I hope 2011 has started well for you. If not, maybe one of these reads will brighten the day:

– Kurt Willems suggest a “core message” of the New Testament. If that task is not too great, Craig L. Adams attempts to define prayer.

– James McGrath asks why Josephus fails to mention Christianity as one of the Jewish philosophies.

– Fr. Ted Bobish says that God is a materialist.

– Roger Olson tells of an imaginary conversation between a Calvinist and a non-Calvinist. Also, he ponders whether or not American exceptionalism is idolatry.

– Daniel Kirk has begun reading Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics. As has Halden Doerge.

– T.C. Robinson shares a quote from N.T. Wright suggesting that there may be a “good hypocrisy“.

– Rodney Thomas has some criticisms for Jonathan Edwards. Also, he challenges the re-writing of Mark Twain.

– Jimmy Akin discussed whether or not Tertullian was a father of the church.

– Coptic Christians have been facing heavy persecution. Let’s keep them in our prayer as other Christians have been doing.

– Brian Fulthorp shares some good thoughts on the pastor-scholar (inspired by this article). Marc Cortez has a thought or two as well. Also, Marc’s Ph.D. dissertation is available online.

– Joseph Kelly reviews Reclaiming the Old Testament for Christian Preaching.

– Brian Fulthorp reviews T.F. Torrance’s Incarnation: The Person and Life of Christ.

– Nick Norreli reviews James K.A. Smith’s Thinking in Tongues. Smith shares some thoughts on his own book in response to Peter Berger.

– James McGrath responds to Nick Norelli’s earlier review of his book The One True God.

– Daniel Kirk announces that he will soon begin writing a book titled The Human Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels.

– Nijay Gupta discusses charting one’s writing career.

– Ryan Wettlaufer provides some thoughts on defending one’s thesis.

– There is a new podcast titled The [ad hoc] Christianity podcast that seems promising.

– The host of Philosophy Talk want to know your nominations for 2010’s most philosophical movies.