Jim's political articles that he invites you to read and respond to.
The latest discussions and topics that are being talked about.
Articles about Religion in general or recent religious news.
Check out Jim Reiher's published books.
...and for something a little lighter.
About Jim Reiher
We all know that there are two taboo topics we are not meant to talk about - Religion and Politics. But, they are two of Jim’s most passionate interests. He has been a candidate in various elections between 2004 and 2010, and he was a founding member and the first President of the Casey Multi-faith Network in 2007 (and remains an active member to this day). Jim has a Bachelors of Arts (double major in history) and a Diploma of Education, and also a Masters of Theology (with honors). In recent years he has had a number of journal articles (historical, biblical, and the gender debate) accepted and published after peer review.
This book is now my best example of how scholars go to the most desperate lengths to promote a view. It typifies how one can manipulate evidence and arguments, to promote a position, and the extremes of dogmatism that can be packaged as if it is even-handed research. The scholars who contributed to this volume know that there are many sound arguments that could have been raised against their material, but they do not tease them out with any genuine attempt to weigh the evidence. No, this book is dogmatic theology at its worst. It has an agenda to promote, and it pretends to be studying all the evidence in so doing. There are so many examples of how this particular book argues poorly, ignores evidence, and pushes a predetermined view that it is hard to decide which specific issue to highlight by way of example. But let me settle for their discussion of Junia(s) – the person mentioned in Romans 16:7. It is a manageable length in their book, allowing us to evaluate it in a relatively short article.
This paper will explore a number of possible reasons to place the composition of Philippians during Paul’s 2nd Roman imprisonment. Such a positionis almost universally ignored by New Testament scholars. It does not even get mentioned to get disqualified. It is just ignored. It is a blind spot in New Testament studies. Perhaps the weight of evidence will still disqualify this suggestion. But at least the debate should take place.
There are reasons to at least consider the possibility that Paul penned Philippians from the second Roman imprisonment. There is evidence that needs to be weighed.
Paul was in prison in Rome before his execution for an unknown length of time. We can and will speculate on just how long he might have been in prison during the 2nd Roman incarceration. But it is an extraordinary assumption to begin with: that we can be certain that Paul could not have written that letter from there.
The location of Paul when he penned Philippians, has been much debated. That debate tends to focus on either:
1) An early Ephesian imprisonment not mentioned in Acts, but hinted at in other references (1 Cor. 15:32; 2 Cor. 1:8; 6:5; 11:23).
2) The Caesarean imprisonment (Acts 23:23-26:32) or
3) The 1st Roman imprisonment (Acts 28:16-31)
This paper will explore arguments that can be used to speculate that Paul might have written this letter during his final imprisonment: the one that led to his execution.
‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’
Gordon Fee rightly sums up the major controversy about this passage when he writes: ‘Is the equity, or the oneness, of the three pairs – Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female – to be limited to the justifying work of Christ alone, or does it include other aspects of life in the believing community as well?’ These two key options are clearly at loggerheads: it is either talking about a wide application including both salvation and social relationships, or it is limited to a narrow theological application that restricts itself to our salvation alone. Every reader has to make a decision which ‘school’ they will choose to belong to.
The thesis of this paper is that there is an identifiable historical occasion behind the letter of James which can be supported by internal evidence. James, it will be argued, wrote for a purpose. In fact, he wrote for a pressing and urgent reason. The epistle is much more than just a collection of wise sayings, or pearls on a string lacking a compelling historical setting that caused James to write.
Some form critics will disagree. Dibelius, for example, wrote: "not every admonition in James is prompted by a concrete situation in the life of the church." He adds: "inferences cannot be drawn from the occurrence of isolated technical terms." His reason for this position is the genre he has decided for the writing: "relatively little material is ever found in paraenesis which makes possible such a delineation." This underlying assumption of Dibelius colours everything he sees in James. "All . . . judgements regarding the circumstances of the origin of James must take their departure from the paraenetic character of the writing."
Indeed, one has to be careful not to treat words and phrases in a vacuum. However, it is acceptable to study significant terms used by an author, in the context of the writing as a whole, and to see if the terms used can fit neatly into a certain historical occasion. The assumptions of Dibelius' paraenesis are highly questionable. From a redaction critical basis, the words in context must be investigated to see if they assist in identifying the occasion to the epistle.
I have put off writing this for a while... but you know what? It needs to be said. The following is a paper I have put together that explains why it is that some of us who call ourselves Christians (Christ followers) actually do support gay marriage. Happy for discussion so long as you actually read it first! :-)
"Never put off helping simply because you can't address every issue and every problem. Never put off helping because you can't help everyone who needs it. If everyone just did something, everything would get done. Do your part without regard for those with idle hands."
- Jim Reiher