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Extracurricular Activities — May 9, 2014

Categories Extracurricular Activities

Michael Bird Outlines Bart Ehrman’s Response to Bird's Response Book

Bart Ehrman has written a response to HGBJ over at his blog CIA (thankfully available for public viewing). It is quite a cordial piece, critical but not adversarial, it sets out his side of the story, and what he thinks is lacking in our response book...I have to say that I wasn’t disappointed with the lack of outlandish claims made by Ehrman – it certainly was not the Da Vinci Code with footnotes and a bibliography – though I was disappointed by several omissions like no reference to the work of Richard Bauckham, no mention of the archaeological evidence for the burial of a victim of crucifixion named Yehohanan, and perplexed by the strange interpretation of Gal 4.14 which Ehrman hangs so much of Paul’s christology on.

Larry Hurtado Provides a Round-up of Scholarship, Publicity, and Issues on “Jesus’ Wife” Controversy

As I indicated in my previous posting here, the “story” about the “Jesus’ Wife” fragment (and the other items in the small cache of papyri placed with Prof. Karen King) seems now increasingly clearly one of fakery and deception.  To their credit, the news media that so eagerly took up the Harvard Divinity School’s press releases and pronounced the fragment one of the most important discoveries about early Christianity of all time, have now begun to pick up on the evidence of fakery.

Fred Sanders Analyzes Oneness Pentecostalism

Today, however, there is an altogether different kind of anti-trinitarian teaching putting itself forward, one which bears no relation to the old liberal Unitarianism, and requires a completely different response from either Unitarianism or the more obviously non-Christian Jehovah’s Witnesses movement. In this brief analysis, I would like to describe the movement known as Oneness Pentecostalism, identify its theological core, and explain what is at stake in arguments over Oneness doctrine. I will not cite Oneness authors at length nor interact with their arguments directly. Instead, speaking as an evangelical trinitarian to other evangelical trinitarians, I would like to recommend the strategic direction that evangelical engagement with Oneness groups should follow.

Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. and Ross Douthat Discuss "Whatever Happened to Sin?"

[Moderater Michael Cromartie opens the discussion] Okay. Ladies and gentlemen, we move from Pope Francis and humility now to the doctrine of original sin. The reason we’re taking up this topic is we have a group of advisors who meet twice a year to talk about potential subjects for future Faith Angles, and a topic that’s been brought up over the last two or three years by our friend Barbara Hagerty has been what has happened to the conception of sin in American life and culture. We have wanted to do this subject, and there’s not a better person in American theological circles — and I’m not exaggerating when I say that — than Dr. Cornelius Plantinga.

How Churches Are Finding Abundance in Hard Economic Times

Recent years have been hard economically for churches, especially small ones. Many churches are cutting staff and programs or even closing because of lack of resources. But while all of these cost-cutting measures deal with the expense side of the ledger, some creative churches, are finding abundance by imagining and then implementing ways of increasing their income.

The success of these churches hinges on a fundamental shift from a mindset of scarcity to one of abundance. Scarcity is one of the basic axioms of all major economic systems (especially capitalism); we are trained to live and act as if there are not enough resources to go around. Abundance, on the other hand, is the conviction that that the world has enough resources to sustain itself. In the Christian tradition, abundance is a theological conviction that God provides for creation to flourish in the manner for which it was created.

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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.

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