Death, the Prosperity Gospel and Me – The New York Times   Recently updated!

Some Christians believe God rewards the faithful. So why did I get Stage 4 cancer? A powerful piece by Kate Bowler of Duke Divinity. She has literally written the book on the prosperity gospel and was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. She notes the irony of her having written a book about the gospel of […]

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Contemplation_MOMA

The Quiet Room   Recently updated!

When we arrived at the hospital to see Mack, he had been flown down from State College to Penn State Hershey Medical Center, a minister met us and took us to the “quiet room.” Ironic since it is a place for people to cry and yell. I knew what was wrong then, I knew what […]


“The Christian way to be ill” 3

I am reading various sources as I work on my book, “Beautiful and Terrible Things: A Biblical Theology of Suffering and Grace.” I came across a lecture at a PCA church on suffering that included this argument. The Christian way to be ill is always to give glory to God and self-searching. “Is God telling me […]

Focus or not.

SBL Statement on Public Statements & Academic Freedom   Recently updated!

Lately I have commented and criticized some of SBL’s recent statements and stances so it is only fair that when I agree with a position they have taken I should praise them.1 Today SBL sent an email regarding a position that was passed by the council in December 2015. (Some have suggested this is a […]


Writing Through Death – David Bowie’s Blackstar and Lazarus

Today, January 11, 2016, we woke to news that David Bowie had died. He had been battling with cancer for the last 18 months. I was a fan from the 80’s. His under appreciated album “Tonight” was highly appreciated by this brooding 18 year old. I guess I wasn’t a great fan though, because although I knew […]

Bowie

Toppled Cross

Grief and Grace

God does not cause the tragedy, but he is with us in the midst and aftermath.     Isa. 43:1 Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; […]


Why do we need to consider how many angels can dance on the point of a needle?  1

“The Lost Tools of Learning” is a wonderful lecture by one of my favorite authors, Dorothy L. Sayers. I particularly like this bit of clarification, one might say hairsplitting, as she addresses why logic and critical thought are important, even when applied to a purely theoretical question. A glib speaker in the Brains Trust once […]

Dorothy L Sayers portrait by William Oliphant Hutchison for National Portrait Gallery ca. 1950

A close reading of Ruth

RBL being put behind paywall 4

SBL members will have just gotten this email from Bob Buller of RBL. These sorts of decisions have to be made and I want to make it clear up front: I don’t think I am opposed to being behind a paywall.1 I mean, I might be opposed, in the sense of open access that I […]


Today is just like every other day.

It is the third anniversary of Mack’s death. He died in a helicopter as they were trying to save his life from the fast moving blood infection while getting him to another hospital a two hour drive away. I have never been able to thank the crew in person, but I know they did everything […]

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"Oh my gosh! Is that a...woman?!"

Boaz: Centrally Marginalized 2

  This was a paper originally presented at the Mid-Atlantic SBL in 2010 and was going to be part of an article on the character of Boaz. Now that the book on Tg. Ruth is complete, this will not be making it into an article and so I thought I would make it available here. You can find a companion “close reading” of the character of Boaz […]