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

What sort of hope do we find in the New Testament?

Certain core emphases or tenets have emerged over the years as I have dug myself deeper and deeper into the pit of the narrative-historical perspective:

  1. The key to understanding the Bible is history, not theology.
  2. What holds the whole thing together is the historical existence of a people that tells a story about itself and its relation to the creator God over long periods of time; and in a sense we are still telling that story.
  3. The “message” of the New Testament is as Jewish as the message of the Old Testament….
In the opening paragraph of his book Jewish Messianism and the Cult of Christ (SCM Press, 1998) William Horbury outlines a basic model for understanding the relation of the Old Testament to history. His leading contention is that the Old Testament “forms the backbone of any study of messianism in... (6th Aug. 2019 | 3 comments)
At the Communitas Family Reunion in Malaga last week my friend Wes led a brilliant series of teaching conversations on Daniel 9. In my view it was a model of narrative-historical pedagogy. The historical context was critically appraised and kept in focus, and precisely for that reason our group of... (30th Jul. 2019 | 1 comment)
A post by the Arminian theologian Roger Olson this week outlining “9.5 Theses about Evangelical Christianity” serves to illustrate a number of the points that I made with my little diagram about theology and history. It’s a quick read. Here’s my take on it.1. I don’t see the problem with... (19th Jul. 2019 | 7 comments)
It’s summer in the northern hemisphere, and there’s not much happening, so I was doodling and came up with a little diagram to show the difference between traditional evangelical thought and the approach that I take on this blog. For many readers it will be familiar, but if you’re new here, it may... (16th Jul. 2019 | 6 comments)
In this rather long post I want to address some questions put to me about the general plausibility of my reading of the parousia texts as prophecies regarding two historical developments—the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the armies of pagan Rome and the overthrow of pagan Rome through... (11th Jul. 2019 | 5 comments)
I had two emails from friends recently, within a few minutes of each other, recommending books to read. The first pointed me to an online edition of Fragments from Reimarus: consisting of brief critical remarks on the object of Jesus and His disciples as seen in the New Testament. The English... (1st Jul. 2019 | 0 comments)
Here’s another response to a comment that has outgrown itself and become an ad hoc summary piece. Peter Wilkinson points to Romans 3-4 as evidence that the gospel for both Jews and Gentiles was that Jesus died for their sins:The argument is addressed to Jews and Gentiles v.9, v.19b. The... (26th Jun. 2019 | 48 comments)
Todd asks a question in respect of an old post on the restoration of the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6-8).Is the restoration of Israel, then, during a future Millennium? If so, how do Gentiles fit into this, and where is the Church during this time? Is the kingdom of Israel different than the Church... (24th Jun. 2019 | 8 comments)