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

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At risk of oversimplification, when the New Testament asserts that Jesus is Lord, the statement sums up a narrative in which the man Jesus is given authority to judge and rule because he was obedient to the point of death on a cross. This is a story of kingship or kingdom. So “Jesus is Lord” does not mean “Jesus is God”. It means “Jesus is King”—or that he has been given authority to rule at the right hand of God. That is to my mind the most important story that is told about Jesus in the New Testament. But it is not the only story. There is another story told, which draws heavily on Jewish wisdom ideas, about Jesus and creation, which gets us much close to the idea that “Jesus is God”. There is no doubt some sort of overlap between the two stories, but I think we will probably misunderstand both if we get them confused.