Acts of Baptism

This post originally appeared at Conciliar Post. As anyone even somewhat familiar with Christianity knows, various Christian denominations have different, specific approaches to baptism—that all important rite involving water and the Holy Spirit. Depending on its theological commitments, a church may expect the person being baptized to be an adult (or, at least old enoughContinue reading “Acts of Baptism”

How to Approach Difficult Bible Passages

As a teacher, I am regularly asked about Bible passages and the theology they convey. Sometimes the questions are straightforward; other times, not so much. Some time back, for example, as I was innocently trying to lead our community group through Romans 8:18-30, I was asked how to interpret verses 29-30 in light of thatContinue reading “How to Approach Difficult Bible Passages”

On Baptism (Part I)

In this two-part article, I offer some reflections on baptism, beginning in this post with the Bible and history and wrapping up with some musings on covenant and sacrament in the next. Baptism in the Acts of the Apostles Last summer I led a Bible study on the Acts of the Apostles. While I hadContinue reading “On Baptism (Part I)”

The Day That Jesus Died

“When students are first introduced to the historical, as opposed to a devotional, study of the Bible, one of the first things they are forced to grapple with is that the biblical text, whether Old Testament or New Testament, is chock full of discrepancies, many of them irreconcilable…. In some cases seemingly trivial points ofContinue reading “The Day That Jesus Died”

Book Review: Urban Legends of the New Testament (Croteau)

In an age of easily-accessible information, misinformation abounds. In a world with more books, peer-reviewed articles, and professionals dedicated to understandings the intricacies of the past, present, and future of the universe, many people (perhaps even most people) are shockingly uninformed. While this paradox of unknowing plagues almost every field of human interaction and learning,Continue reading “Book Review: Urban Legends of the New Testament (Croteau)”

Did God Command Genocide? (Part II)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining whether or not God commanded Israel to commit genocide in the conquest of the Promised Land. How Do We Read the Bible? : The Importance of Context Many Protestant Christians talk about reading the Bible “literally.” But I often don’t understand exactly what that means. Webster’sContinue reading “Did God Command Genocide? (Part II)”

Reflections on Eschatology

This post originally appeared as part of a Round Table discussion at Conciliar Post. “How and when will the world end?” My answers to this query are short and (likely) less nuanced than others might like. The world (at least, the world as we know it) will end through the paradigm altering, cosmos bending, historyContinue reading “Reflections on Eschatology”

Textual Plurality and Biblical Interpretation

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Ephrem the Syrian and early Syrian Christianity. This article reflects upon considerations of textual plurality and biblical interpretation as found in Lucas Van Rompay’s “The Christian Syriac Tradition of Interpretation”, James Kugel’s Traditions of the Bible, and the pseudepigraphal Jubilees. In each of these works thereContinue reading “Textual Plurality and Biblical Interpretation”

What Day Did Jesus Die?

This post also  appears this morning at Conciliar Post. “When students are first introduced to the historical, as opposed to a devotional, study of the Bible, one of the first things they are forced to grapple with is that the biblical text, whether Old Testament or New Testament, is chock full of discrepancies, many ofContinue reading “What Day Did Jesus Die?”

Book Review: Forgotten Gospel (Bryan)

For nearly two thousand years, the Gospel has stood at the center of the Christian faith. This is especially true for a certain segment of American Evangelical Christianity, which remains committed not only to the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ, but also to the careful definition of the meaning and implications ofContinue reading “Book Review: Forgotten Gospel (Bryan)”