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

14 Aug 2019

Certain core emphases or tenets have emerged over the years as I have dug myself deeper and deeper into the pit of the narrative-historical perspective:

  • The key to understanding the Bible is history, not theology.
  • What holds the whole thing together is the historical existence of a people that tells a story about itself and its relation to the creator...
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    6 Aug 2019

    In the opening paragraph of his book Jewish Messianism and the Cult of Christ (SCM Press, 1998) William Horbury outlines a basic model for understanding the relation of the Old Testament to history. His leading contention is that the Old Testament “forms the backbone of any study of messianism in the Second-Temple period,” so it is specifically the relation of the Old Testament to that period of Jewish history which encompasses the New Testament narrative...

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    30 Jul 2019

    At the Communitas Family Reunion in Malaga last week my friend Wes led a brilliant series of teaching conversations on Daniel 9. In my view it was a model of narrative-historical pedagogy. The historical context was critically appraised and kept in focus, and precisely for that reason our group of mission-minded folk was able to find in it the draft of a powerful story that may give credibility, resilience, and orientation to mission today. What struck...

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    19 Jul 2019

    A post by the Arminian theologian Roger Olson this week outlining “9.5 Theses about Evangelical Christianity” serves to illustrate a number of the points that I made with my little diagram about theology and history. It’s a quick read. Here’s my take on it.

    1. I don’t see the problem with classifying...

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    16 Jul 2019

    It’s summer in the northern hemisphere, and there’s not much happening, so I was doodling and came up with a little diagram to show the difference between traditional evangelical thought and the approach that I take on this blog. For many readers it will be familiar, but if you’re new here, it may blow your mind. Or maybe not.

    1. Broadly speaking, there are two ways of reading the New Testament. We can read it...

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    11 Jul 2019

    In this rather long post I want to address some questions put to me about the general plausibility of my reading of the parousia texts as prophecies regarding two historical developments—the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the armies of pagan Rome and the overthrow of pagan Rome through the witness of the churches to the lordship of Jesus. There are undoubtedly things that I have overlooked, but these are the texts and questions that immediately stand out.

    The main...

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    1 Jul 2019

    I had two emails from friends recently, within a few minutes of each other, recommending books to read. The first pointed me to an online edition of Fragments from Reimarus: consisting of brief critical remarks on the object of Jesus and His disciples as seen in the New Testament. The English translation was published in 1879, more than a hundred years after the death of the German philosopher. The original...

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