Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Derek Webb

I love Derek Webb. What do you think about this song?

There are rumors that his label felt the song to be too scandalous for release. As he often does, Webb uses some colorful language to make a point.

I agree with Jeff Wright's take on it.

By the way, I think I like the electronica direction Webb is going in. I love the folk stuff, but I think he pulls this off. And the album title--Stockholm Syndrome--if he means what I think he means by that it is one of the greatest titles ever.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

Gary and I are in a series on the Parables of Jesus. On June 28th, I taught on the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Afterward, several people independently told me, "I will never forget that sermon." No one has ever said that to me about anything else I have ever said. Someone else told me, "That sermon made me SO mad . . . in a good way."

I am trying something different with this sermon series--instead of doing my traditional three points and a poem at the end, I have rewritten the parables for modern ears. It just kind of makes sense to me to explain a story with a story. It's different (and it's not something I will do forever), but I like it.

You can listen to it, my sermon on the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, or any of the other sermons in the series here.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Evangelicalism and Higher Criticism of the Bible

What are your thoughts on "higher criticism of the Bible" (source criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism, literary criticism)? Is it anathema, or does it have its place in evangelicalism? Have you ever even heard any of these terms?

I am curious to read what your response is to the following "problem" in New Testament studies, dealing with historical agreement between the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) and John.

In the Synoptic Gospels, the cleansing of the Temple occurs at the end of Jesus' ministry, after his triumphal entry into Jerusalem for the last time (Matt 21:12–13, Mark 11:15–19, Luke 19:45–46). In John, the cleansing of the Temple occurs at the beginning of his ministry, right after the turning of water into wine at Cana (John 2:13–22). Which of the following "solutions" to this "problem" are you most comfortable with? Which do you absolutely reject?
  1. Since the Bible is inerrant, and since there are clearly contradictions in the timing of these two events, there must have been two cleansings of the Temple--one at the beginning of Jesus' ministry and one at the end.

  2. The Bible may be inerrant, but these two passages look like they are describing the same event. Perhaps John is not arranging his material chronologically, but theologically. The cleansing of the Temple occurs early in John, not because it happened early in Jesus' ministry, but because John the theologian wanted to make it clear from the start that Jesus was replacing the Temple.

  3. The Bible is not inerrant. These two stories are clearly two accounts of the same event, and the internal contradictions prove that there are errors in the Bible.
I am interested in your take on the proposed solutions to the problem, not because I want to advocate a position, but because I want to get a sample of how evangelicals approach the issue of higher criticism and "problems" in the Bible.