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.

31 Jan 2017

Marc Taylor has taken issue with my argument that there is little scope for a “high christology” in Acts because the proclamation that Jesus is Lord is “accounted for almost entirely by reference to narratives found in the Psalms, in which Israel’s king is delivered by God and given authority to judge and rule over...

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25 Jan 2017

The question is put to me from time to time: How does the modern state of Israel fit into your narrative-historical schema? Does Israel still have a covenantal right to the land? It’s come up in passing, but I don’t think I’ve addressed the matter directly. Donald Trump’s apparent support for Israel and the...

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20 Jan 2017

There is a small number of texts in the New Testament that have been taken as evidence that in the earliest period Jesus was directly called “God”. John Tancock lists John 1:1; 20:28; Romans 9:5; Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1. I’ve discussed the two John passages and Romans 9:5 in other posts, though they go back a...

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18 Jan 2017

I suppose that one of the main oddities of my thorough-going narrative-historical reading of the New Testament, at least from a more or less orthodox evangelical perspective, is my contention that a significant part of its “eschatological” vision has in view the conversion of the nations of the Greek-Roman world as...

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14 Jan 2017

I have to be a bit careful in critiquing John Walton’s thesis in his book The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate, because, as has been pointed out to me, it’s only a summary of his much more substantial argument in his Genesis 1 As Ancient Cosmology. I’m not sure...

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12 Jan 2017

If we are going to read the New Testament as historical narrative, we have to have some sense of historical context. The church, on the whole, is not interested in historical context. The Bible is mostly treated as a self-contained, self-sufficient sacred text. In a recent comment Travis Finley wrote: “My...

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10 Jan 2017

I have no problem with Trinitarian orthodoxy as the product of a post-biblical, post-Jewish, post-apocalyptic rethinking of the relationship between Father, Son and Spirit, in the context of the construction of a new worldview for the Greek-Roman oikoumenē. I think that was probably, like Christendom...

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7 Jan 2017

Neil asks in connection with my post Talking Jesus: problems with the modern evangelistic paradigm: “how do you view the Trinity given your statement about the uniqueness of Paul’s encounter with the risen Christ and everyone else’s encounter with either the pre-risen Christ or the Holy Spirit post-resurrection?” I...

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