Thirsting for Living Water, Mike Mantel

Mike Mantel, CEO of Living Water International

Dr. Michael (Mike) Mantel serves as the CEO and president of Living Water International, a global organization involved in integral mission in 18 countries. He is also the author of a new book entitled, Thirsting for Living Water (InterVarsity Press, 2021). The book details Mike’s own story of faith and how he experienced the “dark night of the soul” a few years ago and found his way back into the arms of a faithful God.  Mike’s story is not unique.  Many have experienced the absence of God during key trials of life.  But Mike’s story is one that gives hope.  In fact, Mike hopes to publish the stories of any and all who are willing to share them on his special website:www.thirstingforlivingwater.com.  To learn more about Living Water International go to www.water.cc.

To hear the podcast (20 minutes) click here.

The Stone Chapel is a podcast of the friends and staff of the Lanier Theological Library in Houston, Texas.  It is hosted by Dr. David Capes, Director of the library and former faculty member at Houston Baptist University and Wheaton College.  The purpose of the podcast is to bring to our audience great conversations from the world’s leading experts in theology, biblical studies, archaeology, Church history, the Dead Sea Scrolls, ethics, ministry, and a host of other topics close to the mission of the library.

The Lanier Theological Library is a magnet for scholars, church leaders and influencers.  For the last ten years, it has welcomed hundreds of academics and church leaders from across the globe for public lectures, study, panel discussions, consultations, and encouragement.

These podcasts as well as the Lanier library and the Stone Chapel are generously underwritten by Mark and Becky Lanier and the Lanier Theological Library Foundation.  If you have questions or comments, please be in touch: Email david.capes@lanierlibrary.org

After Doubt

Dr. A. J. Swoboda

Dr. A. J. Swoboda (PhD University of Birmingham), assistant professor of Bible, theology, and world Christianity, has written a terrific book for everyone who struggles with doubt.  It is called After Doubt: How to Question Your Faith without Losing It(Brazos Press, 2021).  He joins David Capes on “The Stone Chapel” to discuss what motivated him to write the book and what he has learned by walking with people who wrestle with doubt for the last twenty years.  Doubt and deconstruction are normal parts of the theological journey, he believes.  But ultimately, the journey does not have to end in “shipwreck.”  With the right guides and right disciplines, it is possible to stay on the journey with a stronger, more resilient  faith.  But there are no quick fixes or easy rides.  

To hear the podcast (22 min.) click here.

The Stone Chapel is a podcast of the friends and staff of the Lanier Theological Library in Houston, Texas.  It is hosted by Dr. David Capes, Senior Research Fellow at the library and former faculty member at Houston Baptist University and Wheaton College.  The purpose of the podcast is to bring to our audience great conversations from the world’s leading experts in theology, biblical studies, archaeology, Church history, the Dead Sea Scrolls, ethics, ministry, and a host of other topics close to the mission of the library.

The Lanier Theological Library is a magnet for scholars, church leaders and influencers.  For the last ten years, it has welcomed hundreds of academics and church leaders from across the globe for public lectures, study, panel discussions, consultations, and encouragement.

These podcasts as well as the Lanier library and the Stone Chapel are generously underwritten by Mark and Becky Lanier and the Lanier Theological Library Foundation.  If you have questions or comments, please be in touch: Email david.capes@lanierlibrary.org

Gospel Allegiance

Matthew Bates

Dr. Matthew Bates, (PhD Univ of Notre Dame) is associate professor of theology at Quincy University in Quincy, IL.  He is the author of several books and hosts a popular podcast along with Matt Lynch and others entitled “OnScript.”  Dr. Bates joins David Capes to talk about his recent book, Gospel Allegiance: What Faith in Jesus Misses for Salvation in Christ (BrazosPress, 2019).  Often the word pistis, translated most often “faith” in the New Testament, is misunderstood because our understanding of the gospel is deficient.  So, what is the gospel? “Jesus is the saving king.”  So, what is our response?  Allegiance to the king.

To hear the podcast (24 minutes) click here.

The Stone Chapel is a podcast of the friends and staff of the Lanier Theological Library in Houston, Texas.  It is hosted by Dr. David Capes, Senior Research Fellow at the library and former faculty member at Houston Baptist University and Wheaton College.  The purpose of the podcast is to bring to our audience great conversations from the world’s leading experts in theology, biblical studies, archaeology, Church history, the Dead Sea Scrolls, ethics, ministry, and a host of other topics close to the mission of the library.

The Lanier Theological Library is a magnet for scholars, church leaders and influencers.  For the last ten years, it has welcomed hundreds of academics and church leaders from across the globe for public lectures, study, panel discussions, consultations, and encouragement.

These podcasts as well as the Lanier library and the Stone Chapel are generously underwritten by Mark and Becky Lanier and the Lanier Theological Library Foundation.  If you have questions or comments, please be in touch: Email david.capes@lanierlibrary.org

How Paul Read His Bible

Paul was not trained in a modern seminary to read Scripture.  As a man of his day, he read Scripture like the rabbis he had heard in the synagogue or studied under in the academy.  Often the ways he reads and interprets Scripture seem odd to us.  Still they were the strategies his teachers and other biblical writers were using at the time.

Midrash is a term used to refer to how Jewish teachers approached and explained the biblical texts.  It begins with a healthy respect for the Scriptures as divinely inspired, as God’s Word to the world.  Yet as God’s Word the books of the Bible must do more than tell about what happened back then, they must be read against our current questions, crises and moments.  Whenever you hear a sermon about timeless truths or life principles from the Bible, the teacher is engaging in midrash.  One way to think of it is to say these ancient texts also speak to modern problems.rembrandt-saint-paul-in-prison

For Paul there are many ways of realizing the significance of the Scriptures in his day.  The allegory of Sarah and Hagar (Gal 4:21-31) is one of them.  Paul offers a figural reading of Abraham’s two sons, one born to Hagar, the other to Sarah, his wife.  For him, these two women serve as representative figures of the current problem Paul is addressing in Galatians.  Now, this does not mean that Paul discounted the literal, historical meaning—a memorable story of how God had been working out his promises to Abraham and his family—he just sees in the conflict within Abraham’s family a correspondence between the conflict that he was trying to work out among believing Jews and Gentiles in his day.

Like Hillel, one of the great rabbis of his day, Paul often made use of catch words to link one text to another so that they become mutually interpreting. You might call this “stringing pearls.”  In Gal 3:6-9 Paul mixes his own commentary (midrash) with Scripture:

Text (Gen 15:6) Abraham put faith in God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness

Comment           Those who put faith (in Jesus) are the sons of Abraham

Comment           Scripture foretold that God would makethe Gentiles right by faith

Text (Gen 12:3) in you, Abraham, all the Gentiles would be blessed

Comment          Those who put faith (in Jesus) are blessed with Abraham who had faith

The story of Abraham provides Paul with a Scriptural image for how to address the predicament in Galatia.  Abraham’s “faith” became the occasion for how the patriarch was reckoned by God as “right/righteous”; but what was true for Abraham is also true for all the sons of Abraham, defined by Paul as those, including the Gentiles, who put faith in Jesus.  As Paul continued to think through the story of Abraham, his mind shot back to the initial promise itself where God promised Abraham that he and his kin would become a blessing universally to all the nations/Gentiles.  These keywords within Abraham’s story (faith, right/righteous, blessing, Gentiles) became the pearls by which the apostle could string together his Scriptures to include this new chapter, the climactic chapter of God’s story in the world.

Morna Hooker on “the Faith of Jesus”

Earlier this year Michael Bird highlighted an article by Morna Hooker in the Scottish Journal of Theology: 

Morna D. Hooker, “Another Look at πίστις Χριστοῦ,” SJT 69 (2016): 46-62.

In that article she joins a chorus of scholars who agree that at key moments in his letters Paul relates that redemption is centered in the faith or faithfulness of Jesus.  This is a position argued decades ago by Richard Hays.  Now, I’m pleased to note, many scholars have begun to read Paul this way.  As Hooker notes, this new reading has deep implications for Paul’s theology.Morna Hooker

To read Bird’s blog post click here.

 

When I was working on The Voice translation of the Bible with Thomas Nelson, I made and won the argument that “faith/faithfulness of Jesus” is how these texts ought to be read on the fact that the King James Version (1611) got it right!  Here are two examples:

Romans 3:22-23:

22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

And Galatians 2:20:

20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Most modern translations take this as an objective genitive and render it “faith in Jesus” or “faith in the Son of God.”  In The Voice we translated those key passages as subjective genitives: Jesus exercises faith/ trust/ faithfulness (to God).  Hooker is correct that Jesus is clearly an object of faith in Paul; but in these and other key places when Paul is describing the essence of the gospel he is clear that our redemption is due to God’s rightness and Jesus’ faithfulness.