Extracurricular Activities 10.11.14 — The Trinity, New Testament Texts, & Catholic Reformers

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The Baptism of Christ

Fred Sanders: The Trinity’s Irrelevance & Relevance to the Christian Life

I was excited when Kyle Strobel and Kent Eilers invited me to write the Trinity chapter in their book Sanctified by Grace: A Theology of the Christian Life (Bloomsbury / T&T Clark, 2014), and I’m more excited now that the book is in print. I described the whole book briefly in a recent post, and in this post I want to share a little of the chapter I wrote for the project…

I try to highlight how wonderfully odd it is to start a doctrine of the Christian life with sustained attention to the Trinity. Under a subhead that I hope was my own composition and not the editors’, the chapter addresses “the glorious irrelevance of the immanent Trinity.” There I argue that…

Larry Hurtado Explores New Testament…

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Extracurricular Activities 10.4.14 — Bible Translations, Jesus’s Parables, & Theological Education’s Mission

Jeremy Bouma on 4 years ago. Tagged under ,.


Scot McKnight on the Politics of Bible Translations

The Bible you carry is a political act. By “Bible” I mean the Translation of the Bible you carry is a political act. Because the Bible you carry is a political act the rhetoric about other translations is more politics than it is reality. The reality is that the major Bible translations in use today are all good, and beyond good, translations. There is no longer a “best” translation but instead a basket full of exceptional translations.

The world in which we live, however, has turned the Bible you carry into politics. So here goes for my politics of translation at the general, stereotypical level, and it goes without having to say it that there are exceptions for each, [added: and I have “de-raced” my descriptions to avoid that conversation]:

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Extracurricular Activities 9.27.14 — Greco-Roman Jesus, Charles Hodge, and the Christian Masculinity Complex

Jeremy Bouma on 4 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,.


Roger Olson on Charles Hodge as “Gold Standard” Reformed Theologian

Tucked away inside my copy of Volume 1 of his Systematic Theology (Eerdmans, 1973 [originally published 1872]) is an article published in Christianity Today in 1974 entitled “The Stout and Persistent Theology of Charles Hodge” by evangelical theologian David Wells. The gist of Wells’ essay is that evangelical theology had not produced an equal to Hodge and his theology in a century: “Some say that Hodge lies buried in these three stout volumes. They are wrong. It would be difficult to overestimate the influence that this study has had and continues to have in forming evangelical beliefs.” I agree with at least the last sentence of that statement. I have read many books of conservative evangelical theology including most of the leading systematic theologies and have often found Hodge…

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Extracurricular Activities 9.20.14 — Divine Simplicity, European Christianity, & New Testament Ethics

Jeremy Bouma on 4 years ago. Tagged under ,,,,.


Adam Johnson on Boethius and Divine Simplicity

Perhaps you have heard of the term “divine simplicity.” The basic meaning is that God is one – he has no distinct or separate parts that can in any way be in conflict with each other. Often this doctrine is employed in the context of discussions concerning the divine character. One might say that God’s justice and mercy were at odds with each other, for instance, and then qualify or correct that by means of divine simplicity, arguing that because God is one, his mercy is a just mercy, and his justice is a merciful justice. The implications of divine simplicity for how we think about the attributes of God are immense.

In Boethius we find an altogether different use for this ancient doctrine…

 Trevin Wax on How 5 Different Ethicists Approach…

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Extracurricular Activities 9.13.14 —Pannenberg, The New Evangelization, & D. L. Moody

Jeremy Bouma on 4 years ago. Tagged under ,.

Michael Root on The Achievements of Wolfhart Pannenberg (1928-2014)

Some theologians are mirrors of their time. The mid-twentieth century rises from the pages of Tillich as palpably as Combray rising from Proust’s tea and madeleines. Other theologians have a more conflicted relation with their age: engaged, but cutting against the grain; in their time, but not quite of it. Wolfhart Pannenberg, one of the most gifted Protestant theologians of his generation, has never seemed quite to fit his surroundings, which may say more about his surroundings than about him. The German theological world has been far less shaken than the English-speaking world by the changes in academic culture of the last decades: feminism, the hermeneutics of suspicion, the dismissal of truth-claims as disguised assertions of power. Even by German standards, however, Pannenberg’s theology has an oddly old-fashioned air.

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Extracurricular Activities 9.6.14 — Erasmus & Ephesians, Repetition in the Bible, and John Owen’s “Mortification”

Jeremy Bouma on 4 years ago.

Fred Sanders on Erasmus “Milking” Ephesians

Erasmus of Rotterdam taught the Renaissance world how to take a thought and expand it, expound it, extrapolate it into a fountain of new expressions and novel turns of phrase. His “abundant style” bore much fruit for the students who learned it from him. But the most fruitful use to which Erasmus himself put his powers of expression was probably his series of paraphrases of the New Testament, which were enormously popular in the sixteenth century. Written in Latin, they were early translated into English and became required reading especially in the reforming churches of England.

Just a taste here: the first two verses of Ephesians…

Trevin Wax Reviews the Ethics of John’s Gospel, Letters, and Revelation

Today, we turn our attention to the Gospel of John and the Johannine letters (and I…

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Extracurricular Activities 8.30.14 — Kinship-Terms, Rabbinic Judaism, & Academic Freedom

Jeremy Bouma on 4 years ago.

Larry Hurtado Shares Important Studies of Kinship-terms and Forms of Address

Through reading the recently-published thesis of one of our PhD students, I’ve learned of a body of important studies on terms used in the NT by Professor Eleanor Dickey.   Such is the canalization of modern scholarship (and my own limits) that I hadn’t previously known of these studies, but I think they’re essential for exegetes and commentators on NT writings.  A blog posting won’t allow space to do justice to all that her work offers, so I’ll confine myself to a few comments.

Let’s start with her book based on her DPhil thesis:   Eleanor Dickey, Greek Forms of Address: From Herodotus to Lucian (Oxford: Clarendon, 1996).  In this work she analyses the use of terms (other than proper names) used in ancient Greek letters to address recipients.  This is of obvious relevance to NT studies…

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Extracurricular Activities 8.23.14 — 2nd-Temple Divine Names, Mistreating Creation, & Feeling African-American Pain

Jeremy Bouma on 4 years ago.

Joel Willitts Shares a Solution to the Problem of the Historical Origins of the Bible and Jesus

I found this very interesting passage in Martin Kähler’s The So-Called Historical Jesus and the Historic Biblical Christ. Kähler offers his solution to the knotty problem of the historical origins of both the Bible and Jesus. Kähler places supreme value on the history of the effects of Jesus and the Bible as evidence for its reliability and credibility:

Larry Hurtado on Writing & Pronouncing the Divine Name in 2nd-Temple Jewish Tradition

Several comments prompted by my earlier postings have raised questions about how the Hebrew divine name (YHWH) was rendered in written form and how God was referred to orally in the time of Jesus. In addition to interest in these questions for their own sake, there is also the…

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Extracurricular Activities 8.15.14 — Cultural Disintegration, Mike Bird’s Inerrancy, and Septuagint Explained

Jeremy Bouma on 4 years ago.

Tim Gombis Reflects on Salvation as Gift and Obligation

Many Christians have trouble with the paradox in Paul whereby salvation is both a gift and involves obligations. Salvation as divine gift makes sense, but the demand for human response raises the specter of “works righteousness”…

I suspect that this is an ongoing theological problem because of the conceptual frames in which we wrestle with the tension between divine and human action (e.g., human action must in some way marginalize divine action).

Larry Hurtado Explains The Septuagint and Shares Some Scholarly Resources

In response to an earlier posting, a couple of commenters referred to the “Septuagint” (the name commonly given to the Greek translations of the Jewish scriptures, the “Old Testament”), raising questions about what it represented in its original setting.  There were also questions about how the divine name was handled.  I’ll mention here…

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Extracurricular Activities 8.9.14 — John Owen’s Wisdom, The Elder’s Vow, and Tolkien & Lewis

Jeremy Bouma on 4 years ago.

Was Adam a Historical Person? Asks Guy Walters

In the modern world, skeptics have long questioned or denied the historicity of Adam. Neo-orthodox theologians added their voices to this chorus in the last century. More recently, and under the pressure of evolutionary theory, some prominent evangelical voices have as well…We may frame the issue in the form of two related questions. First, does the Bible require us to believe that Adam was a historical person? Second, would anything be lost in the gospel if we were to deny Adam’s historicity?

Some of Tim Challies' Favorite Quotes from John Owen

Earlier this week I found myself combing through some favorite John Owen quotes. Owen is easily one of the most quotable Puritans (not to mention one of the most prolific with the pen!). Here are a few great quotes:

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Extracurricular Activities 8.2.14 — McKnight & Science, Enns & Inerrancy, and James Montgomery Boice

Jeremy Bouma on 4 years ago.

Larry Hurtado Asks, "Was Early Christianity Secretive?"

In an interview with a TV producer a week or so ago, the question came up whether early Christianity (Roman-era) was secretive and operated in a covert manner, seeking to avoid hostile attention.  The origins of this notion I don’t really know (information welcome), but it seems now “out there” (along with a number of other supposed “truths”) in at least some parts of the general populace.  But it seems to have little basis.  A few illustrations will suffice.

Scot McKnight Shares What He Has Learned Most from the Sciences

…What happens when we apply this approach both to the Bible (as I had learned) and to the question of origins? We learn to base what we believe – about the Bible, about origins, about age – on the evidence and the evidence alone.…

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Extracurricular Activities 7.26.14 — Inerrancy, Immortality of the Soul, & Vanishing Middle-Class Clergy

Jeremy Bouma on 4 years ago.

Andrew Wilson on "Why I Don't Hate the Word 'Inerrancy'"

In ten years of teaching, writing, and researching theology, I've never once been asked whether or not I believe in inerrancy. As it happens, I do. If someone was to ask me whether, in my view, the Scriptures contain mistakes or not, I would answer in the negative. Partly this is a result of theological conviction about the divine and human components of Scripture: that when God's words are expressed by humans, neither their human aspects (authorial personality, tone, language, mode of expression) nor their divine aspects (truthfulness, authority, clarity, reliability) are compromised. Partly it's because I'd find it strange to tell people that the whole Bible represents the word of God, and the word of God is completely truthful, but that parts of the Bible aren't completely…

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