Over the last two years or so I noticed with appreciation some artwork done by students at Acadia Divinity College. But it was not simply paintings or drawings, but artwork done in their Bibles. I appreciated the images not only because I am a terrible artist, but because it displayed a wonderful integration of the arts with Christian devotion. So much of Church instruction on devotional time is simply "read and pray" or "use this new devotional book." But on display here was a practice that I think beautifully integrates using one's gifts as worship to God and using one's gifts to express devotion. As Creator and Designer of the universe — the one who stretched out the neck of the giraffe, made the rolly face of the Manatee, put a duck-bill on a Platypus, and put the brilliant colors in the skyline — I have no doubt that God delights in beautiful and artistic expression of His Word.
I have had a bit of a dilemma over the last few years. You see, those of you who know me know that I'm a bit of a tech geek, and make heavy use of my digital tools. But, at the same time, I've come to learn and recognize that writing things out by hand is actually much better for learning, comprehension, and retention. I have lived with this conundrum for a little while, and I tried when I am able to actually write things.
As a teacher and a scholar of the New Testament, I’m passionate about good resources for Bible study. The reality is that most of the best resources cost something, particularly the more in-depth resources. But, the good news is that there are still a number of great resources that don’t cost a dime.
I was very happy to receive word yesterday that my latest book Surviving and Thriving in Seminary: An Academic and Spiritual Handbook has been released into the wild! It can be purchased for Logos Bible Software or through Amazon (publisher page here).
Since the Christmas season is upon us, and I had the great pleasure of participating in my church's Live Nativity this past weekend, I thought I would blog some reflections on Luke 2.
I am teaching for the first time a class on the Gospel of John, and having a great time doing so. One of the first things I tackled in the class was authorship – namely, who is the Beloved Disciple, the author of the Gospel?
Over the last week I had the pleasure of receiving some sage career advice from Gary Burge. Now I don't know Gary Burge (though I hope to meet him some day), but his advice comes to academics through his recent book Mapping Your Academic Career: Charting the Course of a Professor's Life.
It has been two weeks since Faithlife launched Logos version 7, and I'm just now getting around to blogging about it! But given my love for the software, you can bet that you'll be hearing more in the days to come. The truth is that I don't get quite as excited as I used to, because I subscribe to Logos Now – so all of the shiny new features of Logos 7 have been released to me in six week cycles over the past 2 years. But it is still exciting, and I'm excited to talk to you about some of the new features in Logos 7. It is chalk full of awesomeness. Why do I say that?
During my time of study under Craig Evans, he flirted with the idea of a pre-70 CE dating of Matthew's gospel at various times in class or in conversation. During my undergrad, I had for the most part come to follow the standard post-70 CE dating for most of the Gospels, with Mark being the only serious consideration of a pre-70 CE Gospel.
In preparation for my first time teaching the Gospel of John at ADC this year in my new role as Professor of New Testament, I have been reading scholarship on the Gospel of John. In particular, I have been enjoying Paul Anderson's work on John. I may be wrong, but a preliminary looks suggests to me that he has published more on John than any living scholar…
When I hear about apps that might help me be more productive, I'm always eager to try them out. And while I may be a bit of an app junkie, it means that I come across some really good apps that I can pass along to others.
I have earbuds in my ears a lot. I love reclaiming time, or multiplying my time, by listening to something while doing something that doesn't require my ear attention. Yard work, driving, watching my kids play soccer, walking to work, exercising – all of these are times when I can listen to podcasts without affecting whatever else I am busy with
For regular readers of my blog you may have noticed the sound of crickets the past few months – my apologies. Life has been busy but I intend to get to more regular blogging.
There is no social media feed for scholars that apprise us of the latest research and scholarship. Unlike the 140-character world of Twitter and the YouTube hit sensations that are here today and gone tomorrow, scholarship and research is a slow and steady plod. And that is exactly how it should be. Publication and peer-review is where real advances are made in Biblical studies, not on Twitter, blogs, or YouTube.
I'll make a confession on behalf of all professors: we dislike poorly formatted papers. And while students may find it nitpicky, there are actually very good reasons for properly formatting an assignment. It allows the professor to focus on your content, rather than getting distracted by how presentation.
If you could sit down right now with a scholar you deeply respect, what would you ask? Now, before you start firing off theological, biblical, or exegetical questions that you can learn by simply reading their published works – what other questions would you ask?
As Christians we are people of the Book. And as my children grow, one regular habit I want to cultivate in them is Bible reading. We often read the Bible together at dinner time, as well as talk about what we learn at church. The number one way to encourage your kids to read God's Word is to model it yourself. If you are able, do your Bible reading is such a way that they see you doing it regularly.
Heads up – this is a completely unbiased post. Yes, I completed a PhD with a thesis on Matthew. Yes, my students often hear me say "Matthew is the best Gospel." But after hearing one of my former PhD advisors mention that Mark is his favorite (I'm talking about you Mike Bird!), I needed to set the record straight for everyone out there.
We all do it at some point – get off course. Whatever you might be working at or trying to work at, we get distracted and blown way off course. Perhaps it was a totally legitimate emergency. Maybe it was another important matter that required your attention. Quite often, though, it is us sabotaging ourselves. We either do it by convincing ourselves that something else is more important. Or we distract ourselves with YouTube or social media. Or we allow other people's priorities to supplant our own. We've all been there.
PDF continues to be one of the most versatile file types and one that I prefer when passing files back and forth. Saving invoices, webpages — pretty much everything can now be saved as a PDF. As you work with PDFs here are a number of things you should know and tips you can use.