Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Well, blogging has been slow due to work and some different reading. I'm thoroughly enjoying John Goldingay at the moment. The newly released commentary on Psalm 1-41 is outstanding, the translation in it fresh and helpful. Israel's Gospel, volume 1 of a projected three volumes (Volume 2, Israel's Faith has just arrived here), is one of the best books on the Hebrew narrative I have ever read. It is a solid, and exceptionally insightful book - with a few links to the New Testament as well.
Around the blogosphere there is some exciting stuff happening. Mark Goodacre alerts us to The Faraday Institute of Science and Religion, which has amazing audio, vision lectures, with notes and pdf files and even some powerpoint presentations - from scholars like McGrath, Polkinghorne (My favourite) to Simon Conway-Morris and my former lecturer at Auckland, Graeme Finlay. If this tickles your fance, check it out...
Michael Pahl begins an exciting series on "The Gospel" which is helpful. Mike Bird swims against the tide by questioning "Q" and then the so-called rupture between Peter and Paul, with links to Mark's gospel. My own view on Q scholarship is ably described by John Meier:

I cannot help thinking that biblical scholarship would be greatly advanced if every morning all exegetes would repeat as a mantra: 'Q is a hypothetical document whose exact extension, wording, originating community, strata, and stages of redaction cannot be known.' This daily devotion might save us flights of fancy that are destined, in my view, to end in skepticism.

A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, Vol 2, p. 178.

In other spheres, Chris Tilling is hosting a review and interview with Chris VanLandingham about his new book: Judgment and Justification in Early Judaism and the Apostle Paul. Be sure to check them both out. Ben Witherington remarks that he is,
reminded of the intellectual responsibility of Christians to discourse with our culture at a level that can reach even the brightest of the potential converts. It's time to stop dumbing down the Gospel. It's time to boil up the people, tease their minds into active thought. For the mind is a gift from God, and is not only a terrible thing to waste, its an unethical and unChristian thing to waste.
Which leads finally to the post by my nemesis Eddie, on the necessity of historical questions in Christian faith. It's a great quote and should make those concerned to advance the Kingdom think, rethink and then deploy their intentions based on sound reasoning and clear thinking.
Back to work for me... The Psalms are calling... ANd my Hebrew is useless...

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