Not too long ago, I finished a new little ebook written by Scot McKnight and published by Patheos Press. It is entitled Junia Is Not Alone.
First off, the book is about 25-30 pages in normal length and it is only available electronically for the Kindle or Kindle app for a mere $2.99. I think this is an interesting pointer of where publishing is going – electronic and short. Not all books will be of this flavour. There will still remain the theological treatises that most of us don’t want to engage with or the lengthier books that we do still want to read. But these short ebooks are becoming a trend in a technological world today.
So here is Scot McKnight’s first compact ebook along the lines of something he has briefly addressed before in his book about understanding the Bible, The Blue Parakeet. In this newer title, McKnight starts out by asking why the overall church is quite silent on the reality of women in the Bible. Who has heard many teachings and sermons on Huldah or Phoebe or Priscilla or Mary (the mother of Jesus) or Anna or the enigmatic Junia? We have occasionally heard teachings on Ruth or Esther, but that is because a specific book of the Bible is dedicated to them. But what of these other gifted women? Continue reading →
There is a lot of rethinking going on these days with regards to Paul’s writings, especially centred around the renowned letter of Paul to the church in Rome. Or we call it Romans.
The rethinking doesn’t simply centre around the ‘new perspective on Paul’ and justification, but this encompasses both the whole letter and the multiple parts of the whole.
Author’s such as Andrew Perriman are challenging us to read Romans in its first century, city of Rome context, which was prior to establishment of what became known as western Christendom (I say ‘became’ knowing that Christendom has fallen in western Europe).
Still, Perriman is asking us to consider what is going on for Paul, a second-temple Jew writing to a Jew-Gentile church in the capital city of a majorly pagan empire. What did it mean then? Not what did it mean to Luther as he stood against the imperial Roman Catholic Church of his day, nor even what it means from a ‘new Pauline perspective’.
Whether one agrees with the new Pauline perspective, with Tom Wright being its most popular, but not the only, proponent, I believe he offers some great thoughts in his book Justification: God’s Plan and Paul’s Vision.
With the quote below, he offers a ‘thought experiment’, asking this: What if the Reformation had started with Ephesians and Colossians, rather than Romans and Galatians?Continue reading →
It was the summer of 2008. I was winding down my ministry work in the U.S., all in preparation for our move to Brussels, Belgium, to pastor a small, international church. It was also at this point that I took up the practice of blogging. I’ve always wanted to be a writer of some sort, and blogging seemed to be the thing for the 21st century. So I started my own meager blog and, subsequently, went looking for other blogs that I could enjoy and with which I could interact.
Not too long into my exploration of the blogosphere, I came across the site of this preacher guy known as the Internet Monk. His name was Michael Spencer and his contributions began to pique my interest. At the time, I was somewhat of a reformed-Calvinist, charismatic who viewed the arena of systematics as the highest level of theological engagement. And while some of the other blogs I frequented fell into the precise and tidy parameters of Grudem-esque systematic theology (especially that of the reformed-Calvinist camp), this Internet Monk guy was a bit different. He wasn’t so nice and orderly. He was like John the Baptist making that well-known call of: Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. I also began noting the sub-heading of his blog: Dispatches from the Post-Evangelical Wilderness.
I wanted to post some brief thoughts on 4 particular books – one title that can be purchased for very cheap right now, one book I’ve begun reading this week, and 2 books that come from the Counterpoints: Bible and Theology series.
Just a reminder that we continue to post weekly excerpts from the book that Michael Bell and myself are editing. We have compiled about 1000 pages of writings, teachings, sermons and studies from the iMonk, Michael Spencer, who unfortunately passed away in April 2010 due to cancer. This will be Spencer’s second book and the working title is Reconsider Jesus: A fresh look at Jesus through the Gospel of Mark. These excerpts are posted every Friday at Internet Monk. Continue reading →