p.ost

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

Salvation By Allegiance Alone (4): the best bit so far

From pre-existence and incarnation Bates works swiftly through “died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures”, “was buried”, “was raised on the third day”, and “appeared to many”, to the climax of the chapter and the best bit of the book so far: “is seated at the right hand of God as Lord, and… will come again as judge” (52, his italics).

The shape of the story supposedly reflects a reconstruction of apostolic preaching in Acts, though how he accounts for pre-existence and incarnation on that basis is not made clear. For example, Paul tells the Jews in Pisidian Antioch only that God brought to Israel from the seed of David a saviour, Jesus, whose “coming” was after the preaching-beforehand (prokēruxantos) of John the Baptist (Acts 13:23-24). The language as good as rules out any thought of pre-existence.

24 Apr 2017

I am in solid agreement with Matthew Bates that the central narrative of the New Testament—the narrative which makes sense of the “gospel”—has to do with the enthronement of Jesus as king by his resurrection from the dead and his ascension to the right hand of the Father.

Two areas of disagreement have...

Read more      
22 Apr 2017

After an exciting afternoon with friends at Antalya Zoo—a pair of lions shamelessly and noisily copulating in the long grass, a family of grizzly bears brawling over some obscure breach of protocol—it’s back to part two of my review of Matthew Bates’ Salvation by Allegiance Alone: Rethinking Faith, Works, and...

Read more   4 comments   
20 Apr 2017

Matthew Bates’ book Salvation By Allegiance Alone is further evidence that evangelicalism is wrestling honestly and constructively with the biblical, theological and practical deficiencies of the traditional understanding of gospel, faith and salvation.

I haven’t got very far into it, but I’m going...

Read more   2 comments   
15 Apr 2017

I visited the excellent Michelangelo & Sebastiano exhibition at London’s National Gallery yesterday as a personal Good Friday ritual. One of the works on display is Sebastiano del Piombo’s Christ Descends into Limbo, which depicts the crucified Jesus reaching out to Adam and Eve in a...

Read more   7 comments   
13 Apr 2017

The day before Good Friday seems a fitting time to launch a narrative-historical alternative to Tim Challies’ thoroughly Reformed Quiz on the Atonement. Well, not quite an alternative, more a commentary on the standard Reformed account of the significance of Jesus’ death. There are 33 questions in Tim’s quiz, so...

Read more      
6 Apr 2017

There is a struggle going on in the church—or at least in parts of the church—over how we should read the New Testament. Basically, as I see it, it comes down to this: do we read through the lens of later theological constructions (Patristic, Orthodox, Thomist, Reformed, Pentecostal, modern evangelical, etc.), or...

Read more   17 comments   
3 Apr 2017

At the heart of the critique of the traditional doctrine of (penal) substitutionary atonement is a moral revulsion against the idea that a good God would think it necessary to use violence to bring about the redemption of humanity. Chuck Queen, for example, whose argument against substitutionary atonement I...

Read more   11 comments   
28 Mar 2017

Having critiqued Owen Strachan’s defence of the atonement doctrine, it seems only fair to examine a thesis from the anti-substitutionary camp. My friend Scott pointed me to Chuck Queen’s combative essay on the Baptist News site: “It’s time to end the hands-off attitude to substitionary atonement”. It will do nicely...

Read more   7 comments