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

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Multifaith Matters podcast: my conversation with missiologist Michael Cooper about the narrative-historical method

Earlier this week I had a stimulating online conversation with my friend Michael Cooper. Michael is a missiologist, and back in the day, when he used to hang out with Communitas, we spent long hours talking about scripture, narrative, history, and mission in the post-Christian western context. So it was great to catch up with him and look again at the question of how we draw the lines between the New Testament and contemporary mission.

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 | 11 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)
At the end of the book of Revelation John sees the “holy city, (new) Jerusalem” descending out of heaven from God twice, seemingly after the final judgment (Rev. 21:2, 9). Why? Are these different events? The same event depicted twice? I have argued before that the sequence of visions in… (18 Feb 2021 | 2 comments)