(how to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference)
27 Aug 2017

The Notting Hill Carnival kicks off today, so there is no church this morning. The whole of Westbourne Grove has been fenced off, boarded up, covered with tarpaulins. Large numbers of decent people have evacuated the area. You’d think Hurricane Harvey was about to hit west London. But it has given me the opportunity to reflect, in a lazy Sunday morning fashion, on the narrative-historical method—what it is and why we need it.

1. History

There is a baseline historical level of...

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22 Aug 2017

What it means to call Jesus “Lord” has been a big bone of contention over the last decade or so. I have had a lot to say on the matter here, there, etc., and on Facebook recently. Many people are convinced by a syllogistic Trinitarian logic: YHWH = Lord, Jesus = Lord, therefore Jesus = YHWH. Others, myself included, think that Jesus...

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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 is a more deductive theological argument grounded in atonement theory.

The kyrios argument

As regards the identification of...

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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 Gospel Coalition site Jason Helopolous insists that the last part means what it says—or, at least, what...

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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 created until now, and never will be” (Mk. 13:19). Josephus shared his view: “Accordingly it appears to me, that the misfortunes of all men, from the beginning of the world, if...

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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 death by the corrupt régime? In other words, why was last week’s post about “a son of God” and not...

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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 continues a priest forever” (ESV).


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