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

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2 Corinthians 3:18: back to where I started What does Paul mean when he says: “we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image, from glory to glory” (2 Cor. 3:18)? Over the last couple of posts I have been tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of exegesis.... (2nd Mar. 2017 | 10 comments)
We all are being transformed into the same image—a correction (of sorts) In the previous piece on being transformed into the image of Christ, I included 1 Corinthians 3:18 in a wider pattern in Paul whereby conformity to the image of Christ means specifically sharing in his suffering and resurrection:And we all, with unveiled face, beholding (or reflecting) the glory of... (1st Mar. 2017 | 12 comments)
Who is being transformed into the image of Christ? Not me I’ve just got back from a missions conference at which the idea that believers in general and “missionaries” in particular are being—or should be—transformed into the “image of Christ” got a lot of airtime.I can see what people are getting at. The assumption is that Jesus represents either an ideal... (1st Mar. 2017 | 3 comments)
A pragmatic non-theory of the atonement The title of the previous piece (“The death of Jesus: not as difficult to understand as you might think”) was perhaps a mistake. I suspect that many people found my narrative-historical reinterpretation as baffling as the classical theories of the atonement, if not more so.In my defence I would say... (21st Feb. 2017 | 9 comments)
The death of Jesus: not as difficult to understand as you might think Peter Enns has written in his characteristically provocative style about two issues in the Bible that are really important but not at all clear.The first has to do with Israelite origins. We can be reasonably confident about the broad outline of Israelite history back to the reign of David, but... (17th Feb. 2017 | 30 comments)
Theology and history: is the dam about to break? Here’s one way of framing my “thesis” at the hermeneutical level—that is, at the level of how we interpret the Bible and make use of it as church.For various complex reasons the church is coming under pressure to switch from a theological way of thinking to what I think is most concisely and most... (13th Feb. 2017 | 10 comments)
A new Dead Sea Scrolls Cave and the narrative-historical method It appears that a new Scrolls Cave has been discovered at Qumran—the first new cave in sixty years. All that was found in the cave, sadly, were the remains of six broken jars, some fragments of parchment and papyrus, and a piece of linen. Any scrolls that might have been preserved in the jars were... (9th Feb. 2017 | 3 comments)
Calling on the name of the Lord Jesus I said I would look at the idea of calling on the name of the Lord Jesus in order to round off a little flurry of posts on the relation between Jesus and God in the context, particularly, of Luke’s narrative in Acts. The aim is neither to undermine nor defend Trinitarian orthodoxy. It is to try to... (9th Feb. 2017 | 16 comments)
Why talking to the exalted Jesus was not prayer After the death of Judas the disciples decide that a replacement must be chosen to bear witness to Jesus’ resurrection. Two men are nominated, Barsabbas and Matthias. Luke then writes:And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen (... (6th Feb. 2017 | 20 comments)
The virgin conception of Jesus and the christology of Acts In Acts Luke tells a story about the mission of the early church first to Israel, then to the nations. The risen Lord Jesus features prominently in this story both as the content of the church’s preaching and as one who is dynamically involved in the direction and oversight of that mission.Nothing... (2nd Feb. 2017 | 10 comments)
Does Luke present Jesus as God in Acts? Marc Taylor has taken issue with my argument that there is little scope for a “high christology” in Acts because the proclamation that Jesus is Lord is “accounted for almost entirely by reference to narratives found in the Psalms, in which Israel’s king is delivered by God and given authority to... (31st Jan. 2017 | 30 comments)
Modern Israel in narrative-historical perspective The question is put to me from time to time: How does the modern state of Israel fit into your narrative-historical schema? Does Israel still have a covenantal right to the land? It’s come up in passing, but I don’t think I’ve addressed the matter directly. Donald Trump’s apparent support for... (25th Jan. 2017 | 4 comments)
Is Jesus called “God” in Titus 2:13? There is a small number of texts in the New Testament that have been taken as evidence that in the earliest period Jesus was directly called “God”. John Tancock lists John 1:1; 20:28; Romans 9:5; Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1. I’ve discussed the two John passages and Romans 9:5 in other posts, though... (20th Jan. 2017 | 21 comments)
16 reasons for thinking that the conversion of the empire was at the heart of New Testament eschatology I suppose that one of the main oddities of my thorough-going narrative-historical reading of the New Testament, at least from a more or less orthodox evangelical perspective, is my contention that a significant part of its “eschatological” vision has in view the conversion of the nations of the... (18th Jan. 2017 | 18 comments)
Was the garden of Eden an “archetypal sanctuary”? I have to be a bit careful in critiquing John Walton’s thesis in his book The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate, because, as has been pointed out to me, it’s only a summary of his much more substantial argument in his Genesis 1 As Ancient Cosmology. I’m not sure... (14th Jan. 2017 | 22 comments)
Larry Hurtado’s (non-apocalyptic) Destroyer of the gods If we are going to read the New Testament as historical narrative, we have to have some sense of historical context. The church, on the whole, is not interested in historical context. The Bible is mostly treated as a self-contained, self-sufficient sacred text. In a recent comment Travis Finley... (12th Jan. 2017 | 7 comments)
“Jesus is Lord” before (and after) Trinitarian orthodoxy I have no problem with Trinitarian orthodoxy as the product of a post-biblical, post-Jewish, post-apocalyptic rethinking of the relationship between Father, Son and Spirit, in the context of the construction of a new worldview for the Greek-Roman oikoumenē. I think that was probably, like... (10th Jan. 2017 | 9 comments)
Talking Jesus: how does the Trinity fit in? Neil asks in connection with my post Talking Jesus: problems with the modern evangelistic paradigm: “how do you view the Trinity given your statement about the uniqueness of Paul’s encounter with the risen Christ and everyone else’s encounter with either the pre-risen Christ or the Holy Spirit post... (7th Jan. 2017 | 33 comments)
The Lost World of Genesis One is lost on me I have finally got round to reading John Walton’s The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate, and I have to say, I don’t see it.Walton’s central contention is that what we have in Genesis 1 is an account not of the creation of the material cosmos but of the inauguration... (3rd Jan. 2017 | 31 comments)
Born of a woman Why does Paul say in Galatians 4:4 that Jesus was “born from a woman” (genomenon ek gunaikos)? I argued in “Christmas according to St Paul” that the “sending” of Jesus was much more like the sending of the son to the vineyard in the parable of the wicked tenants than the sending of Wisdom into the... (24th Dec. 2016 | 0 comments)
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