Canon Shots: “Five Books of Solomon”

At the Council of Carthage in 379, a list of books allowed to be used in worship (Mass, Divine Liturgy) was finally finalized (sorta). For the Old Testament, they included all of the books in the common canon (the Jewish 22), but likewise the “five books of Solomon.” This includes Proverbs, Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Wisdom of Solomon, and Sirach. In part, it reads: It was also determined that besides the Canonical Scriptures nothing be read in the Church under the title of divine Scriptures. The Canonical Scriptures are these: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua the son of Nun,


Canon Shots: is the bible a product of the Church? (Orthodoxy)

Last week, I posted one of my usual means of beginning a conversation. It does have a ring of truth to it, however. I do feel Luther exceeded his authority, and the rest of the Protestants merely followed, buoyed by selective use of (Western) Church History. We can really dig into this, if you want, but for now, I want to briefly focus on the Orthodox view of Scripture and how I find some compatibility with it. There are two statements from Fr. Demetrios Serfes I want to highlight: Strictly Speaking, there never was a “Bible” in the Orthodox Church.


The Wizard of Biblical Literalism

  I wanted to use this as a way to speak about biblical literalism – a poor term, separated from the first use of the phrase. We might call it “plain sense” or “common sense.”  You know the story. So you know this is not what L. Frank Baum meant. After all, we aren’t that far removed from it. However, if you are to read it later, without help of the movie, and you read it at face value ….  You get the point. Even in this story, a wooden reading of it produces something foreign to Baum’s intent. 


The Unsettled Christianity #Podcast, Episode 2

The Unsettled Christianity Podcast is NOW on iTunes, where you will now find it NOW. In this episode, Josh (author of The Witch at Sparrow Creek) and I begin with a brief discussion of apophatic prayer and then move into inerrancy. Now, some of you may not agree. I tried to be mindful of that — because I’m at a point in my own journey that I have no need to disparage inerrantists as I understand them BECAUSE I recognize the value of inerrancy.1 [tweetthis]The Unsettled Christianity Podcast, Ep 2 – Biblical Inerrancy[/tweetthis] However, I am not an inerrantist. As a Christian,

Inerrancy / Scholarship

Biblical Criticism and Inerrancy

What is biblical criticism Biblical criticism is the academic or scholarly study of the Bible using various tools and methods. One website defined it this way, “biblical criticism simply refers to the scholarly approach of studying, evaluating and critically assessing the Bible as literature in order to understand it better.” Biblical criticism is often used interchangeably with the historical-critical method. Biblical criticism does not start with whether or not the Bible is considered inspired or inerrant. It approaches the biblical text like any other text and begins asking questions such as who is the author? Who is the audience?


Reading Scripture without buckets.

For those following along, I wanted to post a better way than buckets  to read Scripture as a Christian. You can read it with the Church Fathers. First, begin here with a solid Wesleyan view. Christopher Hall has several great resources published via IVP-Academic. The fathers considered the Bible a holy book that opened itself to those who themselves were progressing in holiness through the grace and power of the Holy Spirit. The character of the exegete would determine in many ways what was seen or heard in the biblical text itself. Character and wise exegesis were intimately related.


Quote of the Day: Inerrancy v. Inspiration (Joel Stephen Williams)

From the conclusion of the matter: Positive statements about the usefulness of the Scriptures in instructing mankind for salvation affirm more about the Bible than a negative statement that it is without error. The Bible is not the ultimate end. Instead, it is a witness to God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. As John the Baptist pointed toward Christ, the Bible is a witness pointing toward God. A witness is not identical with that to which it attests. The Bible stands under the authority of God. By calling the Bible a witness, the emphasis is placed on God as