Blog Archives

The Ehrman project – critically engaging the work of Bart Ehrman

Thanks to Michael Gorman for pointing out The Ehrman Project, a website dedicated to exploring and engaging the work of Bart Ehrman. As the website explains:

 

Dr. Bart Ehrman is raising significant questions about the reliability of the Bible. In an engaging way, he is questioning the credibility of Christianity. His arguments are not new, which he readily admits. Numerous Biblical scholars profoundly disagree with his findings. This site provides responses to Dr. Ehrman’s provocative conclusions.

With resources from Alvin Plantinga, Ben Witherington, D.A. Carson, Darrell Bock, Craig Evans, Dan Wallace, and Larry Hurtado, among others, it looks like a great resource for understanding and engaging Ehrman’s writings and arguments.

And, no blog post on Bart Ehrman would be complete without referencing Stephen Colbert’s interview with Ehrman, in which Colbert drills Ehrman on why “the Bible is a big fat lie” and Stephen’s an idiot for believing it. Journalism at its finest.

 

Flotsam and jetsam (1/14)

I feel like I need to put out there why I think leadership in this mode is not Biblical, why we might need to find a new word when we are talking about what leaders do in a church, and why if we are ever going to truly “lead” a community into the Kingdom it requires a skill quite different than what many in the church have come to describe as “leadership.”

Flotsam and jetsam (1/10)

This shift of focus away from the activity of the church towards the activity of God, however, exposed a critical bifurcation in the argument, a fork in the road—and many theologians took the concept of missio Dei in a direction altogether unintended by Barth and the German missiologists….If the church participates in the mission of God, the possibility arises that the mission of God in the world may be thought to happen more or less independently of the church.

But there are other indications that though this event was used to bring about peace for a time, the twelve might not have been as faithful leaders at this point as we might have hoped.

One of my pet peeves is the fact that most Christian lay people and even many pastors don’t seem to know what they think the “Kingdom of God” means or have no idea what the Bible really says about it and yet use the phrase all the time.

  • Here’s a roundtable discussion on Christians an Internet Presence with Trevin Wax, Steve McCoy, and Brandon Smith discussing social media, blogging, and other forms of Christian presence on the internet. One interesting quote from Trevin Wax:

The blogosphere is a neat thing, but it’s also a gigantic echo chamber, and the noisy links create the false perception that we are very important and have something so valuable to say.

  • If you spent way too much time during your teen years (or youth  ministry years) watching The Princess Pride, here is the quiz for you: “Prepare to Die: A Princess Bride Quiz.” I’m slightly ashamed to admit that I scored a 10 out of 10 on this one.

Flotsam and jetsam (10/13)

 

Flotsam and jetsam (9/9)

Flotsam and jetsam (8/19)

Flotsam and jetsam (7/27)

Flotsam and jetsam (7/15)

Flotsam and jetsam (7/7)

  • Ben Myers offers an excerpt from an upcoming paper on “Prayer as Theological Method.” This particular section focuses on one of George Herbert’s sonnets and the way that Herbert uses poetry to create a space for prayer.
  • Evangel discusses some of the difficulties inherent in the idea of a soteriological “age of accountability“.
  • Larry Hurtado briefly reviews Jimmy Dunn’s Did the First Christians Worship Jesus?: The New Testament Evidence, noting a few points of minor disagreement. James McGrath offers a brief response to Hurtado’s claim that the early Christians did not participate in any sacrificial practices.
  • Phil Sumpter continues his discussion of Brevard Childs’ exegesis, this time looking at the development of two distinct traditions regarding the origin of Moses’ office among the Israelites.
  • Mike Bird offers a very nice summary of the events leading to the “Incident at Antioch” (Gal. 2:11-14).
  • And, if you feel like you need to protect your children from the nefarious influence of religious rhetoric, you can now install GodBlock, a web filter that is “is targeted at parents and schools who wish to protect their kids from the often violent, sexual, and psychologically harmful material in many holy texts, and from being indoctrinated into any religion before they are of the age to make such decisions.” That’s fabulous. (HT Jim West)

More on diversity in the early church

Following up on my earlier post about Mike Bird’s comments on diversity and unity in the early church, I wanted to point out a couple of other interesting posts. As I mentioned before, James McGrath weighed in with a warning that we need to keep in mind the evidence that does exist for diversity, especially in the NT texts themselves. In keeping with this, Darrell Pursiful has now posted a very helpful diagram (also available as a .pdf) of how he understands diversity during the New Testament period. 

What do you think about the diagram? Is there anything you would present differently?

Also worth looking at is a post by Ari Katz assesseing assessing Walter Bauer’s original thesis. Katz argues that there is insufficient evidence to support Bauer’s idea that the church in Rome had enough influence in the ealiest years of Christianity to enforce its brand of Christianity on the rest of the early Church.