Author Archives: Benj

About Benj

I’m a native North Jerseyan, living and learning in Eastern Europe…Old Testament professor, ordained minister, occasional liturgist…husband to Corrie…father to Daniel and Elizabeth…eldest sibling to three…uncle to Marshall and Leeland...son-in-law to Claudia.

Sermon/Devotional: Think Local

This is the video of a devotional recorded for our sisters and brothers at First Presbyterian Church of Endicott, NY entitled, “Think Local”; the text was Philemon 10–12. I plucked up my courage (or perhaps chickened out—you decide) and addressed … Continue reading

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Sermon: His Delight Is in YHWH’s Law

This is the audio (41.07, 56.4 MB) of a sermon preached at our Lithuania home church, Klaipėda Free Christian Church, on May 24. The sermon is titled, “His Delight Is in YHWH’s Law,” focusing on the character of Boaz. The main texts are Ruth 2:8-12 and 4:1-13. Continue reading

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Legaspi on the Academic and Scriptural Bibles

“I believe that the scriptural Bible and the academic Bible are fundamentally different creations oriented toward rival interpretive communities. Though in some ways homologous, they can and should function independently if each is to retain its integrity. While it is … Continue reading

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Sermon: “I Have Been a Sanctuary”

The human desire to commune with God is very powerful, and when sacrifice according to God’s law was not available, it was very painful. Many allowed themselves to be squeezed into worshiping God on their own terms, rather than according to God’s law. But other Judeans were faithful and accepted the promise of God’s continuing presence through this time of suffering, a presence revealed in ways that they hadn’t seen before, and trusted that he would eventually bring this time to an end. For these Old Covenant saints who were truly seeking YHWH God, this disruption was a time of “creative destruction” that stripped away many beliefs and practices, and allowed them to see just how big and powerful YHWH truly is. Continue reading

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Sermon: God Draws Near

This is the audio (38:34, 25.0 MB) of a sermon preached at our Lithuania home church, Klaipėda Free Christian Church, on March 29. The sermon is titled, “God Draws Near,” and the main texts are Numbers 5:1-4 and 9:1-14. Continue reading

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New Publication: “Meaningful Work and Human Flourishing”

I’m pleased to announce the publication of a handbook chapter that I’ve coauthored with Jon P. Radwan of Seton Hall University: “Meaningful Work and Human Flourishing: Communication Lessons from the Judeo-Christian Tradition.” Continue reading

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Sermon: The Book of Esther—Messy People, Faithful God

This is the audio (14:59, 20.5 MB) of a sermon preached at LCC’s International Christian Fellowship entitled, “The Book of Esther,” at our Sunday evening communion service on February 9. We read the entire book of Esther in a traditional way, with lots of cheering, booing, groggers, and stomping. Continue reading

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How Academic Research Supports Mission

Just about every December for the last few years, I have looked back over the paucity of blog activity in the calendar year, made some sort of apology to my audience (however wide or narrow it–or you–may be), and reflected on how very blessed I am as a professor to have so many outlets for creativity and thoughtful engagement. This year, nearly every post pertained to a sermon, a talk, or an academic publication. The one that did not–besides this one–hearkened back to earlier days when I would often share quotations from books that I was reading which were stimulating but too far above my level of full comprehension. (I’m much too busy and too prideful to do that, now–what would my students think if they realized I don’t understand everything I read?!) Continue reading

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Sermon: Aukštas Bokštas (Tall Tower)

This is the audio (37:44, 51.2 MB) of a sermon preached at our Lithuania home church, Klaipėda Free Christian Church, on December 8. The sermon is titled, “Aukštas Bokštas,” and the main text is Genesis 11:1–9, the story of the Tower of Babylon.  Continue reading

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New Article in OTE

My article, based on last year’s presentation at the international meeting of the SBL (Helsinki, 2018), has just been published in OTE:

“‘Israel’s’ Only Son? The Complexity of Benjaminite Identity Between Judah and Joseph,” Old Testament Essays 32.3 (2019): 956–972. Continue reading

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