Behavior must trump doctrine (Mondays with MacDonald)

The old race of the Pharisees is by no means extinct; they were St Paul’s great trouble, and are yet to be found in every religious community under the sun.

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Diachronic considerations in biblical lexicography

While studying NT Greek in undergrad, I became interested in linguistics. I gradually became alarmed as I discovered that key insights into human language made by linguists were hardly ever taken into account among scholars intending to interpret the Bible from the original languages. Greek and Hebrew are treated by too many exegetes as special […]

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Seeking Truth is not enough

Going into this post, please be aware that I will indulge in the obnoxious habit of capitalizing Truth to distinguish the abstract concept of veritas from small-t truths that amount to individual factoids. I hope this will not distract you. As a teenager I was once informed by a mentor that I was a “seeker of […]

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

The yet unfinished work of Christ

Does your Christian tradition teach or imply that it is better to err on the side of faith than works? Yesterday I posted a quote from MacDonald that indicted the doctrine of imputed righteousness as an inoculation from pursuing personal holiness. As luck would have it, that same morning a web-only Christianity Today article by Jason […]

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

More on what NT faith is about

Under the typical Protestant understanding of “faith” as “not doubting something that one believes without proof”, I as a young Protestant could never fathom why God would be so tickled by us believing in what we had almost no evidence for. This question came home to me most clearly whenever I heard informal apologetics arguing […]

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

An (ancient) introduction to “faith in Christ” vs. “Christ’s faith”

Originally inspired by this recent post by Doug Chaplin, I exhumed a paper I wrote in third year Greek while an undergrad (I estimate this to be c. 2000-2001). As a segue between my last post and my next, I thought I’d present it here with minimal edits. Please realize that the scholarship within this […]

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Defining faith in Hebrews 11.1

I have always thought that Hebrews 11.1 sounded beautiful, with a mystical air to it: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (KJV) Some of the mystery surrounding it resulted from its sounding so much like a riddle: a verse whose first few words signal a definition […]

Friday, February 26th, 2010