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

30 Nov 2019

I am delighted—and a little nervous—to announce that my new book End of Story: Same-Sex Relationships and the Narratives of Evangelical Mission has just been published by Wipf & Stock. The book explores how scripture frames the ancient phenomenon of same-sex sexual relations narratively—in effect, eschatologically—and asks whether the narrative, from the perspective of the missional church...

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26 Nov 2019

Ryan sent me a nice email a few days ago. He tells me that he has a very conservative theology but struggles with the traditional understanding of hell. He has read some of the articles on this site about hell and finds them “extremely fascinating”, but he has some questions. For example, why should a person who says “fool” to someone be in danger of the fire of hell? “Can you explain this through your viewpoint?” he asks. “Why would someone be thrown into the valley for calling someone a...

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20 Nov 2019

Still going strong here. In chapter three of Gospel Allegiance: What Faith in Jesus Misses for Salvation in Christ Matthew Bates sets out his version of the gospel narrative as a sequence of ten events, somewhat in the manner of the Apostles’ Creed (86-104). (I had a similar go at writing a narrative-historical creed a few years back.) He then addresses some objections to his version from people like John Piper, and...

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14 Nov 2019

The second part of chapter two of Matthew Bates’ important book Gospel Allegiance: What Faith in Jesus Misses for Salvation in Christ considers the means by which the “gospel of allegiance” saves people.

He sums up the argument so far: “The gospel in Romans 1:1–5 is about the incarnation and enthronement. It is purposed toward the allegiance of the nations to Jesus the king” (73).

I disagree...

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12 Nov 2019

Chapter two of Matthew Bates’ Gospel Allegiance: What Faith in Jesus Misses for Salvation in Christ sets out his understanding of the Greek word pistis. In the first part he explains why he thinks that “allegiance” is a better translation of the word than “faith”. In the second part he asks how “allegiance” saves people. I’ll just look at the first part here.

The argument of chapter one was that...

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8 Nov 2019

I have spent way too much time finding fault with Matthew Bates’ argument that Paul alludes to the pre-existence of Jesus in Romans 1:3. Now to get on with the substance of Gospel Allegiance: What Faith in Jesus Misses for Salvation in Christ. It might be a bit ambitious to take this one chapter at a time, but let’s at least begin with the crucial first chapter on the gospel.

First, Bates says, there...

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6 Nov 2019

Well, we’re still not quite done with the purported incarnational christology of Romans 1:3. Matthew Bates makes the claim in a brief section of his excellent book Gospel Allegiance (51-52), and at...

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