Saturday, 31 May 2008
Friday, 30 May 2008
Just what are the ladies looking at? What makes them go "ohhhhh!"
Here's the answer!
With already so many commentary series in the market, not to mention individual commentaries, is there really a need for a new series? What would justify another set of commentaries that would cause a strain on the budget of the libraries in the majority world (including the seminary that I am currently attached)?
One of the editors, Michael Bird, has this to say about the NCSS:
"The New Covenant Commentary Series (NCCS) is designed for ministers and students who require a commentary that interacts with the text and context of each New Testament book and pays specific attention to the impact of the text upon the faith and praxis of contemporary faith communities."
But would such a description adequately justify a new series? Would not the NIVAC series published by Zondervan fit the above description? Bird further provides 3 distinguishing features of this series:
"The NCCS has a number of distinguishing features. First, the contributors come from a diverse range of backgrounds in regards to their Christian denominations and ethnic background. Unlike many commentary series that tout themselves as being international, the NCCS can truly boast of a genuinely international cast of contributors with authors drawn from every continent of the world (except Antarctica) including North America, Puerto Rico, Australia, the United Kingdom, Kenya, India, Singapore, and Korea (my comments: hey, Malaysia is excluded! Mana boleh!! I noted that only 3 out of the 20 contributors are from the majority world. The rest are from the developed nations (mainly North America and I consider Singapore and South Korea developed nations). If it is truly to be a commentary that reflects the global church, I strongly believe that more contributors from the majority world where Christianity is not only growing amidst persecution, but is also a minority faith within a hostile environment, are needed in which their voices should and need to be heard by the developed and post-Christian nations. I think this better reflects the setting and circumstances of the early church. Aren't there scholars from the majority world who could also make significant contribution to this project? Just wondering out loud.). We intend the NCCS to engage in the task of biblical interpretation and theological reflection from the perspective of the global church."
"Second, the volumes in this series are not verse-by-verse commentaries, but they focus on larger units of text in order to explicate and interpret the story in the text as opposed to rigorous analytical approaches."
"Third, a further aim of these volumes is to provide an occasion for authors to reflect on how the New Testament impacts the life, faith, ministry, and witness of the New Covenant Community today. This occurs periodically under the heading of ‘Fusing the Horizons and Forming the Community’. Here authors provide windows into theological interpretation, application, and special emphasis given to spiritual, ministerial, and community formation. It is our hope that these volumes will represent serious engagements with the New Testament writings, done in the context of faith, in service of the church, and for the glorification of God. (my comments: Again, it is this very reason that I believe scholars from the majority world could make significant contribution here. Perhaps coming from Malaysia, I am a bit biased.)"
For a list of the contributors of NCSS, visit Michael's blog by clicking here.
Wednesday, 28 May 2008
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Loveday C. A. Alexander
Acts in Its Ancient Literary Context: A Classicist Looks at the Acts of the Apostles
Reviewed by Chrys C. Caragounis
Markus Bockmuehl and James Carleton Paget, eds.
Redemption and Resistance: The Messianic Hopes of Jews and Christians in Antiquity
Reviewed by Joshua Ezra Burns
Frances Taylor GenchEncounters with Jesus: Studies in the Gospel of John
Reviewed by John Painter
L. Ann. Jervis
At the Heart of the Gospel: Suffering in the Earliest Christian Message
Reviewed by Thomas W. Gillespie
John: The Maverick Gospel
Reviewed by Dirk G. van der Merwe
Terence C. Mournet
Oral Tradition and Literary Dependency: Variability and Stability in the Synoptic Tradition and Q
Reviewed by Robert K. McIver
Geert van Oyen and Tom Shepherd, eds.
The Trial and Death of Jesus: Essays on the Passion Narrative in Mark
Reviewed by Adam D. Winn
Gershom M. H. Ratheiser
Mitzvoth Ethics and the Jewish Bible: The End of Old Testament Theology
Reviewed by Walter Brueggemann
Gerald O. West, ed.
Reading Other-Wise: Socially Engaged Biblical Scholars Reading with Their Local Communities
Reviewed by Erhard S. Gerstenberger
Reviewed by Gosnell Yorke
Friday, 23 May 2008
Wednesday, 21 May 2008
Ethics in Light of the Resurrection - The Willson-Addis Lectures held Feb. 19, 2003 in the Paul W. Powell Chapel at Truett Seminary.
The Art of Reading Scripture Faithfully - delivered at St Peter's Anglican Church, Tallahassee, Florida, on March 26, 2006
The Problem of Interpretation - A lecture held at Seattle Pacific University.
How does scripture inform how we think about politics in a situation very different from that of the NT Christians? Listen to a discussion panel with Richard Hays, Richard Stubbing and Stanley Hauerwas on this topic.
Monday, 19 May 2008
Sunday, 18 May 2008
For details of this trip, please click here. For an idea of our itinerary, please click here.
Saturday, 17 May 2008
The making of ayam percik
Coming up next: My final reflections on our East Coast Trip.
Friday, 16 May 2008
From right: Dr Tan, Dr Kok, Rev Teo and Rev Tee.
We preached in the Kota Bharu Chinese Methodist Church, Kelantan Chinese Presbyterian Church and St Martin's Anglican church.
For the rest of my posts on our East Coast Trip, click here.
Thursday, 15 May 2008
During our recent East Coast Trip, I decided to pay a visit to my alma mater - Chung Hwa Secondary School. This is one of the biggest secondary schools in Kelantan.
This visit brought back many happy memories. It also brought to light some of my not-so-glamorous past to my colleagues.
I had never been a good student when it comes to languages. Learning Chinese was extremely difficult for me. On hindsight, I empathised with the teacher who taught me Chinese in school. He was so frustrated with me for not being able to grasp and follow his classes. As such, for many occasions, I was on the receiving end of his wrath. In one particular instance, he decided to punish me by sending me out of the classroom and forcing me to stand in the dustbin for not being able to answer his questions correctly.
I reenacted the scene for my colleagues in the following photo, standing next to a bin outside the location of the former classroom which had since been demolished and is now a school canteen.
To all our students who are now struggling with Greek in seminary, aren't you glad that none of you are made to do what I had gone through? There is still hope!!
Kelantan has a very small Indian community, estimated to be about 550 families. This group of community is very much neglected and marginalised. Yesudasan's church, Pusat Misi Immanuel (Immanuel Mission Centre), is the only Tamil speaking church in the entire state of Kelantan.
We had a good time catching up with Yesudasan and his family for mutual encouragement. They are in need of our encouragement and support, as this particular ministry is one that is lonely, difficult, and often not met with encouraging results.
For the rest of my posts on the East Coast Trip, click here.
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Gua Musang is a growing town. The limestone hills surround this town, giving it a very interesting character rather similar to Ipoh, the state capital of Perak.
Limestone hills surrounding Gua Musang
The Presbyterian church in Gua Musang, the only church in this district, was established during World War II. Despite having a small congregation of about 25-30, this is a rather vibrant and warm church. Without a pastor for many years, a senior minister from Wakaf Bharu travels to this church every week to minister to the congregation here.
The interior of the Presbyterian Church Gua Musang
From right: Rev Dr Tan Jin Huat, Dr Ezra Kok, Rev Teo (the minister from Wakaf Bharu who travels to Gua Musang weekly, Deacon Chua of Gua Musang church, Rev Tee and myself
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
Known as the Cradle of Islamic Civilisation, Kelantan has a population of approximately 1.5 million where the large majority are Muslims (over 94.5%).
Monday, 12 May 2008
After 5 days on the road covering a distance of more than 1200km, I arrived home late last night. It was a very tiring trip visiting, preaching and teaching in several churches in Gua Musang, Kuala Krai, Kota Bharu, and Wakaf Bharu in the state of Kelantan, and Kuantan in the state of Pahang.
I will post some photos and updates on the trip in the next couple of days.
Paul N. Anderson
The Fourth Gospel and the Quest for Jesus: Modern Foundations Reconsidered
Reviewed by John Painter
Belief and Cult in Fourth-Century Papyri
Reviewed by David Frankfurter
Michael Thomas Davis and Brent A. Strawn, eds.
Qumran Studies: New Approaches, New Questions
Reviewed by Heinz-Josef Fabry
April D. DeConick
The Original Gospel of Thomas in Translation: With a Commentary and New English Translation of the Complete Gospel
Reviewed by Stephan Witetschek
The Coherence of the Collections in the Book of Proverbs
Reviewed by Johann Cook
Reviewed by Jutta Krispenz
Sarah Malena and David Miano, eds.
Milk and Honey: Essays on Ancient Israel and the Bible in Appreciation of the Judaic Studies Program at the University of California, San Diego
Reviewed by Wolfgang Zwickel
Mikael C. Parsons
Body and Character in Luke and Acts: The Subversion of Physiognomy in Early Christianity
Reviewed by Pieter J. J. Botha
Reviewed by Patrick E. Spencer
Todd Penner and Caroline Vander Stichele, eds.
Moving beyond New Testament Theology? Essays in Conversation with Heikki Räisänen
Reviewed by Jan van der Watt
Richard L. Rohrbaugh
The New Testament in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Reviewed by Stephan Joubert
C. Kavin Rowe
Early Narrative Christology: The Lord in the Gospel of Luke
Reviewed by Christopher Tuckett
David T. Runia and Gregory E. Sterling, eds.
The Studia Philonica Annual: Studies in Hellenistic Judaism, Volume XVIII
Reviewed by Archie T. Wright
Faithful Renderings: Jewish-Christian Difference and the Politics of Translation
Reviewed by Cameron Boyd-Taylor
Brad H. Young
Meet the Rabbis: Rabbinic Thought and the Teachings of Jesus
Reviewed by Verlyn D. Verbrugge
Friday, 9 May 2008
Wednesday, 7 May 2008
I have always loved Fraser's Hill. It is quiet during the weekday, and the cool air is a real welcome from the heat in the city. We almost had the whole hill resort to ourselves when we arrived on Sunday afternoon. In fact, when we arrived at Pekan Bungalow, the caretaker was a bit surprised that we would choose our stay during the weekday. He asked us, "Why do you come up on Sunday instead of Friday?"
The view of the dam on the way to Fraser's Hill
The almost deserted dining room
Another view of the golf course from my room
Tuesday, 6 May 2008
Monday, 5 May 2008
Sunday, 4 May 2008
After coming back from Fraser's, I will be hitting the road again. This time, together with three of my colleagues from seminary, we will be visiting some churches in the East Coast states of Kelantan and Pahang. More updates on this later.