I am excited to learn about Michael Bird's new blog: EUANGELION. Bird is a New Testament lecturer moving to Highland Theological College in Scotland. His blog contains some interesting material, and I'm hoping that he will share some of his Ph.D. thesis in his blog. His thesis is on: Why did the Gentile Mission Begin? Which will explore the aims and intentions of Jesus and look at the critical passage in Matthew 8:11-12. Some will realise that I view this passage as critical to my own research. I see this as a concrete incident where Jesus is loving his enemies. This must include by example a Gentile mission. But it would be interesting to see Bird argue this in detail.
Bird has an excellent start to his blog that I just must share. He begins with "Let us commence with a definition":
‘Blogging’. From the Greek word blogoō meaning to publish highly opinionated and sometimes dubious information. The publishing of information in electronic media by some twit with an opinion and a computer. Why blog? Well, I fit the definition. But there are other reasons too:
1. Peer pressure. Everyone else is doing it.
2. Therapy. It is good for one’s mental fitness and sanity to muse aloud (or on-line) in order to clarify and mull over one's own thoughts.
3. Publish. It is a good resource for friends, students, and net-surfers who may actually learn something, be encouraged or be challenged by something that you have to say.
4. Philosophical. If I may butcher the words of Descartes: “I blog . . . therefore, I am!” Blogging gives us a new existence in cyberspace, a voice in the electronic wilderness, and a light to shine in the darkness of ignorance which we would not otherwise have.
5. Doxological. I intend to blog unto the glory of God.
With these aims and intentions, one cannot help but stay tuned for more blogging. Especially since Bird aims to comment on:
The Peril of Modernizing Jesus. I intend to critique two strands of Jesus research, viz., the ‘California Jesus’ and the ‘Big Tent Revival Jesus’ and look at a more balanced approach to pursuing historical Jesus studies without falling into the perils of modernizing.
I am keenly aware of such a critical problem as I study through the historical Jesus books on my shelf. So I welcome attempts and clarifications about our enterprise of research. I wonder what Bird means by these two category distinctions? Thoughts ring out...