Skeptical theism

One of Wright’s respondents argued for what he called a “skeptical theism” with regard to the problem of evil. The main points are: 1) We don’t have the cognitive equipment to figure out whether God intends to achieve goods that are morally sufficient to justify His . . . . Continue Reading »

Prelapsarian carnivores

In a discussion of NT Wright’s new book on evil, the question of pre-fall carnivores came up. Both Wright and his respondent basically agreed that animals killed and ate other animals before the fall, and that this was not incompatible with Yahweh’s judgment that this was “very . . . . Continue Reading »

Isaac and Saul

I don’t recall now if I noticed the connections between Isaac and Saul in 1 Samuel. Isaac abuses his divinely favored son Jacob; Saul abuses his son-in-law David. Isaac preferred Esau, the eldest, to the second son; Saul prefers Jonathan to David. One of the key discontinuities is . . . . Continue Reading »

Critical Scholarship

One of the most annoying things about critical biblical scholarship is the way that every discussion has to contribute to questions of composition, authorship, historical setting, etc. Harrington gives a very intriguing paper on holiness in Ezra-Nehemiah, but the whole thing is part of a . . . . Continue Reading »

Purity and holiness

Hannah Harrington gave a very fine presentation on the holiness and purity terminology in Ezra and Nehemiah. She showed that these post-exilic texts display an expansion of holy space to encompass the whole city as well as an expansion of the duties of Levites, a closing of the gap between Levites . . . . Continue Reading »

Criterion of antiquity

John Milbank claims that the Wellhausen documentary hypothesis is shaped by what he calls the “liberal Protestant metanarrative,” the view that Christianity moved from a religion of inner simplicity to a religion of complex external ritual (JEDP traces this story). In his SBL . . . . Continue Reading »


Carl Mosser of Eastern College gave a superb presentation on deification at the ETS meeting. A large part of the presentation was a study of terminology. He noted that the Greek work THEOS (often thought to be equivalent to “God”) had a broader meaning, referring to powers that were . . . . Continue Reading »

More from Latour

A few further scattered comments from and on Latour. 1) He disputes the notion that the modern world is disenchanted, claiming that the claim of disenchantment is merely the reflex of the Constitution of modernity and its premise that We are completely different from Them. He also attributes the . . . . Continue Reading »

Remnant, Edom, AD 70

Some reflections based on an ETS talk by Edward Meadors on Romans 9-11. Meadors suggested that “Esau” in Romans 9 refers to Esau as the patriarch of Edom, well-known for its opposition to Israel throughout the centuries. That is Malachi’s focus in the passage Paul cites. And this . . . . Continue Reading »

Incarnational revelation

Westminster OT professor Pete Enns has been a friend since he taught me German at seminary nearly twenty years ago, and as editor of the Westminster Journal he regularly published my work. I have raised questions to him in private in the past, and we have had our friendly disagreements. I offer the . . . . Continue Reading »