(how to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference)
18 Apr 2018

Very reluctantly, I am going to take issue with Peter Enns here. In a recent “Bible for Normal People” podcast he advocates what is basically a New Perspective reading of Paul’s letter to the Romans.

It’s not about individuals but it’s about a collective. If I can put that a little bit differently, the book of Romans, to use theological language, the book of Romans is not about soteriology—how you...

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13 Apr 2018

By way of an addendum to the previous piece on Jesus’ subversion of the Jewish Gehenna, I want to look briefly at James 3:5b-6, which is the only place in the New Testament outside the Synoptic Gospels where the word geenna occurs. The verse reads (my translation):

Behold, how small a fire sets ablaze how great a forest—and the tongue is a fire!—a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among...

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10 Apr 2018

A major part of my argument against the traditional doctrine of “hell” is that in Jesus’ teaching “Gehenna” is not a place of unending conscious torment after death but a symbol for the devastation and loss of life that Israel would suffer as a consequence of the war against Rome. I think that Jesus has basically reworked Jeremiah’s prediction that Jews who died during the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians would be thrown into the...

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4 Apr 2018

Steve Jacob found my post on annihilationism very interesting and wants to know whether I think “Tim Keller is on the mark in his recent article on hell”. The short answer is no. A longer answer follows. Readers might also be interested in my post “...

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30 Mar 2018

Zondervan Academic has just put out a blog post on the resurrection adapted from some online teaching material from Scott Oliphint. Oliphint is professor of apologetics and systematic theology at Westminster Theological Seminary. I want to consider the piece, first, because it’s Easter, and secondly, because it provides an opportunity to highlight the divergence between two hermeneutical methods: on the one hand,...

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27 Mar 2018

In an article on “Evangelical Annihilationism” published twenty years ago J.I. Packer respectfully rebutted the arguments made by the likes of E.W. Fudge, John Wenham and John Stott in favour of a more benign understanding of “hell” not as a place of eternal conscious torment but as eternal annihilation or non-existence. The first part of the article is a brief...

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20 Mar 2018

A decent sermon at a well known central London Anglican church Sunday night was spoilt, in my view, by the excited closing announcement that Jesus is coming back soon. Apart from the fact that the dogma is questionable on biblical grounds, which I’ll come to, I don’t understand how or why such a reputable church would think it necessary or plausible or wise to proclaim so confidently that finally, at this point in history, after centuries of us getting it wrong, Jesus is about to come back....

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