Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Fifth Hermeneutical Barrier

Reading the Bible is a lot more complicated than you might think. The average English speaker just sits down with his NIV, KJV, ESV – whatever English translation he prefers. He reads the text and takes it at face value. … Continue reading

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Happy Memorial Day: We Are Not Free

Memorial Day has been celebrated since 1865. It is a day to remember those members of the armed forces that gave their lives in combat to safeguard our freedom. Which is fine, except for the fact that we are not … Continue reading

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Michael Bird – The Saving Righteousness of God, part 4

Bird finishes the sixth chapter of his work by systematically following Paul’s argument in Romans. Romans, as Stendahl has famously attested in his short commentary, is Paul’s account and defense of his mission to the Gentiles. According to Stendahl, justification … Continue reading

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Michael Bird – The Saving Righteousness of God, part 3

I am constantly made aware of my own prejudice of reading Paul and the New Testament via the grid of soteriological inquiry where I often assumed that the question underpinning every Pauline text was “what must I do to be … Continue reading

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Michael Bird – The Saving Righteousness of God, part 2

The third chapter of The Saving Righteousness of God concerns the role of the resurrection of Christ in justification – God’s declaration that we are righteous. This is a pivotal chapter; Bird’s later theses depend on it. It is also … Continue reading

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Q and Inspiration: Did the Gospel writers use sources?

The Gospels are not that long. Each is comfortably read in one sitting, provided one is free of distractions. Indeed, this is probably how they were designed to be read (or listened to – literacy in the ancient world was … Continue reading

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Michael Bird – The Saving Righteousness of God, part 1

For the most part then Paul’s quest to unify Jewish and Gentile Christians in the body of Christ and the connection of justification to ecclesiology was largely neglected in post-Reformation scholarship which allowed dogmatic theology to set the agenda for … Continue reading

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The Christian Discipline of Fasting

Fasting is a long-established Christian discipline. The earliest extrabiblical Christian document we have, the Didache, prescribes fasting before baptism, as well as weekly fasts on Wednesday and Friday. Some of the greatest Bible heroes fasted for extended periods – Jesus, … Continue reading

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Why the World is Not Going to End on May 21

I’ve been hearing and seeing a lot about the impending day of judgment – May 21, according to Harold Camping and his followers. (I almost typed “minions.” I guess I’m a little jaded.) There’s one problem that is immediately obvious: … Continue reading

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God’s Sovereignty and Power in Calvinism and Arminianism

I was having a conversation the other day that caused me to think about the power and sovereignty of God, as portrayed by Calvinists and Arminians. This is the question that really pricked my brain: Is a God that must … Continue reading

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