“Online Theology” vs. “Offline Theology”

I led a workshop over the weekend at the Christian New Media and Awards Conference in London.  My topic was “Online Theology”:  can we “do theology” online?  What are the advantages of doing theology via blogging and microblogging?  What are the limitations?  I also asked this: what sort of disciplines and skills should we embrace…

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New Testament Studies at Durham… New Strengths

In spite of the horrific costs of postgraduate study in the UK, I am so pleased that Durham is where I have ended up.  I am biased, of course.  But bias might actually be a criterion for truthfulness—sometimes the only accurate portrayals are not the “objective” views from outsiders, but the subjective view from insiders….

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Celebrity Culture, Speaker Circuit & Church: Meet John (The Baptist)

This post draws on last week’s “Celebrity Culture, the ‘Speaker Circuit,’ and John the Baptist.” In that post I struggle over being an author who believes deeply in his message to the church, but feels uncomfortable with the apparatus for getting messages out to churches: booking speaking engagements, beefing up a network, using social media…

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The Bible is Hard to Read. Very Hard to Read.

I will take up where I left from the last blog post on Celebrity Culture and the Christian “speaking circuit” soon, but I found a worth quote to post. I just preached at Kings Church Durham on the significance of reading and hearing Scripture.  I am also right in the midst of a 3-chapter section…

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Celebrity Culture, the “Speaking Circuit,” and John the Baptist

I am one of those tortured-soul types.  And this post is an invitation into one of my ongoing struggles.  (“Welcome all you suckers to Struggleville” as my friend Bill Mallonee used to sing). The struggle I am writing about here is more than a personal struggle.  This is a church struggle.  The issue is this:…

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Imagination & Biblical Scholarship

Since living in England, my family and I have had our imaginative capacities expanded when it comes to reflecting on history.  Bounding on castle grounds and clambering hillsides once ascended by Viking invaders or defended from Picts by Roman soliders… these multi-sensory experiences provide a landscape / cityscape / castle-scape for imagining the historical events…

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The Poet William Wordsworth on the Pastor-Theologian

I visited Rydal Mount a few weeks ago, the home of poet William Wordsworth.  My father-in-law was visiting us here in England, so we spent a couple of days in “the Lakes” (besides my father-in-law, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were apparently also sighted in the Lake District that week). Rydal Mount sits just on…

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Deuteronomy, the Devil, Jesus and my Kids

[Note: The following is taken from the draft of my forthcoming book ‘TheoMedia’…]   Jesus quoted Deuteronomy more than any other Old Testament book. I was recently reading to my two oldest kids from Jesus’ temptation scene in Luke’s Gospel and decided I would inspire them with this: “when Jesus was assaulted by evil, he…

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Jean Val-Saban and the SEC Dreamed a Dream: An Inter-marital Culture Clash

I’ve been taking care for all four kids since Wednesday while my wife visits Stratford-upon-Avon and London with her Dad.  Tonight, she is watching Les Misérables.   The girl deserves every second of leisure, and I am so pleased to manage the home for this 5-day span.  But today I am pretty worn down.  I’ve…

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On NOT being a Minister

It is Sunday morning, and I have no sermon to preach and no Bible Study to prepare.  I will attend church, but I will not be expected to serve Communion or set up mid-week pastoral appointments.  I have no mailbox to check in the church office.  I have nothing to print out, no copies to…

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