There is an obvious contradiction—at least in the popular imagination—between the values of Jesus and the practices of Christendom, and it is not surprising that what is left of the Christendom church in the West now largely views its past with horror and shame. Surely, the conversion of the Roman Empire was just a ghastly mistake, a betrayal of the gospel, an insult to the memory of Jesus the pacifist, the lover of enemies, the friend of tax collectors and prostitutes, the anti-establishment prophet and social revolutionary?

So how can it possibly be claimed that the historical victory of the church over pagan Rome constituted a proper fulfilment of the goals of Jesus or of the early church?

I am writing this in hope of offering some encouragement to Liam, who is planning to go to university in September to study theology but is worried that he may be wasting his time.Liam is caught on the horns of a classic dilemma and at risk of falling torn and bruised between them. One horn is… ( | 6 comments)
Paul is in Athens, waiting for Silas and Timothy to join him. His spirit is troubled by the profusion of idols in the city, and he gets into lively disputes about the phenomenon with Jews and God-fearing gentiles in the synagogue on the Sabbath and for the rest of the week with philosophers and… ()
The idea of the “eschatological pilgrimage of the Gentiles” to a rebuilt temple and restored Zion is well attested in Isaiah especially but is found in other Old Testament and Hellenistic-Jewish writings. Here are three examples, but we could add Isaiah 56:6-7; 66:18-20; Zech. 14:16; Mic. 4:1-… ( | 2 comments)
When Paul says, “if you call yourself a Jew” (Rom. 2:17), the traditional understanding has been that this is addressed to a Jew whom he is about to charge with hypocrisy: “You call yourself a Jew but you do this, that, and the other! Shame on you!” It is sometimes argued, however,… ()
I had a great chat with Sam Tideman recently, following up on a number of posts addressing questions raised in a debate between James White and Dale Tuggy asking “Is Jesus Yahweh?” A previous conversation with Sam addressed “The Preexistence of Christ and Narrative Historical Theology.” I would… ( | 1 comment)
I had a go at explaining the place of the quotation from Psalm 102 as an apparent address to Christ as YHWH in a recent post on the “Is Jesus Yahweh?” debate between James White and Dale Tuggy, but I’m not sure I got it quite right. So I’m going to try again, at least in outline—I won’t repeat… ( | 5 comments)
Matthew Poole was a seventeenth century English Presbyterian minister. Towards the end of his life he started work on a commentary on the Bible called Annotations upon the Holy Bible. Wherein The Sacred Text is Inserted, and various Readings Annex’d, together with the Parallel Scriptures, the… ()