The Christian Studies Blog


Dr. Mark Shipp

R. Mark Shipp is the Pat Harrell Professor of Old Testament at Austin Graduate School of Theology. He has the BA and MS in Ministry from Pepperdine University and the M.Div. and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. Mark is the author of Of Dead Kings and Dirges, an exegetical and historical study of Isaiah 14; Timeless: Ancient Psalms for the Church Today, vols. 1 and 2, the first “Psalter-commentary” on the book of Psalms; and, with Douglas Miller, An Akkadian Handbook, a handbook of the Assyro-Babylonian language. Mark is married to Sheree. They have two adult daughters, Sarah and Rachel.

Recent Posts

A Modern Parable: The Heron and the Osprey

Posted by Dr. Mark Shipp on March 28, 2017 at 9:30 AM

Once there was a young osprey. This osprey, also known as a fish eagle, was a handsome gray, white, and brown bird with speckled feathers. He went fishing one day at a pond where he knew there were succulent fish. As luck would have it, he spotted a large fish from the sky and diving down with feet outstretched, grabbed the fish in his talons. 

The fish was a catfish, 1 1/2 lbs., and it was too big for the young osprey. He struggled, dragging it through the water as he flew, and alighting, managed to drag it into the shallows and partially up onto the bank of the pond. Then the osprey began to dine on the fish.


Read More

Topics: Teaching Moment

The Masterpieces God Still Creates in the World

Posted by Dr. Mark Shipp on March 7, 2017 at 9:30 AM

God delights in calling into existence things that are not, and restoring hope to the hopeless. There was a man who was a well-known minister, charismatic and charming, who lived long ago in a land far away. Call him José. José was in demand for all the conferences, lecture series, and church retreats. He was an excellent speaker and well-liked.

But José had a secret drug problem.

Read More

Topics: Scripture Passage, Old Testament

Help Your Seminary Record the New Timeless CD

Posted by Dr. Mark Shipp on February 7, 2017 at 9:30 AM

After a couple of years hiatus, we will be recording a third Timeless CD at Lone Pine Studios in Orlando, Florida this February. 

The first CD, “Be Still and Know: Psalms of Trust, Comfort, and Hope,” was followed by “Where Are You, Lord? From Lament to Praise in the Psalms.” The third CD will focus on psalms of Torah, wisdom, and creation, including psalms 1, 8, 14, 19, 24, 32, 36, 37, 49, 53, 74, 78, and 112.

Read More

Topics: On-Topic Today, Personal, Old Testament

Is “Retribution” an Ugly Word?

Posted by Dr. Mark Shipp on December 6, 2016 at 9:30 AM

There are few examples of theological teachings in the Old Testament more difficult for us as Christians to understand and to preach to our churches than retribution. This is not a minor issue in Old Testament studies: Deuteronomy-2 Kings is largely a document depicting the adage “you reap what you sow,” and its theological introduction, the book of Deuteronomy, goes to great lengths to specify what will happen if people forsake the Lord and his commandments, and what will happen if they obey. In addition, several other Old Testament books demonstrate a heavily retributive theology: Proverbs and Haggai come to mind immediately, as does the book of Chronicles.

It is often observed that the book of Chronicles is replete with “retribution” passages. Retribution is simply recompense for behavior: good recompense for good behavior and bad for evil behavior. Retribution theology teaches “you reap what you sow.” The Chronicler believes in immediate retribution, however; that is, that there is usually an immediate connection between bad behavior and recompense.

The retribution passages in Chronicles are not so friendly to our contemporary way of thinking. Most moderns do not like to think in terms of consequences for behavior. There are any number of teens and young adults that have not learned this lesson.

Read More

Topics: Teaching Moment, Scripture Passage, Old Testament, Politics

Physics, Religion, the Media, and the Face of Modern Idolatry

Posted by Dr. Mark Shipp on October 20, 2016 at 9:30 AM

I have always had a fascination with astronomy, particularly with new discoveries in astrophysics. I watch all the astronomy programs shown on the Science Channel and read the popular Astronomy magazine. Generally speaking, the TV programs deal with recent astronomical discoveries and the interpretation of observed phenomena. I find these programs stimulating.

Read More

Topics: On-Topic Today, Teaching Moment, Philosophy of Religion, Science

Christian Studies
Scholarship for the Church

Sign up to receive blog updates. You'll always have the option to choose the frequency by which we contact you. Email for questions. Happy reading!

Subscribe to Email Updates

All Christian Studies blog comments will be moderated before posting. Please keep them respectful and on topic with the article's content.
The opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily shared by other authors or the position of Austin Graduate School of Theology.