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(how to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference)

On the mortality of the soul

He who asked what happens to us after death has also asked whether I believe in the immortality of the soul. The short answer is no. A slightly longer answer would go something like this….

It’s a generalisation—we always have to reckon with the extent to which Jewish thought was hellenised in the period—but I think it’s correct to say that the immortality of the soul was a Greek contribution to the history of Christian thought.

20 Jun 2017

I happened to hear a point-blank sermon last Sunday about the judgment of God. The gist of it was that just as God punished sinful humanity long ago by means of a flood of water, he will again punish sinful humanity by means of a flood of fire. Come back next week for the good news.

One of the New Testament...

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15 Jun 2017

Tim Farron resigned yesterday as leader of the Liberal Democrats because the conflict between his evangelical faith and the values of a progressive liberal party had become unmanageable. His official statement can be read here.

During the election campaign he had struggled in particular to explain his...

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9 Jun 2017

To take my mind off the gloomy prospect of prolonged political chaos that we’ve woken up to here in the UK, I thought I’d write a quick response to the following question that was put to me—just to get things in perspective:

If I understand what you’ve written on your...

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8 Jun 2017

In yesterday’s post I touched on the parable of the vineyard in The Shepherd of Hermas Parable 5 as an early instance of an adoptionist christology. Mark Edwards drew my attention to a ZNTW article by Bogdan Bucur, which argues for a non-adoptionist reading of the parable and its...

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7 Jun 2017

One of the critical points at which a narrative-historical method and post-Christendom mission intersect, in my view, is the confession of Jesus as Lord. To say that Jesus is Lord is not the same as saying that Jesus is God, contrary to the arguments of many who support an early high christology. It means only that...

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3 Jun 2017

I happened this morning upon a short video in which the highly regarded New Testament scholar Ben Witherington talks about the fate of people who do not hear the gospel. He asks the question: Isn’t it inherently unfair that people should be damned simply because they haven’t had an opportunity to hear the gospel?...

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31 May 2017

Following my “Stories about Jesus: how they fit together, and what he means for us today” post a couple of months back, a missionary friend got in touch wondering what this all meant for the “job of the missionary” in the secular Western context. My typical way of answering this sort of question is to spend so long...

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26 May 2017

I’m afraid I missed it, but yesterday was Ascension Day. Dang. Ian Paul, however, reposted a good piece making the important point that whereas John’s Gospel makes the crucifixion the climax of Jesus’ ministry, the New Testament as a whole pursues the narrative through the resurrection to the ascension and...

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