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And my relevant question is: are you also contributing to an unnecessary polarisation of debate?

Having spent the last two years attending a church with a pronounced Reformed theology—and helping to teach their doctrine course—I think I can reasonably protest that I have done more than might have been expected of me to promote constructive dialogue between the historical and theological perspectives.

However, the question came up last night whether I thought the two positions can be reconciled. I don’t honestly think they can be. Yes, we could perhaps attempt to salvage the transformative gospel—I certainly still believe that people must undergo a radical transformation, change of allegiance, etc., when they are incorporated into the people of God. But at the level of worldview, conceptual framework, epistemology, hermeneutics, etc., modern theologies and narrative-historical approaches are fundamentally incompatible. For that reason I think the theological mindset needs to decrease and the historical mindset increase.

That is not to say that we have no need for theological reflection on scripture. I have said before that I think the rigorous historical reading of the New Testament ought to provide the springboard for a new post-Christendom, post-modern theologizing, which I think will be essentially prophetic rather than rationalistic.

And, yes, Peter, you should read my book on Romans, and you should start your own blog.

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