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

7 Oct 2019

I’ve done a couple of posts so far critically reviewing aspects of David Bentley Hart’s magniloquent anti-infernalist treatise That All Shall Be Saved: Heaven, Hell, & Universal Salvation. My interest has been mainly in his use of the biblical material; I am not convinced that the theological arguments against hell and for universal salvation need to be made. The...

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30 Sep 2019

A little while back I did a Bible for Normal People podcast interview with Pete Enns and Jared Byas. The question addressed: “Does the New Testament Predict the Future?” It’s now available here. In case anyone listens to it and finds it all rather bewildering, here’s a rough overview of my argument about New Testament eschatology, with a few...

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28 Sep 2019

David Bentley Hart thinks that we find in the New Testament “seemingly contrary eschatological expectations.” The discussion is found in the second meditation, on judgment, in his book That All Shall Be Saved: Heaven, Hell, & Universal Salvation.

He has listed a number of texts which, in his view, appear to “promise a final salvation of all persons and all things, and in the most unqualified terms.” One of the most important is the statement in 1...

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23 Sep 2019

I don’t think that the “kingdom of God” is half as complicated or mysterious as people sometimes make it out to be. In the Synoptic Gospels, it has in view a future moment in time when Israel’s God will intervene in the history of his people to put things right—to punish sin, to defeat enemies, to restore faithfulness—and to establish a new government.

The idea is everywhere in the Old Testament prophets, but a simple example is...

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19 Sep 2019

This post is a response to some questions put to me by a young Christian who is exploring his faith, as he puts it. He writes: “I’ve been absorbed in your blog for the past couple of hours as I haven’t seen anything like it. It’s very different, and I’m sure you can sympathize with any feelings of disorientation I have!” I’m quite pleased with that. Disorientation in not much more than two hours!

He’s certainly grasped the basic argument about Jesus’ saving death in that short time,...

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13 Sep 2019

Pete Enns has an excellent Bible for Normal People podcast on Romans in which he “shares 10 things essential to understanding the book of Romans.” I wrote about this last year, but since Geoff Leslie asked about it, here’s a brief rerun.

Enns’ emphasis on the importance of groups...

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10 Sep 2019

The first thing to say about David Bentley Hart’s book, That All Shall Be Saved: Heaven, Hell, & Universal Salvation is that it takes as its point of departure the “Question of an Eternal Hell”. Immediately here, I think, we have the trouble with universalism. It has been devised as a solution to a theological problem, not a biblical problem.

I want to explore the implications of this by looking at how the theme of salvation is developed...

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