In the fall of 1989, I began my freshman year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Like many freshmen, I was excited for the next chapter in my life, eager to explore the new opportunities and experiences that college had to offer.
Of course, I knew there would be challenges. College life would not be easy, especially for a Christian. But I had grown up in a solid Christian home, was taught the Bible from a young age, and was a faithful member of my church youth group. So I figured I was ready.
The problem stemmed not from what I was taught but … Continue reading...
Looking back on 2020, it seemed like all news was bad news. We moved from impeachment to the coronavirus to the killing of George Floyd to the presidential election to multiple church leadership scandals and back to the coronavirus again.
But sometimes it’s the little things that bring some hope and optimism when we’re feeling down. On that note, 2020 was the perfect year for the new show on AppleTV, Ted Lasso.
The comedy catalogs the journey of a warm-hearted American football coach, Ted Lasso (played by Jason Sudeikis) who is hired to coach a soccer team in the English Premier League—despite having never played (or apparently watched) … Continue reading...
OK, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that there may not be two more unrelated topics than the 2020 presidential election and the formation of the NT canon. Of all the things that we can learn from the trials and tribulations of this election cycle (and there are many), surely how the New Testament was formed is not one of them!
So, how in the world do these two things connect?
In brief, I think the presidential election cycle is a remarkably helpful analogy for understanding the different definitions of canon, and how those definitions help us understand the date of the canon. Let me try to explain.
When … Continue reading...
I recently received a question on Twitter about where in our patristic sources we see early Christianity mocked for being a religion filled with women. The short answer: lots of places.
But before we get there, we should begin by noting that early Christianity received this criticism precisely because it was so popular with women during this time period. Sociologist Rodney Stark estimates that perhaps 2/3 of the Christianity community during the second-century was made up of women. This is the exact opposite of the ratio in the broader Greco-Roman world where women only made up about 1/3 of the population.
This means that women intentionally left the religious systems … Continue reading...
Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
For the Lord will not
cast off forever,