Category Archives: Reflections

From Otterburne to the Four Corners of the Earth

While Providence Theological Seminary is located in the small town of Otterburne in rural Southern Manitoba, we do have students coming from all over the world.  The modular course I recently offered on the “The Holy Spirit and Last Things” included students from India, Myanmar, Ukraine, Brazil, as well as Canada.  I  recently discovered that one my students from another class was featured this week in one of Paraguay’s national newspapers.  For those who can read Spanish, here is the link: https://www.lanacion.com.py/pais_edicion_impresa/2019/03/25/mirta-una-mujer-indigena-que-se-proyecta-en-grande/.

 

Augustine on Authorial Intention in Biblical Interpretation

A significant strand within the discipline of biblical studies within modernity has leaned towards equating the “true meaning” of Scripture with the intent of the author.  Ironically, this emphasis on “authorial intention” undermines the Christian claim that the Scriptures are superintended over by the Holy Spirit.  For if the Scriptures are a gift that the church receives from the Holy Spirit, then the meaning of the texts can not be reduced to the supposed intentions of the historical authors.  Augustine, for his part, while not dismissing the importance of authorial intention does relativize it in relation to reading with the rule of faith.  Here’s how he describes how Christian interpreters should approach obscure or difficult passages: Continue reading Augustine on Authorial Intention in Biblical Interpretation

Advent Resources

With the first Sunday of Advent nearly upon us, I thought that I would go back through the archives and pull together some of the most memorable postings pertaining to Advent that have appeared on the blog.  In the days ahead, I will also be posting some Advent-themed quotations from Stanley Hauerwas which appear in Minding the Web.  Here are some of the notable previous posts: Continue reading Advent Resources

“Remembering Rightly: The Pastoral Dilemma of Remembrance Day” (5th Anniversary Reprint)

It has come to my attention that people have been searching for my 2013 article “Remembering Rightly: The Pastoral Dilemma of Remembrance Day.”  The article was originally published in Volume 5 (November 2013) of the online journal Missio Dei: Tyndale Seminary’s Journal of Missional Christianity.  The essay was by far and away the most commented upon article to appear in the journal.  It appears that the online journal is no longer active, so I have decided to make the article available here. Continue reading “Remembering Rightly: The Pastoral Dilemma of Remembrance Day” (5th Anniversary Reprint)

Responding to “A Plea for Pointless Preaching” – A Guest Post by Lissa Wray Beal

On Thursday, November 1, a surprisingly large and energetic group of pastors, professors, seminary students, and college students gathered at Providence to hear and engage in conversation surrounding my paper, “A Plea for Pointless Preaching.”  The paper was an abbreviated version of an essay that I wrote for Minding the Web: Making Theological Connections.  In the essay, I suggest that the work of “two Stanleys” – the evangelical mega-church pastor Andy Stanley and the theological ethicist Stanley Hauerwas – present two contrasting homiletical paths open to preachers today.  Since that volume will soon be appearing in print, I will not be reproducing the essay here.  However, my colleague Lissa Wray Beal, who served as the respondent to the paper, has graciously allowed me to publish her insightful engagement with the essay here on the blog. Continue reading Responding to “A Plea for Pointless Preaching” – A Guest Post by Lissa Wray Beal