Showing posts from February, 2006

Two Links

Today has been hard; the last couple days have had me breaking through emotionally, some tough feelings. Not uber tough, but tough enough.

Why? I don't know man. I started feeling poopy just a few hours after my last post when I was feeling so good! I'm okay. I did some breathing today. I left a couple messages with my weekly talk-buddy. I see my therapist tomorrow. But for whatever reason, I'm just down, pissed, a bit anxious. The worst seems to have passed. Perhaps tomorrow will be a brighter day. It often is!

But while I've got the floor: two links worth reading.

The first one is an excerpt from E.P. Sanders, well worth the time it takes to read it for those curious about Hellenistic influences in Jesus' Galilee. I admit I haven't read Sanders' books on Jesus and Paul, but want to. I don't know what his beliefs are, if any, but Wright sees him as a pivotal historian of first century Christianity. Sanders is the pioneer of what is now ca…

On Earl Doherty., Homer, and Reason

I told Eddie F. (from edgeoffaith) I'd read Earl Doherty's dismissal of Jesus as historical figure and respond; I read the first third of D.'s essay just now. I found it so non-compelling I can't even begin. I can't begin. That's why I'm posting here instead of on Eddie's blog. When I feel the umph to do so I may, but the fact is even the internet offers at least one scathing criticsm of D.'s book and website.

While looking online for Earl's essay I found a strong response to him, especially his treatment of Hebrews HERE. Whoever Bede is, he drags in Christians and skeptics in his dismissal of Doherty's claims; mostly, he deals convincingly with the evidence we do have. For myself, I've found enough references in Paul's undisputed letters to both gospel material and Jesus as a historical Jew (and lists of these versese are easily found) that to believe otherwise requires more faith than I have. Finally, Doherty's understand…

You Can't Judge a Book (including the NT)

by its first fifty (or in Harry's case, 300) pages (nor by its surface). Harry 5 is getting better with the D.A. and the Room of Requirement. That really is Rowling's strength: invention. From Nocture Alley to the Knight Bus to the floating memoes at the Ministry to the Room of Requirements...her ability to imagine is very great. That kind of imagination is what drew me into the Narnia books and Tolkien as a kid. We were lucky, then, to have Christian mythicists under our child noses. Not that I'm against Rowling's very moral fiction (so far, nothing but snogging) but the Christian allegory of Narnia probably affected me ways I still don't know.

And on Lewis, Markos' book is getting better also. I do recommend it as an introduction to Lewis' 'top down' apologetics. Is the Lewis/Markos approach unassailable? No, but it's thought provoking once again. The apologetics are dated in places because of Lewis' own point in history: surely…

The Web Log

As time goes on my blog truly has become weblog; it feels more centered on my own thoughts and feelings and less on an audience. Though I love when people read! I'm just not writing polished articles, or sometimes even including background information that would make my posts more meaningful. Web log. This has mostly been a factor of time. I do know I still have a few friends who read here from time to time; it's deeply appreciated.

On that note: right now I'm reading four books. S and I are reading the fifth Harry Potter in pieces before we go to bed (we finished the sixth out of order). The novel is starting to pick up...on page 300. Sorry, gang, I'm just not a huge fan. In four, five, and six the novel took forever to get moving. It does seem like a great book for younger readers, but while some kids' books (The Wind in the Willows) continue to entrance me, HP needs an editor and just doesn't do it. We are struggling on, though, knowing the story …

Ramble On

Looking at my recent, so much heavy theo-stuff! I guess that's what's on my mind.

I think of how Abraham would have a message from God then go years without anything concrete. Life seems like that. I was on retreat for our vestry this last weekend; it was one long business meeting even though our location was beautiful, and I knew I had made real strides in my relationship with S, in management of my obsessions and anxiety, in my faith, from the year before (just by remembering what I was praying for). And is less than what it should be so often. I know it comes down to expectations (ask Buddhists) but it feels like one hour I'm feeling pretty good and then the next I'm feeling overwhelmed with something: work-pressure, church-stuff (well, I'll say politics and be truthful), family strains, etc. Surely a wife and son give me a center I never had. A family I never had! Yet I move through life, living yet aging, knowing how imperfec…

The Blog Cloud

I found this at Amanda's Site and think it rocks. What a treasure this little jpg is to me.

Three Things Thursday

1) I love Napster. I have rediscovered this album from the New Bomb Turks. This is simply the best punk band I've ever seen live; I saw them, three, maybe four times in tiny clubs in the mid 90's, and every time they howled. For several years working out at the gym almost very day (mostly the inglorious stairmaster back then) was what kept the daggers of my violent depression and obsessions out of my skin. During those glory days this album was one half of my well-used work out tape; the other side had Bikini Kill's first two albums. BK was like a support meeting set to punk. I saw then only once with Mike D. but what a show. I know at least twice I gave the BK album to a girl I was dating to see what she thought; insane, maybe immature, I know, but one girl loved it, her name was Steph, and we got married. I still think for raw work out music these albums are tough to beat (though I've had Vegas on my discman for a while now).

2) Once again, Bruggemann's …

Gettin Edumacated

Thanks, funkiller, for praying for me and my doubt; currently I'm back in a good place and every time I get there instead of just sitting still I feel something or one pushing me own personality, God, should my faith translate to is so short, what would be the best way for me to find and use my gifts in the church?

It feels to me like so many years have already been wasted. That's not a fair assessment; in fact, when I consider my depression and the setbacks and challenges in my life I've overcome it's really not fair, but still, I pray that God lets me find and use my gifts, whatever those may be.

One thing I do know is that I want a thorough knowledge of the NT. The primary texts, yes, but the criticism and issues which surround and pervade those texts also. And where do I start? Not online. Not that there aren't good ideas online and smart people writing from all sides of the debate. But as I tell my students, the best …

Have to Put Something Up

Hey gang,

I love being able to share here, but with school rolling I haven't put much up lately. I did write a long comment, long enough to be a blog post, at edgeoffaith, and I thought, hey, I might as well stick it here. It's not great, but it's something. Still waiting to hear back from my brother's professor friend on NT scholarship issues.



I haven't been back in the blog since my last post until last night. I write a response to EddieF then realized I hadn't read the Doherty links, went to those, read for a while, ended up in I Thess., then began reading Christian responses to Doherty, then began reading about gospel dates…anyway, the fact is Doherty's revisionist thesis is quite radical, that the gospel pericopae were fictional, snippets written after Paul's life and that they bear no connection at all to the historical person of Christ or any of his remembered sayings or acts. My initial reaction is that there are many problems with this…