Nazarenes, Rednecks, and Other Well-meaning Slurs

I love puzzles, always have. Growing up, I saw puzzles of all kinds as a natural exercise of my desire to be a detective someday, tracing out subtle clues to help me zero in on bad guys. Becoming a biblical scholar, then, has always seemed right on target...
Continue reading

Do You Really Have a Big Heart?

There is an old saying that goes, “If you’re not a liberal at 20 you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at 40 you have no brain.” Indeed, liberals are often accredited with having a heart to help the less fortunate… mostly because it is easier...
Continue reading

Weirdo Fixations and the Heart of True Religion

During my recent convalescence after surgery I received a disturbing letter from an earnest young man who was understandably distraught over his shunning from a congregation for whom he felt deep familial attachments. I know I joke around a lot, but I intend no jest here. His church...
Continue reading

The Obliterating Folly of Single Text Christians

There’s been a lot of chatter on social media of late about torture. Now, torture is a powerful weasel word… i.e. a term that comes pre-loaded with good or bad sentiment meant to manipulate the outcome of an exchange without having to resort to actual discussion, facts, or...
Continue reading

How to Think Like a Text Critic

I launched a few posts back into a discussion of the scholarly handling of Isaiah 40:3 in both the Hebrew texts and the Greek texts. In the Hebrew, a voice cries out for someone to prepare a path in the wilderness for the coming dignitary—God—twice. The Greek translations...
Continue reading

The Tyranny of Certainty: In Defense of Text Criticism

I’ve mentioned previously that I tend to be rather open to discussions about theology and the meanings of Biblical texts, but that I also have two groups running around the Evangelical community who provoke my ire—Word Faith teachers & King James Only teachers. I’ve written frequently of late...
Continue reading

Confessions of a Middle Aged Professor, Part 2

In my last post, I took an honest look at my early years as a biblical studies professor. I considered a handful of things I could have done better as I was developing as a biblical theologian and scholar and attempting to minister in a highly cultured context...
Continue reading

Confessions of a Middle Aged Professor, Part 1

In studies of cross-cultural communication, I have never ceased to be amazed at the potential for a disconnect even between those raised together. The unique struggles between nature & nurture, between innate personality & individual experience causes people to assess shared events differently, fostering frequent misunderstanding of each...
Continue reading

Why You Must Watch the Documentary Poverty, Inc.

When I first saw the advertisement of the documentary advertised above, POVERTY, INC. I thought, “Great, another conspiracy piece about how nobody should ever make a profit, how all profit is theft, how the rich are rich because they’ve despoiled the poor.” I couldn’t have been wrong-er. Let...
Continue reading