(how to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference)
4 Jul 2018

Marc Cortez has written a book called ReSourcing Theological Anthropology: A Constructive Account of Humanity in the Light of Christ. I haven’t read the book, but I know a man who has, and I propose to take issue with the central thesis of Cortez’s book on the strength of Owen Strachan’s mostly enthusiastic review. The problem is that theology is so bent on imposing its totalising...

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26 Jun 2018

Last month the Pew Research Centre published the results of a survey of the level of religious commitment of people in Western Europe who self-identify as Christians. The basic finding appears to be that people who call themselves “Christian” in Western Europe are less actively religious—less likely to go to church, pray, believe in God, etc.—than...

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20 Jun 2018

Jörg Frey offers a useful critique of N.T. Wright’s understanding of Paul’s apocalyptic in his chapter in God and the Faithfulness of Paul—the massive response to NT Wright’s massive Paul and the Faithfulness of God....

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14 Jun 2018

I make the point frequently that there are two basic approaches to the interpretation of the Bible operative in the church today, a theologically determined method and a historically determined method. The church tends to regard the historical method as detrimental to orthodox belief and the theological method as supportive. My argument is, to the contrary, that “history”, understood principally as the story that the historical community told about itself and its experience of God, gives us...

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6 Jun 2018

I’ve been reflecting on the flood story this week in preparation for a sermon on Noah as a risk-taker. This is not the content of the sermon, just some notes on the background narrative of Genesis 1-11.

Theological readings of the Bible tend to isolate Genesis 1-3 as a foundational account of creation and fall, culminating in the need for an “offspring” of the woman who will bruise his head, which supposedly justifies the jump ahead to Jesus as the saviour of humanity. Both assumptions...

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31 May 2018

I am firmly of the view that in the symbology of Daniel 7 the “one like a son of man” who is brought to the throne of the Ancient of Days stands for the persecuted people of the saints of the Most High, in much the same way that the four beasts in the first part of the vision stand for malevolent and destructive empires. I also think that Jesus ...

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22 May 2018

I think that the best way to understand New Testament eschatology is to organise the material according to three future horizons: i) a disastrous war against Rome, which would result in the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple; ii) the overthrow of classical Greek-Roman paganism and the confession of Jesus as Lord by the nations; and iii) in a very hazy distance, the final destruction of sin and death and the renewal of heaven and earth.

I have also argued that what Jesus’...

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