Links: 21 April 2017

Reconstruction of a Train Wreck: How Priming Research Went off the Rails | Replicability-Index. Interestingly, a Nobel Prize winner comments on this article (scroll down) and admits he was wrong to accept the assumptions of this research.

In the TANSTAAFL department: Paid Leave Means Women Pay.

The challenges private universities face in Europe: Hungary’s president signs law that could oust Soros-founded college.

I think I have a picture of Daniel with this sculpture: Sculpture “Juodasis Vaiduoklis” (“The Black Ghost”).

Arbitrage opportunities in sports: The NBA Player Who’s So Good At Taking Charges We Created a Stat For HimThe Save Ruined Relief Pitching. The Goose Egg Can Fix It.

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Best of 2016

I realized the other day that I never did a “Best of 2016” post for THTW. So, here are the Top Nine posts of last year. Better late than never… Continue reading

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Article in VT

My article on cultic centralization is now available on the VT website, and will be published in the next print edition:

Benjamin D. Giffone, “According to Which ‘Law of Moses’? Cult Centralization in Samuel, Kings and Chronicles,” Vetus Testamentum 67 (2017): 1-16.

I am especially grateful to Louis Jonker, Gary Schnittjer, and many participants
in the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (Atlanta;
November 2015) for their constructive comments on this essay. My research is
generously supported by the resources of Stellenbosch University.

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Links: 17 March 2017

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all! Continue reading

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The Portrayal of the Nations in the Book of the Twelve

This is a paper I wrote for an independent study with Fred Putnam on the OT Prophets in the Fall of 2009, entitled, “The Roles of the Gentiles in the Book of the Twelve.” Enjoy! Continue reading

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Theology that is Pastoral

“In modern times a rift has opened up between being a pastor and being a theologian, as if a person could be one without the other. While I recognize the danger of generalization, I detect today both a lack of confidence among pastors in the efficacy of Word and sacraments to effect healing and blessing and a failure among theologians to present the gospel in a manner that allows pastors to discern directly the pastoral power of the Word of God. Pastoral work is concerned always with the gospel of God’s redemption in, through, and as Jesus Christ, no matter the presenting problem that someone brings. Pastoral work by definition connects the gospel story, that is, the truths and realities of God’s saving economy, with the actual lives and situations of the people. In other words, pastoral work is at all points guided by biblical and theological perspectives, and these biblical and theological perspectives, properly rooted in the gospel of salvation, are discovered to be inherently pastoral.”

Andrew Purves, Reconstructing Pastoral Theology: A Christological Foundation (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004), xxix-xxx.

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At the Alma Mater

Recently acquired by the Masland Library at Cairn University: Continue reading

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March Update

From the Giffone Family


“YHWH has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” (Isaiah 52:10)
__________________
In November, we communicated with many of you that the door was once again open for us to minister at LCC International University in Klaipėda, Lithuania. We have been waiting to provide another update until there were more definitive details to share.
We are happy to report that our plans to return to LCC for the Fall 2017 semester have been confirmed. We are asking for your prayers, encouragement, and financial support as we prepare to return.
  • New responsibilities — LCC will be initiating a new Center for Faith and Human Flourishing, for which I (Benj) will serve as Director. The goal of the center is promoting academic research and application of the Christian worldview in all areas of human activity, including business, psychology, social work, government, etc. The academic VP and I are very excited about this new Center, which will enhance the university’s research activities in all disciplines. In addition to continuing my own program of academic research in Old Testament, I will be working to help other faculty members secure research grants, seeking grants to bring visiting faculty to LCC, and organizing conferences and events related to the intersection of Christian faith and liberal education.
  • Teaching Bible courses — The directorship will be a part-time role, so I will continue to teach courses for the Theology Department.
  • Regional ministry — My role as director will allow me more freedom to teach and minister regionally, including serving local churches through preaching and resource support. Additionally, I have been asked to teach a week-long Old Testament course in March 2018 for Zaporozhye Bible College and Seminary in Ukraine, in the MTh program.
  • Campus/local ministry — Corrie is looking forward to involvement with LCC and the community, as well: hosting students in our home, building relationships with other women from the local church and the community, and perhaps once again leading a choir or teaching music. Daniel and Elizabeth will be 7 and 4, and will probably attend primary school in Lithuanian.

One of the reasons for the research center initiative is to improve the university’s research output in advance of the 2021-2022 institutional evaluation by the Ministry of Education. Therefore, we are committing to serve in this capacity through 2022.

The university is able to provide partial funding for our salary, and so we will need to raise $20,000 per year for those five years.

Here’s how you can help:

Prayer

  • Pray for courage and strength for all of us as we make another challenging move.
  • Pray for comfort and encouragement as we continue to grieve the loss of Corrie’s father, Joe.
  • Pray for community and friendships (old and new) in Klaipėda.
  • Pray for Daniel and Elizabeth as they start school in Lithuanian.
  • Pray for all of us as we (re-)learn Lithuanian language!
  • Pray for spiritual growth as we learn to rely on the Holy Spirit.
  • Pray for the work of LCC, especially the students who do not yet know Christ.
  • Pray that God would provide all the funds we need for this endeavor.

Spread the word — Please share the news of our work with others who would be interested in praying for us and/or supporting us. If you think your church, small group, or a circle of friends would be interested in hearing about our ministry, we would love to present at some point–please email or call me.

Moving/storage — At some point, we will need help moving again! If you live in Southeast PA and have not helped us move at least three times, you are required to lend some muscle at a date TBD. Seriously, though, we appreciate all of you who have helped us move several times in the last few years. We may also need some additional storage space for furniture or boxes. If you have a dry basement or garage and can afford the space, please let me know.

Financial support — As stated above, we will need to raise a portion of our salary through donations. For more information on how to support our ministry, click here, or contact me directly.

We appreciate those of you who are praying for our family through this time of transition, tumult, and difficulty. God continues to be faithful.

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Christology in Second Temple Judaism

This is a paper I wrote in 2009 for a seminary course on Pauline Theology, entitled, “Christology in Second Temple Judaism.” I hope it is informative, but also a bit of a window into my thinking and interests eight years ago as a seminarian. Continue reading

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Allen on “Theological Babel”

“The great spiritual theologians such a Evagrius of Pontus, Gregory of Nyssa and Maximus the Confessor are ignored by most theologians and pastors. Have we utterly lost them, and many others, because of the rise in modern times of a secular mind that makes them appear old-fashioned? Has the progressive emergence of world culture made them seem provincial? Actually, it is not modern developments that have led us to discard a great deal of our heritage, but church teachings themselves.. It was my theological, not my secular, education that limited me so. I was taught a great deal about the sources used by writers of the Bible, for example—so much that I was afraid to rely on any verse because if I looked around, I expected to find some scholar or other who would say that it was a later addition, with the implication that it could not be relied upon. Both biblical study and theology were cluttered with so many options and so many issues that conversation in the seminary and other academic gatherings resembled the plight of people after the disaster of the tower of Babel rather than the deep communion brought by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.”

Diogenes Allen, Spiritual Theology: The Theology of Yesterday for Spiritual Help Today (Lanham, MD: Cowley Publications, 1997), 4.

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