"The object of all good literature is to purge the soul of its petty troubles." ~ P.G. Wodehouse

Friday, June 22, 2012

Quote of the Day

"...for the love of letters, and the benefit of reading, are bounded, not by the time spent at school, but by the extent of life."  -- Quintilian, Institutio oratorio, 1.8.12.

A great little reminder that learning is not about formal education, but learning is for life.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Words of Comfort to a young scholar by C.K. Barrett

Quite possibly not all young scholars will find this encouraging, but rather discouraging. I, however, am encouraged by these words from such an eminent scholar of the New Testament.

In the preface to his second edition of The Gospel According to St. John (1955, 1978), C.K. Barrett states: "I can see it [the commentary] now as a juvenile work, and if today I were to set about a commentary on John it would be a different book. But life is short..." (vii).

Friday, June 15, 2012

Revelation and The Hiddenness of God, Bockmuehl

In his published thesis, Markus Bockmuehl has some thought-provoking comments on the hiddenness of God.

"This hiddenness is not an abnormality, an unfortunate occasional blemish in an otherwise predictable system of theology. New revelation from God may not in fact be forthcoming for long periods of time: 'In those days it was rare for Yahweh to speak; visions were uncommon' (1 Sam 3:1 NJB). Characters like Job, David, Hezekiah, Jeremiah, all have to cope at one time or another with the torment and agony of God's silence. True, God's silence and absence are never His last word, and therefore the hiddenness of Yahweh is not ultimately a cornerstone of an OT theology of revelation. Nevertheless, God is not simply 'available' to man, whether in daily experience or in the cult."

Markus N.A. Bockmuehl, Revelation and Mystery in Ancient Judaism and Pauline Christianity (WUNT 2.36; Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1990), 10.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

René Padilla at Spring Garden Church

René Padilla will be speaking at Spring Garden Church this Sunday (June 17). Along with being an important evangelical figure in Latin America, he is the author of the essay "Evangelical theology in Latin American contexts," in Timothy Larsen and Daniel J. Treier, The Cambridge Companion to Evangelical Theology (Cambridge 2007): 259-73.

Padilla's essay frames evangelical theology in Latin America around three time periods of history: the Roman Catholic, revolutionary, and evangelical growth. He highlights the way in which Christianity came to Latin America with the imperial power of Spain and Portugal and that the Roman Catholic Church was essentially the same, state and religion. Out of this arose a revolution that sought to see faith in the care of the poor and not just the powerful and rich. Since the revolutionary time, evangelical groups have seen dramatic growth, but Padilla warns that evangelical church in Latin America cannot and should not replace the dominance of the Catholic Church.

Two quotes: 
"The criterion for faithfulness to the Lord's intention regarding the life and mission of the church [Matt 28:19-20] was thus clearly defined at the very beginning of church history -- not success measured in terms of numbers, but faithfulness in the making of disciples who would take upon themselves the yoke of obedience to the law of Christ in every aspect of life" (267).

"The mark of a truly evangelical theology is faithfulness to the Word of God, but its relevance depends on the extent to which it responds to human needs in a particular extent. What we may call a 'universal theology' can only be the final result of the search for both faithfulness and relevance in multiple contexts" (271).