Substitutionary Atonement

I’m sure the point has been made elsewhere, perhaps by Wright, but the substitution of Jesus for Barabbas is not only a sign of a generalized substitutionary atonement (though it is that); it is also a sign that Jesus is specifically substituting for Israel. He is the true faithful Israelite . . . . Continue Reading »

Sermon Outline

INTRODUCTION The Omride dynasty had a long-lasting impact on both the Northern and Southern kingdoms. Though the two kingdoms are no longer ruled by a single dynasty, they are very similar, twin prostitutes, as Ezekiel 23 describes it. THE TEXT “In the twenty-third year of Joash the son of . . . . Continue Reading »

Eucharistic meditation

2 Kings 12:4: Then Jehoash said to the priests, All the money of the sacred things which is brought into the house of the Lord, in current money, both the money of each man’s assessment and all the money which any man’s heart prompts him to bring into the house, let the priests take it . . . . Continue Reading »

Joash, King of Judah

A short play I wrote for my children some years ago. Scene 1: Joash and Zechariah Commotion offstage, and then two boys come on, arguing and tussling over a stick. Joash: Give it back! Give it back! Zechariah: No, it’s mine. You took it from me. Joash: I didn’t. Yours was different. It . . . . Continue Reading »

Return to Routine

Some thoughts inspired by Dale Ralph Davis’ commentary on 2 Kings 12. The opening verses of 2 Kings 12 are formulaic. We have heard these words before, again and again, ad nausea in the history of 1-2 Kings: In the such and such year of so and so King of Israel, so and so king of Judah began . . . . Continue Reading »


Joash was a faithful king, but his faithfulness was not complete. He remained faithful, the writer of Kings tells us, “all his days in which Jehoiada the priest instructed him.” The parallel in 2 Chronicles 24 is more explicit: “Joash did what was right in the sight of the LORD . . . . Continue Reading »

Mark’s meta-irony, 2

Some thoughts inspired by student papers on Mark 15: The most obvious Markan irony in chapter 15 is the fact that the Roman soldiers mock Jesus for being king of the Jews when He in fact is the king of the Jews. God has the last laugh; God is not mocked, even when He’s mocked. But there are . . . . Continue Reading »

More on Postmodern aestheticization

Featherstone: “one of the characteristics of postmodern art in the 1960s was its attack on institutionalized art: on the museums and galleries, the critical academic hierarchies of taste, and the consecration of works of art as clearly demarcated objects of display. This attack on autonomous, . . . . Continue Reading »

Postmodern architecture

Charles Jencks lamented in his Language of Postmodern Architecture that the term had been used in ways opposite to his own usage: “When I first wrote the book in 1975 and 1976 the word and concept of Post-Modernism had only been used with any frequency in literary criticism. Most perturbing, . . . . Continue Reading »

postmodern aestheticization

Featherstone again: “Postmodernism effectively thrusts aesthetic questions toward the center of sociological theory: it offers aesthetic models and justifications for the reading and critique of texts (the pleasure of the text, intertextuality, writerly texts) and aesthetic models for life . . . . Continue Reading »