2 Corinthians 11:30-12:10 — Boasting in Weakness

April 16, 2022

Paul began his “foolish” boasting by identifying how, as a minister of Christ, he endured hardships, dangers, threats, and loss for the sake of the ministry of reconciliation. In effect, he boasted in his endurance, and through this endurance he suffered “more” (hyper) than the “super (hyper) apostles.” Instead of listing his credentials, he preferred […]


2 Corinthians 9:6-15 – Thanks be to God!

February 19, 2022

While the final appeal for generosity Paul makes is the inexpressible gift of Jesus, he also draws on numerous texts from the Scriptures to make his case: Proverbs 11:24; Deuteronomy 15:10; Proverbs 22:8 (LXX); Psalm 112:9; Isaiah 55:10; and Hosea 10:12. He assumes his readers are familiar with their Bible, and through the echoes of […]


2 Corinthians 8:16-9:5 – Blessing Rather Than Extortion

February 12, 2022

[This is copied from my book Searching for the Pattern, pp. 90-104. Due to a recent bout with COVID-19, I have not had the energy or time to do any original writing on 2 Corinthians 8-9. However, I think the following captures the essence of Paul’s theological interests in this section of the letter. One […]


2 Corinthians 8:1-15 – Grace, Generosity, and Gospel

February 5, 2022

[This is copied from my book Searching for the Pattern, pp. 90-104. Due to a recent bout with COVID-19, I have not had the energy or time to do any original writing on 2 Corinthians 8-9. However, I think the following captures the essence of Paul’s theological interests in this section of the letter. Two […]


October 31, 2017 –500th Anniversary of the Reformation

October 30, 2017

The Reformation in a nutshell: We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone to the glory of God alone as taught by Scripture alone. • Grace alone (sola gratia) means that God took initiative, supplies grace for every good work, and completes God’s work in us, and this includes a cooperative […]


Jacob Arminius: Theologian of Grace

February 1, 2016

Review of Jacob Arminius: Theologian of Grace, by Keith D. Stanglin and Thomas H. McCall.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.  This review first appeared in Restoration Quarterly 56 (2014): 258-259. This book is long overdue. While the shelves are filled with scholarly summaries of Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and Wesley, this is the first book-length […]


Luke 15: Jesus Seeks “Sinners”

October 8, 2013

The book unChristian alerted Christendom that it had an image problem with millennials. Christians are perceived as insensitive, judgmental and hypocritical. Some responses to the book  were skeptical and defensive. Others not only agreed that Christianity had an image problem but they went further. Christianity has a reality problem, that is, contemporary discipleship is often […]


Mark 14:66-73: Trial #2 (Peter’s Trial)

July 18, 2012

Peter followed Jesus, albeit distantly and cautiously.  Nevertheless, unlike other disciples (including the “young man”) in Mark’s narrative, Peter did follow. The weight of his earlier adamant insistence that he would die with Jesus as well as his natural impetuousness emboldens him to warm himself at the same fire where the guards, who arrested Jesus […]


Haggai 1:12-15 — “I am with You!”

June 7, 2012

Haggai’s first oracle, on August 29, 520 B.C.E., was directed to the governor Zerubbabel and the high priest Joshua as the royal (house of David) and priestly (house of Aaron) representatives of the people. Zerubbabel and Joshua, along with the “whole remnant of the people,” responded to Haggai by beginning work on the temple on […]


Soteriology: Union with Christ (SBD 13)

June 16, 2009

[Note: I am attempting to keep these SBD installments under 2000 words each, but that is–of course–quite inadequate for the topics covered. Consequently, these contributions are more programmatic than they are explanatory or defenses of the positions stated. You may access the whole series at my Serial page.] The Father elects, redeems and saves in […]