Mike Cope's blog

Monday, May 17, 2004

In Jesus Through the Centuries, Jaroslav Pelikan passes along a favorite metaphor of the Church Fathers: the Gospels are a river in which an elephant can drown and a gnat can swim. Having taught "The Life and Teachings of Jesus" for several years at ACU and having just finished my first sermon series ever through John's gospel, I realize again how right they were! I think everyone has a favorite gospel. (Mine is still Luke.) I wonder what that says about us? What does it say about someone that they would choose Mt . . . or Mk . . . or Lk . . . or Jn?


  • Matthew can kick Luke's booty anyday. Luke and his Reader's Digest version of the Sermon on the Mount...

    Just wanted to be the first to christen your comment column. It always gives my heart joy to see one of my students succeed! :-)

    All my best from Atlanta!

    By Blogger Matt Elliott, at 5/17/2004 08:55:00 AM  

  • Matt -

    I am your dutiful, if somewhat technologically delayed, student. Finally, you've walked me through this comments thingee, and I'll leave it up until the "spiritual terrorists" I wrote about a couple days ago find it!



    By Blogger Mike, at 5/17/2004 09:14:00 AM  

  • I'm a Gospel of Mark man. My mystical muscles aren't yet developed enough to fully appreciate John.

    By Blogger Wade, at 5/17/2004 10:36:00 AM  

  • Mike, my name is Jon Owen. You don't know me, but who cares. I enjoy reading your Blog. I am blessed by your insights, but bad news...I like Fox News. I hope that we can still be brothers. I too am a fellow Blogger and am buddies with Matt. I'm glad that you were able to follow the teachings of the technological Rabbi and now have these comments. I just wanted to get my two cents in before the spiritual terrorist attack. Grace & peace to you friend,


    By Blogger Jon, at 5/17/2004 10:40:00 AM  

  • Mike,

    I really enjoy reading your daily blogs and was surprised to see the format change today! I hope that you get positive responses here that encourage you, rather than tear you down.

    Jenni Trietsch

    (I think my favorite is Luke - but my bible is more marked up in Matthew.)

    By Blogger Jenni, at 5/17/2004 11:10:00 AM  

  • Jon - I looked for a blogger block for comments by Fox News watchers and Yankee fans. :) Glad to have you and others reading. Wade, if this winds up taking more of my time it is YOUR (and Matt Elliot's) fault.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/17/2004 11:17:00 AM  

  • Mike - I'm glad you have comments available on your site now.

    My favorite is John - I've disagreed with Randy for a while thinking that John is much easier to present to a seeker than Mark is - for me.

    I love the tension of canibalism and Peter and John throughout the story. I love the way Jesus refuses to do anything without hearing from the father. I love the multifaceted messages in the open ended stories like John 4, 8, resurrection, commission, etc.

    I just love John mostly because it's so unboxable. It's too difficult to label one thing as the focal point of the book.

    By Blogger Jeff Jenkins, at 5/17/2004 12:17:00 PM  

  • Luke qualifies as my favorite, thanks to his left-brain oriented writing style. Crisp, well-researched, orderly apologietics in the rhetorical style of the day: thats what appeals to me.

    John - whose theology is steeped in metaphors of light and bread and shepherding - has always been an easy to read/hard to follow experience for me. John makes me work to understand what he is trying to say (the effort is always rewarding, of course, but it is work nonetheless). Luke spells things out in terms that are usually easier to follow.

    By Blogger Matt, at 5/17/2004 03:10:00 PM  

  • Groovy, fellow guacamole chronicle fans! My favorite is John's gospel. John speaks to the father hunger in my thirsty and hungry soul.

    By Blogger David Michael, at 5/17/2004 08:04:00 PM  

  • Kudos for the new look, Mike. Your blog is a blessing.

    I'm fickle when it comes to the Gospels. Some days I like Mark best. It's the oldest Gospel and it reads like a movie script, moving from one episode to another. I once heard Randy Harris say that 8:27-38 is the most important text for our generation. I would agree. I've also read that some scholars believe that Mark's Gospel is based on the sermons of Peter.

    Other days I like John for its uniqueness: Christology from above, the preexistence of Christ, Jesus as God's Word to the world, Jesus as utterly dependent upon and obedient to the Father, his prayer in chapter 17, etc. Luke and Matthew are good, too. I just can't make up my mind. Praise God that we have all four!

    By Blogger Josh, at 5/18/2004 05:44:00 AM  

  • Mike,
    I have to agree with you. Luke is my favorite. He is so physical. Matthew makes everything so spiritual (which is not a bad thing), but Luke brings it home. Matthew says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Luke says, "Blessed are the poor." I always hear sermons based off of Matthews version, but never on Luke's. Anyway, love reading your blog.

    By Blogger Gilbert, at 5/18/2004 06:00:00 AM  

  • Well, I am going to one-up Gilbert, I love the Gospel of John, the great interactions he has with the women at the well, the blind man in JN 9 and just it straightfowardness of Jesus was and is and always will be GOD!!!!!!!

    Also, Mike thanks for the great posts, I miss Abilene at times, in now I am in the minority, but even Abilene could be beautiful at times. More importantly I miss the beautiful people

    By Blogger Chad, at 5/18/2004 09:52:00 AM  

  • I think my personal favorite is Luke/Acts, second I'd rank Mark.

    This kind of reminds me of a question Dr. Oster (HUGSR)and I talked about. When students complain about the length of the final, he shoots back, "Don't blame me; I wouldn't have had a 27 book canon. I'd have gone for more like six." So I asked him which six.

    His were Luke/Acts (it's a 2-for-1), Romans,
    1 Corinthians, James, 2 Peter, and Ephesians. It's an interesting question to think of, though: which six and why?

    By Blogger Q, at 5/18/2004 11:25:00 AM  

  • You're kidding me, right? Rick (one of my all-time favorite professors) reduced the NT to six books and he still has 2 Peter? No 2 Corinthians? No Colossians?

    By Blogger Mike, at 5/19/2004 04:44:00 AM  

  • I don't have one favorite Gospel. I enjoy the different glimpse of Jesus each one gives.

    By Blogger Jason Retherford, at 5/19/2004 07:47:00 AM  

  • Well, I promised I wouldn't use his condensed canon as evidence at his heresy trial, but those were his calls. I think he opted for the first letter to the Corinthians over the second out of loyalty; he did write a pretty decent commentary on the book.

    Dr. Oster is one of my all-time favorite people. He puts up with my heresies pretty well, still trying to convince me I'm secretly orthodox.

    By Blogger Q, at 5/19/2004 07:51:00 AM  

  • I like Mark. Maybe its my love for storytelling and movies, I love the idea of a Mark movie that ends with 16:8. Women running from an empty tomb and fade to black. I love the immediacy. I love how it drives you toward the cross. I love how it puts you in this place where you have to deal with the implications and the question of "now what?"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5/19/2004 12:54:00 PM  

  • I like Mark. Maybe its my love for storytelling and movies, I love the idea of a Mark movie that ends with 16:8. Women running from an empty tomb and fade to black. I love the immediacy. I love how it drives you toward the cross. I love how it puts you in this place where you have to deal with the implications and the question of "now what?"

    By Blogger chrismith, at 5/19/2004 12:54:00 PM  

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