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

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Why won’t there be marriage in the resurrection?

Scot MG replied to Eric Breaux According to this article by Randal Rauser, Witherington is certainly correct about the Greek terns, But the logic of the argument implies that the conclusion is not merely the cessation of the instituting of new marriages but the cessation of the institution itself: otherwise the reductio wouldn’t work. https://randalrauser.com/2019/03/will-there-be-sex-in-heaven/ The Christian view of... (20 April, 2019 - 22:11)

Evangelism in the age of stupid

Phil Ledgerwood Thanks, Andrew. This article was helpful and the questions you outlined toward the end are the right ones. I’m not entirely sure how to go about answering them. I wonder if I’d recognize a real prophet if I saw one. As Samuel mentioned, we also have an extreme credibility problem in the US above and beyond the objections of secularism, not the least of which is our tendency to... (19 April, 2019 - 17:03)
Samuel Conner Thank you; this is helpful. For most of my life within (but now exiting) the evangelical thought collective, I have been wondering “how does one interest people in ‘the Gospel’ when they don’t believe ‘the bad news’ that ‘the Gospel’ is reckoned to be the answer to? Do people have to become Infernalists before they can become Christians?” In the last decade, my meditations have... (19 April, 2019 - 13:45)

If they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?

Miguel de Servet replied to Samuel Conner Hi Samuel, after 14 consecutive comments exchanged between the two of us on this post, I suppose that we are hijacking it. If you are interested, as I am, I suggest that we continue our exchange privately :) (19 April, 2019 - 14:13)
Samuel Conner replied to Miguel de Servet My view is that the Scriptures tell us much less about post-mortem realities than is commonly believed. In Romans, for example, ‘wrath’ is entirely “under the sun”, much as it is in the OT. I strongly suspect that the “aionial destruction” of which Paul speaks in the Thessalonian correspondence also refers to the coming war. The famous Matthew 25 “sheep and goats” judgment scene does not make a... (19 April, 2019 - 13:19)
Miguel de Servet replied to Samuel Conner His death will quash militant messianism in Israel enough to keep the peace with Rome for another generation. 1. So you are confirming that what Jesus would have cared for was NOT the “salvation of Israel”, BUT to provide enough time for the establisment of Jewish Christianity. BTW, talking about “militant messianism”, what about Theudas (Acts 5:36), Judah the Galilean (Acts 5:37) and... (19 April, 2019 - 12:42)
Samuel Conner replied to Miguel de Servet Re: “When would have Jesus confronted (in Caesarea or elsewhere) “the pagan world system”? “ On the hypothesis I mentioned; Jesus is foreseeing what is to come. The movement he is founding will ultimately defeat the pagan world system. And his death is part of how that will happen; the “new Israel” he is founding needs space to grow and spread and that calls for peace. His death will quash... (18 April, 2019 - 22:54)
Miguel de Servet replied to Samuel Conner @ Samuel Conner When would have Jesus confronted (in Caesarea or elsewhere) “the pagan world system”? What exactly did Jesus “succeed” in saving, of Israel, “from the impending calamity”? (18 April, 2019 - 22:36)
Miguel de Servet replied to Samuel Conner @ Samuel Conner My point is precisely that Jesus DID NOT embark on a path of suffering from the outset. Jesus answer to the “wilderness temptation” (making bread out of stones; throwing himself from the pinnacle of the temple, so as to be saved by angels; worsipping Satan in order to receive the dominion of all the kingdoms of the earth) was NOT AT ALL that he “embarked on a path of... (18 April, 2019 - 22:36)
Samuel Conner replied to Miguel de Servet re: “And, in view of the historic results (ignominious death of Jesus, destruction of the Temple and of Jerusalem, scattering of the Jews outside their homeland, victory of Christianity over paganism) one cannot avoid to ask: would you say that Jesus’ main concern was to “defeat” the ruling class of contemporary Israel? And, bad luck for Israel as a whole?” The “it” in “defeat it” that I had... (18 April, 2019 - 19:15)
Samuel Conner replied to Miguel de Servet It’s a fair counterproposal. My thinking is strongly influenced by NT Wright’s attempts to discern Jesus’ intentions. Wright thinks that the “wilderness temptation” account reflects some kind of inner struggle that Jesus experienced at the outset of his public ministry in terms of by what means he would seek to accomplish what he believed himself to be called to do; my reading of... (18 April, 2019 - 18:37)
Miguel de Servet replied to Samuel Conner It does not require much “faith” to see this [what happened at - an[d] after - Caesarea Philippi (Mt 16:13-28)] as a teaching moment: ‘gentleman, behold what we are up against … this is how I propose to defeat it.’ I totally disagree. There are, in Jesus’ public mission, a before and a clearly different after Caesarea. At Caesarea, it was NOT a “teaching moment” (as though, before... (18 April, 2019 - 18:11)
Samuel Conner replied to Miguel de Servet Limited data sets invariably admit of multiple possible interpretations, and the range of possibilities can, I suppose, span polar opposites. re: ” goes on holiday with his 12 close followers to Caesarea Paneas (bka Caesarea Philippi - with its spring, grotto, and related shrines dedicated to the Greek god Pan)? And while there he wants to know who his disciples think he is, but as soon as... (18 April, 2019 - 17:20)
Miguel de Servet replied to Samuel Conner It seems to me that in every age and culture, the people at the top, the great men of the age, tend to be talented sociopaths. They call the shots; everyone else lives with the consequences. Of course, for those who do not believe in the Jesus of the Gospels, what you say about “talented sociopaths” etc. could apply with a vengeance to Jesus himself: what can be said (other than by faith)... (18 April, 2019 - 15:59)
Samuel Conner replied to Miguel de Servet It seems to me that in every age and culture, the people at the top, the great men of the age, tend to be talented sociopaths. They call the shots; everyone else lives with the consequences. Jesus intended that it not be like that among his followers; I’m not confident that this intention was realized the way things actually worked out. (18 April, 2019 - 14:52)
Miguel de Servet replied to Samuel Conner This is again highly speculative etc. … This is also highly speculative: what if the Jews (who, as everyone knows are a “stiff-necked people”) need at least two thousand years to reconcile themselves with the idea of their Messiah ruling from heaven? (17 April, 2019 - 22:28)
Miguel de Servet replied to Samuel Conner A “necessity” that is brought about by “historical circumstances” looks to me very much like “inevitability”. The phrase translated in English with “was it not necessary” (Lk 24:26) is, in Greek, ouchi edei, where edei is the 3rd person singular active present, used impersonally, from the verb deō and it can have various nuances of meening, from: it is (was) necessary (as binding), to behove... (17 April, 2019 - 15:05)
Samuel Conner replied to Miguel de Servet re: “… that the passion and death of Jesus was not necessary but, in a sinful world, inevitable.” Inevitable, yes, but depending on one’s views of Jesus’ intentions, I think it could be affirmed that, in Jesus’ mind, they were also “necessary” (given the historical circumstances). This seems to be his view cited at Lk 24:26, post-resurrection, of the matter; “the messiah had to ... (17 April, 2019 - 12:17)
Miguel de Servet replied to Andrew @ Andrew, Here are some problems I see with your “contrived compatibility”. 1. You are right that “traditional theology forgot about the historical narrative”. What you don’t seem to consider is that, for the laymen (the hoi polloi) in the Church, the Gospels (yes, including GoJ) are a constant reminder of the historical narration from which the Church abusively extracted its... (17 April, 2019 - 09:59)
Austin andrew, loved this post. As I read it I was thinking about your methods. I’m reading through Licona’s book on the resurrection and his discussion on postmodernism and realism is interesting. I was thinking about historians who are realists and I thought of you. Would you consider yourself a ‘radical’ (for lack of a better word) historical realist? Bringing the flesh back to the NT narrative,... (17 April, 2019 - 01:59)
Samuel Conner replied to Samuel Conner This is again highly speculative, but it might be that “delaying the war against Rome” plays a role in why Jesus, after his resurrection, does not reveal himself to Israel at large and does not remain bodily present among the apostles. If in the days after Easter Jesus had revealed himself to Israel at large, what would have happened? Counterfactuals are impossible to “game out”, but does... (17 April, 2019 - 00:13)
Samuel Conner replied to Andrew re: “Is it really plausible that the acceptance by the Jews of Jesus as a non-violent king would have triggered a Roman assault?” Perhaps the Romans would have worked out a modus vivendi with a notional pacific “Jesus administration” in Jerusalem; Jesus as the acceptable-to-the locals king under Roman overlordship. But is it plausible that an Israel that preferred violent insurgents like... (16 April, 2019 - 22:40)
Andrew replied to Miguel de Servet 1. I see the vertical story as an extremely compressed and abstracted summary of the horizontal story for a church which had lost touch with the Jewish-apocalyptic narrative and aspired to a universalising theological perspective. You could call that a contrived compatibility. John takes us someway in the direction of a merging of these two perspectives, but probably not as far as we might think... (16 April, 2019 - 22:36)
Andrew replied to Samuel Conner It’s difficult for me to imagine that Jesus intended or even hoped to be visibly inaugurated as Israel’s king on his final journey to Jerusalem.To be sure. The manner of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is a sign of the eventual liberation of God’s people from its enemies and the establishment of a kingly rule that “shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth” (Zech. 9:... (16 April, 2019 - 22:11)
Miguel de Servet @ Andrew All the expressions in “quotation marks” in the following are quoted verbatimg from your post. Can you please answer these questions? 1. Are the “two basic ways of telling the story about Jesus” (the “vertical-theological” and the “horizontal-historical”), IYO, (a) compatibe or (b) mutually esclusive ? 1a. If they are compatible, how does that differ trom traditional... (16 April, 2019 - 22:06)
Samuel Conner replied to Andrew My thinking has been strongly influenced by NT Wright’s work (mostly in “Jesus and the Victory of God”) on “the intentions of Jesus.” The thought that Jesus may have intended, from an earlier stage in the public ministry, his death to serve a prophetic function is, I concede, highly speculative. It does help me to make sense of a saying – the famous “Son of man has come to offer... (16 April, 2019 - 21:26)
Andrew replied to Samuel Conner I wonder whether it might also be valid to affirm that Jesus actually intended “his own death [to be] a prophetic warning of the terrors that will come upon Israel”.It depends, doesn’t it, on the weight that we give to “intended”?If you mean that this was how he primarily thought of his mission, that seems unlikely. The Gospels present Jesus’ death as a consequence of his mission to proclaim the... (16 April, 2019 - 20:58)
Phil Ledgerwood replied to Samuel Conner There’s not a built in way to like or upvote comments, so consider this the ad hoc way. (16 April, 2019 - 19:36)
Samuel Conner Thank you! This is helpful. Re: “He has interpreted his own death as a prophetic warning of the terrors that will come upon Israel” I wonder whether it might also be valid to affirm that Jesus actually intended “his own death [to be] a prophetic warning of the terrors that will come upon Israel” He eludes capture at other times when his enemies try to harm him. But finally, at... (16 April, 2019 - 19:02)

When the “restoration of all things” is not the restoration of all things

Miguel de Servet replied to Phil L. I have to say, Andrew’s proposition is far more convincing than yours. Good for you! How can one (claim to) believe that Jesus Christ was raised and is ruling from heaven, “sitting at the right hand of power”, yet afffirm, at the same time, that everything relevant is only happening in history, is either disingenuous, or odd. Or is it “Hegelian”? Or is it all a “metaphor”? Maybe... (14 April, 2019 - 21:05)