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

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Wed, 08/05/2020 - 16:58

My book End of Story? Same-Sex Relationships and the Narratives of Evangelical Mission (2019) grew out of many conversations in a missional context about the problems and opportunities created by the widespread legalisation of same-sex marriage. It seems to me that the issue provides us with a powerful lens for reviewing the nature of Paul’s mission and for reimagining the function of the church, particularly in the post-Christian West.

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James Mercer is on the ministry team of the Benefice of St Aldhelm in Purbeck on the south coast of England. I’ve known him for some years, and we’ve had a few good conversations about the practical application of the narrative-historical method. He posted this bold, inspiring and beautifully… (6 Mar 2020 | 7 comments)
Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians to “work out (katergazesthe) your own salvation with fear and trembling” is a bit of a puzzle. Are we saved by works after all? Remembering the exodus, the Psalmist declares, “Yet God is our King from of old; he worked salvation (eirgasato sōtērian… (4 Mar 2020 | 5 comments)
I wrote a piece a while back about a Barna Group report on evangelism in the UK, which took the goal of evangelism to be the transformation of individuals and communities “by Jesus’ love”. I made four broad points: 1) there is no simple universal “gospel”; any decisive proclamation of good news… (27 Feb 2020 | 9 comments)
I despair sometimes of the Christian captivity to dogmatic tradition. Here’s someone, for example, excitedly celebrating the fact that he has relocated from the prison of Arminianism (a relaxed, easy-going prison, but a prison nevertheless) to the stronger, more secure, and safer prison of… (19 Feb 2020 | 10 comments)
In the Prologue to God Untamed Johannes Hartl tells the story of being stuck on Mount Athos in northern Greece in a ferocious storm. He has spent a few days on this isolated peninsula, in the skete of St Anna, with a friend walking and praying. Now they need to get to Thessaloniki to catch… (14 Feb 2020 | 0 comments)
How, Michael Bird asks, did the early church carry forward “Jesus’s appropriation of Israel’s sacred traditions about the restoration of Israel and the inclusion of the nations in God’s saving purposes”?It’s a good question. If Jesus was a “prophet of Jewish restoration eschatology”, whose… (6 Feb 2020 | 3 comments)
I still have a lot of marking to do, so I’ll keep this to the point again. A good friend with an interest in these matters came across Keith Giles’ argument that Paul is referring to something other than “homosexuality” in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10. He wants to know what I think of … (28 Jan 2020 | 18 comments)