But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

When deciding what to believe about the Bible, who should we listen to?

That’s a rather basic question, and I suppose there are many possible answers. We could listen to our friends—maybe a roommate or a co-worker.  Then there are family members, maybe our parents or siblings....

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Have you ever had a time in your life when you really (I mean really) doubted the truth of the Bible? Maybe you wondered whether everything you ever believed was a lie. Anyone who’s gone through such an experience, and come out on the other side, knows how much their spiritual health is tied...

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I am pleased to announce my new book has just been released: The Ten Commandments of Progressive of Christianity (Cruciform Press, 2019).

As most readers will know, I did a blog series on this theme a couple of years ago. Tim Challies, who runs Cruciform Press, approached me about expanding the...

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Tuesday, 31 December 2019 00:22

@RTSCharlotte 2019 Year in Review

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Well, it’s New Year’s Eve.  It’s the time of the year to be inundated with “Best of” stories and “Year in Review” segments, dutifully cataloging everything that happened in pop culture or politics.

But, what if a “Year in Review” was about...

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Bah, humbug.

That’s probably one of the most well-known lines in literary (and now, cinematic) history. Everybody immediately recognizes the curmudgeonly voice of Ebeneezer Scrooge as he pours cold water all over our Christmas spirit.

And his point is still made today by some, albeit in...

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Monday, 09 December 2019 05:38

How on Earth Did Jesus Become God?

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Two weeks ago, I posted my tribute to Larry Hurtado upon his death from a long bout with cancer. Since, others have offered tributes as well, including those by Chris Keith, Greg Lanier, Tommy Wasserman, John Stackhouse, Helen Bond, Michael Bird, as well as by Larry’s own Doktorvater, Eldon...

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I woke up today to the very sad news that my Doktorvater and friend, Larry Hurtado, had passed away after a long bout with cancer. So, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the impact he had on my life.

In the fall of 1999, I moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, to begin my Ph.D. work in New Testament...

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Next week, I head to beautiful San Diego for the 71st Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, the largest gathering of evangelical scholars in the world. The theme this year is “Christ in All Scripture.”

This year I will be delivering the presidential address at the...

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Monday, 28 October 2019 23:23

Is the God of the Bible a Genocidal Maniac?

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Armenia. Cambodia. Rawanda. Bosnia. Darfur. All well-known modern examples of genocide where entire people groups were wiped out (or almost wiped out).  These are awful tragedies, worthy of our sorrow and grief.

And yet, ask the critics, is the God of the Bible really any different? When the...

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Over the last year or so, I’ve been encouraged by the many different reviews of (and interactions with) my book, Christianity at the Crossroads: How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Church.  For a list of some of those reviews, see prior post here.

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One of the reasons I wrote...

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Ok, so we all know the main Bible verse about money: “The love of money is a root of all sorts of evil” (1 Tim 6:10).  In fact, we know it so well that we rarely let it sink in.image

If we ponder it for just a brief moment, we would realize that money, though it can be a blessing, can...

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In my most recent post, “Are Miracles Improbable? Rethinking What Makes Something ‘Likely’ to Happen,” I analyzed (and critiqued) the main arguments against miracles.  And, like any discussion of miracles, I felt required to mention the work of Scottish philosopher...

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Our world’s skepticism over miracles is nothing new.  Ever since David Hume, philosophers and scholars have been making the case against the possibility of miracles.

But, now things have shifted. Hume has been roundly (and decisively) rebutted and philosophers now realize that one cannot...

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OK, so conversations with non-Christians aren’t what they used to be. In years gone by, it seems you could just disagree with someone and everyone was fine with that. You could just shake hands and move on.

But now, in our tense cultural situation, disagreement is regarded as a personal...

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Over the last number of years, I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers.  The Apostolic Fathers are an informal collection of early Christian writings, roughly 95-150 AD, which include books like the Didache, 1 & 2 Clement, the Epistle...

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image One of the most common questions I am asked is whether I have introductory, lay-level material on the origins of the NT canon that people can use in their churches.  For small group Bible studies or Sunday School classes, most people simply won’t read Canon Revisited or any of my other...

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It’s that time of year again.

A few weeks ago, a new crop of seminary students began the grueling month-long experience of Summer Greek.   And, like all seminary students before them, they will begin to ask the question of why studying these ancient languages even matters. ...

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Wednesday, 31 July 2019 23:15

Was Early Christianity Hostile to Women?

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Since we live in a culture that is obsessed with gender identity and gender issues, it is not surprising to find Christianity on the receiving end of serious criticisms regarding its view of women.

Christianity–particularly if it embraces a complementarian theology–is viewed by many in...

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I love soccer.  And this Summer has been a great time to enjoy the “beautiful game.”  With the US Women’s team winning the World Cup (and the men’s team placing second in the CONCACAF Gold Cup) there has been a lot to watch.

But, in the Western world, sports are no...

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In the world of biblical scholarship, it has long been clear that there are two very different ways of approaching the biblical text.  And these different approaches determine whether scholars find historical (or theological) value in the words of Scripture.

On the one side is the...

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One thing that I have observed over the years is that major media outlets love apocryphal gospels.  Whenever the person of Jesus is discussed–usually at Easter and Christmas–there is always a discussion about how the real story of Jesus has been suppressed and can only now be found...

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It’s that time of year.  Most seminaries, by now, have had their graduations. Celebrations and congratulations have been passed around, and rightly so. Graduating is a big accomplishment.

And although seminary itself is quite the challenge, something more formidable (at least in terms of...

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In the ongoing debates about the reliability of early Christian manuscripts, and whether they have been transmitted with fidelity, it is often claimed that early Christian scribes were amateurs, unprofessional, and some probably couldn’t even read.

In Michael Satlow’s book, How the Bible...

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Are the NT manuscripts corrupted?  Have scribes irreparably changed the text?  Were Christian scribes competent to copy the text reliably?

How many “other” gospels were there in early Christianity? Were these gospel suppressed by “orthodox” groups? Were these lost...

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One of the most exciting developments over the last few years at RTS Charlotte is the increasing number of female students in our various degree programs. There is a vibrant community of women on campus led by our Community Life Coordinator, Mallie Taylor.

And these women are some of our best and...

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