Category Archives: Scholarship

In the (e)mail from @AccordanceBible, @ivpacademic’s “Ancient Christian Doctrine (5 Volumes)”

NA28 on AccordanceThanks to H at Accordance for this!

From the Accordance Website:

This exciting five-volume series follows up on the acclaimed Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture to provide patristic commentary on the Nicene Creed. The series renders primary Greek, Latin, Coptic and Syriac source material from the church fathers in lucid English translation (some here for the first time) and gives readers unparalleled insight into the history and substance of what the early church believed.

Including biographical sketches, a timeline of ancient Christian sources, indexes, bibliographies and keys to original language sources as well as the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed in Greek, Latin and English (ICET version), this series illuminates key theological essentials in the light of classic and consensual Christian faith and makes an excellent resource for preaching and teaching.

This module includes the following five volumes:

  • Volume 1 – We Believe in One God (Edited by Gerald L. Bray)
  • Volume 2 – We Believe in One Lord Jesus Christ (Edited by John Anthony Mcguckin)
  • Volume 3 – We Believe in the Crucified and Risen Lord (Edited by Mark J. Edwards)
  • Volume 4 – We Believe in the Holy Spirit (Edited by Joel C. Elowsky)
  • Volume 5 – We Believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church (Edited by Angelo DiBerardino)

You may also be interested in the 29-volume Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (ACCS Complete) and the 3-volume Ancient Christian Devotional (Ancient Devotional).

BTW, as of today, there is a 20% discount storewide.

This is what it looks like on my Mac:

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 9.26.04 AM


This is what it looks like on my iPad with 2.0 Accordance App:



I mean… how awesome is that!

on Christian Unity (webcast with @Enegerion)


Christian Unity Party
Christian Unity Party (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I made the announcement earlier, but tonight I will be on a webcast discussing/debating/trashing my opponent regarding Christianity Unity. You should be able to access it directly here or via Youtube (see the bottom of this post).

But for now, I wanted to lay out my reasons/goals/inerrant understanding of why I believe in ChristiaUnity (see what I did there) and then I will lay out how I envision this. This is only a brief summation of both precepts.

Theological Reasons:

I draw my desire/need/wish for ultimate Christian unity from three specific passages:

  • John 17. That is easy enough. This is the Johannine Community’s admonition to the early Church (including some (little g)nostic elements) to strive for Unity. I’ve lost about half of you right now. Let me put it another way. This is Jesus’s prophetic call for the future of the Church, Jews such as Ebonites and Gentiles such as Platonists to come together to understand more fully who He really is.
  • Ephesians 4–5.21. This is not so easy. This is Deutero-Paul speaking in hope to a wider Church. Indeed, most of Ephesians can be read in the light of a Church universal. Ephesians 4.12–14 deals with the goal of Church unity, that of living into who Christ really is. You should notice a theme here. Both John 17 and Ephesians 4 calls us to be unified in order to understand just who Jesus Christ is. I think when the Church was unified at the Councils, we grasped this.
  • 2 Peter 3.10–15. These remonstrances and remembrances tell us that we can hasten the Day of God/Lord with our unity.

I believe Scripture leads us to an orthodoxy. Indeed, the canon itself comes about because of orthodoxy, with the NT developed by and developing orthodoxy. In other words, we do not have the NT unless we have the early creedal/baptismal formulas. We have the later creeds because of the NT.

Caveat: I believe orthodoxy is a tenet of Christianity, but does not make one a Christian. I believe orthodoxy and doctrinal unity serves as a guide to strengthen us as believers in Christ and shows us to a better understanding, a fuller understanding, of who Jesus is. Because that seems to be our ultimate goal (a union with Jesus), then a guide is needed. 

Eschatological Vision:

  • Christianity unity is not about one Church ruling everyone. It is about one body working together. I believe we can see how well it has worked in the West with pretending the Creeds could serve as a way to keep us unified in mission. We have Anabaptists and others who eschew the Creeds while many in the progressive side cast out wholesale Church History has some giant secret Roman society conspiracy theory. Many on the right do the same, trying to rely only on Scripture as if it is a biblical precept. This is not about the World Council of Churches, either. This polity would take the framework offered by Rome and the East and make use of that, significantly.
  • The goal is doctrinal in nature, but with a generous orthodoxy. Look at John and the Synoptics. While they are similar, they are just as different as they are similar. This should allow for a generous approach to a few things. Look at Paul. He has different arguments, even with himself! Again, a generous orthodoxy, built on the Creeds. As it shows in John 17 and Ephesians 4, our unity is meant to bring us closer to God and to the knowledge of who Jesus Christ really is.
  • I look at the Catholic Church with its various orders. I look at Orthodoxy with its various ethnic rites. They share a common creed and goal, but approach it differently and even, at times, understand things differently. Yet, they exist as one. Can we have more (g)nostic elements? Sure. There are many mystical elements/orders in the Catholic Church. Can we have more rational elements? Sure, look East.
  • A united Christianity is a missional Christianity. Right now, so many of us are concerned with “church growth” (i.e., congregational quantity) that we are no longer looking outward. In the United States, denominations are growing by stealing members from other denominations, all the while, Christianity as a whole in the US is shrinking. A united Christianity provides us with more than enough evangelistic traditions to actually go and do and go and preach and go and serve. Together.

That should be enough for now. I’ll see you tonight. By the way, for the live webcast, you can ask questions.

This will be the direct video link:

in the (e)mail from @logos – The John Wesley Collection

I’m digital, baby – John Wesley

As many of us get ready for our Annual Conferences and then the General Conference, it would behoove us to go back and reread, relearn, or even learn the first time Wesley’s thoughts, theology, and heart. Granted, only his sermons and notes on Scripture are part of the Doctrinal Standards of the United Methodist Church, but I think the entire Wesleyan Corpus should help us grow as Christians and Wesleyans, even if they are not Standard.

So, that’s why I am beyond thankful Logos has sent me the collection of Wesley’s works (this goes beyond his sermons and letters, but into his works (letters) and journals:

The John Wesley Collection (29 vols.) contains all of his theological works, including the four-volume Explanatory Notes upon the Old and New Testaments, plus his journals, essays, letters, sermons, grammars, psalms, hymns, and addresses. Those familiar with the Thomas Jackson edition of The Works of John Wesley are aware they include some of his journals, but these are incomplete and missing large chunks of important entries—sometimes entire years are missing! The Logos edition of the John Wesley Collection (29 vols.) contains the unabridged and authoritative eight-volume journals edited by Nehemiah Curnock. Also included in this massive collection is a three-volume, in-depth biography on this extraordinary man of faith.

I cannot wait to dig into these works!

Interview with @JoshuaTKent, author of “The Witch at Sparrow Creek”

Full disclosure. I know Josh. He is an awesome guy, a great friend, and a brilliant mind. He is not a witch, however. Not that I know of. Josh is a new author with an exciting entry into a nearly forgotten genre. I hope you take the time to read the interview and then buy the book. The Kindle Version is coming. The book is available at the publisher here.

Official Description:

As a boy, Jim Falk watched helplessly as Old Bendy’s Men dragged his father into the darkness. Now, Falk is lured by strange dreams to finish the incomplete work of his father, which was to rid the land of evil. He is hampered by his fears and addictions, but he leans on his father’s former archivist, Spencer Barnhouse, to help him secure ancient secrets and weapons for the fight. His dreams of a strange redhead and a dark figure lead him to the town of Sparrow, where he encounters a magician, a pack of wolves, and shadowy things lurking in the forest. When the local preacher tells him of a witch in the woods, his journey takes an even stranger turn.

sparrow creekJosh, tell us something about yourself:

The middle school I went to had a tiny children’s library in it. The first book that I became really engrossed with was called UFO’s and Other Strangeness or something like that. It was a yellow hardcover with a line drawing of what people would later call “gray” aliens on the front. It was a compilation of stories from bigfoot to the story of Betty and Barney Hill to the Loch Ness monster. I must have been about 10 years old. I was really into the fact that the stories involved eyewitness accounts of unexplained events.

Who are some of your literary mentors?

There are a lot! I grew up reading Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Brian Lumley, Robert McCammon, Tolkien, Lloyd Alexander and really loved those choose-your-own-adventure books. Later I read a lot of poetry – I like Roethke a lot and got into beat poets, Burroughs, and later Richard Brautigan. More recently has been GK Chesterton, Lord Dunsany, Robert E Howard – one of the best new books I read was Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

Tell us about your book:

It’s inspired by supernatural tales from Appalachia, but it is set in a mythic place – I wanted to recreate a space and set a new cast and landscape for a supernatural adventure series. Since I grew up running around in the woods and hills of Ohio, it was a place dear to my imagination and ripe with really frightening stories of hauntings and monsters.

What’s it like to live in that world?

It’s fun! I hope that readers will experience some of that excitement.

What’s the best part about writing fiction?

There are a lot of rewards. I would encourage anyone to try it because I think it helps to exercise and expand your imagination. That’s important for kids and for adults.

Tell us about your your publisher

Hippocampus has been around for a few decades, they are smaller, but they have a solid following – their specialty is Lovecraft and Lovecraftian or Weird Fiction. They got interested in my stuffbecause it’s weird and because it’s been said to bear some resemblance to the writings of Manly Wade Wellman (who I’d never heard of) (

What’s next for you?

The main character of The Witch at Sparrow Creek, Jim Falk is meant for several more books, so I’ve already started on the sequel. In the meantime I am working on some short stories for competitions. I’ve also recently written a stage adaptation of John Campbell’s Who Goes There? which was the basis for John Carpenter’s The Thing. A theatre company in Cleveland is contemplating it for a fall performance this year.

Josh, thank you for your time and we wish you well on the book. Anything else you want to add?

Yes, visit my blog for updates and stuff also I am running a giveaway on Twitter right now for the novel if folks want to follow me @joshuatkent – thank you, Joel! It’s an honor and a privilege!

Timeline of Galatians from St. Irenaeus to St. Jerome

Saint Augustine of Hippo, a seminal thinker on...
Saint Augustine of Hippo, a seminal thinker on the concept of just war (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sorry for this, but I want to put it out there for a few reasons.

  1. It helps me in working through this dissertation thing so I don’t have to keep notes scattered around
  2. I’m asking for your help in finding anyone I have missed.

I am writing a section on Galatians in patristic thought, limiting it it c. St. Augustine (don’t worry, the “Sts” are dropped in the official document) because St. Augustine is the one I blame for changing a few things which leads us away from being able to read  better St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians.

Three early Christian apologists, one of them a saint, used Galatians but did not write a commentary:

  • St. Irenaeus (130–202, Lyons (modern France)) used it against Marcion while shedding light on budding theological developments, such as Mariology and atonement.
  • Tertullian (160–220, Carthage, northwestern Africa) uses it heavily against Marcion mainly because Marcion saw Galatians as the premier charter for his Christianity. I think Tertullian’s skills as a debater are masterful, and indeed he was a wonderful master debater as he allows Marcion is almost right in some of his interpretation but reminds the gnostic fellow St. Paul was among the Apostles and never separated, so to force a separation between them or between them and Abraham is to read it wrongly.
  • Clement of Alexandria (150–215, from Alexandria (Egypt)) uses Galatians only briefly to chide Marcion, but includes Valentinus as well. Clement, a wonder mind, uses Galatians to construct ethical behavior, argue that sex is allowable, and to place Greco-Roman philosophy on par with the Law of Moses, which is to say, they both led to Christ, who is the summation of both right philosophy and the Law.

You will note these three, while existing in three different geographical areas, all wrote concurrently.

Origen (182–254) is the first to write a commentary, but it is lost.

There are four commentaries, two by Church Fathers, one unknown, and one by a new convert, likewise coming to be around the same time.

  • St. Jerome (347–420) composes one (I haven’t read it yet, but early research says he preserves a lot of Origen’s commentary in his own).
  • St. Augustine (354–430)
  • Gaius Marius Victorinus, late 4th century. He converted c355, carrying with him his neoplatonic roots, something we see during this time.
  • Ambrosiaster (c.366–384). No one knows who wrote it, with it originally attributed to St. Ambrose.

I’ll post the unedited section later, when I am finished summarizing the commentaries.