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Showing posts from December, 2011

Paul's Argument in Galatians 6:11-18

11 See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!
12 Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. 14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. 16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God.
17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.
In his conclusion to the Galatians Paul takes up the pen in his own hand, not so much to underscore authenticity as to draw attentio…

Movies of the Year: 2011

I've started watching more movies over the past year, so I thought that I might put together my list of movies of the year. Much like my books of the year post it's a list of the best movies I watched this year, regardless of release date.

5. A Serious Man
This Coen brothers' film definitely has a niche audience, but I have to agree with some of the critics who thought that this movie was better than No Country for Old Men. It weaves together popular wisdom and biblical themes into a rich tapestry on which to explore the question of suffering.

4. The Silence of the Lambs

I do not like horror movies, but this movie and Hopkins performance are as good as advertised.

3. Sucker Punch

This may be the most misunderstood film in a long long time. Not only does it not suck, like it's critics claimed, but it's a phenomenal film and brilliantly told if you'll take the time to dig your teeth into it after you're done watching it. See my review and defense of the film her…

Books of the Year: 2011

This was the first full year of my daughter's life. Probably unsurprisingly, it also was probably the year I read the least. I still read enough quality, though, to have what I view as a strong list. As always, the rule here is that I must have read (finished) the book in 2011 and have not finished it in a prior year.

5. Women in the Hebrew Bible ed. Alice Bach


This book is a collection of 'greatest hits' of feminist OT scholarship. It was a delight to read. Virtually every article was interesting even if not persuasive. One essay in particular stood out, 'Genesis 22: The Sacrifice of Sarah' by Phyllis Trible. It was one of the two best essays I read all year.

4. One.Life by Scot McKnight


Scot McKnight is one of those people who I consider a mentor through their writings. This is a great little book on discipleship for teenagers up through people in their early thirties. I was particularly impacted by the stories he told about his interactions with students. It gave …

Book Review: A Community Called Atonement

Last year I reviewedInhabiting the Cruciform God by Michael Gorman at great length. For as long as this blog is kept running, I want to do the same for one book each year. This year's review will be of A Community Called Atonement by Scot McKnight. If you have any requests for next year's book, leave me a comment and we can have further discussion.

It's important to read the prologue of this book. Here McKnight lays out his major goal, to which he constantly refers throughout the rest of the book. He likens our atonement theories and metaphors to golf clubs. When you play golf you need more than one club if you're going to be successful, and the Bible uses more than one image to describe the atonement. We need to find a golf bag in which we can fit all of our atonement clubs and we need to know what the purpose of each club in that bag is (xiii). In the following pages, McKnight lays just that out.

McKnight begins with the claim that the atonement is the good news of t…

Correcting Erring Saints, In Canonical Context

1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do …

Galatians winding down, next up?

There's now one section left to cover in Galatians to finish up the letter. A while back I had mentioned that I would be tackling John next. Well plans have changed. I've decided that I want to start a long term research project that you'll probably read a lot more about in the future on this blog (if you keep reading it of course). The next book up will be Song of Songs.

I'm just starting a study sexual ethics, particularly focusing on the relationships between sex, identity, and power. This will probably be a long study that will take years if the Lord gives me the energy and desire to see it to completion. To start I'll have a dual focus. First will be to look at how the Bible gives positive shape to our understanding of sex, sexual ethics, and sexual identity. Song of Songs becomes an obvious starting point here. The second starting point will be to seek to gain a better understanding of gender in the Bible. How 'gendered' are the biblical texts and how…