Lucy Peppiatt on 1 Cor. 11 and 14

Lucy Peppiatt’s Women and Worship at Corinth (Eugene: Cascade, 2015) is a very good book. I don’t say this because I agree with the conclusions, although I do; I don’t even say it because Lucy is a good friend and a former student of mine, although she is; I say it because her book is comprehensively researched and carefully argued, and that combination is what makes a book ‘good’ in the academic world I inhabit. Lucy treats three difficult texts in 1 Corinthians: 11:2-16; 14:20-25; and 14:34-36. She proposes that they may be best read by assuming that in each case Paul is in part quoting his opponents’ views back at them. For this argument, she draws gratefully on Douglas Campbell’s major recent work on Romans, and his extensive investigations into the nature of...

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On repentance, forgiveness, and the Church of the Second Chance

My friend Natalie Collins wrote a piece a few weeks ago for the (excellent) preachweb.org site responding to an earlier piece by Martin Saunders; both reflect on how a preacher might deal with the simmering news story concerning the footballer Ched Evans, who has recently been released from prison on licence for a rape conviction, and is looking for a club to resurrect his career. He is (or was) talented enough that a number of clubs are tempted; his crime, his refusal to acknowledge his guilt, and his public lack of remorse, are together sufficiently sickening that the opinion of the public and (perhaps more crucially) that of a significant number of financial sponsors is set against at having him at any particular club. As a result a rolling story is being...

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Two new books on sexuality

I try to keep up with books addressing human sexuality from a theological/Christian perspective. The general flow of publications reminds me of an exchange from an old BBC Radio 4 drama: ‘He made pork pies the way Wagner wrote semiquavers.’ ‘You mean they were good?’ ‘Not often. But there were an awful lot of them…’ A minority of the books published simply repeat already well-rehearsed arguments and so contribute nothing to the debate; most of the rest could not be described anything like so positively. This is true on every side of the debate: much heat, little light, and less understanding tend to characterise contributions, which are nonetheless routinely praised to the skies around social media by the partisans of...

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Rutherford House Blog Competition

An announcement from the Research Committee of Rutherford House: The 2013 Rutherford House Edinburgh Dogmatics Conference will take place on September 2-5 (details here); the subject will be ‘The Doctrine of Scripture’. To promote engagement with the topic around and beyond the conference, we are pleased to announce a competition for the best blog post on the topic of the doctrine of Scripture published between now and 31st August; the prize will be six books from Rutherford House, likely to be proceedings of previous conferences, which feature essays by Bruce McCormack, N.T. Wright, Richard Bauckham, John Webster, and others (but we’ll negotiate with anyone who already has a complete set!) Rutherford House will feature links to some entries on its Facebook...

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Tim Bulkeley’s Not only a Father: an experiment in e-theology

Dr Tim Bulkeley, of Carey Baptist College, NZ, has recently published a monograph based on his doctoral work on naming God. Alongside the print publication, Tim has put the entire book up on a website, with the facility for comment and discussion attached to each paragraph. I am sure the web will change the way we engage with academic literature, but I haven’t seen a good example of that happening yet; Tim’s experiment is an interesting one which might help us explore one potential way forward. You can read the book and interact with it and other readers here - or buy it in a more traditional format here (Amazon.com – amazon.co.uk does not seem to have it listed...

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