Amen and amen! Not everything is an essential doctrine! And you don't need to divide over such trivial issues. Of course, the trick is deciding what is essential and what isn't...rule of faith, anyone?
Friday, November 30, 2018
Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Severa1 years ago I was invited to give a presentation to an adult Sunday school class at a Mennonite church in my community. I called the presentation “Back to the Sources: An Introduction to the Great Thinkers of the Early Church” and was excited to share my passion for the church fathers with this audience. Unfortunately, my hearers did not share my excitement. At best they could not understand why we would need anything other than what we have in our Bibles. At worst, they could not understand why a good conservative Christian would recommend these figures from a church and an age that was, in their opinion, far from the purity of New Testament Christianity. Granted, my experience above may be unique, but I doubt it. An argument could be made that the necessity of an introductory chapter in this book about the importance of the church fathers is a symptom of a greater problem within our churches that my experience illustrates. For reasons beyond the scope of this book, our own Christian heritage, which includes the church fathers, has been deemed, at best, marginally helpful for the twenty-ﬁrst-century Christian. At worst, the history between the apostles and the Reformers has been judged as an era best left in the past because of its perceived distance from “true” Christianity. For many Christians the idea that we should appeal to the church fathers, who belong to that era, as part of our own Christian heritage is foreign, suspect, or even impious. The Christianity of that age has been seen as transitory, naive, and even problematic, and therefore an unnecessary resource for Christian faithfulness today. (pages 13–14)<idle musing>
I believe he sums up well the antihistorical attitude (and hubristic pride!) of the normal evangelical Christian—at least in my experience. I once had a seminary graduate say to me about the church fathers, "Those clowns? Why should we listen to them?" I could hardly believe it! Sure, they got some things wrong, but I suspect we have a whole lot more wrong than they do—especially with an attitude like that!
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
But, they wanted me to do the same for the Press's own titles. So, for the past year I have been developing an email marketing program for PSU Press to try to match the reach that we had at Eisenbrauns. And, I've transitioned all the Eisenbrauns marketing to the new platform.
All of that has taken a chunk of time. Further, almost 12 months ago, we purchased a small house in Red Wing, MN, moving from Grand Marais on December 19—just in time for Christmas. The house is in good shape, so there weren't a lot of projects, but I did need to put in a garden : ) Maybe someday I'll post a picture of it. But, that took a good bit of time, too. We are loving living here, though. It's closer to parents and children (and grandchildren) and a beautiful part of the state, right along the Mississippi River.
Add to the preceding a heavy editing schedule. I freelance, so it's my own fault! But, when someone offers such marvelous books for me to edit, how can I say no? Among the items I edited this year was the Aramaic volume of the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament. That was a monster project! But lots of fun, too. Another real joy was a second-year Hebrew grammar by Eric Reymond for SBL Press: Intermediate Biblical Hebrew Grammar: A Student's Guide to Phonology and Morphology. I also managed to edit a first-year Greek grammar and a first-year Hebrew grammar, a Festschrift, a collection of LXX essays by Rösel, an Egyptology archaeology volume, a volume on John's letters in Greek, a still-forthcoming NICOT volume, a LXX monograph on Esther, a geographical commentary on Acts–Revelation, a monograph on life and mortality at Ugarit, a collection of essays on hermeneutics, and a collection of essays on textual criticism. And I'll be wrapping up the year with a collection of essays on senses in the ANE.
How could I turn them down?! Obviously, I didn't. So, I've had little time for recreational reading—although I have managed to read about 10–15 books, I just haven't been extracting from them as I usually do. But, I can encourage you to read a couple of them:
Honoring the Son, by Larry Hurtado. I picked this one up at AAR/SBL last week and read it on the way home. Great little read, based on a series of lectures he gave at some seminary somewhere.
The Dragon, the Mountain, and the Nations by Robert Miller. Great big-picture overview of the ways the myth of the dragon is utilized in various ANE and biblical texts (and an Eisenbrauns title).
I did get to read a prerelease proof of a forthcoming title from Carta while I was at AAR/SBL (thanks to Hendrickson for letting me borrow it for a day!), Ada Yardeni's final book: The National Hebrew Script: Up To The Babylonian Exile. It is currently in-press, so they didn't have actual copies available. But, it is excellent; just what you would expect from Carta and Yardeni. I can't wait to see the actual book next year at AAR/SBL in San Diego!
I'm currently reading a couple of other books; hopefully excerpts will find their way onto this blog...but this has gone on long enough and I need to get back to work!
Thursday, November 15, 2018
I must say, he’s correct, but also brave to tackle the whole elect, non-elect, anti-elect thing. We’ll see how this works out...
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Monday, November 12, 2018
Friday, November 09, 2018
All those books presenting atheism, unbelief, philosophy, psychology and all the books that were then current, all the debunking books and the rest, never jarred me, for I knew Jesus Christ for myself. I had seen Him, I had known Him, He deigns to walk with me, and the glory of His presence shall be mine eternally.
You can know God like that, and then you do not have to be afraid of what you learn; you do not have to be afraid of an unbelieving professor. You can stand up and face him down and say: “I cannot answer your questions, but I can tell you my testimony."mdash;A.W. Tozer, The Dangers of a Shallow Faith, page 176
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Monday, November 05, 2018
Friday, November 02, 2018
I just read an interesting take on that over at Jesus Creed by Mike Glenn; he blogs there every Friday. Here's a snippet, but please read the whole thing and think about it:
Here’s what I do know. Violence starts somewhere. Violence doesn’t just blow into our lives from parts unknown. There’s always a trail. There’s always a beginning point, a poke, that starts the violence. While we may not be responsible for any particular act of violence, all of us are responsible for creating an atmosphere, a world view where violence is an acceptable course of action.<idle musing>
We watch movies where the hero has finally had enough and kills his enemy in the most violent way possible. The bigger the bang, the better the movie. We play games where the object of the game is to become the most violent person in the game. Kill our adversaries with such efficiency we’re given more points to obtain more weapons to be more violently efficient in our killing. This is fun?
Here’s where we need to pay attention to the genius of Jesus’ teaching. Remember when Jesus taught us that if we were angry with our brother we were guilty of murder? That if we harbored lust in our minds for a woman, we were already guilty of adultery?
The early Christians were known for their radical love and care for those around them—even those who persecuted them. May we emulate them!