Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Book Giveaway!

Well, I can't believe this happened. But the winner of the giveaway two weeks back never claimed the prize. Consequently, I have enforced the five day rule and once again will attempt to giveaway Bruce Fisk's A Hitchhiker's Guide to Jesus: Reading the Gospels on the Ground (Baker, 2011). I posted a review of the book as part of the Baker Books Blog Tour.

Here is the blurb.
This imaginative approach to Jesus studies chronicles the journey of Norm, a fictional college graduate who travels to the Middle East to see if he can study Jesus and follow him at the same time, and if curiosity will make him a better disciple or no disciple at all.

Norm sets out on an adventure to investigate the New Testament and the life of Jesus for himself, hitchhiking simultaneously across the Gospels and the land. His travels offer students and lay readers a creative and engaging way to explore many of the major questions in Jesus studies today. Will Norm be able to reconcile his Christian faith with critical scholarship? As readers follow his faith journey, they learn the importance of asking probing questions. The book's lavish, journal-style interior design--featuring maps, photos, doodles, sketches, and email exchanges between Norm and his professor--makes it fun to read.

So enter your name below for a chance to win here. I will choose a winner on Sunday. And please remember to check back to see if you won. After five days the book goes back on the shelf, as happened here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Jesus of John's Gospel

When I teach my introduction to the gospels course at Ashland Seminary one thing that I discover time and again is that, for most people, the Gospel according to John is the favorite. The Jesus in John seems so much larger than life than the Jesus of the synoptics. Jesus as divine and "other worldly" is more pronounced in John. But the portrayal of Jesus in John is, at times, very different than the Jesus of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

Over at the NT Pod Mark Goodacre has posted a 10 minute podcast explaining the picture of Jesus in John's Gospel. This is Mark's 57th installment of the NTPod and if you have not taken time to listen to his previous posts you are missing some good stuff.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011


As you may know, I am uncomfortable with the Evangelical label. I often bristle when I or something I am associated with is labeled as "Evangelical." While I would describe my faith as historically evangelical, I do not subscribe to most of what is attributed to Evangelicalism today. I have sometimes suggested that we need a new label since this one has been hijacked.

And I am not alone.

Over at The Burner, Kurt Frederickson has described himself as an Evangelical that has been robbed. Here is some of what he has to say.

I am an evangelical. It defines the way I think (my orthodoxy), how I act (my orthopraxy), and how I relate to God, to others and my world (my orthopathy). This is a joyful and hopeful way of being a Christian. An evangelical loves God greatly, and seeks to serve others and bless the world. An evangelical is eager to engage in a community of faith that worships and encourages discipleship, and engages in mission around the world and in a neighborhood. This is that faith that is part of my heritage. This is the brand of Christianity that I have chosen. I am proud to be an evangelical.

But a crime has been committed. I am an evangelical, and I have been robbed.

American culture is eager to talk about religion, and this becomes very apparent as national politics heat up. In this cycle, I am hearing the term “evangelical” bantered around more frequently. Unfortunately this term is used to describe a wide range of people:

  • Those eager to decide who is in and who is out
  • Those who see God as stingy
  • Those who hold tightly to a strict set of doctrines and question anyone outside of their fenceposts
  • Those who are certain who goes to heaven, and who goes to hell
  • Those who ascribe to well defined and narrow moral and social values
  • Those who see evangelical as a synonym for Republican

I am proud to be an evangelical both theologically and genealogically, but the term has been hijacked.

You can read the whole article here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

C.K. Barrett Lectures Available Online

C.K. Barrett passed away at the end of August. I was fortunate enough to hear him lecture and to interact with him on a (very) few occasions while I was a student at Durham. Not everyone was so lucky.

But now you can listen to a selection of lectures given by Barrett that are part of Asbury Seminary's chapel archive. Seventeen lectures are available dating from 1978 to 1998 and include topics on Pauline theology, Acts and a bit of gospel material. You can download them for use on your MP3 player.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Paul and Adam

Adam and Eve seem to be a hot topic as of late. Two of my posts on the topic have been getting a lot of visitors the last month. back in June I directed readers to a Christianity Today article the looked at whether it mattered if Adam and Eve were real people or a mythic couple. In August I linked to a discussion on NPR that asked if Evangelicals were having a Galileo moment. At the same time, Brian LePort over at Near Emmaus has been inviting guest bloggers to post on why think Adam was or was not an historical figure and why it matters.

Last week Allan Bevere posted a video in which some New Testament scholars and theologians state what Adam meant to Paul and why it is not important that Adam was a real person.