Humbled by these endorsements of my book

Writing a doctoral thesis is a journey through rough seas and dark lands. There are moments of oasis, of course, as insights emerge and connections are made. For me, there were also moments akin to worship. After all, I was rigorously studying Scripture while laboriously trying to put meaningful words to the page. One of…

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My PhD thesis… coming soon in SNTS

I brought home the bound copy of my doctoral thesis over a year ago just after my viva. When I placed it on the kitchen table—253 pages of A4—my wife made this observation: “That is the most expensive book we own.” So right. I have paid for many books in my life. Never will I…

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Community and Ministry in the Gospels and Letters of John

This Friday I am teaching at Cranmer Hall‘s “Explore Day,” from 10:30–4:00 (yes, there will be breaks in between, plus lunch!). The idea is to “explore” ministry-related themes in a biblical text (or collection of texts, as it were). Here is my outline for the day. If you are local and interested, email cranmer.admin@durham.ac.uk to…

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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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Incarnation: God as Tangible, Visible… & Kill-able

My kids want to see God.  They want to touch Him.  They want to hear His voice.  They want to feel His arms cradling and hugging them. So do I. Divine intangibility is an age-old problem for human societies.  One practical way to bridge the distance between heaven and earth is to craft an object…

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The Heartbeat of “Hopeful Realism”: Already… but not yet / Coming… and now is

The namesake of this blog is taken from a phrase my wife supplied as she carefully read through drafts for Faith Without Illusions.  Hopeful Realism is a perspective that holds rosy idealism and shallow optimism as incompatible in an ex-Eden world (hence, “Realism”).  But the perspective is “hopeful” because it holds that cynicism is incompatible…

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Johannine Scholarship: It’s Personal

My doctoral thesis at Durham University focuses on narrative and theology in the Gospel of John.  For the past decade I have been reading Johannine scholarship and attending the sections on the Fourth Gospel at SBL.  For the past few days, I have been reading through essays in What We Have Heard From the Beginning:…

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