• Biblical Studies,  Books,  Theology

    The Conscience, As Illustrated by Ezra and Nehemiah

    I’m currently reading Nehemiah: A Pastoral and Exegetical Commentary, as part of Introduction to Old Testament I (SBTS). Really enjoying it so far. It strikes a good balance between textual matters and application in the life of the church. In Chapter 2, in the section concerning 2:7-8a, I ran upon this section, that made me stop and think: Nehemiah basically makes two requests. The first request is for letters ensuring his safe passage to Judah. As noted in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, Judeans faced stiff resistance and oppression from their enemies (see Ezra 4-6; Neh 4). Obviously, Nehemiah knows of the dangers and asks the king for help.…

  • Biblical Studies,  Books,  Theology

    Dropping The Book For A Moment

    So, this morning, I just need to put the textbook down for a moment and write. My hope is to give you a brief, inside look into what it feels like to be in non-vocational pastoral ministry. And I’d say vocational pastoral ministry, too, though I don’t have that exact experience. I don’t often write like this, because often it is hard to know what I should share. Other times, it is a chore to determine whether sharing something will be received as a targeted rebuke, rather than a general encouragement, etc. The thing I most want to say is that, in my experience, if you are a member of…

  • Biblical Studies,  Books,  Cognition,  News,  Theology

    The Gospel and The Gospels

    This week’s reading lays the framework for a deeper study of the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in coming weeks. So far, that reading includes Who Chose the Gospels?, by C.E. Hill, Reading the Gospels Wisely, by Jonathan T. Pennington, and Four Portraits, One Jesus (2nd Edition) by Mark L. Strauss. The reading for this week surveys the gospels themselves (what they are), the gospel message (what the gospels are for), and how the gospels have been (and are) used and studied. Great stuff, really – healthy does of history and hermeneutics. Two passages in the reading stand out to me, both from Pennington. And why not,…

  • Biblical Studies,  Books,  News,  Theology

    Learning Through Fiction

    The final “textbook” for NT1 came in the mail today. It is interesting to be assigned a fictional work, Killing a Messiah by Adam Winn. I find the idea behind it reasonable though…sometimes we get caught up in our assumptions about the backdrop, the context, of historical (and in this case religious) events. Fiction can be a way of looking at things from a slightly different angle. Probably be a bit before I get started n this one, but looking forward to it. Already neck deep in Who Chose The Gospels, by Hill. Chapter one got right down to business countering arguments that non-canonical gospels were on an equal footing…

  • Biblical Studies,  Books,  News,  Theology

    “The Long Awaited Return of God”

    Books are arriving for my next class, “Intro to the New Testament 1”, with Dr. Pennington. This class surveys the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Intro to NT2, which I took earlier, covered Acts through Revelation. I’ve already been through this week’s lectures, and am really looking forward to the class! Time to get reading!

  • Biblical Studies,  Books,  Theology

    A prudent, zealous, and laborious Minister

    Not to read or study at all is to tempt God: to do nothing but study, is to forget the Ministry: to study, only to glory in one’s knowledge, is a shameful vanity: to study, in search of the means to flatter sinners, a deplorable prevarication: but to store one’s mind with knowledge proper to the saints by study and by prayer, and to diffuse that knowledge in solid instructions and practical exhortations, – this is to be a prudent, zealous, and laborious Minister. Quesnel, quoted by Charles Bridges in “The Christian Ministry”

  • Biblical Studies,  Theology

    A Timely Reminder From Titus

    A timely reminder from Titus (specifically, Titus 3:1-2), for me and my brothers and sisters in Christ: Be submissive to rulers and authorities Be obedient Be ready for every good work Speak evil of no one Avoid quarreling Be gentle Show perfect courtesy toward all people Why? For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of…

  • Books,  Theology

    Do you know who you’re talking to?

    Reading in Prayer: How Praying Together Shapes The Church, by John Onwuchekwa, I came across the following that reminds me of Matthew 11:25-26. I preached (we need to make praught a thing) from Matthew 11:25-30 last week. The connection between adoring God the Father for both his revealing and hiding has a lot in common with praising him for his love and his just-ness that comes out clearly in this excerpt: Delving into God’s attributes means we must pay attention to the attributes of God we sometimes feel tempted to apologize for. It shows us we should adore them. Think of God’s anger and wrath. When we praise him for…

  • Biblical Studies,  Books,  News,  Theology

    In the Mail, Fall 2020 SBTS Edition

    So, here is what I will be reading (above and beyond the stuff I am already reading) for my first semester (fall, the first two of six class blocks during a year of online instruction): F1: Biblical Hermeneutics Required. These, in no particular order, are the required books for my first session: From Eden to the New Jerusalem: An Introduction to Biblical Theology, T. Desmond Alexander Getting the Message: A Plan for Interpreting and Applying the Bible, Daniel M. Doriani 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible, Robert Plummer How to Read and Understand the Biblical Prophets: How to Read and Understand the Biblical Prophets, Peter J. Gentry Optional. I ordered…