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Alistair Begg says that the American church needs to get used to living in exile. It will become much smaller, may lose some legal protections, will face growing antagonism, and will find itself increasingly alienated from society. People may lose… (29 Apr 2021 | 3 comments)
This is an attempt to answer an assortment of questions sent to me a few weeks back by someone who does not profess to be a theologian but who clearly gets my basic argument about reading the New Testament from the limiting perspective of Jesus and… (24 Apr 2021 | 1 comment)
Cosmological renewal is mostly a metaphor in the Bible for the restoration of the people of God after catastrophic divine judgment—first, the Babylonian invasion and the exile, then the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by Rome in AD 70. But I… (16 Apr 2021 | 2 comments)
What’s the difference between “liberal” and “progressive” Christianity? It’s a good question. Roger Olson, who knows a thing or two about American liberal theology, vents his frustration with a publisher who insists that “progressive” is the new “… (14 Apr 2021 | 10 comments)
The latest edition of the Journal of Biblical Literature has an article by Katherine Shaner entitled “The Danger of Singular Saviors: Vulnerability, Political Power, and Jesus’s Disturbance in the Temple (Mark 11:15–19).” It’s a nicely… (7 Apr 2021 | 2 comments)
We are between Palm Sunday and Good Friday. A few days ago Jesus rode into Jerusalem to excited cries of “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Mk. 11:9). The acclamation comes from Psalm 118:25-26: “Save us (hoshiʿ naʾ… (30 Mar 2021 | 4 comments)
It’s funny how quickly a book can go out of date. Admittedly, I’m reviewing Jennifer Butler’s Who Stole My Bible? Reclaiming Scripture as a Handbook for Resisting Tyranny from a safe distance, and maybe there’s a lot that’s not visible from… (17 Mar 2021 | 3 comments)
I got flung against a wall by a good friend for my defence of a narrative-historical perspective on Christendom—not literally, but a vigorous pushback on Facebook. I’ve replied to him there, but I’m posting the main points I made in response here as… (9 Mar 2021 | 0 comments)
I’m getting into the bad habit of answering questions raised in the comments with another post. The reason is that the questions are very good and merit consideration at length, but I wonder if the practice is conducive to good debate. Anyway, Jo… (8 Mar 2021 | 2 comments)
What is the kingdom of God? The standard evangelical view is that it is the aggregated rule of God in the hearts of believers in advance of (“now and not yet”) a glorious future kingdom, usually confused either with heaven or the new creation. The… (2 Mar 2021 | 11 comments)
I thought we were done with the two visions of the descent of the holy city from heaven, but another question has come up, an obvious one. Why are the visions the wrong way round? Why does John first see the descent into the new creation,… (24 Feb 2021 | 3 comments)
The story so far… At the end of the book of Revelation the holy city, new Jerusalem, is twice seen descending out of heaven, from God, “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” These are two different moments in the apocalyptic narrative… (22 Feb 2021 | 6 comments)
I posted this yesterday as a response to Kaz’s probing question about the presence of the “holy city, new Jerusalem” in the new creation that appears to John after the final judgment. I won’t repeat the argument of “Why does the holy city Jerusalem… (20 Feb 2021 | 2 comments)
At the end of the book of Revelation John sees the “holy city, (new) Jerusalem” descending out of heaven from God twice, seemingly after the final judgment (Rev. 21:2, 9). Why? Are these different events? The same event depicted twice? I have… (18 Feb 2021 | 2 comments)
I “attended” an online workshop yesterday hosted by the Centre for the Study of the Bible at Oriel College, Oxford. The theme was “Apocalyptic thinking.” We were treated to some excellent presentations from a good range of scholars, including such… (16 Feb 2021 | 0 comments)
I’ve got to know Rob Bavington through his connection with Communitas. He has been something of an accidental church-planter, first in Sweden for some years, now in Bradford. We talk about what he’s learned, what he’s learning, and… (13 Feb 2021 | 2 comments)
I want to look at a couple of related questions about Romans, from a couple of unrelated sources. First, Jo is not convinced that the string or catena of Old Testament quotations in Romans 3:10-18 is directed exclusively against the Jews,… (10 Feb 2021 | 6 comments)
The witness of scripture is not primarily to the personal relevance of God but to the political relevance of God. It has to do with the rule or kingdom of God in the world. Witness operates at large scale national-civilisational… (6 Feb 2021 | 2 comments)
Biblical faith is almost always forward-looking. It is as much about what may or may not happen in the future as it is about the knowledge and experience of the God of Israel in the here and now. It is, therefore, almost always either fearful or… (1 Feb 2021 | 1 comment)
John Morehead had this to say about my “Is there only one way to heaven?” post, and I want to explore some thoughts in response to it: …as you developed this piece, for me it lost theological momentum when you got to the section on how the… (23 Jan 2021 | 1 comment)