Faith Formation and the Study of the Bible

I grew up in an average Christian home. My parents were believers, and this meant there was regular attendance of church services, mid-week bible studies, and of course, the mandatory family devotions which my father would lead. Most of the devotions which came either from one of those family devotionals that flood the shelves of... Continue Reading →

The Instability of Performative Masculinity

With a title like “The Instability of Performative Masculinity,” your interest is either going to be piqued or, you’ll quickly move on to something that doesn’t sound nearly so discombobulating! Hopefully, you’ll stay long enough to get stuck into a critical thought experiment. Gender scholarship is premised on the idea that gender is a social... Continue Reading →

Historical Criticism and the Bible

I was schooled in what is known as the historical-critical method of biblical interpretation. As an academic approach to the Bible, the method is interested in locating the text within and against the backdrop of its historical context. The meaning of the text, then, depends on reconstructing the historical situation that (likely) produced the text.... Continue Reading →

Thinking About the Bible and History

Having spent years teaching biblical studies to undergraduate students, I’ve learnt to identify some of the trigger points that are likely to be met with some resistance, especially from students with a conservative pedigree. One such trigger surfaces around the question of how we understand the Bible and its relationship to history—well, history as we’ve... Continue Reading →

Who Were the Sinners?

In a general way, the term sinner was used in the first century CE context to describe an individual who had broken the law or who had failed to keep it in a prescribed way. What we, as modern readers, sometimes miss, however, is that what was meant by the law was by no means... Continue Reading →

Reading Bodies

The practice of reading bodies, known as physiognomics, is an ancient one. It goes as far back as the Babylonians. As a practice, physiognomics finds its fullest expression in the period of the Greeks and Romans who produced numerous influential texts detailing how to read bodies. The ancients believed that the external (physical) gave access... Continue Reading →

Contested Masculinities

Here's an excerpt from my upcoming book, Contested Masculinities. In his book, Interrupting Silence (2018), biblical scholar, Walter Brueggemann considers the coercive forces that make their mark in both the ancient biblical text and contemporary society. These coercive forces—whether ancient or contemporary, religious or secular—are bent on silencing dissident voices. Their silencing is always in... Continue Reading →

World Creating Words

Our gracious and loving Father We confess that in our attempts to name you             We have sought to lay claim to you             We have, by our words, domesticated and tamed you             We have in our thoughts contained you                         Only, we are reminded that You are out beyond us,                                    Beyond our... Continue Reading →

Giving Verbal Witness to God

Reflecting on the Activity of God in Creating Israel gives testimony to a God who is known through his action. That is, Israel knows Yahweh, the covenant partner, through his activity and so Israel gives testimony to Yahweh through verbal sentences. One such sentence, worth pondering, is Yahweh, the God who creates. We all know... Continue Reading →

Patriarchy and the (Missional) Church

Introduction[1] A discussion about patriarchy and the church, missional or otherwise, feels like one of those crucial conversations long over-due. It’s a conversation that has played out in seminary lecture halls, in the heated debates at church synods and conferences, and the private discussions between clergy, female and male, over cups of coffee or glasses... Continue Reading →

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