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The SBL annual meeting is happening online this year, of course. In a highly stimulating and persuasive presentation yesterday David Burnett argued for revisiting the thesis of D.A.S. Ravens that Luke uses the story of the anointing of Jesus by a… (1 Dec 2020 | 0 comments)
This is really just an appendix to the previous post on the two “ends” in Jesus’ apocalyptic discourse in Mark 13. I have summarised the development of thought, highlighting what seem to me to be the salient literary features, with a few brief… (25 Nov 2020 | 0 comments)
The question is a simple one. Does Jesus have one or two climactic events in mind when he speaks to his disciples about the future? Following on from his discussion of the “parable” of the sheep and goats, Ian Paul has posted a defence of Dick… (24 Nov 2020 | 1 comment)
Ian Paul has written a good piece on the sheep and goats passage in Matthew 25. He notes, rightly in my view, that the “least of these” are not the poor in general, and that it is not good Christians and bad non-Christians who are separated at the… (20 Nov 2020 | 6 comments)
I’ve been greatly enjoying an intermittent conversation with Tim Peebles of the Anvil Trust about the relation between kingdom and new creation or shalom themes in scripture. We both have trouble getting our point across succinctly, so my… (15 Nov 2020 | 0 comments)
The practical question that I’m trying to answer here is: how do we assess the effectiveness or validity of missional activity when the “product” is more qualitative than quantitative? Church growth models are proved effective if they result in… (11 Nov 2020 | 2 comments)
Prompted by an excellent podcast that I listened to yesterday discussing the relation between the kingdom of God and “shalom” in scripture, I want to look briefly at Isaiah 9:6-7. The passage speaks of the birth of a child who will sit on the… (6 Nov 2020 | 2 comments)
I work with an international mission organisation called Communitas. We have a small presence in the UK, and if anyone wants to know more about us, please get in touch. This is the personal background for the question that I want to address in a… (3 Nov 2020 | 14 comments)
The relevance of Psalm 107:28-29 for understanding Jesus’ imperious rebuke of the wind and waves is often noted: some went down to the sea in ships; the Lord “commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea”; they were… (26 Oct 2020 | 1 comment)
Speaking at Davos last year, David Attenborough said, “The Holocene has ended. The Garden of Eden is no more.” He makes the point again in the compelling new Netflix documentary A Life on Our Planet. The juxtaposition of terms from two very… (21 Oct 2020 | 0 comments)
Does Paul say that Christ is God in Romans 9:5? He speaks with candour about his anxiety regarding the future of Israel. He could wish himself “anathema from the Messiah” for the sake of his own race according to the flesh, of whom are “the glory… (14 Oct 2020 | 1 comment)
On The Gospel Coalition site Phil Thompson asks what Paul means when he says, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” (Col… (11 Oct 2020 | 1 comment)
Andrew Bunt provides a quick and lucid overview of the argument of Oren Martin’s book Bound for the Promised Land: The land promise in God’s redemptive plan (2015). I have not read the book. Martin thinks—assuming that Bunt has understood… (8 Oct 2020 | 0 comments)
I have been reading Eric Mason’s book Woke Church: An Urgent Call for Christians in America to Confront Racism and Injustice. It’s not the book I was expecting it to be. It’s an honest, heartfelt attempt, written from within the black… (1 Oct 2020 | 5 comments)
Following on from the discussion of whether Paul includes Jesus in the divine identity in 1 Corinthians 8:6, let’s consider the claim that Paul identifies Jesus with YHWH when he says, “Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy (parazēloumen)?… (24 Sep 2020 | 5 comments)
A lot of scholars think that Paul includes Jesus in the “divine identity” when he says that “for us there is one God, the Father… and one Lord, Jesus Christ…” (1 Cor. 8:6). Richard Bauckham, for example, notes that it is now “commonly recognized”… (21 Sep 2020 | 12 comments)
Matthew Hartke describes himself on Twitter as a “Post-Christian Bible nerd endlessly fascinated with the historical Jesus and the origins of Christianity.” I had a bit of a debate with him a few years back in an Unbelievable podcast about whether… (11 Sep 2020 | 0 comments)
Here are three missional challenges that the modern evangelical church needs urgently to get to grips with: 1) resist the extreme individualism and narcissism of western culture; 2) tell a compelling, up-to-date-and-beyond story about the living God… (8 Sep 2020 | 4 comments)
Writing to Timothy, Paul (presumably) says that a woman should learn quietly in all submissiveness and not be allowed to teach and “exert influence over” (authentein) men because “Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived,… (4 Sep 2020 | 0 comments)
Jesus did not tell moral fables. He was not a purveyor of uplifting Christian allegories that transcend time and space. He was a prophet in the mould of Isaiah or Ezekiel, telling disturbing, and sometimes deliberately disorienting, stories about… (1 Sep 2020 | 0 comments)