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

Recent comments

Yet another attempt to persuade the world that Tim Keller is wrong about hell

Andrew replied to Peter I agree with that, but there is still the question of how the contemporary language works within the larger narrative that Jesus assumes and tells about Israel. The name Gehenna is a novel... (Fri, 06/04/2018 - 13:07)
Peter replied to Andrew I would think it very strange if Jesus’ views of Gehenna were not shaped to some extent by the views of his day. Because our Bibles Jump from Malachi to Matthew, most Christians think Jesus’ views... (Thu, 05/04/2018 - 23:50)
Andrew replied to Alex F I plan to address this question at length at some point, but my basic argument would be 1) that the Jewish texts were written from a very different historical perspective, and 2) that we are under no... (Thu, 05/04/2018 - 14:57)
Alex F Andrew, what do you make of the ways in which Gehenna became to be understood in the Rabbinic period as a more otherworldly place? Texts such as 4 Ezra 7:36, 2 Baruch 59:10 and in the Sibylline... (Thu, 05/04/2018 - 08:56)
Andrew replied to Philip Ledgerwood Yes, that’s a fair observation. There is an apocalyptic and Rabbinic development of the motif that somewhat mirrors the emergence of belief in a tormented afterlife in early Christianity. That... (Wed, 04/04/2018 - 16:51)
Philip Ledgerwood Hey, I tried to help! I will say, in fairness to the view Keller puts forth, that Gehenna does acquire in Judaism a significance beyond the physical location. There are references to the valley... (Wed, 04/04/2018 - 16:38)

The argument against annihilationism

Philip Ledgerwood replied to Steve Jacob Hey Steve, That article is more or less the opposite of what Andrew is arguing for. (Mon, 02/04/2018 - 16:48)
Steve Jacob Thank you for the very interesting perspectives Andrew! I’m interested to know if you think Tim Keller is on the mark in his recent article on hell? on https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/... (Sun, 01/04/2018 - 15:45)
Peter replied to davo davo, Interesting ideas; I hadn’t heard these before. (Fri, 30/03/2018 - 22:40)
Doane replied to davo My thoughts exactly. Im quite sure Andrew will hold strong to his pushing all this to Rome/Constantine, and I agree that the implications do stretch, but I believe Andrew stretches a bit too much. (Thu, 29/03/2018 - 16:29)
davo Andrew… wouldn’t this slightly edited reading run closer to the mark and be more in line with the historical narrative of the day… ***The whole debate is misconceived. What John describes, in vivid... (Wed, 28/03/2018 - 06:45)
Andrew replied to Kevin Holtsberry Thank you, Kevin. I don’t think I have a good answer to your question. I am not simply proposing a package of doctrinal revisions. The argument only really works if we are prepared to abandon the... (Tue, 27/03/2018 - 22:32)
Kevin Holtsberry I find this snippet a great summation of the crux of the problem with the role of narrative-historical perspective in evangelicalism: “the classic false assumption made by systematic theologians and... (Tue, 27/03/2018 - 19:25)

Did Jesus promise to return within the lifetime of his disciples?

Andrew replied to Peter That is not a bad way of constructing the apocalyptic narrative. There is still, to my mind, a question about whether Jesus expected to reign on earth in the age to come, along with the disciples,... (Tue, 27/03/2018 - 23:42)
Andrew replied to Richard Heald Yes, that’s how I see it. Actually, I think perhaps only Revelation 21:1-8 describes the new creation, beyond jugment on Rome and the long thousand year period. But certainly by the time we get... (Tue, 27/03/2018 - 22:40)
Richard Heald replied to Andrew Hmm, well yes, I love that directive : look to John’s big “new heaven and new earth” passage for any tallies with all the “soon return” predicts - as you say, notable for their unarguable absence... (Sun, 25/03/2018 - 17:40)
Peter replied to Andrew I think you’re trying to hard to make Daniel’s prophesy apply to Jesus. This is making you try to force prophetic continuity where there is none. Maybe Jesus alluded to Daniel and maybe he didn’t,... (Sun, 25/03/2018 - 05:04)
Andrew replied to Peter My point is that we see NT authors finding connections in places we might not and in ways that we might not.But I still think you need to illustrate that and show how it’s relevant to the... (Sat, 24/03/2018 - 22:03)
Peter replied to Andrew “Can you give some examples of New Testament writers taking a symbolic/prophetic vision from the Old Testament and turning it into a prediction of a literal or physical event?” You’re missing my... (Sat, 24/03/2018 - 02:37)
Andrew replied to Peter I’m not following you. There are two issues here. One is whether the “coming” was physical/literal or symbolic/prophetic. The other is whether it would happen soon or not. Paul certainly expected... (Fri, 23/03/2018 - 23:09)
Peter replied to Andrew I don’t think your response is sufficient. It ignores 1 Corinthians 7:26-31. Paul obviously thought Jesus was coming soon. Also, Jesus said he would return while some of his disciples were still... (Fri, 23/03/2018 - 22:21)
Andrew replied to Peter 1. If the language of the Son of Man coming with the clouds is an intentional allusion to Daniel 7:13-14, then it is this vision which, in the first place, should determine the manner of the coming.... (Fri, 23/03/2018 - 15:44)
Peter I understand you think Jesus was using metaphorical language when speaking of his return, and he and his followers would have understood this; however, I see two weaknesses with this position: 1.... (Thu, 22/03/2018 - 22:02)
peter wilkinson replied to Andrew Just keeping you on your toes Andrew. I’d forgotten about the “We’ve been here before” post, though I still hold to what I said then. I think in your zeal to promote a point of view, you overlook... (Thu, 22/03/2018 - 11:51)
Andrew replied to Richard Heald Richard, wonderful to hear from you! When are you coming to see us again—in the literal sense of “coming”?I can’t help you with the arithmetic. Or can’t be bothered. But here’s what I think about... (Wed, 21/03/2018 - 21:58)
Andrew replied to peter wilkinson The examples of rule-breaking that you list are matters of content rather than language. In John’s Gospel we clearly have a rather different linguistic environment, for whatever reason, but I don’t... (Wed, 21/03/2018 - 19:15)
Richard Heald A doubtless less-decent sermon in a well-known ( though probably less reputable ) central Doha, Qatar evangelical-pentecostal church last Friday morning ( we do church to coincide with our Qatari... (Wed, 21/03/2018 - 19:13)
peter wilkinson There is no reason to think that Jesus, as a first century Jewish prophet with a penchant for apocalyptic imagery, was playing by an entirely different set of linguistic rules. Jesus broke all kinds... (Wed, 21/03/2018 - 11:30)

Why we should contain rather than extinguish the fires of hell

Andrew replied to Brian Midmore That seems to me a good analysis. (Wed, 21/03/2018 - 15:33)
Brian Midmore replied to Andrew Of course Paul does not say that the consequence of unrepented sin is hell but rather death, which we can say is essentially exclusion from the age to come. I suppose the confusion has arisen... (Wed, 21/03/2018 - 15:29)