How to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference

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Thu, 10/01/2020 - 22:07

I have been reading Eric Mason’s book Woke Church: An Urgent Call for Christians in America to Confront Racism and Injustice. It’s not the book I was expecting it to be. It’s an honest, heartfelt attempt, written from within the black community, to connect modern imperatives of racial justice with a more or less traditional exposition of the gospel. I have no problem with that, and in many ways the doing is far more important than the talking about it. Get on with it.

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Following on from the discussion of whether Paul includes Jesus in the divine identity in 1 Corinthians 8:6, let’s consider the claim that Paul identifies Jesus with YHWH when he says, “Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy (parazēloumen)? Are we stronger than he?” (1 Cor. 10:22).… (24 Sep 2020 | 5 comments)
A lot of scholars think that Paul includes Jesus in the “divine identity” when he says that “for us there is one God, the Father… and one Lord, Jesus Christ…” (1 Cor. 8:6). Richard Bauckham, for example, notes that it is now “commonly recognized” that Paul has generated here a Christianized version… (21 Sep 2020 | 11 comments)
Matthew Hartke describes himself on Twitter as a “Post-Christian Bible nerd endlessly fascinated with the historical Jesus and the origins of Christianity.” I had a bit of a debate with him a few years back in an Unbelievable podcast about whether Jesus was a failed apocalyptic prophet. I have some… (11 Sep 2020 | 0 comments)
Here are three missional challenges that the modern evangelical church needs urgently to get to grips with: 1) resist the extreme individualism and narcissism of western culture; 2) tell a compelling, up-to-date-and-beyond story about the living God, the communities that serve him in the name of… (8 Sep 2020 | 4 comments)
Writing to Timothy, Paul (presumably) says that a woman should learn quietly in all submissiveness and not be allowed to teach and “exert influence over” (authentein) men because “Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and has come into… (4 Sep 2020 | 0 comments)
Jesus did not tell moral fables. He was not a purveyor of uplifting Christian allegories that transcend time and space. He was a prophet in the mould of Isaiah or Ezekiel, telling disturbing, and sometimes deliberately disorienting, stories about the imminent impact of the kingdom of God on first… (1 Sep 2020 | 0 comments)
I rather overlooked the relevance of Jesus’ parable about an unforgiving slave in Matthew 18:23-35 for the recent debate about whether he interpreted the foreseen destruction of Jerusalem as God’s deliberate punishment of his people. When should we expect a day of the Lord? Why will… (29 Aug 2020 | 3 comments)