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

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Wed, 01/13/2021 - 21:57

I’ve just listened to my friend Michael Cooper talking on the Ephesiology Podcast about the events in Washington last week and the lamentable state of American evangelicalism. He and his co-hosts have some sensible things to say, but I found myself in disagreement over one matter. I think they overstated the contradiction between the behaviour of the Capitol Hill mob and the methodology of the early Jesus movement—indeed, of Jesus himself.

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The SBL annual meeting is happening online this year, of course. In a highly stimulating and persuasive presentation yesterday David Burnett argued for revisiting the thesis of D.A.S. Ravens that Luke uses the story of the anointing of Jesus by a woman to portray him as the messenger of Isaiah 52:7… (1 Dec 2020 | 0 comments)
This is really just an appendix to the previous post on the two “ends” in Jesus’ apocalyptic discourse in Mark 13. I have summarised the development of thought, highlighting what seem to me to be the salient literary features, with a few brief observations at the end. The awkward translations are… (25 Nov 2020 | 0 comments)
The question is a simple one. Does Jesus have one or two climactic events in mind when he speaks to his disciples about the future? Following on from his discussion of the “parable” of the sheep and goats, Ian Paul has posted a defence of Dick France’s two-stage reading of Jesus’ apocalyptic… (24 Nov 2020 | 1 comment)
Ian Paul has written a good piece on the sheep and goats passage in Matthew 25. He notes, rightly in my view, that the “least of these” are not the poor in general, and that it is not good Christians and bad non-Christians who are separated at the judgment. He stresses the relevance of Daniel’s… (20 Nov 2020 | 15 comments)
I’ve been greatly enjoying an intermittent conversation with Tim Peebles of the Anvil Trust about the relation between kingdom and new creation or shalom themes in scripture. We both have trouble getting our point across succinctly, so my response to his comments on the post about kingdom… (15 Nov 2020 | 0 comments)
The practical question that I’m trying to answer here is: how do we assess the effectiveness or validity of missional activity when the “product” is more qualitative than quantitative? Church growth models are proved effective if they result in larger churches or the multiplication of churches. The… (11 Nov 2020 | 2 comments)
Prompted by an excellent podcast that I listened to yesterday discussing the relation between the kingdom of God and “shalom” in scripture, I want to look briefly at Isaiah 9:6-7. The passage speaks of the birth of a child who will sit on the throne of David, saying that “of the abundance of… (6 Nov 2020 | 2 comments)