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Balancing the Scholarly and the Popular

I just flew into London on the red eye this morning.  As many of you know, my wife Sarah is a Brit, and we have lots of family here.   About fifteen years ago we bought a flat in Wimbledon, which is our base of operation when we’re here.  It’s a hoppin’ part of the universe just now, with the tournament starting.   I won’t be going this year, but our sister-in-law Gill (on the blog!), managed to get a couple of tickets for today, so she and Sarah, now, as we speak, are watching Djokovic.  Not that I’m envious. Tomorrow early I fly to Amsterdam, and then take a train over to Leiden for a meeting of the editorial board of Vigiliae Christianae, one of the premier journals of Patristics (i.e. studies focusing on the “church fathers” and “mothers”).   There are seven editors-in-chief, most of whom are European.  I’m the American.   I’ve been doing this for about eleven years. It’s an honor and a privilege to serve in this capacity.  Vigiliae Christianae, by any estimate, is [...]

2020-04-03T01:14:19-04:00July 3rd, 2018|Reflections and Ruminations|

The Broader Significance(s) of Contradictions

I have been discussing the matter of contradictions in the Bible and the question of why they matter.  My overarching point is that they matter NOT simply so we can say “Aha!  There are contradictions!”  They matter for other things. The one point I’ve made so far is that they matter for anyone who is committed to the authority of Scripture.  I need to say that I think the point I was trying to make in that post has possibly been misunderstood.  When I asked how the Bible could be authoritative if there are contradictions, I did not mean it to be a rhetorical question, with the obvious answer being: It can’t be authoritative!  Some readers clearly took the question that way, but in fact I had a different intention. My intention was ... To read the rest of this post you will need to belong to the blog.  Joining is very fast and relatively cheap.  And every nickel goes to charity.  So why not join? My intention was to ask “How CAN it be [...]

2020-04-03T01:14:31-04:00July 2nd, 2018|Reflections and Ruminations|

The Strangest Moment of My Teaching Career

Here is an interesting question that I sometimes get asked, which brought to mind one of the strangest things that has ever happened to me in my now 34 years of teaching at the university level.   QUESTION: As you teach your students the material, how do you handle those students with an evangelical or fundamentalist background that refuse to accept your findings?   RESPONSE: This is a great question, and I was all set to answer it directly, when it suddenly brought to mind a *related* question that I’ll address first.  (I’ll save this specific question to answer in a later post.)  This other question is whether I’ve ever had parents of students from evangelical or fundamentalist background call me to complain about what I was teaching their children.   That must happen a lot, right? As it turns out, the answer is no.  It never happens. Ssince I started teaching in 1984, I have never ever had a parent call to complain about what I teach -- or about misleading their child, or promoting [...]

2018-07-01T08:27:10-04:00July 1st, 2018|Reader’s Questions, Reflections and Ruminations|
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