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

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A summary of James Brownson’s argument in Bible, Gender, Sexuality I mentioned that I have been working my way through James Brownson’s book Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships. I have looked at his argument that the “one flesh” motif in Genesis 1:24 speaks of kinship bonds rather than biological gender complementarity... (22nd Jan. 2015 | 0 comments)
James Brownson on “one flesh” and same-sex unions Moving on…. Yesterday I summarized James Brownson’s argument that when the author of Genesis says that a man leaves his mother and father and clings to his wife so that they become “one flesh”, he does not mean that they become a sexual union; he means that they become the basis for a new family... (16th Jan. 2015 | 3 comments)
Man and woman as “one flesh”: are we just obsessed with sex? I have been reading James Brownson’s Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships in preparation for a theological forum next week. The book basically attempts a re-thinking of “the moral vision regarding gender and sexuality that Scripture commends” (3)—a... (15th Jan. 2015 | 19 comments)
Guidelines for preaching: first get the biblical narrative more or less right Goaded by a comment to the effect that my Christmas story “doesn’t preach as well” as the traditional sentimentalized God-in-a-manger version, I want to try to develop in a few posts some thoughts about preaching from a narrative-historical perspective. The basic problem is this: the more we... (7th Jan. 2015 | 6 comments)
Robert Stein: Jesus, the Temple and the Coming of the Son of Man Last month Michael Bird posted a brief book notice about Robert Stein’s Jesus, the Temple, and the Coming Son of Man: A Commentary on Mark 13, which he describes as “the first real full-length treatment of Mark 13 by an evangelical since the time of George Beasley-Murray”. Bird thinks that the best... (4th Jan. 2015 | 4 comments)
Top 10 posts of 2014 These are the posts which, by my rough-and-ready calculation (allowing for the fact that some are older than others), have generated the most interest over the last year. It’s not a very meaningful exercise—there must be more exciting ways of ending the year—but, with the exception of number 8 on... (31st Dec. 2014 | 1 comment)
The glory of the builder of the house Tomorrow I plan to publish a list of the most popular posts on P.OST over the last year. But it was suggested to me by someone before Christmas that Hebrews 3:3-4 makes sense only if ‘the author is flatly calling Jesus “God”’. I want to get this out of the way first. So with the usual caveat that... (30th Dec. 2014 | 8 comments)
Happy narrative-historical Christmas everybody! At a time when the celebration of Jesus’ birth is being buried ever deeper beneath the landfill-waste of a decadent, hedonistic, secular western paganism, we are naturally anxious as the church to recover the true meaning of Christmas. What we expect to find, when all the modern stuff has been... (22nd Dec. 2014 | 5 comments)
What N.T. Wright does with the early high christology of Hurtado, Tilling and Bauckham Following the recent posts on “divine identity” christology, I have been urged to have a look at what N.T. Wright does with the argument in Paul and the Faithfulness of God. Wright starts by tracing developments in Pauline christology in the modern era (644-53). The two competing “orthodoxies” of... (17th Dec. 2014 | 5 comments)
Richard Bauckham: the throne of God and the worship of Jesus I couldn’t make up my mind what to write about this week. I was going to do something on the rather depressing Westminster Faith debate on the future of the Anglican Church that I attended last week in Oxford. I’ve also had it in mind to write a review of Emily Ackerman’s The Amazing Technicolour... (11th Dec. 2014 | 8 comments)
Gender equality in Christian ministry and leadership I said a couple of weeks back that I would post the document that Christian Associates, my favourite church-planting people, recently published on gender equality in leadership. It’s probably fair to say that we have held an egalitarian position in practice for years, without exciting much... (2nd Dec. 2014 | 7 comments)
My problem with divine identity christologies: Hays, Bauckham, Wright In the last two posts I suggested that the claims put forward by Richard Hays for “divine identity” in the Synoptic Gospels are problematic less for what they affirm—I am not arguing against Trinitarianism—than for what they obscure. Matt Colvin had this comment to make, and I think it merits a... (25th Nov. 2014 | 2 comments)
Richard Hays: how is it that Jesus gets to pour out the Spirit of God? Another questionable line of interpretation, if I may make so bold…. Jesus says to his disciples, “I will give you a mouth and a wisdom that none of those who oppose you will be able to stand against or contradict” (Lk. 21:14-15). Since his imminent death is in view, he must mean that he will have... (21st Nov. 2014 | 9 comments)
Richard Hays and the God who walks on the sea People who read this blog regularly will know that I am generally rather sceptical about claims that the writers of the Synoptic Gospels—Matthew, Mark and Luke—intended to present Jesus as God. See, for example, “Jesus as Lord in Mark” or “Simon Gathercole’s argument about pre-existence and divine... (20th Nov. 2014 | 9 comments)
Why I love Christian Associates, etc. I have been involved with Christian Associates in one capacity or another—as a pastor, inept church-planter, teacher—for the last twenty years or so. I love the people, I love the organization, I love its vision for starting imaginative new communities of faith in a difficult secular environment,... (18th Nov. 2014 | 0 comments)
Resolving the tension between wrath and love by means of diagrams Following on from the previous post on how to sing about the wrath of God, here are some simple diagrams to explain the hermeneutics involved. 1. There is a tension between two understandings of the cross. The rigorous conservative/Reformed folk want to sing about the wrath of God being satisfied... (12th Nov. 2014 | 19 comments)
And on the cross where Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied… I started writing this on Sunday morning before going off to church. It’s a reflection on a piece by Roger Olson about the difficulties many Christians have in using the language of divine wrath. He had come across a revised version of the song “In Christ Alone”, by Getty and Townend, in which the... (10th Nov. 2014 | 9 comments)
Why the Pharisee (probably) did not go home justified Two men go to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee thanks God that he is “not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector”. He fasts twice a week, he tithes his income. The wretched tax collector, on the other hand, says... (6th Nov. 2014 | 5 comments)
Why did the risen Jesus send the apostles out to make disciples of all nations? A narrative-historical hermeneutic has to respect the distinctions and boundaries—even the cracks and disjunctions—that emerge in the telling of the story. If we allow ourselves to read later developments back into earlier passages, we muddy the waters and risk getting the whole story, to whatever... (30th Oct. 2014 | 14 comments)
Weiss and Schweitzer on the kingdom of God: right, right, right, wrong, and still wrong I have read both Weiss’ Jesus’ Proclamation of the Kingdom of God and Schweitzer’s The Mystery of the Kingdom of God recently. Both excellent books—up to a point, which I’ll come to—and well worth reading. The significance of their work for the modern understanding of the kingdom of God is neatly... (28th Oct. 2014 | 0 comments)
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