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

Where is the God of history in this pandemic?

Enough of Steve Chalke’s book, let’s get back to coronavirus. How do we talk about it theologically? Or, as Baptist theologian and ethicist Roger Olson asks, “Where is God in this pandemic?”

Coronavirus is not one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse—that was a very different future, from a very different perspective. Lament may well be appropriate, but at the social or political or global level lament presupposes failure, entails repentance, and looks to God to act to put things right. Lament demands that we speak out.

Enough of the pandemic, let’s get back to Steve Chalke’s book The Lost Message of Paul. Chalke is a somewhat post-evangelical leader in the UK with excellent credentials. In this book he is using the “new perspectives” on Paul that have emerged in New Testament scholarship in recent decades (... (3rd Apr. 2020 | 1 comment)
Tom Wright has written an Ideas piece for Time Magazine in which he argues that Christianity is not supposed to give answers about the coronavirus.It’s our rationalist culture, he says, that needs a reason for everything, and it’s rather “silly” to ask whether the pandemic is a punishment or... (31st Mar. 2020 | 9 comments)
I made the comment in part 1 of this review of Steve Chalke’s The Lost Message of Paul that he has worked hard to integrate recent New Testament scholarship into his analysis of Paul but that in the end his personal judgment as a post-evangelical pastor gets the better of him. That started me... (25th Mar. 2020 | 1 comment)
[This is a translation—kindly provided by Helge Seekamp—of last week’s post “No, coronavirus is not the apocalypse; it could be worse than that”. A few more German translations can be found here.]Ich habe bisher nur eine Person gehört – ein junger New Yorker, der im Fernsehen interviewt wurde –,... (23rd Mar. 2020 | 0 comments)
Steve Chalke is a British “Baptist minister, author, speaker, justice campaigner, broadcaster, social entrepreneur and former UN Special Advisor on Human Trafficking”, and the founder of the Oasis Trust. The Lost Message of Paul is his belated sequel to The Lost Message of Jesus, which he wrote... (21st Mar. 2020 | 4 comments)
[If you’re looking for a German version of this post, you’re in luck.]I’ve heard only one person so far—a young New Yorker, interviewed on TV—use the word “apocalyptic” in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Mostly, I guess, we are being very pragmatic about it. But it’s early days,... (18th Mar. 2020 | 4 comments)
In his book How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee, Bart Ehrman argues that in Galatians 4:14 Paul in effect speaks of Jesus as an angel:You know that because of a weakness of the flesh I first proclaimed the good news to you, and you did not despise or spit out your... (14th Mar. 2020 | 1 comment)
Alastair Roberts asks, “Where is the Trinity in the Old Testament?” He is quite candid about the fact that the “philosophical cast and categories of these later disputes transposed the biblical material into very different idioms and discourses animated by rather different concerns”; and he warns... (10th Mar. 2020 | 7 comments)