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Extracurricular Activities — March 22, 2014

Categories Extracurricular Activities

Michael Bird on the Continuing Triumph of the “Mediating” Perspective on Paul

In a recent issue of JETS 56.4 (2013), Jackson Wu has a good little article, “Paul Writes to the Greek First and Also to the Jew: The Missiological Significance of Understanding Paul’s Purpose in Romans,” (pp. 765-79). For me this article is proof that in some circles the both-and of the “old” and “new” perspectives on Paul is prevailing. Interestingly Wu draws on his own experience as an ethnic Chinese in the course of his article and how that shapes ideas of ethnicity and gospel. I like what he writes about Romans...

Ben Witherington on the Salt of the Earth

We live in a culture in which condiments, like salt, pepper, mustard, ketchup, are so readily available that we take them completely for granted. We have lost our connection with the past, and are unlikely to understand metaphorical phrases like “you are the salt of the earth” in an age and a culture of excess. A healthy reminder comes from the recent excellent book The Monuments Men (both the movie and the book on which it is based reviewed elsewhere on this blog). What Edsel and Witter write about 1,000 years ago, applies even more so to 2,000 years ago...

Kevin DeYoung: 9 Thoughts on Celebrity Pastors, Controversy, the New Calvinism, etc.

1. The term “celebrity pastor” is decidedly pejorative.

2. Having said that, let us beware of the many devilish dangers that can beset us in this internet age.

3. Let us also acknowledge that one can become something of a “celebrity” critiquing celebrity pastors.

4. The reach of our repentance should match the reach of our sin.

5. When we criticize others for their faults (real or perceived) let us broadcast the news just as widely when they repent of their faults and correct them.

6. Discernment is hard work.

7. Associations are tricky. It does matter with whom you share a platform.

8. There are many possible reasons for silence in the midst of controversy.

9. Is the New Calvinism dead or dying?

(Read the full article and more explanation at the link above.)

Tim Challies on The History of Christianity in 25 Objects and YouVersion Bible App

As we come to the twenty-fifth and final object, it is fitting, I think, that it is not an object at all. It is a virtual object that exists only in bits and bytes, and one that can be infinitely duplicated and freely distributed. As we complete this series on the history of Christianity, we turn to’s YouVersion Bible App...

Interview with Pastor John Mark Comer on Missional vs. Attractional Church Ministry

Comer came of age in the ministry spotlight, taking over Solid Rock, a megachurch in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon, when he was only in his late 20s. From early on, Solid Rock had the makings not just of a large church, but a very large church, even in the "post-Christian" Northwest.

I'd heard that the church was restructuring. People on the fringes gave me conflicting reports—some said the church was splitting, albeit amicably. Others reported that it was just expanding to more locations. Still others claimed it was planting new, unrelated churches.

Each version turned out to be both wrong and right. I sat down with Comer to get the story straight...


Extra-Curricular Activities is a weekly roundup of stories on biblical interpretation, theology, and issues where faith and culture meet. We found each story interesting, thought-provoking, challenging, or useful in some way – but we don't necessarily agree with or endorse every point in every story.

If you have any comments on these stories, we welcome you to share them here. We hope you enjoy!

–The Editors of Koinonia Blog

Who Gets to Speak for God? John, Truth, & the Spirit—An Excerpt from "1, 2, 3 John" by Karen Jobes
Who Gets to Speak for God? John, Truth, & the Spirit—An Excerpt from "1, 2, 3 John" by Karen Jobes Who gets to speak for God? What is the role of the Spirit in guiding the understanding of the church? What is the relati...
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