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2006 October 23
by Mike

Early voting begins today. Go, Mel!

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I’m pretty sure every Cardinals fan around would gladly have taken one win and one loss in those first two games. Now it’s back to St. Louis with our best pitchers ready to go. I checked into game 4 tickets — but nothing even remotely affordable.

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And now a note to fellow Bible Geeks. This Sunday I’m beginning a series on 1 Corinthians called “One for All and All for One.” Here are the works that have been most helpful to me in the past and as I’ve prepared this time:

Special studies:
Margaret Mitchell, Paul and the Rhetoric of Reconciliation
Gerd Theissen, Social Settings of Pauline Christianity
Daniel Schowalter and Steven Friesen, eds., Urban Religion in Roman Corinth (with a great article by my buddy James Walters)

Also, the commentaries by Craig Keener, Richard Hays, Gordon Fee, and Ben Witherington. (I have Anthony Thiselton’s; I’m guessing it’s wonderful; but I haven’t really worked in it yet.)

27 Responses leave one →
  1. October 23, 2006

    What’s your verdict on Kenny Rogers “dirt clump” Mike?

  2. Paul W permalink
    October 23, 2006

    Relative to the “dirt clump”, it should be noted that the Cardinals (other than Pujols) are hitting something like .212 against left-hand pitching the latter part of the season. Thus, this was all just a ploy by Larussa to get in Rogers’ head.

  3. October 23, 2006

    In Sojourners we’ve started the I Corinthians study in anticipation of your series. I’ve consulted (thanks to Mark Love and Chris Flanders) some of the books you mention and found the vista fascinating!

    The sociological lens (i.e., class conflicts) on the book makes a lot of the random stuff going on in Corinth make sense. For example, I was unaware that the whole “stronger vs. weaker brother” issue regarding meat sacrificed to idols is best seen as a sociological rather than “spiritual maturity” clash. This also goes for the “waiting at table” problems. Are you planning to emphasize those social/class angles in the series?

    Anyway, our class is really looking forward to your series.

  4. October 23, 2006

    Theissen’s work makes the book come alive, doesn’t it Richard? Let me say this: it makes it particularly lively and timely. (I’m assuming 1 Corinthians is “fully alive” no matter what lens one is using.)

    Margaret Mitchell, who’s coming to deliver the Carmichael-Walling lectures at ACU in a couple weeks, has a challenging work, too. She’s attempting to show how 1:10 serves as a theme for the whole book. Feels stretched in a few places to me, but still — it’s an interesting attempt to show how chaps 1-6 relate to chaps 7-16.

    Chris — I don’t know about the SPOT on Rogers’ hand. Chris and I want to see him and Pudge both have decent series — especially Pudge, one of our all-time favorite players — even while their team loses. 🙂

  5. October 23, 2006

    Thanks for the recommendations on 1st Corinthians. I am looking forward to adding Keener, Hay’s and Fee to my library. I have found two books very helpful. I always have loved Leon Morris. His commentary on 1st Corinthians and Romans are awesome. Also 1st Corinthians -from a woman’s point of view by Len Rea is very interesting read.

  6. October 23, 2006

    If I was in Mel’s district – I would vote for him. He’s in a tough battle – go vote Abilenians, don’t assume anything.

  7. October 23, 2006

    Kent – Our district is in a win-win situation. Susan King is a wonderful woman. I know my wife and all other teachers appreciate the battles she fought on behalf of education.

    But Mel? One of the best men you’ll get to meet. An elder at University Church of Christ, a good dad and granddad, and a long-time prof at ACU. As chairman of political science at ACU, he knows the field of politics well (he’s often been used by tv stations as a commentator) — but he still brings fresh insights.

    I particularly like what he says about the budget as a moral document. Some radical changes are needed in Texas on behalf of those without a voice, and Mel is the kind of person I want involved in making those decisions.

  8. October 23, 2006

    Craig Keener- Didn’the used to host Talk Soup??? 😉

    But seriously, I’ve been wanting to read Richard Hayes for a while now. I would love to hear these lessons.

  9. Slater permalink
    October 23, 2006

    It sure would be nice to see a series with unbiased commentators. It’s really distracting when both of them have connections with the Cards.

  10. October 23, 2006

    Why do we feel the need to use the government to be the inbreaking of the Kingdom? Is our government not one of the principalities and powers just like any other government? Isn’t the governments job to protect the country at all costs, so how does a christian follow Christ in office when they are serving two masters?

  11. David U permalink
    October 23, 2006

    Moe: “All for one!”
    Larry: “One for all!”
    Curly: “Every man for himself”!

    Which words of wisdom have had the biggest influence on our fellowship, the 3 Stooges or Paul in I Cor. 1:10? Do we look and act more like the Stooges, or what Paul begs for?

    I wish I was there to hear your upcoming series! I should count it a blessing that I can get them in the CD form.


  12. October 23, 2006

    Slater – It’s on Fox. Therefore, it IS fair and balanced. The fact that Joe Buck’s dad was the Cardinals’ anchor forever and that Tim McCarver was catching for the Cards the last time they played the Tigers in the World Series is irrelevant. 🙂 (Note: Have you ever seen Terry Rush’s book Voice of Silver, Heart of Gold, which is about Jack Buck?)

    Justin – Excellent questions. I have great respect for the position you’re suggesting. (It’s a powerful influence in the early days of the American Restoration Movement.) However, I assume that Christ-followers can have an impact in the field of politics — just as they can in big business, law, medicine, insurance, etc. I’m struck by the powerful good done by people like William Wilberforce. Christians must be very careful, because it’s easy for the allegiance to state to take over the higher allegiance to Christ. Let me suggest Larry James’s blog (which I have linked and which I consider the most significant blog I read). He often writes about ways in which Christians can influence the government to protect those who are voiceless. Having said that, we need to keep reminding each other that our ultimate goal isn’t to make any one nation the greatest place in the world; it is rather to participate with God in the work of his kingdom.

  13. Buzz permalink
    October 23, 2006

    I still stand by my prediction – Cardinals in 6. As for the “SPOT,’ it probably would not have been noticed if TV hadn’t aired it, which opens up a whole other can of worms that I will not dive into right now. But to this veteran umpire, I didn’t see any difference in Rogers’ delivery after he washed the SPOT off. I think he was just “ON” Sunday night – spot or no spot.

  14. October 23, 2006

    I guess I just see problems with either side trying to use the government for their religious purposes. Whether its Republicans trying to ban gay marriage or Democrats raising taxes on the wealthy to pay for “social justice” measures… it just bothers me. Jesus never used force as a means to an end, and thats in essence what Sojourners and James Dobson wants to do… they use the sword to try and further their version of the Kingdom.

    Are both parties trying to do good? I would say yes, absolutely. But just as Jesus didn’t come in with a sword to take out the prostitutes, he didn’t chase the rich young ruler down and threaten to kill him unless he gave away all his money. Force can’t change hearts. If anything, it does the opposite. When we take control of the government and say “you have to abide by the teachings of Christ or we’ll throw you in jail (or kill you… which is in essence what laws come down to)” I can’t see how that furthers the cause of Christ.

  15. Nancy Kirk permalink
    October 23, 2006

    I may be an Abilene teacher, and I appreciate what Susan did while on the school board, but this is one teacher who is voting for Mel. He is a great listener and can hear both sides of an issue. He understands teachers having been one himself. GO MEL!!!!

  16. October 23, 2006

    Hey Mike,
    Just a comment with no emphasis either way, but Fox News carries the banner “Fair and Balanced” – but I don’t remember it being used by the Fox Channel nor Fox Sports channels. 🙂

    From a “I don’t have a dog in this fight” gal, IMHO, the first game comments were definitely slanted favorabley toward the Tigers and last night toward the Cards. But as I say, that’s just mho. 😉

  17. October 23, 2006


    Of Keener, Hays, Fee, and Witherington, which two are Cards fans? My opinion is that rooting for the Redbirds doesn’t get in the way of explaining 1 Corinthians. Preach on, Mike!

  18. October 23, 2006

    As much as I love ya Bro, I am rooting for the Tigers! Hope you are wearing your Cards Cap! I won’t be real disappointed if the Cards win it all – It’s just nice not having the Yankees around in post season play.

  19. October 23, 2006

    Ben Witherington’s Commentary on 1&2 Corinthians is very insightful and a must have book for a study on 1 Corinthians. Richard Oster’s College Press commentary is also helpful.

    One of the hardest things about teaching/preaching from 1 Corinthians is that what Paul was saying is difficult to get across to people. When you view the book in context of its purpose (to address division, etc 1 Cor 1:10) it makes Paul’s rhetoric difficult to work through with people. It is easy to preach/teach 1 Corinthians on a surface level but doing that just feels like it is totally devoid of what Paul was trying to get the Corinthians to see. There is one line Oster and Witherington both use that I found helpful, that Paul is trying to get them to “be what you are” – B.W. p.159

    If you have a moment, check out the post on my blog entitled “What Can We Learn from the Corinthians?” at

    I wish you God’s blessings with your series. There is so much in that book we all need to hear again.

  20. Trey permalink
    October 23, 2006

    Mike, the study on Corinthians that has impacted me in a big way is Robert Banks’ book, Paul’s Idea of Community. I’m sure you’re in need of another book to pick up, anyway. Banks’ book is aimed at an understanding of Paul’s ecclesiology, and he draws heavily from 1 Corinthians, especially.

    I pray your community at Highland will be enriched by Paul’s words in Corinthians.

  21. October 23, 2006

    I’m looking forward to getting a copy of both Thiessen and Mitchell. The latter intrigues me primarily because of the way it resonates with my gut-level sense of I Corinthians and, more specifically, because of its implications for how we ought to think, and how we ought not to think, when selecting the spiritual and rhetorical leaders of our Christian communities (compare, for example, the Moses of the latter half of Numbers 11 with the Paul of I Corinthians 14). Thanks for the references.


  22. Slater permalink
    October 23, 2006

    What I love about the whole “dirtgate” affair is that it was gone after the first inning then Rogers went on to shut them down for 7 more. Better check the water he used to clean his hands!

    Gotta love it!!

  23. October 23, 2006

    I really enjoyed Matt Dadd’s post on What We Can Learn From 1st Corinthians. It was a very good discussion.

  24. October 23, 2006

    Correction: Matt Dabbs. sorry.

  25. Danny Mercer permalink
    October 24, 2006

    I want a bumper sticker that says, “Give ‘Em Mel”

  26. October 24, 2006

    Ben Witherington is da bomb…..

  27. January 16, 2007

    Google is the best search engine

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