December 2011

Bill Murray again helps us understand theosis.  Importantly, he gets the key attribute of gods in the ancient world: immortality.  And it is this attribute that early Christians latched onto when discussing deification from the key text of Psalm 82:6-7: ‘I said you are gods and sons of the most High, but you will die like men…’.  Humans die but gods are immortal.  So when patristic writers like Irenaeus interpreted this passage, he read it through the lens of 1 Corinthians 15 and the like where humans become immortal through Christ and the Spirit and thus become gods.

HT: Scott William Bryant


The Ghostbusters weigh in on the correct answer about theosis.

HT: Scott William Bryant

Tim Tebow, ever the controversial QB, has usually received huge fan support from evangelicals for his outspoken faith. But apparently Tebow’s frequent religious references have incited (constructive) criticism from fellow-believer and NFL QB Kurt Warner. Here are some of Warner’s soundbites from a recent USA Today article:

You can’t help but cheer for a guy like that….But I’d tell him, ‘Put down the boldness in regards to the words, and keep living the way you’re living. Let your teammates do the talking for you. Let them cheer on your testimony.’

I know what he’s going through, and I know what he wants to accomplish, but I don’t want anybody to become calloused toward Tim because they don’t understand him, or are not fully aware of who he is. And you’re starting to see that a little bit.

There’s almost a faith cliche, where (athletes) come out and say, ‘I want to thank my Lord and savior.’… As soon as you say that, the guard goes up, the walls go up, and I came to realize you have to be more strategic.

The greatest impact you can have on people is never what you say, but how you live. When you speak and represent the person of Jesus Christ in all actions of your life, people are drawn to that. You set the standard with your actions. The words can come after.

I suppose I understand Warner’s concern. But how else and how long does Tebow need to “represent” Christ with his actions before he should speak out? The outward nature of Tebow’s faith has been well documented for several years now, and the actions represented in his recent come-from-behind winning streak has even won the respect of many of his critics, including teammates, coaches, opponents, and commentators. Beyond that, it seems that it is the media of all sources which has pushed much of the religious discourse surrounding Tebow and his recent achievements (see, e.g., here, or just watch ESPN today). So, what else does Tebow need to do before he should be vocal about his faith? Moreover, I’m confused about what Warner means by Tebow needing to be more “strategic.” I doubt that Tebow’s objective for giving thanks to Christ on television is to proselytize; rather, his references are so brief and generic that it seems to me he is just giving credit to the one who gives him the confidence needed to be successful in the NFL. And I, personally, have no problem with that. At this point it might even be stranger if Tebow said nothing about his faith at all.

This will definitely be an addition to my NT classes in the future.

I was just reading an old book review on a collection of published papyri (P.Mert. vol. 1) written in the middle of the last century and was surprised by what, in the mind of the reviewer, was considered back then to be such an expensive book that it was basically out of the price range even of specialists (in this case, papyrologists). The reviewer, Naphtali Lewis (1911-2005), said this in Classical Weekly, 44 (1951), 152-153, here 152:

Since its price places it beyond the reach of many or most of those who work with papyri, it is to be hoped that copies of this most useful publication will be found in all our large university libraries.

Now, this is a fairly common statement to find in a review on an over-priced volume, but what was the cost of the book? £12! After the initial shock, however, I quickly realized that the effects of inflation over the past half century should probably be taken into consideration. I did some research therefore and found out that £12 in 1950 was worth about $34, which today would be equivalent to about $283! So, I guess Lewis was right: while scholars today don’t normally make a huge amount of money (relative to other educated professionals anyway), the volume itself would certainly have been a bit out of my budget and probably that of most scholars. But that’s why we do book reviews, right Dr. Lewis?!

Today I was sent links to the video recordings of N.T. Wright’s lectures and Q&A sessions at Moody Bible Institute a few weeks ago. Here they are:

Parts 1 and 2 – How God Became King, followed by Q&A

Parts 3 and 4 – Simply Jesus, followed by Q&A

I have not watched them in their entirety, so I am assuming they are complete and run fine.