On November 21, I presented a paper at the ETS national meeting entitled, “Metaphor in the New Testament: Catching Up to the Conversation on Contemporary Metaphor Theory.” This arises out some of my dissertation work, which deals with the theory of metaphor and how to interpret certain metaphors in the Gospel of Luke.
The paper discusses the four main theories of metaphor that have been prominent from the time of Aristotle to the present day, with a particular focus on the current “orthodoxy” within linguistics pertaining to Conceptual Metaphor Theory and Conceptual Blending. I then discussed a few examples, such as the “fishers of men” in Matt 4:19 (hence the header image above) and atonement metaphors in Paul’s letters and Hebrews.
On Sunday, November 9th, I had an opportunity to preach at the evening service at Christ Church Cambridge. We are working through a series on the wisdom of the book of Proverbs, and I was assigned the task of preaching on the issue of work.
Continue reading New Sermon: Proverbs and Work
Christ Church Cambridge is hosting a variety of seminars (see full listing) this autumn, covering a range of biblical and church-related topics. I am leading a 4-week series covering how and why we consider the biblical books authoritative for faith and practice. Specifically, we will be covering the following questions, among others:
- What exactly is canon, and why does it matter?
- Who “picked” the books (if anyone), and on what grounds?
- Who decided we needed a canon in the first place, and who “closed” it?
- Why are some books considered part of the biblical canon and not others?
- Why do the Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox churches have different canons?
- What are we to make of all the other works that are roughly contemporaneous with the OT/NT but which were not received as canonical?
- How can we know we have accurate copies of the right books?
The seminar audios and handouts for each class will be posted below as they become available. If you would like the full set of teaching notes, feel free to email me.
Continue reading Autumn Seminar: Why These Books? Intro to OT and NT Canon
In March, I posted a presentation I had made to the Cambridge Graduate NT seminar on the theological importance of the Jerusalem temple in the Gospel of Luke. I had actually submitted the full version of that research to the Journal of Theological Studies (published by Oxford University) in mid-December 2013. The presentation I made in March was a highly condensed version. I found out a month or two after the presentation that the paper was accepted by JTS. That article has now been published at long last.
Continue reading New Article in JTS on Luke’s Temple Theology
Yesterday I was blessed with the opportunity to preach at Christ Church Cambridge (prior time here). One of the things about which we are most thankful at this church is the active interest the senior and associate pastors take in giving folks in my situation opportunities to develop pastorally through a variety of avenues. One of them is the occasional invitation to preach. I’m thankful for the chance to speak about God’s goodness and, hopefully, be a part of the Holy Spirit’s work in shaping and transforming lives of believers and non-believers in our adopted city.
Continue reading New Sermon: Psalm 112
Earlier today I had the opportunity to preach at Christ Church Cambridge, where we currently attend during our Cambridge sojourn. We have found a most welcoming home at Christ Church. The philosophy of the church and, in particular, the two ministers, is to foster and encourage the pastoral development of those in the flock who (like me) are pursuing a long-term calling to the ministry. So I was humbled and delighted to be extended the opportunity to preach, given that an expatriate with a Southern accent and a desire to keep serving in some way while abroad cannot necessary presume such chances will automatically be there. So I’m quite grateful, and I hope to be able to do so again.
Continue reading New Sermon: Mark 8:11–21
Today I presented a paper at the Cambridge graduate New Testament seminar entitled: “Yahweh Comes in the Side Door: The Temple Theology of Luke.” The paper focuses on the distinct way in which the gospel of Luke makes use of the Jerusalem temple as a way to present a certain theology about Jesus Christ. In brief:
It is well-known that the Jerusalem temple plays a major structural role in the of the gospel of Luke (and the book of Acts). The theological purpose of the temple in the gospel has received less attention, however. This paper traces the development of the temple motif in the gospel and presents a comprehensive argument that the author uses the temple setting to present a particular point about Jesus: namely, that his entrance into the temple before the passion week is the long-awaited arrival of the glory of Yahweh back to the temple.
Continue reading Paper presentation on Luke’s theology of the Temple
As I was researching various possibilities for the research proposal I ultimately submitted to various doctoral programs, I continued to come across the question about whether the quotation of Psalm 118:22 at the conclusion of the Parable of the Wicked Tenants was original to Jesus, or whether later Christians added it. The parable and Psalm 118:22 text appear in all three synoptic gospels as well as the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas, as shown in the table below (the psalm quotation is in blue):
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
“‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. 44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
10 Have you not read this Scripture:
“‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;
11 this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?”
17 But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’?
18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
(65) … Because the tenants knew that it was he who was the heir to the vineyard, they seized him and killed him. Let him who has ears hear.”
(66) Jesus said, “Show me the stone which the builders have rejected. That one is the cornerstone.”
Continue reading New article in JETS on the Parable of the Wicked Tenants
On Sunday, September 1, I had the opportunity to preach at the church where I grew up, Macedonia Moravian Church, in my hometown of Advance, NC. I selected Luke 20:9–19, the Parable of the Wicked Tenants, as my sermon text. As I mention in the sermon, it’s a violent parable that hardly cracks the top 20 of anyone’s list of favorite parables, but it carries a crucial message that Jesus decided to deliver during his passion week. It was convicting to prepare and convicting to deliver; as I told my wife, I was testing out the whole “a prophet is not welcome in his hometown” principle. Macedonia has been a special part of my formation as a child and youth, so it was great to be back there today before heading to the UK. The passage is also a key part of my dissertation.
Sermon audio available here. Other sermons available on my Teaching page.