For many decades, feminists have characterized the Old Testament’s teaching on gender roles in terms of patriarchy, the control and domination of the father in exercising an authoritative, if not oppressive or even abusive, rule over his wife and family. What is more, feminists have often alleged that the Bible is laced with a patriarchal bias that they must “uncover” by a hermeneutic of suspicion and correct with a sort of “affirmative action” through which women’s rightful place in Christianity and in the world is reclaimed, restored, and recast. But is the underlying premise of... Read More
Many years ago, I read Chicago pastor Erwin Lutzer’s little book Failure, the Back Door to Success. The title sums up the underlying message perfectly: while none of us welcomes failure, many times we must fail before we can succeed. In God’s terms, suffering and testing will often precede glory and success. No passage in the Bible drives this point home more poignantly than the opening verses of Isaiah 40.
The Priority of Failure: Judgment Comes before Comfort
“‘Comfort, comfort my people,’ says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is... Read More
Even in a day when dictionaries proliferate, the publication of the Dictionary of Biblical Criticism and Interpretation (ed. Stanley E. Porter; London/New York: Routledge) is a welcome development. The reference work features entries on major figures in biblical interpretation (e.g. J. Barr, K. Barth, F. C. Baur, R. E. Brown, R. Bultmann, O. Cullmann, J. Derrida, C. H. Dodd, J. D. G. Dunn, M. Hengel, G. E. Ladd, etc.) as well as on major topics including Biblical Theology (D. A. Carson), Early Church Interpretation (R. N. Longenecker), Greek Grammar and Lexicography (S. Porter), and Testament... Read More