Chris and Lucy entered a building looking for Manuel. In a room they found a note and a lighted candle. Chris looked at the note and read it aloud:
“Hi! It’s 2:30, and I’m leaving to run some errands. I’ll be back in a couple of hours. BTW, the electricity is out, so I lit a candle for you. — Manuel.”
Then Lucy said, “I know how we can find out how long it’s been since he left! Look, the candle has been burning since he lit it and has a significant amount of wax that’s melted and dripped down. If we figure out what the rate is which the wax is melting and measure the amount of wax that has thus far dripped, we can work backwards to find out how long it has been since he left.”
Chris said, “Why waste your time? The note says he left at 2:30.” Lucy said, “Don’t believe everything you read.” Chris replied, “Look, I’ve known Manuel for a long time, and this is his handwriting. Don’t be ridiculous.”
Continue reading “The candle and the note”
Complete three gobbets (short comment questions). Chosen texts: Matthew 2:14-15; Mark 4:38-39; Luke 8:48.
This is a notoriously difficult text (Beale, 2012). Luke, the only other synoptic recording Jesus’ early life, provides no parallel; but once we understand Luke and Matthew differ in their primary purpose and audience, it becomes clear that the text’s role is unique to Matthew’s intent. The latter, however, seems to be subject of debate, too (Carson, 2017), with some suggesting we should never look for a single audience and purpose (Blomberg, 1992). Blomberg, Carson, and many others seem to believe Matthew does not state his purpose clearly, though Blomberg does conclude that Matthew’s theological emphasis points to the primary purpose being apologetics directed to a Jewish audience.
Continue reading “BTh Essays – Module 4 – The Synoptic Gospels”
The Epistle of James and the First Epistle of John
The Epistle of James
Introduction. Scholars have proposed dozens of disparate solutions to the most basic questions regarding the epistle of James (Edgar, 2001). It is indeed difficult to assess genre, audience, message, purpose, and social, historical and cultural setting of this epistle. This is specially so when faced with the challenge of dating this book; though out of scope for this essay, we must at least acknowledge that opinions ranging from mid 30s (Hodges, 2015) to mid second century (Allison, 2015) must be taken into consideration.
Popular views that see James as mere wisdom literature (Bauckham, 1999, as cited in Baker, 2002), as paraenesis (Dibelius, 1976 as cited in Moo, 2015), or as diatribe (Ropes, 1916 as cited in Edgar, 2001), and generally lacking logical structure, have been challenged in the past few decades (Jackson-McCabe, 2003; Reiher, 2013; Moo, 2015). James cannot be taken as a discourse in a vacuum without neglecting the socio-historical background and impacting our understanding of message and purpose. However, Moo’s (2015) suggestion that James is a homily then transcribed in epistolary form allows to retain both exhortation and wisdom characteristics, now underpinned by a historical setting providing us with occasion, motive, audience, and social situation, and thus shedding new light on the message.
Continue reading “BTh Essays – Module 3 – New Testament Survey”
Introduction to the book of Exodus and the book of Haggai
Until the 19th century the historicity and traditional authorship of the Pentateuch was widely accepted. Nowadays, however, Exodus is a controversial book (Seiglie, 2003). The Documentary Hypothesis constituted the first substantial shift, rejecting Mosaic authorship (Allis, 2001). The biblical minimalists went much further, denying archaeological evidence exists in support of biblical Israel (Thompson, 1999). Yet Exodus is “the most significant historical and theological event of the Old Testament” (Merrill, 1996, p. 57-58), thus of critical importance (Hayes, 2009).
Continue reading “BTh Essays – Module 2 – Old Testament Survey”
Divine revelation is seen as essential to Christianity across the spectrum. Ball (2012) says that any knowledge one may have of God is solely “the outcome of God’s gracious initiative and of his will to be known” (p. 13), while Bahnsen (1996) goes as far as saying that God’s revelation is the very foundation of knowledge. Of all forms of divine revelation, written revelation—the Scripture—was ultimately necessary to preserve all we need to know in order to relate properly to God (Erickson, 1985).
Continue reading “BTh Essays – Module 1 – Introduction to the Bible”
Experts reveal psychologists are scared to question transgender ideology, GPs are afraid of being branded transphobic and teens are being wrongly diagnosed.
Read more here.
One of the greatest misconceived statements I often see from professed atheists is this one:
A God that commands you “Either believe in me or go to hell” is not giving you free will: he’s blackmailing you.
(Actual quote from someone I know, but seen in different forms many times)
Continue reading “Is God blackmailing people?”
Calvinists say that if we do not believe what they believe, we do not believe that God is sovereign. In particular, to affirm free will means, for them, to deny the sovereignty of God. What does it mean that God is sovereign?
Continue reading “What does it mean for God to be sovereign?”