p.ost

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

Why is there no “gospel” in the Gospel of John?

Here’s an irony, surely. The Gospel to which everyone turns for their definition of the “gospel” is one of the few books of the New Testament in which the euangelion word-group does not appear. The other gospel-free texts are Titus, James, 2 Peter, the letters of John, and Jude—all minor epistles and three of them Johannine. It’s John who gives us the classic statement, so beloved of “evangelicals”, so often the theme of “evangelists”: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16). But he nowhere uses either the noun euangelion or the verb euangelizō.

Does that tell us anything interesting? I think it does. I think that the anomaly highlights a pervasive and persistent misunderstanding of “gospel” in the New Testament.

15 Sep 2018

An article in the London Times today reports on what it calls the “patriarchy paradox”, which is that social equality between men and woman appears currently to reinforce rather than weaken gender stereotyping. You need to subscribe to the Times to view the article, but I’ll summarise the content here.

The...

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10 Sep 2018

Alastair Roberts is an astute, articulate and assiduous commentator on both scripture and society. I’ve enjoyed reading a lot of what he has written. But I’m disappointed by his defence of the complementarian view of male-female relations in family and church.

In a recent video he makes the case...

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4 Sep 2018

The popular debate about “hell” has been misconceived. Our narrow theologies of personal salvation have blinded us to the large-scale narratives that give meaning to the language of wrath and judgment in the teaching of Jesus and of those sent out to proclaim his name among the nations.

This first attempt at...

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30 Aug 2018

Alex had a question about how Christ reveals God in texts like John 1:18, Colossians 1:15 and Hebrews 1:3, where there seems to be more going on than the “kingdom” story about how Jesus became Lord and would judge and rule over Israel and the nations of the pagan oikoumenē or “empire”. Here are a...

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22 Aug 2018

Roger Olson discusses what he calls a “paradigm shift in Christian theology” in the modern era. The largely novel thesis is that Jesus is the full and perfect revelation of God. There is no other God “lurking behind Jesus with a different character, disposition, than the one revealed in the person of Jesus...

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16 Aug 2018

I pointed out last week that in the standard “redemption in history” construal of the biblical narrative—as represented, for example, by Chris Wright’s The Mission of God’s People: A Biblical Theology of the Church’s Mission—all the history is found before Jesus. Nothing of significance...

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7 Aug 2018

Chris Wright’s The Mission of God’s People is methodologically one of the best books on a biblical theology of mission that I have come across. I will be recommending it in the workshops that Wes and I will be doing at the Communitas staff conference later this week. Wright argues that mission...

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31 Jul 2018

The central claim of the New Testament regarding the risen Jesus is this: because he was faithful unto death in fulfilment of his mission to Israel, the God of Israel raised him from the dead and gave him the authority, which formerly belonged to God alone, to judge and rule over the nations—meaning, at least in...

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