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

Ignorance about the ignorance of the Son

Carlton Wynne is assistant professor of systematic theology and apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary and, therefore, not surprisingly believes that “as the eternal Son of the Father, Jesus Christ possesses the fullness of deity, including the attribute of omniscience”. But how are we to reconcile this dogma, he asks, with Jesus’ claim to ignorance in Matthew 24:36 (cf. Mk. 13:32): “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only”? Jesus knows for a fact that he will judge the nations (cf. Matt. 25:31-34), but he hasn’t been told when.

Wynne’s solution is that “two completely different natures… are united in the one Son of God”—an immutable divine nature, which has no need to learn anything, and a mutable human nature, which was bound to grow and learn. So it can be said that, as a man, Jesus “increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and man” (Lk. 2:52).

2 Nov 2018

In Revelation 21:22-26 John describes a situation in which the new Jerusalem is surrounded by the nations, which walk by its light, and the kings of these nations bring their “glory and honour” into the city. Despite the fact that the gates of the city will always be open, nothing unclean, nor any detestable or...

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1 Nov 2018

Professor James Dunn gave a class yesterday at the London School of Theology for a mixed group of undergraduates, research students, and the teaching body. The topic was “Jesus according to Jesus”, which was taken from his forthcoming book Jesus According to the New Testament. He took us on a leisurely...

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24 Oct 2018

I started out with the intention of explaining what appears to be the persistence of bad things and bad people in the new heaven and new earth described in Revelation 21-22. John tells us that the gates of the new Jerusalem that is seen descending from God will never be shut, but “nothing unclean will ever enter it...

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18 Oct 2018

This is the script for the recent podcast of the same name for those who prefer the sound of the voice in their head.

Here’s the question that I want to address. It was sent to me by someone who gets the narrative-historical approach to reading the Bible and is wondering whether it has anything...

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16 Oct 2018

If you’re looking for a good example of how conservative evangelicalism gets the Jesus story wrong (albeit with the best of intentions), look no further than this piece on The Gospel Coalition site, in which Steve Mathewson asks, “Why Did Jesus Say He Will Crush Some to Pieces?”

It has to do with the parable...

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11 Oct 2018

On my blog and in a few books I argue against the theological interpretation of scripture and for a consistently narrative-historical interpretation of scripture. Why? Because the method makes much better sense of the texts. But can it do more than that? Can it give us better answers to the big questions...

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5 Oct 2018

Most people probably still think of the “gospel” as the offer of eternal life to individuals on the basis of Jesus’ atoning death. That is quite wide of the mark as far as the New Testament is concerned. I argue here that the good news was an unfolding story about how the God of Israel was transforming the...

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28 Sep 2018

Alex asked what I thought of The Bible Project’s telling of the biblical story in this video. The video is called a “New Testament Overview”, but really it’s a lively, line-drawn, animated presentation of the “epic complicated story of God’s covenant partnership with Israel and all humanity”. The point is...

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