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


14 May 2021

The narrative-historical method reduces the significance of Jesus, which creates an obvious problem for traditionalists. Perhaps “reduces” is asking for trouble. Let’s say that it refocuses our understanding of the biblical figure of Jesus, though the sharper perception comes at the cost—or benefit, depending on how you look at it—of a restricted depth of field. Here’s what I mean, roughly….

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It’s funny how quickly a book can go out of date. Admittedly, I’m reviewing Jennifer Butler’s Who Stole My Bible? Reclaiming Scripture as a Handbook for Resisting Tyranny from a safe distance, and maybe there’s a lot that’s not visible from here. But the book was written in the middle of a… (17 Mar 2021 | 3 comments)
I got flung against a wall by a good friend for my defence of a narrative-historical perspective on Christendom—not literally, but a vigorous pushback on Facebook. I’ve replied to him there, but I’m posting the main points I made in response here as an addendum to the piece. Perhaps it will make… (9 Mar 2021 | 0 comments)
I’m getting into the bad habit of answering questions raised in the comments with another post. The reason is that the questions are very good and merit consideration at length, but I wonder if the practice is conducive to good debate. Anyway, Jo says that he has trouble accepting that “European… (8 Mar 2021 | 2 comments)
What is the kingdom of God? The standard evangelical view is that it is the aggregated rule of God in the hearts of believers in advance of (“now and not yet”) a glorious future kingdom, usually confused either with heaven or the new creation. The main alternative these days would be the “… (2 Mar 2021 | 9 comments)
I thought we were done with the two visions of the descent of the holy city from heaven, but another question has come up, an obvious one. Why are the visions the wrong way round? Why does John first see the descent into the new creation, then the descent into history after the… (24 Feb 2021 | 3 comments)
The story so far… At the end of the book of Revelation the holy city, new Jerusalem, is twice seen descending out of heaven, from God, “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” These are two different moments in the apocalyptic narrative, I think, not the same moment repeated. To make… (22 Feb 2021 | 6 comments)
I posted this yesterday as a response to Kaz’s probing question about the presence of the “holy city, new Jerusalem” in the new creation that appears to John after the final judgment. I won’t repeat the argument of “Why does the holy city Jerusalem descend from heaven twice at the end of Revelation… (20 Feb 2021 | 2 comments)