This is proving to be a tumultuous year for the world, and for the post-colonial western world in particular. Many people are hoping—myself included—that the coronavirus pandemic has woken us up to the damage that we are doing to our planet, and that the death of George Floyd has finally ignited a… (17 Jun 2020 | )
This is an attempt to address, at least in part, some difficult questions raised by Tim Peebles and Kevin Holtsberry in response to my recent reviews of books on coronavirus by Piper, Brueggemann, and Wright. The criticism seems to come down to two basic questions:
Is coronavirus—even if we… (8 Jun 2020 | )
This is the third short book-length theological response to the coronavirus pandemic that I’ve read. I’ve also looked at John Piper’s Coronavirus and Christ and Walter Brueggemann’s Virus as a Summons to Faith: Biblical Reflections in a Time of Loss, Grief, and Uncertainty.
Tom… (3 Jun 2020 | )
The Reformed tradition reads the coronavirus pandemic in a narrowly personal and dualistic fashion, with little regard for the tumultuous realities of history. How far this falls short of the standards of the biblical witness is apparent from Walter Brueggemann’s somewhat improvised contribution to… (27 May 2020 | )
Ben Sciacca’s Gospel Coalition piece on “Coronavirus as Dress Rehearsal” had me fooled. Aha! I thought. That’s exactly what I’ve been saying. The pandemic is a dress rehearsal—a foretaste, a harbinger, a portent—for far more serious things to come. Conservative evangelicalism in America… (21 May 2020 | )
The coronavirus pandemic is an opportunity for the church to rethink its message and reform its behaviour, and we need to take up this challenge urgently. That’s how I see it. So it’s good that John Piper has attempted, within a very brief span, to assimilate the pandemic into his theological… (19 May 2020 | )
A passage that rarely gets taken into account in expositions of the “gospel” is John’s vision of three angels in Revelation 14:6-11. The context is important. It comes as part of a visionary interlude between the seven trumpets (8-11) and the seven bowls (15-16). I argued in The Coming of the… (30 Apr 2020 | )
This is the best theological reflection on coronavirus that I have read so far. It’s a Jesuit Review essay by Tomáš Halík, who is a Catholic priest and a professor of sociology at Charles University, Prague. It offers something of the prophetic perspective that is missing from much of the bland and… (15 Apr 2020 | )
In a Seven Minute Seminary video on the will of God and natural disasters Ben Witherington, who is a very good biblical scholar, argues emphatically that COVID-19 is not an “act of God”.
One of the main tasks of Jesus’ earthly ministry, he says, was to get rid of disease, decay, and death so… (13 Apr 2020 | )
Enough of Steve Chalke’s book, let’s get back to coronavirus. How do we talk about it theologically? Or, as Baptist theologian and ethicist Roger Olson asks, “Where is God in this pandemic?”
Coronavirus is not one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse—that was a very different future, from a… (6 Apr 2020 | )
Tom Wright has written an Ideas piece for Time Magazine in which he argues that Christianity is not supposed to give answers about the coronavirus.
It’s our rationalist culture, he says, that needs a reason for everything, and it’s rather “silly” to ask whether the pandemic is a punishment or… (31 Mar 2020 | )
[If you’re looking for a German version of this post, you’re in luck.]
I’ve heard only one person so far—a young New Yorker, interviewed on TV—use the word “apocalyptic” in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Mostly, I guess, we are being very pragmatic about it. But it’s early days… (18 Mar 2020 | )