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

Just to be clear, I am neither a Preterist nor a Unitarian

I saw a comment on a Reddit thread which said that this blog “takes a conservative unitarian view of things”, adding, “It’s very well-argued.” I also get accused of being a Preterist from time to time, though not so much recently. I understand how the misunderstandings arise, but I want to make it clear that, as far as I am concerned, I am neither a Preterist nor a Unitarian. Call it disingenuous, but there you are.

The hermeneutic I work with is the narrative-historical one. It leads to a reading of the New Testament that emphasises the historical perspective of Jesus and the apostles, in continuity with Israel’s telling of its story. One consequence of this is that I relate a good chunk of New Testament “eschatology” to historical events—basically the catastrophe of the war against Rome and the eventual confession of Jesus as Lord by the nations of the Greek-Roman world. I also think that there is a final horizon of a final judgment and renewal of heaven and earth.

17 Aug 2017

I’ve had a couple of different types of response to my “Did God die on the cross?” post. Not a lot, but enough to justify a follow-up, I think. There is a biblical response based on the view that the New Testament directly equates or identifies Jesus with YHWH as kyrios; and there...

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15 Aug 2017

This has been giving me a headache.

Luke has Paul say to the Ephesian elders: “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). In a sermon posted last week on The...

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10 Aug 2017

In good off-the-cuff biblical language Donald Trump has warned that North Korea’s recent salvo of threats “will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen”.

Jesus said that the Roman assault on Jerusalem would result in “such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God...

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31 Jul 2017

What did the centurion at the cross believe about Jesus? Did he believe that Jesus was the true Son of God? Did he believe that he was equivalent to the divinised emperor? Or did he merely agree with popular Jewish opinion that Jesus was a righteous man (and not the first), who had been unjustly put to...

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28 Jul 2017

This is a quick response to Mark Nieweg’s question, following yesterday’s post on Jesus as the Son of God, whether Hebrews 7:13 is an argument for the eternal existence of the Son of God: “He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he...

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27 Jul 2017

Theological accounts of Jesus tend to portray him as a divine figure who descended to earth at a certain moment in human history, died on the cross for the sins of humanity, and then returned to heaven. Historical accounts place him firmly within a story about Israel under Roman occupation in the...

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13 Jul 2017

I may get into trouble for this, but I want to make a couple of constructive critical points about this quotation from the missiologist Alan Hirsch, posted by communitaseuropa on Instagram.

Communitas is a US-based church-planting organisation that I’ve been involved with for...

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11 Jul 2017

My friend Joel White—well, technically I suppose he’s the brother of my friend Wes, but the brother of my friend is my friend—kindly sent me a copy of an article he wrote on Colossians 1:24 because we had a chat about this once. It’s a pet theme of mine. The article is entitled “Paul Completes the Servant’s...

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