10 Misconceptions about the NT Canon: #2: “Nothing in Early Christianity Dictated That There Would be a Canon”

Note: This is the second installment of a new blog series announced here.

Contemporary challenges to the New Testament canon have taken a number of different forms over the years.  For generations, scholars have mainly focused upon the problem of the boundaries of the New Testament. The perennial question has usually been “How do we know we have the right books?”  But, in recent years, a new challenge has begun to take center stage (though it is really not new at all).  While the validity of the canon’s boundaries is still an area of concern, the attention has shifted to the validity of the canon’s very existence.  The …

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Does a Bible-Centric Faith Make Christianity Anemic? Andy Stanley’s Latest Book

I recently received Andy Stanley’s latest book, Irresistible: Reclaiming the New that Jesus Unleashed for the World (Zondervan, 2018).  My review of the book will soon be available on The Gospel Coalition website.

For now, I thought it would be helpful to highlight the promotional statements on the cover.  By the looks of them, Stanley’s message in this book will be very similar to his controversial sermons over the last couple of years (see my prior interactions with Stanley, here and here).

Here are some of the statements:

Once upon a time there was a version of our faith that was practically . . . irresistible. But that was

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Book Notice: The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World

Just a couple days ago I received the new book by Bart Ehrman entitled, The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World (Simon and Schuster, 2018).  I had received a pre-published copy of the book several months ago and have been working through it.

The reason I have a keen interest in this volume is because it covers a lot of the same ground of my recent book which was released last year, Christianity at the Crossroads: How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Church (SPCK/IVP Academic, 2017).

Currently, I am about 3/4 of the way through Ehrman’s volume and plan to review it formally …

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Is the Bible Foundational to Christianity? Engaging with Andy Stanley

One of the most profound challenges for Christians as we live in an ever-more-hostile world is how to properly defend the faith against the incessant attacks against it.  And these attacks have taken their toll. We have seen far too many casualties over the years as people leave the church because they had doubts or questions that were never answered.

It is precisely this issue that is behind Andy Stanley’s recent sermon, “The Bible Told Me So” (preached Aug 28, 2016). Stanley, son of well-known Atlanta pastor, Charles Stanley, is the senior pastor of Northpoint Community Church in Alpharetta, GA.

Stanley’s concern in this sermon is for those …

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Brice Jones Reviews The Early Text of the New Testament

Over at his website, Brice Jones just reviewed The Early Text of the New Testament (Oxford, 2012), edited by myself and Chuck Hill.  In general, he offers a positive summary, “Overall, this book is an important addition to our field and thus is to be recommended to anyone interested in the text of the New Testament.”

However, Brice was critical of my own essay, “Early Christian Attitudes to the Reproduction of Texts,” arguing that it had a “theological agenda.”   Not sure what he meant by theological agenda, since he never gets specific about where I do this in the article.  He does, however, express disagreement over my analysis of …

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