Grant Osborne

AmberKris and I grieve today after hearing that my teacher and former colleague, Grant Osborne (1942-2018), passed away in his sleep last night.

We offer consolations to Nancy and to Amber and Susanne.

Grant, famous for his extensive handouts and dialogical classrooms, began his career in Canada and came to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 1977 when I was a student. I believe I was in the first class he taught, a class on the Gospel of Matthew. (Did I mention he had a few leisure suits?!)

Grant outlined in detail whole NT books, offered brief sketches of scholarly viewpoints and then usually turned to the “best” view. Jack Dean Kingsbury’s monograph on Matthew was recently in print and that book generated plenty of class discussions. Grant and that class inspired me to do my dissertation in Matthew studies.

Grant invited me to be his TA for a couple years and we had a habit of annoying one another: Grant didn’t care that his books were not all lined up to the edge of the shelf so I eventually got through all his shelves to tidy up his shelves. Which annoyed him. To annoy me back he would push a few books in or turn some spine up or pull a few out, and then say to me, “I feel more comfortable now.”

One of his famous handouts was nothing less than an outline of all the texts in the Bible on eternal security/loss of salvation. His big assignment one year for me was to rewrite and revise the whole thing and add to it some recent scholarship — and that exercise itself both was a deep dive into the subject and changed my mind on the topic.

Grant loved to teach and taught all over the world. He loved his family, he loved the Bible, he loved teaching the Bible, and he loved teaching the Bible in the church.

When I returned to TEDS to teach, first as an adjunct and then as part of the NT department, my natural alliances were with Grant. We had endless conversations about all the topics around TEDS and our classes and our mutual interests in the Gospels. Later, when I was at North Park, Grant and I co-edited The Face of New Testament Studies, which next year will be “updated” with The State of New Testament Studies. As I was the junior editor for Face, so I will be senior on the next volume, this time with Nijay Gupta.

Probably his best known book is The Hermeneutical Spiral, and I remember the stacks of books and articles he was reading when the book was in gestation. Grant had been turning his extensive handouts into commentaries, the most recent being The Gospel of John.

The last long-time I spent with Grant was one evening when both of us were teaching at Willow. I drove and Grant was my riding companion. A good long evening of chatting it was. I felt like we were back in his office chatting.

Grant, as many of us have known, suffered from asthma his entire life and has said the first thing he’ll do in heaven is take a deep breath.

Breathe in, brother, you’re in the presence of our glorious God!

Scientists tackle allergen challenge at ground zero – allergen-free peanuts, gluten-free beer

adjunct professor

COULD genetic mapping allow allergy sufferers to enjoy peanuts without risk of anaphylaxis?

That’s something scientists at the University of Western Australia hope could one day be a possibility, after completing an international study as part of a global research team decoding the genes of peanuts.

With allergies on the increase in Australia and globally, food producers are catering to a growing need for allergen-free goods as consumer demand rises.

UWA’s research points to a future where specially grown, allergen-free peanut crops could become a reality, opening the door to a potential new market of peanut products safe for those with allergies.

UWA adjunct professor Rajeev Varshney, who played a lead role in the study, says through mapping the genes of peanuts, along with other crops including chickpea, pigeon pea and pearl millet, the research team was able to isolate the specific genes which cause allergic reactions — sometimes life-threatening — for around three per cent of the Australian population.

“We identified some genes which are responsible for the allergen,” Dr Varshney told ABC News. Now that the genes have been isolated, the next step for the scientists is to develop a new strain of peanuts without those genes, which would then be allergen free.

MORE: Grieving mother’s petition for changes to allergen labelling laws

MORE: Clearer food labelling needed to prevent allergy deaths

MORE: Allergen food labelling failing, medical experts want government intervention

Gluten-free beer

Another top troublemaker for allergy sufferers is gluten, in particular for those with coeliac disease — an autoimmune disorder in which gluten causes damage to the small bowel — affecting one in 70 Australians, according to Coeliac Australia. But even for those with mild gluten intolerance, or for the growing number of consumers who simply perceive gluten-free food to be healthier, demand for gluten-free products is increasing rapidly, with the global market projected to reach $7.59 billion by 2020.

It’s no surprise, then, that food producers are scrambling to think outside the box when it comes to gluten alternatives.

What could prove a game changer in the beverage industry is a new barley-based beer, made with kebari — a grain grown in South Australia and NSW. It’s expected to hit the market next year as the first commercially brewed, full-flavoured gluten-free beer, produced by German brewer Radeberger.

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