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Angels from the realms of glory, wing your flight o’er all the earth…

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I have a lot of marking to do, so I’ll keep this to the point. In the Greek Old Testament it is God alone who rebukes the sea and calms the storm (Ps. 17:16; 103:7; 105:9; 106:28-29; Is. 50:2 LXX). So when Matthew says that Jesus “rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm... (22nd Jan. 2020 | 14 comments)
One of the biggest intellectual challenges facing modern evangelicalism—a movement that professes to adhere to both scripture and tradition—is how to reconcile a commitment to a rationally constructed trinitarianism with the dominant apocalyptic narrative about Jesus which we find in the New... (7th Jan. 2020 | 14 comments)
The promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-3 is that his descendants will be given a land where they will become a great and prosperous nation (goy), that they will be blessed by God, and that for this reason they will be a blessing to all communities of the earth.And the Lord said to Abram, “Go out... (31st Dec. 2019 | 2 comments)
1. Let’s be blunt. Christmas has nothing to do with God coming to earth as a helpless babe to save humanity from sin, etc. That is another matter, it’s not what’s being said, it’s not the burden of the stories in Matthew and Luke. These narrate the birth of a king who will deliver... (20th Dec. 2019 | 79 comments)
Here’s a good opportunity to defend a more or less egalitarian reading of Genesis 1-3. An older piece by Alastair Roberts on the differences between men and women in creation has recently been published in abridged form on the 9Marks site. The first two sections consist of a complementarian reading... (17th Dec. 2019 | 0 comments)
Two recent articles on the Gospel Coalition website ask whether missionaries should target unreached people groups. Darren Carlson and Elliot Clark argue that the strategy rests on a faulty assumption: that the ethnē in Matthew 24:14; 28:19 are not “ethnolinguistic” groups as understood by modern... (12th Dec. 2019 | 0 comments)
It’s the period of Advent, when we traditionally reflect on the “coming” of Jesus into the world, so let’s consider the question of why he came when he did. Why was Jesus born in 4 BC or thereabouts, and not two hundred years earlier, or a thousand years later?I’m still making my way through... (11th Dec. 2019 | 2 comments)
I make this point frequently: the theological content of the New Testament is not structured systematically and universally. It is structured narratively and historically. So, for example, we are not presented with a general doctrine of atonement that applies under all circumstances. What we see, I... (5th Dec. 2019 | 0 comments)
I am delighted—and a little nervous—to announce that my new book End of Story? Same-Sex Relationships and the Narratives of Evangelical Mission has just been published by Wipf & Stock. The book explores how scripture frames the ancient phenomenon of same-sex sexual relations narratively—in... (30th Nov. 2019 | 6 comments)
Ryan sent me a nice email a few days ago. He tells me that he has a very conservative theology but struggles with the traditional understanding of hell. He has read some of the articles on this site about hell and finds them “extremely fascinating”, but he has some questions. For example, why... (26th Nov. 2019 | 0 comments)
Still going strong here. In chapter three of Gospel Allegiance: What Faith in Jesus Misses for Salvation in Christ Matthew Bates sets out his version of the gospel narrative as a sequence of ten events, somewhat in the manner of the Apostles’ Creed (86-104). (I had a similar go at writing a... (20th Nov. 2019 | 0 comments)
The second part of chapter two of Matthew Bates’ important book Gospel Allegiance: What Faith in Jesus Misses for Salvation in Christ considers the means by which the “gospel of allegiance” saves people.He sums up the argument so far: “The gospel in Romans 1:1–5 is about the incarnation and... (14th Nov. 2019 | 1 comment)
Chapter two of Matthew Bates’ Gospel Allegiance: What Faith in Jesus Misses for Salvation in Christ sets out his understanding of the Greek word pistis. In the first part he explains why he thinks that “allegiance” is a better translation of the word than “faith”. In the second part he asks how “... (12th Nov. 2019 | 3 comments)
I have spent way too much time finding fault with Matthew Bates’ argument that Paul alludes to the pre-existence of Jesus in Romans 1:3. Now to get on with the substance of Gospel Allegiance: What Faith in Jesus Misses for Salvation in Christ. It might be a bit ambitious to take this one chapter at... (8th Nov. 2019 | 0 comments)
Well, we’re still not quite done with the purported incarnational christology of Romans 1:3. Matthew Bates makes the claim in a brief section of his excellent book Gospel Allegiance (51-52), and at greater length in a 2015 CBQ article (117-21), that in this verse the aorist participle genomenou... (6th Nov. 2019 | 0 comments)
This is a rushed and rather technical addendum to the previous piece on the question of whether there is a reference to the incarnation in Romans 1:3:concerning his Son | who came into being / was / was born | from the seed of David | according to the flesh…peri tou huiou | tou genomenou | ek... (2nd Nov. 2019 | 1 comment)
There is much that is good about Matthew Bates’ Gospel Allegiance: What Faith in Jesus Misses for Salvation in Christ, which is the follow-up to his highly successful Salvation by Allegiance Alone. I plan to review it in some detail over the next few weeks, all being well, and hope to recommend it... (1st Nov. 2019 | 3 comments)
Here’s my working assumption. From the second to the twentieth century Christian “truth” was sustained by a theological superstructure or scaffolding. Recently, that superstructure has begun to look unstable, indeed liable to collapse. If Christian “truth” is to survive into the age to come,... (29th Oct. 2019 | 1 comment)
So my argument is that the best way to make sense of Paul’s teaching about the parousia of Christ is to identify the apocalyptic event with the conversion of the nations of the Greek-Roman world through the faithful witness of the persecuted churches. Paul told the story looking forward, drawing on... (25th Oct. 2019 | 21 comments)
A good friend of mine has written a simple story in which the apostle Paul is transported to the twenty-first century and is disturbed to find that Jesus still hasn’t come back. It’s clear from his letters that Paul expected Jesus to return within his lifetime, or soon afterwards. But here we are... (23rd Oct. 2019 | 5 comments)
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