(how to tell the biblical story
in a way that makes a difference)
12 Dec 2018

What are we to make of Jesus’ saying that in the resurrection people will not marry or be given in marriage? I’ve been looking at Robert Song’s argument for covenant partnerships for gay and lesbian people in his book Covenant and Calling: Towards a Theology of Same-Sex Relationships. Marriage is instituted, he says, “to deal with the problem that people die”. Resurrected people will not die, so the institution of marriage becomes redundant. “Where there is resurrection, there is no...

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6 Dec 2018

I am arguing on this site for a major shift in the way that the church reads the New Testament and presents its significant content. Most churches today start from a theological tradition and, wittingly or otherwise, read the New Testament for the purpose of explaining, elaborating upon and defending that tradition. In the case of evangelicals the tradition is multi-faceted: it might take the shape of the formulations of classical patristic orthodoxy or Reformed dogmatics or...

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29 Nov 2018

Since John’s christology has been under discussion recently (see “Why did the Jews accuse Jesus of making himself equal to God?” and “Before Abraham was, I am”), and since I will be preaching on the Word which became flesh as the first in an Advent series this Sunday, I’ve scraped together some thoughts on the opening paragraph of John’s Gospel.

In the...

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26 Nov 2018

My assumption has always been that we have a “higher” christology in the Gospel of John than we do in the Synoptic Gospels, but I’m beginning to have my doubts. I argued last week that when Jesus is accused by the Jews of making himself equal to God or making himself God (Jn. 5:17-18; 10:33), his response, in effect, is, “No, I am the Son of Man, authorised by God to speak and act on his behalf”, which is more or less...

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20 Nov 2018

I think we have to allow that John’s Gospel differs from the Synoptic Gospels in this fundamental respect: it is not an attempt to remember the historical Jesus; it is an attempt to restate the significance of the historical Jesus from a later theological vantage point, shaped in particular by a bitter controversy with the Jews.

The Synoptic Gospels (and Acts) remember Jesus as the Son sent to the vineyard of Israel, who was rejected and killed, but who would become the...

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15 Nov 2018

My response to deon’s two lengthy and thoughtful comments (see the last piece on Jesus as Alpha and Omega) on how the narrative-historical approach potentially distorts crucial elements of New Testament christology has grown rather long, so I have posted it separately. But it remains a response to comments on another post and may not make too...

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13 Nov 2018

Towards the end of the book of Revelation John hears somebody say: “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Rev. 22:12–13). This is presumably Jesus speaking (cf. 22:16); and since God says nearly the same thing about himself in Revelation 21:6, it is inferred that John means to establish some sort of identity between Jesus and God. Richard Bauckham, for...

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