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(how to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference)

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You’re reading too much into my ‘if we wish’. I am simply allowing for different ways of approaching the question. It was not optional for the post-Constantinian church, nor is it optional for the post-modern church, to behave in a Christ-like manner in its interactions with the whole of creation. It’s just that Jesus is so clearly here telling a story about Israel and only about Israel, and I think we should respect that.

One of the problems is that the bible becomes a loose compendium of writings which cease to have authority over us, and whose application is entirely subjective.

Under the old paradigm, perhaps. But I think that the old paradigm is flawed and that if we pursue this contextualizing approach we will find ways of reconstructing biblical authority in a diachronic rather than synchronic, in historically particular rather than universal, terms. In fact, I believe we will arrive at a much stronger model of biblical authority, one that will not be so vulnerable to modern and indeed postmodern critique. But it remains to be seen whether modern evangelicalism has the imagination to grasp that.

Naturally, I disagree that this line of thinking distorts the key events that you list. On the contrary, it recovers their historical integrity. Of course, the story continues, and as it continues it acquires an expanded significance, but that significance does not have to be read back into narratively earlier events or teachings.