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

Coronavirus—Tom Wright says that Christianity offers no answers. Is that the best we can do?

Tom Wright has written an Ideas piece for Time Magazine in which he argues that Christianity is not supposed to give answers about the coronavirus.

It’s our rationalist culture, he says, that needs a reason for everything, and it’s rather “silly” to ask whether the pandemic is a punishment or warning or sign from God. Sometimes you just have to accept that there isn’t a reason. So, with a nod to the poet T.S. Eliot, we have to “wait without hope, because we’d be hoping for the wrong thing.”

I made the comment in part 1 of this review of Steve Chalke’s The Lost Message of Paul that he has worked hard to integrate recent New Testament scholarship into his analysis of Paul but that in the end his personal judgment as a post-evangelical pastor gets the better of him. That started me... (25th Mar. 2020 | 1 comment)
[This is a translation—kindly provided by Helge Seekamp—of last week’s post “No, coronavirus is not the apocalypse; it could be worse than that”. A few more German translations can be found here.]Ich habe bisher nur eine Person gehört – ein junger New Yorker, der im Fernsehen interviewt wurde –,... (23rd Mar. 2020 | 0 comments)
Steve Chalke is a British “Baptist minister, author, speaker, justice campaigner, broadcaster, social entrepreneur and former UN Special Advisor on Human Trafficking”, and the founder of the Oasis Trust. The Lost Message of Paul is his belated sequel to The Lost Message of Jesus, which he wrote... (21st Mar. 2020 | 4 comments)
[If you’re looking for a German version of this post, you’re in luck.]I’ve heard only one person so far—a young New Yorker, interviewed on TV—use the word “apocalyptic” in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Mostly, I guess, we are being very pragmatic about it. But it’s early days,... (18th Mar. 2020 | 4 comments)
In his book How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee, Bart Ehrman argues that in Galatians 4:14 Paul in effect speaks of Jesus as an angel:You know that because of a weakness of the flesh I first proclaimed the good news to you, and you did not despise or spit out your... (14th Mar. 2020 | 1 comment)
Alastair Roberts asks, “Where is the Trinity in the Old Testament?” He is quite candid about the fact that the “philosophical cast and categories of these later disputes transposed the biblical material into very different idioms and discourses animated by rather different concerns”; and he warns... (10th Mar. 2020 | 7 comments)
James Mercer is on the ministry team of the Benefice of St Aldhelm in Purbeck on the south coast of England. I’ve known him for some years, and we’ve had a few good conversations about the practical application of the narrative-historical method. He posted this bold, inspiring and beautifully... (6th Mar. 2020 | 7 comments)
Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians to “work out (katergazesthe) your own salvation with fear and trembling” is a bit of a puzzle. Are we saved by works after all? Remembering the exodus, the Psalmist declares, “Yet God is our King from of old; he worked salvation (eirgasato sōtērian) in the... (4th Mar. 2020 | 5 comments)