Knowing oneself, knowing others (Psalm 139)

Psalm 119, section He, highlights knowledge of God and knowledge of self. In Psalm 139, this question of knowledge of self is paramount: Who knows the truth about me, the truth inside me? Do I know it myself? Do you know the truth inside me? Inside yourself? Does anyone? Am I in a position toContinue reading “Knowing oneself, knowing others (Psalm 139)”

In Memoriam: James D. G. Dunn (Eerdword)

“Everyone enjoyed the evening with you. We are growing accustomed to your face, a custom which grows by what it’s fed on.” So wrote Bill Eerdmans Jr. to “Dear Jimmy” Dunn on December 4, 1996, following up on a dinner at the SBL meeting at New Orleans a couple of weeks earlier. Bill had written toContinue reading “In Memoriam: James D. G. Dunn (Eerdword)”

I have a friend who loves making the Bible strange

I have a friend who loves making the Bible strange.He finds the quirky places,reads them out,wide-eyed,astonished,and scans your face,looking for you to be astonished too. He finds places that don’t line upwith what they always said in church.And if you have been thinkingthat these texts are comfortable,that they line up perfectly—then look again: are youContinue reading “I have a friend who loves making the Bible strange”

Praying Psalm 118: Who is the cornerstone?

“The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” What stone is this? Who is the cornerstone? The key, perhaps, in praying the Psalms is to know who is speaking. This is the question of “person.” Who is this “I”? Already in the text of the Psalm the I is complex. The I isContinue reading “Praying Psalm 118: Who is the cornerstone?”

Going to heaven? Why the heck not?

Here’s another paradox of “biblical” Christian theology. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9) What could be clearer? The apostle tells us that no one has imagined, noContinue reading “Going to heaven? Why the heck not?”

On eating Aunt Jemima syrup sacrificed to idols

The people complaining about the rebranding of Aunt Jemima don’t know history and would rather deny its significance than learn it. They see only an inoffensive picture of a normal woman who happens to be black. But the people who are offended are not just seeing what is there in front of their eyes rightContinue reading “On eating Aunt Jemima syrup sacrificed to idols”

On respecting and submitting to the governing authorities

“Been following some of your facebook posts. How do you reconcile your views with passages like Ephesians 4:2 and others that require us to submit to and pray for those who God has placed in positions of authority over us? Just wondering . . . “ That’s a question I received today from one ofContinue reading “On respecting and submitting to the governing authorities”