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

P.OSTOST

What is the essence of Christianity?

I read Roger Olson’s blog from time to time. He has recently written a couple of posts asking, “What is the Essence of Christianity?” We need to address these simple but fundamental questions from time to time.

I know, it’s been a while, what with Covid and a major writing project to complete….

What Olson is interested in is not what modern Christianity empirically is—the sort of account that a sociologist of religion might come up with—but in the normative definition. “By inquiring into the essence of Christianity we are asking about what Christianity ought to be in order to be authentically itself.”

I did this video podcast interview with Cliff Sekowe a few months back. Cliff is an amiable South African pastor and theologian who is keen to get scholars talking sensibly about some the intellectual challenges facing contemporary Christian faith. He had heard the podcast I did with Pete Enns and… (18 Sep 2021 | 0 comments)
This really is a bit of a puzzle. In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus says concerning the hour and day of God’s judgment of Israel and the concomitant vindication of the Son of Man that it will be as in the days of Noah. In the midst of life catastrophe will come (Matt. 24:36-39). At the parousia of… (2 Sep 2021 | 2 comments)
The early apostolic testimony was that Jesus was “raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3). So the standard belief has been that the resurrection of the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament—somewhere, it’s never quite clear where, probably in the prophets… (28 Aug 2021 | 0 comments)
Thom Stark’s book The Human Faces of God: What Scripture Reveals When it Gets God Wrong is an attack on the doctrine of inerrancy—or perhaps better, an attempt to reframe the problem of biblical errancy. In chapter 8, which is the only chapter I’ve read so far, he argues that Jesus… (16 Aug 2021 | 9 comments)
I have addressed the troubling longer term historical implications of my reading of the New Testament in a number of posts, some of which are listed below. But the question has come up again, so here’s another go at outlining a response to the charge that Constantine and Christendom were a very… (5 Aug 2021 | 13 comments)
In a new comment on an old post entitled “The battle between theology and history for the soul of the church: 24 antitheses” Matthew makes a sensible observation about the theological process. It comes, I guess, in response to the tendency I have to polarise “theology” and “history” as… (3 Aug 2021 | 0 comments)
This is a quick one—an audio version of a post from 2018 on the doctrine of the second coming. Simply put, the evangelical church needs to choose between dogma and history, and I think we should choose history. For more on the argument about the judgment of the sheep and goats see this post. (1 Aug 2021 | 0 comments)