p.ost

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

On the mortality of the soul

He who asked what happens to us after death has also asked whether I believe in the immortality of the soul. The short answer is no. A slightly longer answer would go something like this….

It’s a generalisation—we always have to reckon with the extent to which Jewish thought was hellenised in the period—but I think it’s correct to say that the immortality of the soul was a Greek contribution to the history of Christian thought.

25 May 2017

In a recent article on the Christianity Today site Fred Sanders argues that “We Actually Don’t Need a Trinitarian Revival”. He has heard widespread rumours of the death of Trinitarianism and he thinks that they are “grossly exaggerated”. Where the “everything-you-know-is-wrong diagnosis” fails is in not recognising...

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16 May 2017

Last night I went to hear Steve Walton’s inaugural professorial lecture at St Mary’s University. The lecture was entitled “Doing Theology Lukewise: Luke as theologian and storyteller”. It was a straightforward demonstration of the theological depth of Luke’s narrative art. It was lucid, engaging, and I enjoyed it...

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9 May 2017

Stefan Paas is Bavinck Professor of Church Planting and Church Renewal at the Free University Amsterdam, which is where I started work on my PhD back in the 90s.

In an excellent article in Mission Studies called “Mission from Anywhere to Europe: Americans, Africans, and Australians Coming to Amsterdam” (2015...

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8 May 2017

Matthew Bates’ book Salvation by Allegiance Alone: Rethinking Faith, Works, and the Gospel of Jesus the King is just one straw in a strong wind blowing out of biblical studies, driving us away from theological towards narrative constructions of Christian identity and purpose.

In my view, this is an...

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4 May 2017

In chapter four of his book Salvation By Allegiance Alone Matthew Bates sets out to defend his core thesis that the pistis (“faith”) with which we respond to the gospel is better understood in terms of concrete allegiance than as mere mental assent.

He argues that the gospel...

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27 Apr 2017

From pre-existence and incarnation Bates works swiftly through “died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures”, “was buried”, “was raised on the third day”, and “appeared to many”, to the climax of the chapter and the best bit of the book so far: “is seated at the right hand of God as Lord, and… will...

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24 Apr 2017

I am in solid agreement with Matthew Bates that the central narrative of the New Testament—the narrative which makes sense of the “gospel”—has to do with the enthronement of Jesus as king by his resurrection from the dead and his ascension to the right hand of the Father.

Two areas of disagreement have...

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22 Apr 2017

After an exciting afternoon with friends at Antalya Zoo—a pair of lions shamelessly and noisily copulating in the long grass, a family of grizzly bears brawling over some obscure breach of protocol—it’s back to part two of my review of Matthew Bates’ Salvation by Allegiance Alone: Rethinking Faith, Works, and...

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