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Now Available: The Sacred Text

Newly released from Gorgias Press:

Michael F. Bird and Michael W. Pahl, eds. The Sacred Text: Excavating the Texts, Exploring the Interpretations, and Engaging the Theologies of the Christian Scriptures. Gorgias Précis Portfolios 7. Piscataway, N.J.: Gorgias, 2010.

Contents

Introduction: From Manuscript to MP3 – Michael F. Bird

The History of the Texts

The Septuagint as Scripture in the Early Church – Karen H. Jobes

Scripture in the Second Century – Tomas Bokedal

Scripture and Tradition: Seeking a Middle Path – Michael W. Pahl

Scripture and Canon – John C. Poirier

The Interpretation of the Texts

Scripture and Biblical Criticism – Jamie A. Grant

Scripture and Theological Exegesis – Thorsten Moritz

Scripture and Postmodern Epistemology – Robert Shillaker

Scripture and New Interpretive Approaches: Feminist & Post-Colonial – Jennifer G. Bird

The Theological Status of the Texts as Scripture

Catholic Doctrine on Scripture: Inspiration, Inerrancy, and Interpretation – Brant Pitre

Scripture in Eastern Orthodoxy: Canon, Tradition, and Interpretation -George Kalantzis

Still Sola Scriptura: An Evangelical Perspective on Scripture – James M. Hamilton Jr.

The Word as Event: Barth and Bultmann on Scripture – David Congdon

Can be ordered here.

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Chris Castaldo’s Holy Ground

There are loads of Roman Catholics here in Louisville. Our neighbors on both sides of us are Roman Catholic, so I’m thrilled to see the publication of Chris Castaldo’s Holy Ground: Walking with Jesus as a Former Roman Catholic. I would commend this book to anyone interested in seeing the gospel believed by Roman Catholics.

Chris was kind enough to stop by here for a blog tour for the new book, and I trust you’ll benefit from our exchange:

Jim, it has been a pleasure getting to know you over these past several weeks. Thanks for the privilege of this blog tour “visit.”

1.) Do you think Holy Ground would be a good book to hand to a Roman Catholic neighbor still active in the Catholic Church?

Yes, I wrote Holy Ground with Catholics in mind, with a commitment to representing them accurately and fairly. Catholic scholars and laypeople, including some author friends, read the manuscript throughout its composition and offered feedback to ensure that this was the case.

2.) Why did you write Holy Ground?

It’s mostly an outgrowth of my ministry at College Church. Several years ago I noticed some folks from our church were approaching Catholic friends in one of two ways: either attacking them like foaming-at-the-mouth pit bulls or with such open-mindedness that their brains seemed to have fallen out of their heads. Therefore, I taught a class entitled “Perspective on Catholicism” intended to bring more biblically informed balance. With the Lord Jesus as our model, the class sought to maintain the virtues of “grace and truth” in relation to Catholic friends and loved ones (John 1:14). The material eventually became a manuscript and, thanks to Zondervan, Holy Ground was born.

3.) Do you think evangelicals should actively seek to evangelize Catholics?

Yes indeed. And I also think that evangelicals must regularly evangelize evangelicals, and, for that matter, I must constantly evangelize myself. In other words, we need to reflect upon the gospel beyond the point of our personal conversion; every day I must remind myself of Jesus’ death and resurrection and who I am in light of that. Since man looks only on the outward appearance and the Lord looks at the human heart, I don’t presume to know the nature of my Catholic friend’s faith. Yet, precisely because I’m an evangelical—a person whose life is dedicated to embodying and proclaiming Jesus, the Evangel—I’m committed to evangelism, even among Catholic friends and family.

4.) What are the distinct features of Holy Ground that separate it from other such books?

Among evangelical books that address Catholicism, Holy Ground has a couple of features that make it unique. First, many such books convey an unkind attitude. The doctrinal emphasis of these works is commendable, but the irritable tone rings hollow and fails to exhibit the loving character of Jesus. It’s the tone that my seminary professor warned against when he said, “Don’t preach and write as though you have just swallowed embalming fluid. As Christ imparts redemptive life, so should his followers.” This life is communicated in the content of God’s message and also in its manner of presentation. Therefore, I seek to express genuine courtesy toward Catholics, even in disagreement.

Second, most books on Roman Catholicism and Evangelicalism emphasize doctrinal tenets without exploring the practical dimensions of personal faith. Important as it is to understand doctrine, the reality is there’s often a vast difference between the content of catechisms and the beliefs of folks who fill our pews. Holy Groundis concerned with understanding the common ideas and experiences of real-life people.

Hopefully, as a result of reading Holy Ground, people will have a deeper grasp of the gospel’s wondrous grace and more ardent commitment to the enterprise of embodying it as a vibrant witness among Catholic loved ones and friends.

Thanks again Jim for the privilege of this exchange. Blessings to you and yours!

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Revelation 9-12, Four Recent Sermons

It has been my privilege to be preaching through the book of Revelation, and here are my four most recent sermons at Kenwood Baptist Church:

10-11-2009 – Revelation 12:1-17 The Seed of the Woman Versus the Seed of the Serpent

09-20-2009 – Revelation 11:1-19 Bearing Witness til Kingdom Come

09-13-2009 – Revelation 10:1-11 Eat This Scroll (and prophesy the history of the future)

09-06-2009 – Revelation 9:1-21 Trumpeting the End of the World

May the Lord bless his word!

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Towers Article on Brian Croft’s Visit the Sick

Good article here.

No substitute for loving people this way.

Earlier post here.

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Greg Wills’ History of Southern Seminary

It’s out: Gregory A. Wills, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1859-2009

It is my understanding that today is its first day being sold at the Lifeway Store on the SBTS campus.

I was browsing the book and was surprised to see Scott Hafemann’s name. I won’t type up the whole story surrounding his name, but it is absolutely fascinating. Riveting. What has happened at this school is a work of God. It’s a miracle that I teach here. Praise the Lord!

Between this book on the history of Southern, Nettles’ biography of Boyce, and several other things that have come out, it’s quite a year for Baptist history.

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Hyde Park Baptist Church in Cincinnati This Saturday and Sunday

It will be my privilege to speak at Hyde Park Baptist Church of Cincinnati’s Second Annual Bible Conference this Saturday and Sunday. Lord willing, here is the schedule we will follow:

Saturday Afternoon 

1. An Overview of the Seven Letters, Revelation 2:1-3:22
The Risen Christ to the Seven Churches 

2. The First and Last Letter, Revelation 2:1-7; 3:14-22
Loss of First Love in Ephesus, Luke-warm in Laodicea 

3. The Second and Second to Last Letter, Revelation 2:8-13; 3:7-13
Strength in Smyrna, Faithful in Philadelphia 

4. The Middle Three Letters, Revelation 2:12-17; 2:18-29; 3:1-6
Sexual Immorality and Idolatry in Pergamum and Thyatira, Death in Sardis 

Sunday Morning 

5. The Revelation of Jesus Christ, Revelation 1-22
An Overview of the Book of Revelation

The details as to time and place can be found here

If you’re in the Cincinnati area, it would be great to see you!

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Chesterton on Jesus

From G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, ch. 9, “Authority and the Adventurer

Instead of looking at books and pictures about the New Testament I looked at the New Testament. There I found an account, not in the least of a person with his hair parted in the middle or his hands clasped in appeal, but of an extraordinary being with lips of thunder and acts of lurid decision, flinging down tables, casting out devils, passing with the wild secrecy of the wind from mountain isolation to a sort of dreadful demagogy; a being who often acted like an angry god—and always like a god. Christ had even a literary style of his own, not to be found, I think, elsewhere; it consists of an almost furious use of the A FORTIORI. His “how much more” is piled one upon another like castle upon castle in the clouds. The diction used ABOUT Christ has been, and perhaps wisely, sweet and submissive. But the diction used by Christ is quite curiously gigantesque; it is full of camels leaping through needles and mountains hurled into the sea. Morally it is equally terrific; he called himself a sword of slaughter, and told men to buy swords if they sold their coats for them. That he used other even wilder words on the side of non-resistance greatly increases the mystery; but it also, if anything, rather increases the violence. We cannot even explain it by calling such a being insane; for insanity is usually along one consistent channel. The maniac is generally a monomaniac. Here we must remember the difficult definition of Christianity already given; Christianity is a superhuman paradox whereby two opposite passions may blaze beside each other. The one explanation of the Gospel language that does explain it, is that it is the survey of one who from some supernatural height beholds some more startling synthesis.

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