What makes me tick as a scholar
From the day I entered college, I wanted to become a scholar--an evangelical Christian scholar. I get asked all the time why I don't focus my ministry more on real poeple and stop putting my energy into reading, writing, and thinking through theological and biblical issues on a level that the normal person can't understand. Here's the gist of my response. I include it here because it's a big part of what makes me tick.
I pursue scholarship because ideas matter. And influential ideas--those ideas that dictate human behavoir--often begin at the "scholarly" level and then trickle down to the common folk. Think about it. How many "normal" people have been influenced by Plato, Augustine, Anselm, Kant, Descarte, Marx, and _________ (fill in any number of influential philosophers or theologians). The fact is, most Chrsitains in the West are significantly influenced by these thinkers without even knowing it. So here's the point: knowing that ideas matter and that ideas begin at the scholarly level and then trickle down, this means that the church desperately needs evangelicals who are BOTH in touch with the common person and also able to interact with theological issues on the deepest level.
That's my heart. I want to bridge that gap. I want to interact with theological and biblical issues at the highest level (cause they'll eventially trickle down to the lowest level, in some form or another) and I also want to communicate to the average listener in the pew.
In light of this, the resources below (and on the sidebars) are mostly scholarly works that may seem irrelevant to the average reader, or impossible to read, but I pursued each of these studies with a passion for Jesus, who breathed out sacred words in Scripture for our life.
The Faith of Jesus Christ:
Exegetical, Biblical, and Theological Studies
Preston M. Sprinkle and Michael F. Bird (eds.)
This book, edited by myself and Dr. Michael Bird, contains various essays by many different scholars on a very important phrase in the Greek NT: pisteos Christou. The Greek words can either be translated as “faith of Christ” or, as most translations have it, “faith in Christ.” And the phrase occurs in several passages that discuss matters related to justification and salvation (Rom 3:22; Gal 3:16; Phil 3:9; and others).
Carlisle: Paternoster Press; Peabody, MA:Hendrickson, 2009
Law and Life:
The Interpretation of Leviticus 18:5 in Early Judaism and in Paul
This book is the published version of my doctoral dissertation. In it, I study the relationship between first-century Judaism and the apostle Paul’s understanding of salvation. As the title suggests, I do this by looking how Judaism and Paul interpret Lev 18:5, which was a “John 3:16-like verse” used by Jews in the first century, and quoted by Paul on two occasions.
WUNT 2.241; Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 2008
Paul and Judaism Revisited
This book compares Paul’s understanding of salvation with the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is a scholarly book that stems from my doctoral dissertation.
Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2013
Fight: A Christian Case for Non-Violence
This book examines what the Bible says about warfare and violence. Can a Christian use violence? Go to war? Kill in self-defence? I try to answer these questions and more in this book
Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2013