Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Limitations of Pastoral Authority

Scot McKnight has an EXCELLENT post on the limitations of pastoral authority here. Great food for thought.

Tons of Stuff from Carson

I have two audio sermons of Tim Keller on tape that the Lord has really used to minister to me in recent days. I was looking for some more Keller audio online the other day and stumbled across this huge list of DA Carson Audio links I thought I'd pass on.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

One Year Bloggoversary!

I made it! Actually, I overshot it already by almost a month, but February 4th marked my 1 Year Bloggoversary...that is, Boanerges is one year old. Reflecting back, my posts have certainly fluctuated in frequency; I don't have quite the internet access these days as I did back when I was working part time. Nevertheless, I remember wondering back when I started just how long I'd last. Meanwhile, my wife has joined me in the blogosphere, maintaining our family blog (often with more frequency than me. In surveying the last years worth of posts, there are many that have come and gone that I've already forgotten. I decided in commemoration of the blog's birthday I'd link to Carson on the NPP and Help for Arcing my first two posts, both on Feb 4, '06.

This Week

I've changed the books in my right margin to reflect that latest in my reading ventures. Longenecker has been removed NOT because I gave up but because I am finishing him up tonight (5 pages to go). Thus, my goal is to try and have an informal review up in the next few days, if not by the end of the week. Meanwhile, I'm back on the phones at work. I was temporarily assigned to a training post...however, I didn't anticipate temporary would only mean 4 days. However, it's been good. The Lord has taught me that above all I need to be content where he has me and focus my prayers and concerns on obtaining the grace necessary to perservere where I'm at rather than praying for the job that I think will enable me to persevere. Above all, the Lord has imprinted on my consciousness the words of Job, that great calvinist of old: "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away...blessed be the name of the Lord."

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Some more misc. stuff...

Though it's probably not normally good blog etiquette to repost a previous post, this is worth it. I don't know who created this database, or why it's free of charge, but if you haven't found occasion to use the gethuman database, you'll want to save it to your favorites for when you may need it. I'm reposting the link today because I used it today for the first time. My Mom's flying in US Airways and there've been some complications with her connections. We were trying to find out what was going on and my wife had been on hold waiting to speak to a person with US Airways for 10 minutes. I decided to give the database a shot. I pulled it up, dialed the 800 number they had listed, hit 4 then 1, just like it said and was immediately speaking to a human. By the time my wife got a representative to access my mom's info, I had already booked her on another flight and hung up the phone. The rep my wife had was able to confirm the info already. Cool stuff. If only all of life were that simple.

Also, I came across another valuable NT resource site, this one sponsored by Roy Ciampa at GCTS. Check it out here.
(HT: Nijay Gupta)

Finally, how bout a UK PhD without having to leave the states (until your viva)? Check it out here, but it would mean having to live in MN. Yuck, except it would be sweet to go to Bethlehem. It's through evangelical institutions (versus a Uni), so it depends on what you're looking for; nevertheless, only $12,000 a year and no classwork - hard to dismiss.
(HT: Dunelm Road)

Friday, February 23, 2007

I'm No Superman

For the last year, NBC's The Office was my favorite comedy, having bumped The Simpsons which was the front runner for the previous 4 years. However, I came to the realization this morning (since I work nights, my wife records any show worth watching for's nice to fast forward through the commercials) that Scrubs has dethroned The Office. While The Office has given me much comedic relief in view of my occupational circumstances (i.e. a cubicle jockey), the show is beginning to degenerate into a pathetic romantic comedy. Meanwhile, Scrubs has just been getting better. Particularly amusing is J.D.'s current sitz im leben as a "tent dwelling, poop fainter, that can't drive" (yes, that is a quote). I admit, in view of my bloggin dearth as of late, this may be a pathetic return post, but's where I'm at.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Vanhoozer Does it Again

While some of my friends are freezing in the windy city this weekend rubbing shoulders with the man himself, I'm stuck here in VA Beach reading his latest. My wonderful wife blessed me this past Valentine's Day with a TNIV and Drama of Doctrine:

After all, nothing says luvin' like dynamic equivalence and an orange theology book (no sarcasim here either; I couldn't ask for a better gift - she knows me well). Anyway, I'll be wrapping up Longenecker's book this week (still no sarcasm here, I'm really planning on finishing it - even ahead of schedule), so I thought I'd take a peak at Drama of Doctrine this morning and I was not dissappointed. Just a few pages into the preface and I was hooked. Listen to these words:

"Theological competance is ultimately a matter of being able to make judgments that display the mind of Christ" (p. 2).

Vanhoozer writes at the highest level of scholarship, yet never seems to lose his relevance.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Charismatic and Reformed

No, this isn't a three word summary of my theology (yet); rather I was thinking about the relatively recent connection between these two in the contemporary church. Typically these two have been at odds; charismatics were largely wesleyan/arminian and calvinists were historically cessasionists (with rare exceptions). Nevertheless, recent decades have demonstrated through the minstry of John Piper, the emergence and growth of Sovereign Grace ministries and the publication of Wayne Grudem's systematic, that these two may quite happily coexist.

Yesterday I was thinking out loud and talking to my wife about Longenecker's Apostolic Exegesis and stumbled upon a possible connection. I was informing her that most of my friends who had read the book agreed it was an awesome book with a sucky conclusion - that is, Longenecker makes a great case for christological/pneumatically dependent exegesis in the 1st Century but says we shouldn't do it today. While I haven't finished the book, I was reflecting on the fact that many I've spoken with adopt such a conclusion on the grounds that the NT authors were writing under inspiration and the Spirit was moving in a way different from the way that He does today (classic cessationism). To argue otherwise would hint of charismaticism; and then I thought, "wait a minute..." The reformed tradition has always argued for just such a christological hermeneutic. Yet, the charismatic emphasis on the continuity of the Spirit's working between the 1st and the 21st Century seems to be the best way to legitimize such a pneumatologically dependent exegetical approach. My conclusion: whether or not there is a genetic relationship between my observations and the modern connection between Reformed Theology and Charismaticism, the two may fit together more harmoniously than I had previously considered.

A Good Resource on Paul and the NPP

Congratulations are in order for Mike Bird who's book on Paul is finally available through Paternoster. The Saving Righteousness of God: Studies on Paul, Justification and the New Perspective can be ordered from the Paternoster website here and should be accesible through other sites soon. Several people from CBTS have asked what I thought would be a good read on the NPP; Westerholm's survey is one of the most helpful introductions, especially because he samples so many of the sources in his book. After Westerholm, this may be one of the next best reads. This may sound strange since I haven't read the pre-publication mss., let alone obtained my own copy yet; however, I have read several of the chapters as they've appeared as journal articles over the last few years. He takes a position that is firmly rooted in the reformed tradition, yet appropriately informed by the NPP, even taking what is best from it, while leaving the rest behind. I like this approach in general, and I REALLY have enjoyed what I've read so far. If you're interested in Paul or the NPP, you best get your order in soon! BTW, you can read the endorsements over at his website; they're much more impressive than my own words here.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Another Good Online Resource

This one sounds too good to be true but it appears to be legit. $20 a year (or $35 for two) gets you access to the Feinberg E-Collection. No, that's not all the books by Paul and John (though that wouldn't be too bad either) but rather:

"The Feinberg E-Collection contains the full-text to nearly 800 books and 25,000 articles in the area of Jewish studies."

Still not impressed? What if it included BibleWorks 6? Check it out here.

(HT: NT Today)

Currently Reading

Two more books down for '06. Finished them today with and everthing. Finally something on my level :-) Oh and incidently, it's Skip to MY Lou not Skip to THE Lou, a mistake I was making earlier. I thought it good to correct that misunderstanding prior to moving to the UK.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007 a Calvinist!

Okay, so I still haven't managed to post anything original of my own this week; nevertheless, here's another sweet link I've leached: Free Reformed Tracts. In case you're wondering, this isn't one of the tracts...but it is a good reformed pick up line...

(HT: Between Two Worlds, again)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Good Stuff around the Web

I came across a few follow up resources for the previous two posts: If you're planning on working on a PhD in Biblical studies in the next several years, this is a must read! I'll forewarn you, it's 40 pages long and you may want to print it off, but if a 40 page essay daunts you, you may need to reconsider PhD plans anyway :-)

(HT: Dunelm Road)

Second, there's a great review of Bauckham's Eyewitnesses by Blomberg here. Fascinating...I din't know Bauckham was retiring.

Finally, a sweet sneak peek from Paul Helm here -- also cool because I didn't know he had a blog!

(HT: Justin Taylor)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Resources for Planning a UK PhD

I recently came across a blog that I've found tremendously helpful in bringing my PhD scheming and dreaming back down to earth. The blog is Dunelm Road and is the product of a PhD student at Durham who goes by the name of Ben. He's offered a ton of helpful insights -- from moving tips, to financing; from medical care to thesis proposal length (don't miss the comments sections) -- all of which he's gone through first hand and (more importantly) recently. He's a ThM from Dallas and very gracious and helpful. If you're thinking British PhD, it's well worth your time.


I did it. I set the goal for getting through at least one decent book a month and I did it...for January anyway. I finished Blomberg's Contagious Holiness at 11:20 pm last night (1/31 - I've always preferred to wait until the deadline hits). It's a great book and well worth the read. I thought I'd offer a brief synopsis followed by a few observations.

The book is part of the NSBT series (that's the series more commonly known as "the silver ones edited by Carson") and unfolds following the standard methodological procedure. The subtitle is "Jesus' Meals with Sinners" and thus Blomberg builds a "theology of meals" through the book. He traces the concept through the OT (limited to a survey in one chapter due to the large volume of material) into the Intertestimental period (if that bothers you, see my post on Dangerous Devotions below) and then into the synoptics (two chapters here, the latter devoted to material exclusive to Luke) concluding with a synthesis and application. The general flow of thought that develops out of his chronological/inductive inquiry is that meals in Judaism became more and more exclusivisitic as Israel developed as a nation. A concern for avoiding impurity (contamination-foreshadowing the title) and a zeal for Torah led the Israelites to forgoe eating with anyone perceived to be impure or a sinner. This practice accelerated drastically during the intertestamental period and in turn set as the backdrop against which Jesus' practices became viewed as contraversial, if not subversive. The Gospels portray Jesus as someone who would share table fellowship with anyone. He was not contaminated by the sin from the sinners with whom he ate, but instead, it was his holiness or purity that often became "contagioius." Those with whom he dined were those whom he called to faith and repentance, to which many responded. Jesus' practice was radical in it's break with traditional and contemporary Jewish practice. The results are well know to students of Scripture: many believed and many objected. Having examined the data, Blomberg reserves the final chapter for application, in which he examines the potential of contemporary Christian meals.

Overall, the book was excellent. There were several points I was going to mention that I thought were unnecessary, but as I read the concluding chapter, it was as if Blomberg anticipated the objections. The first page and a half of the conclusion silenced my objections and justified his inclusions. Only two small disappointments remained: 1) the nature of the biblical theological method and the self determined limitations of the study left me wishing he had gone a step further and commented on passages such as 1 Corinthians 11 and Galatians 2 (especially the latter). Oh well. 2) When dealing with Mark's Gospel, Blomberg demonstrated some aspectual sensitivity that I noticed was glaringly absent in Mathew and Luke. Since Mark was treated first, I was surprised by the digression; however, it didn't take me long to realize that this may have been because of his citations of Decker's diss. published in the Peter Lang series. To my knowledge (and his bibliography) there isn't nearly as reliable a guide to temporal deixis in for the other Gospels. Sigh. Again, oh well, maybe someday.

Regardless, these minor details can't possibly eclipse the value of this quick and easy read. If you can't bring yourself to reading the whole volume, you owe it to yourself to AT LEAST read the final chapter. Chapter six begins with a MASTERFUL summary of the book in about 4 pages (he did such a good job here, you almost don't need to read the whole book) and concludes with a bountiful supply of contemporary application. These 16 pages alone are worth the price of the book.

Tilling on Bauckham

I recently accquired Jesus and the Eyewitnesses, Richard Bauckham's latest piece on the historicity of the Gospels. While it's probably going to be another month or two before I get to it (which of course, based on other bibliobloggers who are devouring it currently, probably accounts for at least one reason I failed the cool test), I was recently talking to my friend Tom (who is plowing through it at a steady pace). I mentioned that Chris Tilling (a recovering fundamentalist studying at Tubingen) is currently blogging through the book and had some early on interaction with Bauckham (Tilling did his grad work at St. Andrews, if my memory serves me). I thought I'd post a link here, for any who are interested.