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

The biblical story, part two

The Old Testament story left us with a two-part eschatological expectation. During a period of great historical crisis the God of Abraham would demonstrate his righteousness or rightness, first, by saving and restoring his servant people, and secondly, by establishing his own rule over the nations in place of the old gods. This would be a political outcome—the climax to the centuries old story of Israel’s troubled relationship with the surrounding nations, which is the story of the kingdom of God. You should read part one if you haven’t already done so. There is no radical disjuncture between the sections of the Bible. They are telling the same story. You should also bear in mind that this is just my proposed reading, greatly simplified. You may want to disagree with it.

11 Jul 2018

My friend Wes and I are running some workshops at the Communitas International staff conference this summer, aimed at helping leaders who do not necessarily have formal theological training instil in their communities a good grasp of how scripture informs church and mission. How do we do credible, practical...

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4 Jul 2018

Marc Cortez has written a book called ReSourcing Theological Anthropology: A Constructive Account of Humanity in the Light of Christ. I haven’t read the book, but I know a man who has, and I propose to take issue with the central thesis of Cortez’s book on the strength of Owen Strachan’s mostly...

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26 Jun 2018

Last month the Pew Research Centre published the results of a survey of the level of religious commitment of people in Western Europe who self-identify as Christians. The basic finding appears to be that people who call themselves “Christian” in Western Europe are less actively religious—less likely to go to church...

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20 Jun 2018

Jörg Frey offers a useful critique of N.T. Wright’s understanding of Paul’s apocalyptic in his chapter in God and the Faithfulness of Paul—the massive response to NT Wright’s massive Paul and the Faithfulness of God.1 I was asked what I think...

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14 Jun 2018

I make the point frequently that there are two basic approaches to the interpretation of the Bible operative in the church today, a theologically determined method and a historically determined method. The church tends to regard the historical method as detrimental to orthodox belief and the theological method as...

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6 Jun 2018

I’ve been reflecting on the flood story this week in preparation for a sermon on Noah as a risk-taker. This is not the content of the sermon, just some notes on the background narrative of Genesis 1-11.

Theological readings of the Bible tend to isolate Genesis 1-3 as a foundational account of creation and...

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31 May 2018

I am firmly of the view that in the symbology of Daniel 7 the “one like a son of man” who is brought to the throne of the Ancient of Days stands for the persecuted people of the saints of the Most High, in much the same way that the four beasts in the first part of the vision stand for malevolent and destructive...

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22 May 2018

I think that the best way to understand New Testament eschatology is to organise the material according to three future horizons: i) a disastrous war against Rome, which would result in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple; ii) the overthrow of classical Greek-Roman paganism and the confession of Jesus as...

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