whenever I hear them present their case, I’m always left wondering whether they are aware of the actual history of the traditional form of marriage that they so vehemently defend.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

In Ephesus?


What to do when many of your early textual witnesses omit the addressee in an epistle?






As with most of the books of the New Testament, there are several critical issues regarding the book of Ephesians that have been debated by scholars for centuries. These are mainly questions pertaining to the dating and setting of the autograph (when and where was it written?), its authorship (by whom was it written?), and its recipient (for whom was it written?). With regards to the latter question, would it surprise you to learn that there is no absolute proof that the epistle to the Ephesians was written to the Church in Ephesus?


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Looks Like Newsweek is Good News Weak



What is it about Christmas that makes the media pull out their duller, rustier knives?






Last week I detected a stirring in the Christian blogosphere. Some article I never would’ve noticed, in a magazine I never read, written by a journalist I’d never heard of, had rattled a chain or two. I was shocked, shocked, to discover that the mainstream media in the U.S. dislikes us hate-filled Christians and our big, black book of lying lies for liars.