All content

Jamie Davies’ book The Apocalyptic Paul: Retrospect and Prospect comes in two parts: a look back down the long road that has led to attempts to assimilate the “apocalyptic Paul” into systematic theologies, and a look forward to see where… (2 Aug 2022 | 0 comments)
I asked in the previous post about blaming Bathsheba, “If it was a rape, why isn’t it presented as a rape?” James McGrath asks to the contrary, if we call Amnon’s assault of Tamar “rape,” why do we not apply the same category to David’s sexual… (21 Jul 2022 | 3 comments)
James McGrath made this comment in response to my treatment of Bathsheba’s bathing in my previous two posts (see the links below): I found myself unable to keep reading after you blamed Bathsheba for washing herself after the end of her… (19 Jul 2022 | 3 comments)
In response to the last post asking whether David raped Bathsheba a couple of online commentaries defending the rape interpretation were flagged up on Facebook: David’s Rape of Bathsheba and Murder of Uriah (2 Samuel 11-12) by the Theology of Work… (18 Jul 2022 | 3 comments)
Reading parts of a recent bad-tempered Twitter row about David and Bathsheba, I began to wonder whether Bathsheba is to be regarded in any sense as responsible for the turn of events. I was told that “she was really asking for it” interpretations… (14 Jul 2022 | 15 comments)
I have two preliminary points to make from a biblical perspective. First, the story of Jesus and the early church as told in the New Testament is not a departure from the story of Israel. On the contrary, we must insist that it is much closer… (6 Jul 2022 | 1 comment)
Matthew Hartke posted a couple of pages from Robert Carroll’s book When Prophecy Failed: Cognitive Dissonance in the Prophetic Traditions of the Old Testament on Twitter last week. It got me fretting. The argument of the book is that there… (22 Jun 2022 | 4 comments)
What did Christ smell like? Paul says that the apostles—he has in mind at least himself, Timothy, and Titus—are the “fragrant aroma of Christ to God among those being saved and among those perishing” (2 Cor. 2:15). Careless readers of scripture that… (16 Jun 2022 | 0 comments)
With the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in full swing here in the UK, it’s easy to forget that it’s Pentecost Sunday this weekend. To compensate for the oversight and to make sure that the narrative-historical perspective doesn’t get neglected, here… (3 Jun 2022 | 0 comments)
Allan Bevere makes the important point that Jesus was not crucified because he went around telling people to love one another. “It doesn’t take a profound thinker to know that the primary motivation for this dehistorizing and detheologizing of Jesus… (31 May 2022 | 9 comments)
In the six week course I have been doing on “missional church” for King’s School of Theology I have made quite extensive use of the story of Paul’s visit to Athens in Acts 17:16-34 to underline the point that mission in the New Testament is not… (20 May 2022 | 2 comments)
I have been having an online conversation with someone who is rather suspicious of the charts I have been using (such as the one below) to map the story of the people of God throughout the ages. One of the problems is that I have not defined the y-… (13 May 2022 | 0 comments)
Frankly, it is an absurdity that we still have such a hard time making sense of Jesus’ core proclamation about the kingdom of God. The problem comes up again in another book by Alan Roxburgh on “missional church,” this time co-written with Scott… (9 May 2022 | 2 comments)
In their book Practices for the Refounding of God’s People: The Missional Challenge of the West (2018), Alan Roxburgh and Martin Robinson first offer a rather pessimistic analysis of the consequences of modernity’s “wager” (the metaphor is… (2 May 2022 | 14 comments)
Edwin has an interesting question about the link between Jesus’ furious condemnation of the Jerusalem hierarchy and his subsequent vindication: I have been trying to get to the point where I have my aha moment in this reframing of the… (18 Apr 2022 | 2 comments)
In my previous post I had meant only to address certain questions about Jesus’ view of the “end” but thought it might be more illuminating to set Jesus’ apocalyptic teaching in Mark 13 in the context of the events of the last week in Jerusalem.… (13 Apr 2022 | 3 comments)
I started out meaning to reply to a few questions sent to me about Mark 13: Isn’t it the case that Mark places the “final apocalypse” immediately after the destruction of the temple? Doesn’t this point to a failure of prophecy? Didn’t Jesus say that… (5 Apr 2022 | 6 comments)
Here we go again. In a response to my recent piece on James Tabor’s “failed failed apocalypse of the New Testament” argument, Edward Babinski, one of a number of vociferous ex-fundamentalist critics of conservative orthodoxies, has outlined an… (28 Mar 2022 | 0 comments)
My recently developed narrative missiological model has three main parts to it. During periods of stasis the people of God is 1) new creation and 2) royal priesthood. During periods of crisis those functions tend to be reduced, and 3) a prophetic… (22 Mar 2022 | 2 comments)
Not to put too fine a point on it, the church in the West is facing an existential crisis. Most of the remedial effort has gone into doing things differently—trying new approaches, developing ways of operating that restore confidence, find… (15 Mar 2022 | 6 comments)