p.ost

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

Stories about Jesus: how they fit together, and what he means for us today

Theology has always had a “narrative” shape to it. The problem with propositional or systematic theologies is not that they are non-narrative but that they have reduced the dense historical narrative of scripture to a bare sequence of cosmic-level events: creation → fall → redemption → final judgment. Theology then systematically expounds those events.

In this crude “meta-narrative” the story about Jesus has two parts to it. There is the “Jesus is God” story about the eternally existent Second Person of the Trinity, who at a certain place and time in history became incarnate of the virgin Mary; and there is the “Jesus is man” story about the Saviour who died on the cross to redeem humanity from sin and death, before returning to heaven.

1 Mar 2017

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 way of...

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21 Feb 2017

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 that the...

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17 Feb 2017

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 earlier than...

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13 Feb 2017

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...

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9 Feb 2017

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 looted in the mid...

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9 Feb 2017

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 imagine how the...

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6 Feb 2017

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 (...

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2 Feb 2017

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 suggests,...

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