bible

Thumbnail image for Duties New and Old

Duties New and Old

30 March 2011 This and That

On March 19th my son, Gus Howard Hebert, was born. Thanks for all of your well-wishes and congratulations. (Above is a photo of the little booger.)

My wife, Natalie, and I have been adjusting to our new family life. For almost nine years we have lived happily married and on our own. A year ago we acquired our dog, Maeby, and now we have a full-fledged family with a brand new little baby. In the last year we’ve gone from freewheeling to responsibility-laden.

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Thumbnail image for Ecclesiastes, Heraclitus, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Ecclesiastes, Heraclitus, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

20 August 2010 Biblical Studies

In Plato’s dialogue Cratylus, Socrates gives us one of Heraclitus’s most important ideas: You cannot step twice into the same stream. For Heraclitus, this idea epitomized his doctrine of flux — everything is constantly changing. Though it may seem as if you are stepping into the same stream a second time, so much has changed since you have stepped into it — you are feeling different water molecules, there are microscopic shifts in sediment, the temperature has changed by a thousandth of a degree, etc.

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Thumbnail image for <em>Parathēkē</em>: The Beautiful Thing Entrusted to You (Part Two)

Parathēkē: The Beautiful Thing Entrusted to You (Part Two)

31 March 2010 Biblical Studies

In a previous post, I made the point that the parathēkē (παραθήκη), the beautiful thing that God has entrusted to us (in the parlance of the epistles of to Timothy), is not necessarily the Gospel, but really a certain kind of doctrine or orthodoxy — right teaching. First, in order to understand this, we must understand the difference between Gospel and Orthodoxy or Gospel and Teaching.

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Thumbnail image for What’s Wrong with Systematic Theology.

What’s Wrong with Systematic Theology.

29 March 2010 Biblical Studies

Allow me to draw your attention to the period (.) ending the title of this post. Normally I would have a question mark (?) here, but I am making a grand statement! Yes, I think there is something inherently wrong with the idea of systematic theology.

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Awwww, Hell…Heresy!

24 March 2010 Ministry

Recently, I listened to a 2005 episode of This American Life called “Heretics,” an episode in two acts that follows the rise and subsequent fall of American pastor Bishop Carlton Pearson, an Oral Roberts protégé. After enjoying incredible success as an evangelist, Pearson’s community deserted him in the wake of his decision to start preaching a version of universalism that he developed called “The Gospel of Inclusion.” Pearson lit upon his new understanding while watching a television report about violence in Rwanda. During this report he claims to have had a conversation with God who told him that we’d all gotten it wrong.

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Thumbnail image for <em>Parathēkē</em>: The Beautiful Thing Entrusted to You (Part One)

Parathēkē: The Beautiful Thing Entrusted to You (Part One)

14 March 2010 Biblical Studies

Whatever your opinion of the authorship of the pastorals, there is no doubt that the letters to Timothy paint an interesting picture of discipleship for us. Looking specifically at 2 Timothy, we find a word that is not often used in the New Testament: parathēkē (παραθήκη) — “deposit; thing entrusted to someone.” As far as I can tell, this word appears only in these letters to Timothy. Check out 2 Tim 1.12 and 1.14.

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Turn:Serve:Wait :: Faith:Love:Hope

28 December 2009 Biblical Studies

Yesterday, Jack Wisdom preached a challenging sermon at Ecclesia. With his usual comedic bravado and bluster, Jack laid out Paul’s situation and the situation of Thessaloniki at the time of the writing of 1 Thessalonians. He then looked at 1 Thessalonians 1:2–10, focusing on three action verbs found in vv. 9 and 10: ἐπιστρέφω, δουλεύω, ἀναμένω — turn, serve, wait.

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From Ambiguity to Multiplicity

26 December 2009 Biblical Studies

In a previous post, I talked about the virtues of ambiguity. There I expounded our attraction to the unknown and how that unknown or unknowability causes us to continue to explore. As I read Westphal, I realize, however, that when it comes to interpreting the Word of God, many of us become scared of the unknown. We feel that the Bible should have a plain-sense, cut-and-dry interpretation and we should be able to know what it all means.

Isn’t this nonsense?

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Christian High School Bible Curriculum: A Proposal

20 November 2009 Biblical Studies

In a recent conversation with a friend, I started to dream about what a truly excellent high school Religious Studies curriculum might look like for a (somewhat) ecumenical Christian high school. After some poking and prodding, this is what I came up with. I think it’s interesting enough to post here. If you happen to […]

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The Wretched Beauty of Scripture

4 August 2009 Biblical Studies

We often refer to Scripture as “The Word of God” or more simply “The Word.” Here we have a tome that contains within it the very Word of God, the Word from John 1, the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us. However, like Jesus who took on the trappings of man, took on the limitations of humanity, humbling himself in order to make himself more accessible to us, Scripture too has been humbled so that we can understand it.

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