What’s in a Name?

In our own western culture the connection between names and meaning is rather slight. I know this, in part, because I am one of those annoying, but well meaning, people who goes about attempting to engage others in witty conversation, only to discover 7 times out of 10...
Continue reading

Hallelujah is a Sentence

At the risk of sounding like a petulant child… well, a petulant child that complains about the frequent misuse of ancient Hebrew in weekly church services…. Which now that I think about it isn’t really childish at all…. Okay, so… at the risk of sounding like a scholarly...
Continue reading

The Engendering of Gender Generalities

Doing biblical theology requires one to lay aside even precious biases in order to hear the message of Scripture speaking from foreign lands in foreign tongues out of foreign cultures. The Phenomenological method, so vital to biblical theology, demands that we listen to each text as believers wholly...
Continue reading

The International Root Beer Incident

If you are ever bored, call any missionary friend who is able to take your call and ask them to tell you some stories about cross-cultural confusion. This, of course, assumes that all your techno-gadgets have fallen prey to something catastrophic and that only those dependable underground cables...
Continue reading

The Limits of Biblical Theology

One of the advantages, or disadvantages as the case may be, of being a biblical theologian, in which my phenomenological (i.e. believer’s) approach to the text within a historical grammatical and literary context through inductive method holds sway, is that I am excused within my heart from having to...
Continue reading

Concubine as Paradigm

In considering the meaning of a simple word like concubine one finds an excellent example of the challenges that face modern attempts to represent many biblical terms. Sometimes we not only lack the words to properly translate, but we also lack the mental categories to emotionally understand. Technical...
Continue reading

Why Hassel with a Tassel?

The tassel attached to the Hebrew male’s outer garment is a wonderful example of artifact communication in the Bible. That is, the tassel is an item used in Israel to communicate a particular meaning within that culture… one which is foreign and, thus, unintelligible to most of the...
Continue reading

How to Think Like a Biblical Theologian

To those who mainly regard the Bible as a source for answering their every question about God and the world, biblical theologians can be a real pill, and biblical theology can feel more than a little threatening… I get that. We are, however, worth getting to know. Thus,...
Continue reading

Artifact Communication in the Bible

I’d like to draw your attention to artifact communication—the use of things to affect the understanding of another. Things have shared meaning within a community. Like a band of gold worn specifically on the “ring finger” of the left hand. Like a read dot in the middle of...
Continue reading

Bible Reading is Cross-cultural Communication

Communication at its most basic is the use of symbols to affect the understanding of another. The symbols at a communicator’s disposal are both verbal and non-verbal. Verbal tools are spoken & heard symbols that represent ideas. Non-verbal tools are unspoken symbols that represent ideas. Phonology—uses words (individual...
Continue reading

Left Brained Readings of Right Brained Scriptures

Well, now I’ve done it. I’ve brought up right brained and left brained in a public setting. I’m sure I’ll hear about it from critics. So, let me ward off some of the flack by confessing from the get-go: [Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, nor a...
Continue reading

I Feel Baruch’s Pain

I have a vision for the rest of my life. You may not care for it, but it sure means a lot to me. I want a cabin in the woods, on a lake, miles from the nearest neighbor. I want an office looking out over the water...
Continue reading

5 Ways to Avoid Miscommunication

Let’s be honest, when you understand what communication is at its roots, you’ll realize that you cannot avoid miscommunication… not altogether. It takes two to tango (That’s what my betters say, anyway… personally, I’m more of a Bugs Bunny Square Dance sort of fella’) and communication requires both...
Continue reading

The Three Amigos: Biblical, Systematic & Historical Theology

As a constant advocate for Biblical Theology, some imagine that I want Biblical Theology instead of Systematic Theology. I don’t. Systematic Theology does not hold as much interest for me as for others who are more naturally inclined to that type of theological conversation, but Systematic Theology is...
Continue reading